Review of Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal Resort

Review of Bahia Principe Luxury Akumal Resort

The Bahia Principe Akumal is a luxury resort located in Akumal Mexico along the Mayan Riviera. In this video I provide tips, advice, and reviews on my experience at the Bahia Principe resort.

I’m Kim, the Abundant Traveler and welcome to the Bahia Principe Luxury Resort.

I am staying here for three nights. I’m going to check out everything there is to do from enjoying volleyball to eating at all the different restaurants I can get my hands on, drinking some cocktails and swimming in the beautiful Riviera Maya ocean. I cannot wait, so let’s go check out this hotel. Come on with me.

It’s awfully quiet right now but normally there are six to seven thousand people that are staying at these different properties. I don’t know how many stay in this hotel but there are four hotels in this particular compound.

There’s one called Coba, that is off the water. The one I’m staying at is luxury which is on the ocean. There’s another one called Tulum, that is also on the ocean and then the Cian Khan which is actually named after the biosphere south of Tulum, that is actually on the golf course.

So, this property, if you’re traveling with a family, it is great for kids. If you’re traveling just with adults like I am, staying in the building number 83, that is adults only, there is a small restaurant there called Las Corales and they serve breakfast and lunch there.

The pool on that side is also for adults only and the beach is for adults only. So, it’s really nice if you’re planning on coming on an adult only trip.

So, now I’m going to take you on a little tour of my hotel room, it looks like the images that they have online. If you want to book this property, I will share the link in the description below for how I booked this property.

This is the hotel bathroom. You have a shower and you have a bathtub here and yes, it’s got reverb. But you can see that I have two double beds, I have a sitting area, I have a TV as well and a little balcony and I do like staying on the first floor. I get to see all the animals in the evening and it’s been really nice.

There’s actually an extra bed right here as well, so you could have a guest if you want to sleep really close to the person, there’s two beds so you could get four plus maybe one person here as well.

The mini bar is here and they put some goodies in it, oops, they put goodies in it snacks and everything so, and they refill it every day with everything that you could possibly want.

They also have robes and they have a robe there which has been great to have and little slippers as well and of course they have a safe. No matter what you do, you want to keep your passport in the safe, just a big tip when you’re traveling overseas in general. Always leave your passport in the safe at the hotel and bring some other form of identification with you, so when you’re using a credit card and they need identification, they have something else or if something happens to you, you have one form of identification but if you lose that, you still have your passport so you don’t have to go to the embassy and get a new passport. So, that is a major tip for when you’re traveling overseas.

In addition to the main restaurants here, you have a couple extra things as well.

One, you have a sports bar and that sports bar is open in the evening and definitely the place for the guys if you want to go check out whatever sports are happening. There’s also a coffee shop where you can buy some of the delicious Mexican chocolates as well get some ice cream and have your espresso cappuccino or lattes. There is also a snack bar and the snack bar is open 24 hours a day, so when the restaurants in the buffet are not open the snack bar is open.

Inside the snack bar, it’s simple things like pizza, quesadillas, simple things like that and all you need is more love. If you’re here on a romantic getaway, you can have a special dinner behind this love sign, they set up a table and will serve you from one of the restaurants.

It is a great experience. I also saw last evening a big group of about 12 people having a delicious dinner out here as well having a big party for somebody’s birthday. We all need more love.

So, here’s the love sign and here is Frutos del Mar, this is a restaurant I went to last night and I had the whole grouper, that was freshly prepared caught today.

You can see here just behind me this is the map of the entire property. This restaurant is Las Corales (it’s hard for me to pronounce) and this is open for breakfast and lunch only and then you have the Acuario which is a snack bar and the snack bar is open 24 hours a day.

The Dolce Vita is the Italian restaurant. And then, they also have the Frutos del Mar which is the fish restaurant, and then this right here is the main buffet dining area and underneath you have the spa. The fine dining restaurant is here, Artists Delicious, I heard you can get Hua and all sorts of goodies there as well.

This is Alebrije, that is the Mexican restaurant, it’s usually La Dolce Vita and from here I would say it’s about a six-minute walk, from here over to the adults area, well worth walking unless it’s the middle of the day and then it’s definitely time to take the train with the sweet guys that’ll pick you up and play macarena in the train for you.

Since this hotel is in the middle of basically nowhere, the taxis are quite expensive. So, if you’re going to be staying here, I recommend staying maybe three days and spend most of your time on property. I went to aqua mall and it cost 270 pesos each way which is around 12, 13 dollars with the current exchange rate, but I felt it was quite expensive, I would recommend that you stay part-time in an all-inclusive to enjoy the relaxing time and then spend part time in a city or a little closer to a particular town either Tulum or actually in Akumal or in Playa Del Carmen.

The property is very spread out and it requires a lot of walking especially if you are staying in the adult only area. The good news is that there is a trolley system that operates 24/7, and this little trolley will zip you around the entire complex from the Oceana disco or to your dinner reservation at the different restaurants or between the different swimming pools.

