San Miguel de Allende is nothing if not Instragrammable. With its rich colors, its colonial architecture and cobblestoned streets, its traditional crafts and its beautiful people, San Miguel will have your camera screaming to be clicked. Here’s why–15 of the most commonly photographed places and things in San Miguel de Allende.
With Camera in Hand in San Miguel de Allende
One of the rules of living in or visiting San Miguel de Allende in the central Mexican highlands: Never leave home without your camera! There are so many beautiful, odd, or off-beat things in San Miguel de Allende, pictures screaming to be taken everywhere you look. Whether you like the long-shot panorama of the streets and the view with purple jacaranda trees or you prefer to focus on the more intimate details of a dancer or your dinner, San Miguel is a feast for your lens.
Don’t believe it? Just put #SanMigueldeAllende into the search box on Instagram and see what you get. This town is an instagrammers banquet.
Take a look at this list of 15 of the Most Instragram-worthy photo spots and things in San Miguel de Allende.
* To see more wonderful photos of San Miguel de Allende, click on the Instagram images embedded below and check out the feeds of the photographers–including mine. Likes and comments ar always welcome there.
#15 – The Old Gas Pump: Was This the First Gas Station in San Miguel?
This old pump is found at the corner of Juarez and Mesones. I have no idea how long it has been there, but I’ve seen it in some very old photos, from the ’30s or ’40s. Until a couple of years ago, it tilted at a bit of an angle. Then one day it disappeared. There was a public outcry–“Where have you taken our beloved old gas pump? Bring it back!” But no worries, it had merely been removed to repair the base. It now sits proudly upright once again, just waiting for your camera. One of the best vintage things in San Miguel de Allende.
#14 – Vochos: The VW Beetles are One of the Best Things in San Miguel de Allende
You thought the original VW Beetle was a relic of the past? Not in Mexico, it’s not. In fact, Mexico was one of the very last countries in the world to still manufacture the iconic little car, and they can still be seen frequently on the streets of San Miguel. They are as beloved by Mexicans as they are in many other parts of the world. They even earned that ultimate sign of affection from Mexicans, a nickname. They are called vochos, though I have never been able to find out why. Perhaps for the “V” in VW. On July 30, 2003, the last vocho rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico, accompanied by a Mariachi singing the song “Las Golondrinas” (a Mexican folk song that speaks of farewell). It was immediately shipped off to become a permanent fixture at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany. So keep your eye open for photographable examples of this most Mexican of things in San Miguel de Allende.
I'm pretty certain that Mexico was the last country where the classic Volkswagen Beetle was still manufactured (up until just a few years ago). You still see a lot of them on the streets. Locally, they are called "Vochos" and are much beloved. When I first came to Mexico more than 20 years ago, most of the taxis in Mexico City were Vochos, with the front passenger seat removed for storing luggage and large parcels. Another hallmark of the streets of Mexico. They always make me smile, because I drove one myself in my university years. #vocho #mysweetblue #asundaycarpic #instamexgram #mexico_photolovers #mexigers #numberof1 #smartertravel #vwbug #vwbeetle #beetle #ss_blue_04 #wonderful_worldshots #trustalocal #tvc_pantone_snokelblue
#13 – The Otomi Dollsellers
These Otomi Women craft lovely hand-made dolls with embroidered features and sell them in the streets and doorways of San Miguel. The Otomi people are an indigenous group that goes back centuries in this part of central Mexico. In fact, the nearby pyramid at Cañada de la Virgen, which dates back at least 900 years, was built by the Otomi. Thousands of their direct descendants live in the pueblos and ranchos around San Miguel de Allende.
Hay tantas personas, tradiciones y artesanías que representan nuestra cultura. Personas a nuestro alrededor usualmente que ya lo vemos muy normal. No es hasta que salimos de México 🇲🇽 que extrañamos todo esto, y nos damos cuenta que como México no hay ✌🏽 #sanmigueldeallende #mxlifestyle #beautifulplaces #beautifuldestinations #beautifulday #traditions #nicepeople #mexico #beingaturist #turistlife #learning #culture #culturamexicana
#12 – The Fountain on Cuadrante: One of the Prettiest Things in San Miguel de Allende
There are many public fountains remaining around San Miguel, and several are quite lovely. But this one behind the Parroquia church, on Cuadrante Street, just uphill from Cuna de Allende, is surely the most photographed. It’s easy to see why. The carving, the colors and the bougainvillea are all lovely and tell a story of San Miguel’s colonial past. It is one of the prettiest things in San Miguel de Allende.
