The wedding had a Mamma Mia touch! After the ceremony, there was a parade led by a donkey covered in flowers and a mariachi band. Two giant, accurate, doll versions of the bride and groom danced to the music as we walked up the cobble stone hills. People peeked out their doors and balconies, smiling and taking pictures. I certainly felt like I was in a far away land, a long, long time ago.
Our friends got married in what I read is the most beautiful destination in Mexico: a small town called San Miguel de Allende. Located in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel is a colorful town with (surprise-surprise!) no beach. I would have expected the “most beautiful town in Mexico” would be coastal, but San Miguel hardly needs the sand and waves. It is perhaps one of my favorite places I have ever been to.
Though crowded with tourists, there is something about San Miguel that draws you into a story land. The mustard colors, the smell of tasty food in unique looking restaurants, the views from the top of hills, and the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel (Archangel Michael church). Second to La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, San Miguel Arcangel church is probably the most beautiful church I have ever been to. Its pink color makes the building unique and memorable against the blue sky.
Our visit was short as we were only there for the wedding. According to my Mexican friends, San Miguel is a hot spot for weddings at the moment. The whole parade with mariachis and giant bride and groom is a huge hit. And who wouldn’t want to see a giant version of their loved one on their wedding day, am I right?
We stayed at a boutique hostel called Lool Beh. It is a stunning yet cozy mansion turned hostel that we will gladly go back to. The owners are a young couple, friendly, positive, hard working and very easy to talk to. In the mornings, José makes a delicious breakfast (Instagram worthy but I ate it before I could think of photographing it). Sitting outside, with the blue sky and morning breeze, Lool Beh’s backyard is THE place to drink your coffee. They have four-bed rooms and a couple of private rooms upstairs. The one downside (a BIG downside for many) is that the rooms downstairs only get one bathroom (this used to be a house after all). Because we were eager to get ready for our wedding, the one bathroom situation was a bummer. I believe I made someone upset for taking a long shower. Which I justified by coming out of the room wearing a gown and my hair done. But if you are just cruising the town without a schedule, the bathroom time is less pressing of course. I also imagine that if you are getting married, you could rent out the whole place for you and your bridal party. That’s what I would do, anyway!
The reception for the wedding took place in Casa Chorro. It is a GORGEOUS mansion sitting on top of a hill. We sipped red wine while overlooking San Miguel in all its sunset glory. We ate amazing food: all kinds of cheese, lamb, little tamales, dessert…We danced to an eclectic music mix and took zero selfies because we were busy having fun!
The following day, after the wedding brunch, Bradley and I explored the town. It is such a little town we even ran into wedding guests multiple times. We had dinner at a restaurant near the pink church called La Sirena Gorda (The Fat Mermaid). Decorated with incredible mermaid artwork, I felt relaxed the moment we walked in. The chairs were great, the plants were great, and the overwhelming amount of overweight mermaids showing their curves was great! Proudly exposed breasts included!
This is surely a marketing strategy that screams “BUY FOOD! EAT THE WHOLE MENU! YOU ARE GORGEOUS NO MATTER WHAT YOUR FIN SIZE!” We ordered the tuna tower, the scallop tostada and shrimp. Sadly (depending on your perspective) I have had better seafood. The tuna tower was pretty good, but in the end, it was the restaurant’s ambiance and good company that made the place feel like a great choice for our one evening out in the town.
The next day, right before heading back to Mexico City, Bradley and I visited the hot springs: La Gruta. Recommended by our hostel, we got an Uber ride early in the morning to beat the crowds. This was worth it! You better go at 8 am! Prices were cheap and the food was delicious. My stomach was growling after an hour soaking in the water!
We had a simple sandwich and fries before jumping back in. The main hot spring is accessed by crossing a dark tunnel in the water and opening up in this rock cave with steaming water cleaning out your pores. It is great to go early in the morning because once the crowds come in, there will be children splashing and jumping in (which definitely took away from the whole spa experience). I also have to warn you that going super early means you might encounter some teenage PDA. Or at least they looked really young to us…and really into each other. Hope your experience is different.
We were sad to drive back to Mexico City, yet content and grateful for a weekend getaway in the most beautiful and quintessential Mexican small town. On the way back, we bought a big basket of fresh strawberries for 100 MXN pesos (about 5 USD). They were the sweetest strawberries I have ever tasted. Eating them at home in the city brought back the romantic and joyful memories of San Miguel de Allende. Our lives, now as colorful as this small town, continue to settle in Mexico. If you visit, be ready for mouth-watering dishes and eye pleasing sights.
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