Each day while you’re here, they have lots of events whether you want, water volleyball or you want to do yoga. There’s also a theater that in the evenings, they have theater for the kids mostly if you go to the main entrance which is by the highway, they have a disco and a casino and if you’re a shopper, there are plenty of places to shop, there is a gorgeous jewelry store inside the lobby, there’s also a snack shop with lots of little trinkets and then if you go to the Hacienda Isabel where the casino and the discotec are, there are plenty of little shops there.

So, I’ve just come into the lobby and it is a beautiful lobby, it is gigantic, I can’t imagine what this is like when this place is full but the reception is over here, you can see across the way there’s a beautiful sculpture here as well, plenty of places to sit and in the evenings, you can come down here and grab a cocktail they have some premium liquors and a bar here as well. You can see behind me right here, there is an ATM but this particular ATM is only US dollars, so make sure when you are going to an ATM here on property that you ask for a ride on the train to the Hacienda Isabel or the Hacienda Isabel where the disco and the casino are around the corner there on property is an ATM with Mexican pesos. And, I find that in general ATMs using your debit card is the best way and the best exchange rate when you are traveling here in Mexico.

This is the main pool, it’s packed during the day, lots of people it doesn’t matter what time of the day is you can actually go to the bar and grab a cocktail or grab some juice. Also, over here they have the list of things that they’re doing every single day whether it’s yoga or the beach volleyball. You can see just here; all you have to do is pop over here and see what the events are. Also, in this area you have the gym, I did not go to the gym but I did walk in, it was really nice and around the corner is the spa and I definitely recommend that you go to the spa while you’re here and make sure to ask for Frida, I had a Mayan massage and it was absolutely delicious last evening, it was very lymphatic-ish, lots of oil in my hair and all over, it was a great massage and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Make sure when you’re coming to this particular all-inclusive or any for that matter, you bring plenty of cover-ups and some flip-flops, none of the restaurants will allow you to go into the restaurant without a cover-up and your flip-flops. And also, you can see this beautiful tile work here, this is actually very hot during the day so when you’re up and moving around you definitely are going to the bar and getting a drink, you definitely want to be wearing your flip-flops. I’m not sure if you’re aware the Riviera Maya and all of the resorts and everything were actually cut out of the jungle. So, it is quite jungly and humid, it’s extremely humid, it’s September, it’s about 19 degrees and probably 120% humidity but here in the jungle, you have lots of animals and you can see them come out, some come out during the day, some come out in the evening, you can see iguanas all of the time, you can see iguanas on the beach with you, you can see them running through the jungle or on the path so be prepared that they’re little critters running around.

I am now walking over to the beach and this is the main beach, there are people out here that are going to come bring you drinks, you can actually get food out here as well and speaking of food. Not only do we have the buffet and all of the restaurants that I mentioned, you actually can do room service as well, no matter what you need in your room all you have to do is ask your call room service and you can ask your butler, that’s very cool. This particular hotel has butlers in every single building, so if you need anything for your room whether you need pillows or sheets or extra water towels, anything like that, all you have to do is go to the end of the hallway and ask your butler.

A recommendation that I have for everyone staying at this all-inclusive or other ones here in Mexico is have some small money with you even though your meals are all-inclusive, the staff is always appreciative of a little bit of a tip. So, I tend to leave depending, you know, maybe 50 pesos for breakfast or 100 pesos for dinner or just something really nice a little extra for them, it’s really appreciated.

So, the best way to get to this hotel is to come into the International Airport of Cancun, and from Cancun you can take a taxi but I definitely recommend booking a shuttle in advance, I like to take happy shuttle and I’ve left a link in the description below for taking a private shuttle all the way to this hotel, it is 56 miles from the Cancun airport to this hotel and also if you want to take some day trips, then it is 24 miles you can take a taxi to playa, if you want to go shopping at Quinta Avenida or fifth avenue, they you can also go to Akumal, I went to Akumal and swim with the turtles one day. And also, if you’re interested in going to Tulum, Tulum is 13 miles away. And a tip for coming into the Cancun airport as I mentioned previously, go ahead and book your transportation in advance, you kind of run the gauntlet for all the timeshares, they’re trying to get you to come over, they’ll give you a ride if you’ll go see your place. So, it is best to go ahead and book your transportation in advance, run through that gauntlet go straight outside and make sure somebody is outside waiting for you with your name on it. Makes life so much easier.

So, let me know in the comments below what you think of this hotel, also let me know any all-inclusive in the Riviera Maya that you think that I must try. I’m Kim the abundant traveler, I’ll see you on the next adventure. Thanks so much for watching.

Know Before You Go: Tulum

Know Before You Go: Tulum

Welcome to my Tulum travel guide! 

Tulum is one of the biggest travel destinations near Cancun. Located on the Mayan Riviera, I put together a video of tips, advice, and more things to know before you visit Tulum.

I’m Kim, the abundant traveler and welcome to the beautiful beach town of Tulum Mexico. Today, I’m going to be sharing with you a few things that you need to know before you come to this gorgeous city in the Riviera Maya.