Probably the most photographed fountain in San Miguel de Allende, at the corner of Aldama and Cuadrante. A true symbol of San Miguel. Today it will be decorated, along with every other fountain in town. For "Night of the Altars," and people will stroll around town all evening seeing these and the beautiful altars for the Virgin of Sorrows that people build on their homes. #mexicolors #mextagram #mexico #mexico_lindo #mexico_magico #mexicoandando #Mexico_maravillosa #ig_mexico #igersgto #igersmexico #loves_mexico #ilovemexico #instatbn #chasingshadows #shutterbug_collective #catching_beauty_shots #transfer_visions #transfer_visions_nm #unesco #gounesco #fandelacultura #Aficionados_mex #tv_colors #colors_hub #great_captures_mexico #ig_guanajuato #tbscommunity #turismo_sma #pocket_world_destinations #tvc_pantone_peachecho
#11 – El Charco del Ingenio: San Miguel’s Beautiful Botanical Garden
Not simply your typical enclosed botanical garden, El Charco del Ingenio, covers more than 170 acres on the southeast edge of San Miguel de Allende. It is one of my favorite spots in town to get away from noise, traffic, buildings and people.
The name comes from a legendary spring-fed pool deep in the canyon. It includes a reservoir with a dam you can walk across, wetlands, scrubland, hundreds of species of cacti and succulents, many of them endangered, plus birds, flowers and indigenous trees. It was created to preserve and protect the biodiversity of this beautiful area. In 2004, El Charco was declared a Peace Zone by the Dalai Lama.
Blue sky, cactus, water–this is the world of El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden in San Miguel de Allende. One of the true treasures of this town, it a spot for walking, sunning, discovering high desert plants, quiet contemplation. There are also regular concerts, full-moon ceremonies, indigenous temazcals (like sweat lodges) and other ceremonies from many cultures, guided walks, lectures and classes. Truly a special spot.#ig_sma #everything_rural_n_country
#10 – Muros en Blanco: the Street Art of Colonia Guadalupe
The neighborhood of Guadalupe, not far from the Fabrica Aurora Art & Design Center, has been officially designated an Arts District. This is thanks to the Muros en Blanco project begun a few years ago by Colleen Sorenson. Over the years, she has brought dozens of street and graffiti artists from all over Mexico and the world to adorn the blank walls of Colonia Guadalupe with fantastic murals. The street art of Guadalupe is definitely one of those things in San Miguel de Allende that make it worth a trip, camera in hand.
Living is so, so wonderful. ✨✨🇲🇽 . . . . . #yoga #yogaretreat #yogaretreats #magic #mexico #mexicoyoga #travel #relax #puerta #gay #streetart #inspire #meditate #dance #handstands #iglesia #handstand #yogi #inspiration #fitness #gayselfie #instagay #instagood #heart #love #selfie #art #guanajuato #sanmigueldeallende
#9 – The Mojigangas: The Giants that Walk–and Dance–Among Us
The Mojigangas (pronounced Mo-hee-gahn-guhs) are one of my favorite San Miguel traditions. These giant figures with wooden A-frame bodies and over-sized papier maché heads, are part of just about every wedding, festival, and procession in San Miguel. At 15 feet tall, they tower over everyone else. The puppeteer climbs inside the A-frame, hidden by the figure’s fanciful clothes, and carries it on his shouders as he dances through the streets. A small slit or window about waist high allows him to see where he’s going. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as part of their celebration of Mexican culture, had a pair of mojigangas in their home in Mexico City.
#8 – The Colors of San Miguel de Allende
You will almost never read a travel article about San Miguel that doesn’t mention the colors. They are everywhere. From the rich earth tones of the houses in El Centro, to the cobalt blue or lime green, mauve or pink or lemon yellow of the facades once out of the center. These colors glow in the handicrafts on sale everywhere, in the bright rebozos (shawls) and flowered garments of the indigenous women, in the fluttering “papel picado” flags that flutter on the streets for every festival, in the paintings of the artists who flock to San Miguel for the special quality of the light. Visitors’ cameras itch to capture those colors.
Papel Picado, these flags are commonly brought out during special celebrations, the papel goes back to Aztec times // #colorsofguanajuato #colorsofsanmiguel #sanmigueldeallende #sanmiguel #guanajuato #mexico #arcotriunfal #taxi #travelphotography #photojournalism #canon #ishootraw #idontcrop #papelpicado #mexicanfolkart
#7 – La Comida Mexicana: The Food, Glorious Food
If you grew up on what you thought was Mexican food, in Calilfornia or Texas or most anywhere outside of actual Mexico, you have a delectable surprise in store when you order your first truly authentic Mexican meal. The food is varied, hearty, and amazingly delicious. San Miguel now has a food scene that can rival any other town of its size in the world, and many much larger ones. From street tacos to haute cuisine, enchiladas to fusion, the San Miguel food scene’s got it.