First of all, let me just show you the beautiful beaches in Tulum. Tulum is known for its gorgeous beaches, it’s healing water, I don’t know what it is about swimming in the ocean here, it’s also known for being a very sustainable town and it’s also known for being a foodie town. So, a couple of things to note it is about an hour and 45-minute drive from the Cancun Airport and it’s best to go ahead and book your transportation from the airport before you arrive.

When you arrive in Cancun if you have not booked your transportation, you’re going to get accosted and you’re going to run the gauntlet with all of the timeshare people and people trying to sell you taxi rides and all of that, so go ahead and organize your transportation in advance.

I always use happy shuttle and I’ve left the link in the description below, they will do a private ride, they will do a luxury private ride, they will also do a shared ride, I always do the private ride in a van and it’s perfect for me.

So, before you leave the airport in Cancun, I recommend that you go ahead and go to an ATM and get some pesos in Cancun, that way you have pesos, I also recommend that if you use an ATM, do not get American dollars, you’re going to pay more, it’s going to cost more and it’s always good to have Mexican pesos.

You want to have Mexican pesos in small increments in 20s and 50s and 100s because not everybody has change if you get 500-pesos notes. So, Tulum is a very laid back a low key, everything is slower in Tulum, there is something magical about this area if you’re looking for senor frogs or a mandala club, I suggest that you go to Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. If you’re looking for a laid-back low-key vacation, then Tulum is the one for you, definitely if you stay on the beach.

So, when you arrive in Tulum don’t be surprised, there are two very specific different areas of Tulum, you can either stay in Tulum Centro or the Puebla or the city or you can stay on the beach.

There is a big difference in style and lifestyle in Boho Chic or typical Mexican town and there is definitely a difference in price point. So, if you decide you want to stay in town, it is less expensive than staying on the beach. In town you have lots of shops for all your Mexican trinkets and gifts to take home to your friends, the hotels are relatively small and it is a little bit busier, it’s especially busy in the evening as well and I would suggest if you’re coming to Tulum and you want to stay in the city that you rent a car.

As far as renting a car, if you’re not comfortable with renting a car from Cancun and driving on the highway to Tulum, you can simply rent a car here through all of the main chains. I rented from alamo, they also have hertz budget, Europe car, all the main places and I actually spent twenty dollars a day including the extra insurance that they said they that it was required and I have had a car the entire time I was here.

Now, I am staying in the town this time would I recommend it the lifestyle is very different than staying on the beach, I’ve enjoyed having a car, I think every time I come to Tulum, I will have a car but I think I will come back to the beach always before when I’ve been in Tulum I’ve stayed on the beach.

Now the beach prices for hotels are two, three, four, five, six times as much as they are as staying in the city. If you’re going to stay at b Tulum which I’ve stayed before or nomad you’re going to be spending $600 plus a night.

There are a few hotels on the beach that are around $200 or 250 but the ones in town typically you can, I’m staying in town for 65 dollars and I actually have an apartment with a full-size kitchen, a beautiful pool and a gorgeous common area in the middle.

If you’re staying on the beach and you don’t want to rent a car, you can absolutely rent a bicycle, it’s one of the best things to do here in Tulum and it’s very boho chic to rent a bicycle, take your Instagram photos with your basket on the front of your bicycle, it’s a lot of fun but for me staying in town actually renting a bicycle was too far of a distance, it was about 15 plus kilometers each way and Tulum is always hot. So, I opted for a rental car that had air conditioning.

If you don’t want to ride a bicycle and you don’t want to rent a car, you can always walk or you can take taxis, just note that the taxis, make sure to take the real taxis that are the white cars with the red writing, the guys have an emblem and a uniform, just make sure before you get in the car and you shut that door that you ask what the price is before you go.

I think that the prices in Tulum are relatively fixed, you just want to know what you’re getting in for before you get in the taxi, you don’t want to be spending $50 when you only spent ten dollars for your tacos and your drinks.

So, what to bring when you’re coming to Tulum? if you’re going to be staying in the city it is hot and you don’t have the breeze off the ocean. So, I recommend bringing tank tops bring your bathing suit, bring a cover up, bring your flip-flops but you are going to be walking a lot so make sure to bring shoes that are comfortable to walk in for great distances as well.

Also, if you’re going to cenotes which are the sinkholes with the limestone sinkholes with the fresh water you want to bring maybe a snorkel and a mask, you also want to bring water shoes as well.

When you’re on the beach in Tulum, it is a beautiful white sand and the beaches are gorgeous you do not need swim shoes at all if you’re going to be on the beach in Tulum.

The other thing that all girls need to bring is the frizz spray, if you have a great frizz spray, please leave a comment below and let me know which one you use because there’s no way, don’t brush your hair, don’t need a hair dryer but this is what you end up with in Tulum in the tropics.

So, if you’re a shopper, there are two distinct ways of going shopping in Tulum up and down the beach road there are all these boho chic linens from Biodelete which is a town in the interior, gorgeous linens, beautiful macrame things and everything is quite expensive.

You can also go shopping for all of your typical Mexican artifacts and things your little bags from Chiapas your pottery from Puebla all of those things you can find in town. Also, if you decide you’re going to go to some place like Coba, you can check out the towns along the way they also have lots of trinkets that you can buy that are a little less expensive than in Tulum.

So, let’s talk a little bit more about staying on the beach. It is gorgeous over here and what is crazy is you are in the middle of the jungle. The jungle goes right up to the beach so most of the hotels have these beautiful tropical trees, the mangroves, they have coconut trees and all of that all surrounding these little tiny casitas and most of the hotels on the beach have casitas, most also have casitas facing the water as well as facing into the jungle.

So, be prepared when you’re in the jungle not only do you want to be bring sunscreen when you’re on the beach, you also want to bring bug spray because a lot of the restaurants on the beach are actually across the little road and they are in the middle of the jungle, it’s quite famous to go to a restaurant that doesn’t have a full menu, it simply has a chalkboard an open kitchen with an open fire and they are cooking whatever fish they have that day or whatever sustainable vegetables they have found.

A couple of recommendations that I have for you I was at Casa Jaguar the other night, it was delicious open-air kitchen and the food was phenomenal, I had a pork belly dish and salt cooked shrimp and it was so yummy.

Tonight, I’m going to go to kitchen table and that is one of those restaurants that the menu is simply the board as to what they have found today and what they pulled in from the sea. So, check out kitchen table and check out Casa Jaguar.

One of the restaurants I do recommend if you’re gluten free is to go to the real coconut where they make their pastries and their pancakes with plantain flour and coconut flour that’s where I had breakfast today and it was absolutely delicious.

Also, with a lot of the beach restaurants, they are typical prices that you would find in the United States, I would say it’s about $10 for a cocktail and dishes are 15 to $18, whereas in town, things are relatively inexpensive.

Another thing about the restaurants on the beach, they’re quite famous for adding their gratuity already 15 to 20 percent, so you want to ask them in advance if they have added gratuity already to the bill and the word for gratuity or tip is called ‘propina’.

Also, make sure in Mexico that you bring a Mastercard or a Visa. Usually, most restaurants and most places will take Mastercard or Visa but they don’t always take American express, I also think that the best exchange rate you’re going to find is when you pay with a credit card, usually they offer the best exchange rates when you get back home you see that you spend a couple of dollars less than you planned buying all of those gorgeous gifts.

So, Mexico is one of my favorite places to visit, I come to Mexico three to four times a year, I’m not always coming to the Riviera Maya the last couple of trips I have been here but I’ll go to Oaxaca, I’ll go to Mexico City, I’ll go to San Miguel De Allende. I just love Mexico; I swear I was Mexican in another life.

My suggestion is if you’re someone traveling on your own, just be aware be prepared, look around, don’t walk any down any dark streets by yourself and if you’re female and you rent a car, I don’t recommend driving too late at night by yourself. It’s just good to be safe no matter where you’re traveling in the world. I haven’t had any concerns or any issues with any time anywhere any city I’ve ever been to in Mexico and I continue to come back again and again and again.

So, Tulum is a great place to visit on your own, it’s a great place to visit for a romantic getaway in fact it’s very romantic. I definitely recommend that, it’s also a great place to come if you’re coming with a group of friends, I do not suggest coming with a family it’s kind of spread out and there’s not a lot to do for kids, so I really don’t recommend families.

So, that’s it for my tips on coming to Tulum for the first time, if you have any additional tips, I’d love to hear them, please leave them in the comments below, I hope that you have a great time in Tulum let me know your thoughts, I’m Kim the abundant traveler and I will see you on the next adventure, bye.

Of course, I start to film here and they’re cleaning the rooms, this is very sexy. Look the guy right there cleaning, it’s always the way they formed a table.

48-Hour Itinerary in San Miguel de Allende

48-Hour Itinerary in San Miguel de Allende

Looking for the ideal getaway spot for a weekend? Somewhere amazing to have fun, to learn, to eat, to experience? Take it from me, The Abundant Traveler — a trip to San Miguel de Allende will never disappoint. Even if you have only 48 hours to get away — a solo two-day weekend, a romantic weekend for two, or a special girl’s weekend to celebrate a birthday — it’s well worth the trip. Here are some tips to make the absolute most of a 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende.

Check out my San Miguel de Allende travel tips vlog below!

Best Time to go to San Miguel de Allende

The best time to visit San Miguel de Allende is ALWAYS. OK you want more detail… While  there are variations in temperature, for the most part the San Miguel de Allende weather is almost always beautiful, and the temperature in San MIguel de Allende is almost always warm during the day (note — in the wintertime it can get a bit chilly at night). November to April are likely going to be the driest months, but I have been there in May and June and never saw a drop of rain. As far as things to do in San Miguel throughout the year, every month offers different festivals, events, art openings, and architectural tours to educate, entertain, and amaze you. 

How to get to San Miguel de Allende

Getting to San Miguel de Allende is much easier than you think, even though there is no local San Miguel de Allende airport where you can fly directly. The best way to get to San Miguel  is by going through the Queretaro airport or the Leon airport. Those are the best airports near San Miguel. Many San Miguel hotels offer airport transportation, which are often trusted locals who can give you some personal insights as you drive. Or you can call Julian Cartas at Go San Miguel, who not only offers safe and reliable transportation to and from the airport, but also provides excellent San Miguel de Allende tours.