🌮 🌮 Tacos de carnitas de setas, tallo de cebolla y salsa macha 🌮 🌮#vegetarianrecipes #mushroomtacos • • • • • • • #photogram #gramoftheday #traveltheworld #travelblogger #globetrotter #truecooks #travelgram #photography #tequila #foodblogger #traveling #photoftheday #chefstalk # #traveladdict #cheflife #foodgram #aroundtheworld #foodie #traveler #foodporn #tourist #eeeeeats #México #mexicanfood #guanajuato #jacinto1930 #sanmigueldeallende #tacos
#6 – The View: The Beautiful Panorama of San Miguel de Allende
I fell in love with San Miguel de Allende more than 25 years ago… at first sight. As my bus into town drove slowly past the Mirador, a viewpoint from the periferico road that curves above the town, San Miguel landed in my heart. When I returned a few years ago to live in San Miguel after a multi-year absence, I stopped again at that very viewpoint to drink in the panorama and let myself know I was back home at last. There’s another great viewpoint on the Salida a Querétaro. That view is one of the things in San Miguel de Allende that people have been photographing for years. Isn’t it gorgeous?
#5 – The Doors of San Miguel de Allende
What is it about doors that appeal to so many of us photographers? I can’t say, exactly, but I know I often find myself framing a beautiful door in San Miguel. So do many others. They are among the many things in San Miguel de Allende that just beg to be photographed.
The color and mystery of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A colorful door on Calle Recreo brings up the question, "What lies within?" I am so lucky to live in this magical pueblo. #tv_colors #mextagram #passionpassport #traveldudes #traveldeeper #doorporn #ilovedoors #thefrontdoorproject #doorlove #aficionados_mex #ig_travelerworld #igrecommend #turismo_sma #nofilter #insta_gram_shooters #be_one_doorsandwindows #ihavethisthingwithdoors #jj_dnw_COLOUR #k_luxury_door #popyacolour #popyacolour_wallandtree
#4 -The Conchero Dancers
Of all the dozens of festivals, street parties, fireworks and religious processions that happen throughout the year in San Miguel, my very favorite is Día de la Conquista, Day of Our Lord of the Conquest, which happens the first Friday in March. Because that’s the day the conchero dancers fill the town. The spectacle of drumming and dancing in front of the Parroquia is unforgettable. Even more wonderful, for me, is that this is not a show put on for the tourists, although they will certainly be crowding around watching and taking pictures of the gorgeously clad and beplumed dancers. This is a religious rite that is very important to and for themselves. It combines their pride in their indigenous heritage with their love of their mestizo race, celebrating the meeting of the Old and New Worlds. It is not to be missed if you are in town. See this post about why the conchero dancers have a special meaning for me.
#3 –Las Calles: The Streets of San Miguel
A very popular Instagram shot is any of the wonderful streetscapes of San Miguel. With their cobblestoned surfaces, the colorful facades, and the hills climbing up and down through town, the calles offer photographers a whole cornucopia of material for their lenses. It’s one of the things in San Miguel de Allende you are sure to find yourself trying to capture during a visit here.
#2 – This Streetview in San Miguel
And speaking of street views, this one is one of the most photographed things in San Miguel de Allende. This is Calle Aldama, heading toward the Jardín, with that wonderful view of the Parroquia church at the end. I think most visitors to San Miguel end up taking one of more shots of this street.
#1 – La Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel
There is no question about what is the #1 most Instagrammed thing in San Miguel de Allende. The Parroquia church, which anchors and adorns the Jardín Principál, the town’s main plaza, is an unmistakable icon. You can be pretty sure that every visitor to town will take at least one photo of it, with or without themselves standing in front it. The church interior is very old, but the facade dates back only to the 1880s. A local stonemason named Zeferino Gutierrez designed it based on postcards he’d seen of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe. When I was in Barcelona a couple of years ago, I was truck by the similarity in lines to the Cathedral of Barcelona. And by the way, please don’t call our beautiful church a cathedral. It’s not, since it has no bishop. It is “simply” a parish church, albeit a magnificent one.
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel–the parish church of St Michael Archangel in #SanMiguelDeAllende. She is so lovely when she is all lit up to greet the evening! #nightshot #nightview #nighttime #tv_churchandgraves #LOVES_NIGHT #nightsaround_theworld #world_of_lights #seemycity #ig_guanajuato #tvc_office_brass #turismo_sma
Take Camera in Hand….
Now, doesn’t that make you want to get yourself down to Mexico with camera in hand and photograph all the wonderful places and things in San Miguel de Allende? To put on Instagram or not, up to you. But it’s so much fun to share this glorious town with others, especially those who think Mexico is all beach resorts or cantinas. Come see San Miguel de Allende… and bring your camera!
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