Where to stay in San Miguel de Allende

There’s a wide variety of hotels in San Miguel de Allende, depending on the size of your group and the reason you created your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende in the first place. You’ve got the luxury hotels, like Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, which is a bit of a walk from Jardin Principal in the center of the city but offers large-hotel amenities like guaranteed air conditioning, room service, spa, 24-hour concierge, fitness center, meeting space, and a pool. Then you’ve got hotels near Jardin Principal like Hotel Matilda that are sophisticated boutique hotels with local charm and limited amenities that cater to an upscale clientele. And then there’s the smaller boutique hotels like Casa Rosada, Casa 1810, or Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, smack-dab in the center of everything, neat and tidy and dripping with local custom and charm.

For these smaller boutique hotels, make sure the room you’re getting has air conditioning, if that’s important to you. It’s not a given here. And finally, if you’ve got a large group and want to stay together, there are myriad Airbnbs to rent out that are often quaint, architecturally beautiful homes that provide space to gather around a living room or in a pool. Beware that often these airbnbs come with a cook, and if you’re interested in checking out the foodie scene in town, you don’t want to pay for something you won’t use. 

 

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Looking for the best things to do in San Miguel?

San Miguel de Allende Tour

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This town is dripping with history and architectural wonders, from the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel to the colonial homes to the magnificence of the cobblestoned streets and parks. I recommend a tour as one of the first things to do during your weekend. Check out these tours on Viator. This tour will likely only take up a couple hours of your first morning in town, and it’ll orient you for the rest of your weekend. Local tour guides are also a great way to get insider information on non-touristy restaurants.

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Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel is a foodie town. Even if you aren’t a self-described foodie like me, you must get on the bandwagon when in San Miguel. And may I say — a San Miguel de Allende food tour might just be the perfect addition to slide in to your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende, allowing you and your companion(s) a great way to taste everything from the best tacos to the best desserts to the best local, traditional foods. 

Most likely your hotel or Airbnb will offer breakfast as a part of your room rate. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. Most often you’ll find yourself in an airy, breezy, beautiful courtyard eating what is surely a home-cooked breakfast. At Casa Rosada, for two mornings in a row, I had the most delicious chilaquiles and fresh fruit, accompanied by rich hot chocolate. Then, my first stop of the day was just around the corner to Lavanda Cafe, which serves a huge assortment of coffees and teas. Yes — hot chocolate and then coffee — gotta cram it all in in 48 hours, and I have no regrets.   My personal favorite breakfast in San Miguel is a Cafe Muro. Think huevos divorciados with beans, tortillas, Chaya juice, coffee all for about $3.00.

For lunch there are multiple options. If you plan to visit the Mercado Ignacio Ramimrez, you’ll have to reign in your salivary glands from the litany of smells emanating from the vendors rolling fresh tortillas and building tacos right in front of your very eyes. Or pop into a hole-in-the-wall, local spot on a side street wherever you happen to be when your tummy begins to rumble. Or stand in line at a crowded street cart, where you can treat yourself to everything from incredible local fare to fruit drinks to desserts. Or, not far from the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, pop into tiny Tostevere for lunch or dinner, especially if you’ve got a vegetarian in your midst.  If you are looking for local flair, delicious ceviche and a little live music, check out Los Milagros just off the square.

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I love casual and sophisticated dinners, and some of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende are more elegantly laid back than you’d expect. Try Trazo at Casa 1810 or The Restaurant just off Jardin Principal. If you want to get a bit dressed-up one night, go for Moxi at Hotel Matilda, which offers wonderfully creative dishes as well as a clever tasting menu. 

Not up for a sit-down restaurant? I have been known to extend happy hour through dinner and well into the night. Some of the best bars in San Miguel de Allende have some of the best views and some of the best drinks, but they also have delicious appetizers and entrees. Try Quince, which overlooks the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel cathedral, Antonia Bistro for a beautiful panoramic view of the city, or the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende for one of the best sunset happy hours you’ve ever witnessed.

If you’re with a group of people (or if you’re just not the kind of person who likes to “wing it”), I suggest making reservations at least for dinner. Restaurants can easily book up. And finally, my most important tip from me — order guacamole whenever and wherever possible. You can thank me later.

Shopping in San Miguel de Allende

Unless you’re willing to wander and shop aimlessly along the cobblestoned streets (which can be costly for only a 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende, there are a few hot spots to hit for shopping in San Miguel. Often, these spots can be sprinkled into your days while on the way to something else, since most are near Jardin Principal. For art, head to Fabrica Aurora, an enormous warehouse with dozens of galleries representing all kinds of art and pottery and textiles. And surely you’ll be passing by Mixta, a beautiful store filled with local textiles, accessories, and sundries. Tao Studio Gallery is a mesmerizing display of textiles, art, and home decor. Go to Talula de la Lune for the coolest purses you’ll ever see. And check out Finca Luna Serena to taste local olive oils. Finally, Armida Decoraciones, near Rosewood Hotel, offers unique local home decor ideas. 

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What to Wear in San Miguel de Allende

Ok, so put all the pieces together — warm days, lots of walking, casual atmosphere… Take my advice and pack light — a 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende requires minimal changes of clothes. Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes that will go with everything. Note:  there are lots of cobblestone streets and pot holes in San Miguel, so make sure to bring wide healed shoes and sturdy walking shoes.  Bring a couple of loose-fitting outfits to ward off the heat during the day, and tie a sweater around your waist so you don’t have to head back to your hotel before dinner.  San Miguel is in the highlands, and it does get cool in the evenings, so make sure to bring a wrap or jacket.

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San Miguel de Allende Extras

So this seems like a lot, right? I’ve packed your weekend. But you might surprise yourself — that morning dual-punch hot cocoa/coffee combo might just do the trick to shuttle you through two incredible days. However, if your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende has any room for extras, consider treating yourself to a massage. The larger hotels will have spa services, like the Sense Spa Rosewood Hotel or the Laja Spa at the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada hotel, or your boutique hotel front desk will no doubt have a local referral. Or look up Cindy Juarez, who has gotten quite the following and will come to your hotel. Another special extra, but a must-do if you have the time, is the unique Casa Dragones Home Tour and Tasting Room. Casa Dragones is a 17th-century elegant private home that is now the locale for Casa Dragones sipping tequila. Tour the home and reserve your spot for a tasting. Reservations required, max of six people.

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As you know, I am always up for a side trip, but with so much to do — food, art, shopping, history — I recommend staying in town so as not to waste precious hours and saving the day trips from San Miguel de Allende for a longer vacation. I promise that your 48-hour itinerary in San Miguel de Allende will fly by, leaving you certainly fulfilled but for sure wanting more. I can’t wait to return, so if you have the luck to make a trip to San Miguel yourself, and you’ve gathered your own list of fun things to do in San Miguel de Allende, please send them along! 

 

Was this 48-Hour Itinerary in San Miguel helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend products that I personally know and use, and the income helps to keep this site updated and free for everyone.

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25 Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende

We at The Abundant Traveler have put together our list of the 25 best things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Some of our suggestions are typical of a San Miguel de Allende itinerary, and some are unusual things to do; some are inside the city limits, and some are day trips; some are official sites, and some are do-it-yourself and unstructured, but if you have the luck to take a trip to San Miguel, let us help you pack your days and nights with the best 25 things to do in this city.

Click to watch my travel vlog with the top 10 things to do, taste, and see when you are in San Miguel de Allende

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And no matter what your itinerary entails, and no matter what the San Miguel de Allende weather is during your stay, remember that this is a walking town. The cobblestoned streets are old and rambling and charismatic. Which brings up one of our most important tips about your trip what to wear in San Miguel de Allende, specifically on your feet. This is not the trip to try out your new sandals or wear shoes with a cute heel that perfectly match your outfit,  shoes must be comfortable. Our best advice is that, no matter the temperature, everything you wear goes great with tennis shoes, sneakers, walking shoes…whatever you want to call them. There are no judgements on footwear here

1. Take a San Miguel de Allende Tour

One of my favorite things to do in San Miguel de Allende is to walk and explore this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city, so I highly recommend that one of your first things to do should be a proper San Miguel walking tour. Many group walking tours, like Get Your Guide’s Landmark’s and Lunch Walking Tour, will be two hours (or more) of nonstop walking, and they’ll likely take you to the main historical sites to see the beautiful architecture, as well as landmarks such as the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel. This is the best way to get a general overview of the town when you first arrive. For a deeper dive into the history of San Miguel de Allende, hire a local, private guide from Tours by Locals who can alter course depending on your smaller group’s wishes and can give you a more up-close-and-personal idea of daily life. Or, of course, the windy cobblestone streets are also perfect for self-guided San Miguel walking tours if you care to lazily stroll on your own time.

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2. El Jardin Principal

If you’re looking for what to do on any given day, head to Jardin Principal, the city’s main square. This bustling square is filled with restaurants and the best San Miguel de Allende shopping for souvenirs. All festivals pass through or end up in Jardin Principal, such as the four-day-long Day of the Dead festival, as well as music and dance performances, wedding parades, and fireworks. Head over to the square for what I promise is the best people watching in town, grab a delicious fresh fruit juice from a street vendor, and take a break from the sunny weather and relax on a bench under shade from the square’s lush, bright green, highly manicured garden.  

3. Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

You can get lost down many a rabbit hole trying to hit all the churches in San Miguel de Allende, but the main “Catedral de San Miguel de Allende” is not to be missed. Anchoring Jardin Principal, the awe-inspiring pink spires of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel Cathedral soar into the sky with staggering beauty. It’s free to enter Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, and you can spend five minutes or an hour — whatever fits your schedule. Whether you’re there to look at Parroquia de San Miguel’s architecture, or you’re there to attend a mass service, visiting this church is one of the top things to do. It’s also the epi-center of the city, so you’ll likely pass by Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel multiple times during your stay. One of my favorite evenings started out just before sunset by grabbing a cocktail at Quince, a hip rooftop bar, and watching the colors and shadows of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel change as the sun moved across the sky. 

4. Eat Your Way Through a San Miguel de Allende Food Tour

Undoubtedly one of my favorite things to do in this city (or any city) is a San Miguel de Allende Food Tour. Whether you call yourself a certified food lover or not, a Food Tour is a must. This town is known for its cuisine, so meals will be highlights of your days. (Not to worry — you’ll definitely walk off the calories.) Check out these food tours for a variety of tour options that will take you to the best restaurants including a tacos + tequila tour, a traditional foods tour, or a tour of local Mexican chocolate indulgence. I admit that every day for me was a self-guided tour of the food here. I spent many meals popping into tiny hole-in-the-wall spots, where along the way I found the best breakfast at Muro Cafe, the best lunch at Los Milagros, and in general some of the best restaurants are off the beaten path.

San Miguel de Allende cooking class

5. Tour the San Miguel de Allende Markets -Mercado Ignacio Ramirez and Mercado de Artisanias

The San Miguel de Allende markets are known for their incredible food and artisan crafts. One of the best things to do is take a few hours and wander aimlessly around the San Miguel Ignacio Ramirez market to see all the vibrant and colorful fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and seafood, fresh juices, homemade tacos, and flowers under one enormous open-air roof. The San Miguel market is daily life in San Miguel at its best. And just behind the food at the market is Mercado de Artisanias, another great stop. This was my favorite shopping in the city — browsing the local crafts, jewelry, toys, and clothing and picking up gifts or souvenirs. And speaking of shopping in San Miguel de Allende

6. San Miguel de Allende Shopping

Shopping is one of the best ways to spend your free time here. Art, clothing, pottery, textiles, jewelry, food, gifts, accessories — hand-painted, Mayan, local, unique. The best way to shop San Miguel de Allende is just wander the cobblestoned streets. Find the local shops and enjoy!

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7. Take a San Miguel de Allende Cooking Class

Private cooking classes are one of the best ways for food lovers to delve into San Miguel de Allende’s food culture. La Fonda Rosa Cooking School and local chef Gabriela Green will guide you on a shopping excursion to the San Miguel market, and then, armed with the best ingredients, you’ll accompany her to her home to create your special meal.  Also, check out the Mole and Salsas cooking class or this chile relleno cooking class.

8. San Miguel Happy Hour

You’ll find the city filled with the best rooftop bars complete with music, people watching, and incredible views and ambience. Check out Quince just behind Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel for the best San Miguel happy hour drinks and cocktails and a beautiful view of the church lit up at night. Or head over to the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood for one of the best sunset happy hours you’ve ever witnessed.

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9. Join a Wedding in San Miguel de Allende

Upwards of 800 couples have weddings in San Miguel de Allende every year, so likely that means you’ll see at least one or two of these big events during your time there. Wedding parades are a big thing to do for couples who travel to hold their wedding here to tie the knot– grab a cocktail and join in the revelry.

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10. Check out the Spas in San Miguel de Allende

If your trip allows for some time at a spa, treat yourself to a massage or reflexology appointment to get relief from all the walking. Many of the large hotels and boutique hotels offer spa services. Check out the Sense Spa Rosewood Hotel or the Laja Spa at the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada hotel, which sits conveniently behind the Parroquia de San Miguel. If you are really adventurous, experience a traditional Temazcal instead of your everyday spa massage.  Don’t forget that some of the best spas in San Miguel de Allende can be found at smaller, hole-in-the-wall places like Shoenste Spa, or ask your hotel concierge for their favorite local massage person.

11. Take Part in San Miguel de Allende Art

Checking out the San Miguel de Allende art world is one of the coolest things to do and one of the top reasons tourists flock to this amazing town. Fabrica la Aurora is the largest art gallery and it’s an easy walk from Jardin Principal.  You can also paint a San Miguel scene with a local artist.  

12. Barrio de Guadalupe Street Art

Art here stretches beyond the art galleries and on to the urban streets. Close to the Jardin Principal and Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, Barrio de Guadalupe is a maze of cobblestoned streets that serve as an outdoor art gallery. The walls of homes and buildings are covered in huge, colorful murals depicting Mexican themes and the multicultural origins of the population. The best way to view this community-driven, ongoing, rotating art project is to take a self-guided tour.

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13. San Miguel Street Food

No food tour is complete without checking out the street vendor carts. These carts are known for some of the best tacos in San Miguel de Allende, as well as tamales, fruit, juices, and sweets. Many vendors congregate around Jardin Principal or the markets, but often some of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende can be found anywhere around town where you see a cart and a crowd.  Make sure to try the elote with mayo, queso fresco and chile.  

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14. Hike to Mirador San Miguel de Allende for the Best View

Another amazing thing to do in San Miguel de Allende is to hike up to Mirador San Miguel for its spectacular view of the town. Brave the steep hike up, or take a cab, or the local trolley — however you can make it happen. Head up in the afternoon and grab a cocktail at one of the best bars in the city — Casa Nostra Rooftop Bar — to time it right as the sun sets over the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel cathedral.

15. Peoplewatch in Juarez Park

The weather in San Miguel de Allende is always conducive to spending time in Juarez Park — an ideal break from all the walking. Grab a coffee and breakfast to go, and start your day strolling along winding paths laced with soaring trees, flowers, and birds. Join in the start of a wedding parade or pick up a souvenir from a local artisan’s or craftsman’s table. 

16. San Miguel de Allende Museums #1 -- Toy Museum San Miguel de Allende

One very cool, unusual thing to do is to check out the Museo La Esquina del Juguete Popular Mexicano — the toy museum, which is filled with thousands of unique, handcrafted, vintage Mexican toys. Close to Jardin Principal, this is a fun place to spend some time channeling your inner child.

17. San Miguel de Allende Museums #2 -- Mask Museum in San Miguel de Allende

Here’s another unusual thing to do  — also just a short walk from Jardin Principal, the Mask Museum in San Miguel de Allende holds more than 500 masks that have all been used in indigenous Mexican dance ceremonies, offering a unique look at Mexican culture. The museum is not always open, so make an appointment ahead of time for a special viewing with the owner, complete with authentic dance videos showcasing the masks. Admission is inexpensive — about 100 pesos, which the owner donates to a local day care center.

18. San Miguel de Allende Hot Air Balloon

See the best of the town’s beauty and architecture from above with a hot air balloon trip. Set that alarm and check out Globo San Miguel or Coyote Canyon Adventures for San Miguel de Allende hot air balloon trips for couples or groups to try something truly unique, like riding in a hot air balloon! 

19. Day Trip #1 -- San Miguel Botanical Garden

There are numerous amazing day trips from San Miguel de Allende. Once you’ve gotten your fill of art and architecture in town, head a bit outside of town to spend a day at El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Gardens, a natural reserve filled with indigenous plants, cacti, and rare species. There are walking paths, steam baths, and breathtaking rock formations.

20. Day Trip #2 -- San Miguel de Allende Hot Springs

Also a must-add for your day possible day trips are the hot springs just a few miles outside of town. Escondido Hot Springs and La Gruta San Miguel de Allende both have delicious food, bar, and spa facilities as well as the hot springs. This is one of the best things to do near the city to unwind and relax. 

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21. Day Trip #3 -- Galeria Atotonilco and Sanctuary of Atotonilco

For another fulfilling day trip, Galeria Atotonilco offers the best and most unusual collection of Mexican folk art — wood, ceramics, antiques, masks, baskets. Visitor proceeds support local artists and families. By appointment only. The Sanctuary of Atotonilco is a World UNESCO Heritage Site and has been coined the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” with its impressive paintings, murals, and architecture. Pair with your trip to one of the hot springs.

22. Day Trip #4 -- Finca Luna Serena Olive Farm

Another really cool thing to do is to visit Finca Luna Serena. Finca Luna Serena is an organic farm in the mountains outside of San Miguel de Allende that has more than 1,500 olive trees, and from these olives the farm produces a host of delicious, flavored oils. Finca Luna Serena is not open to the public, but groups of four or more people can reserve private tours and lunch at their on-site restaurant. If you can’t make it to the farm, grab a couple bottles to take home from Finca Luna Serena’s shop near the center of San Miguel on Hernandez Macias 99.

23. Day Trip #5 -- Horseback Riding and ATVs

Try horseback or an ATV excursion to get out of town. These outings range from one hour to full-day trips and often include hotel pick ups, lunch, and time at the hot springs.  Check out this romantic horseback excursion, or this 1/2 day trail riding horseback ride, or how fun would it be to zip around the countryside in this Razor ATV?

24. Take Part in the San Miguel de Allende Festivals

Festivals here are the best. Due to the beautiful weather, and the always-warm temperature, the best time to visit San Miguel de Allende can only be answered as “all-year-round” to catch a festival. Festivals run the gamut — whether it’s Mexican Independence Day, Dia de los Locos, or Day of the Dead San Miguel de Allende, these events are the place to be for dancing, colorful costumes, music, parades, and fireworks.

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25. San Miguel de Allende, Self-Guided and Unstructured

This is your vacation, so plan some things to do in San Miguel de Allende that offer “you” time and, after you’ve gotten your fill of architecture and the food, indulge yourself in a couple of unusual activities that are exclusive to you. For me, that meant a self-guided avocado and guacamole tour, a self-guided search for the best tacos, a self-guided chocolate-tasting tour, and a beautiful walk in the park to enjoy the weather. For you it might mean heading to Juarez Park to channel your inner artist and sketch, or joining in the local nightlife. And don’t forget those selfies along the way too — San Miguel pictures offer endlessly stunning backdrops.

San Miguel de Allende Where to Stay

If you plan to visit after reading about all the great things to do, here are my recommendations for a few great hotels in San Miguel de Allende. 

 

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of my top things to do in San Miguel de Allende. Let me know in the comments below! 

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase.   I only recommend products that I personally know and use, and the income helps to keep this site updated and free for everyone.