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The Charco del Ingenio botanical garden in San Miguel de Allende is one of the highlights of any trip to the city and visiting it is incredibly easy. 

The garden is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and this guide to Charco del Ingenio covers everything you need to know to add it to your San Miguel itinerary, including:

  • Why visit the Charco del Ingenio botanical garden?
  • How to get to Charco del Ingenio from San Miguel de Allende
  • How much does it cost to visit Charco del Ingenio?
  • And much more!

Ready to go?

Use this guide to visit one of the most peaceful places in San Miguel de Allende and support an awesome non-profit while you do!


Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden


Why You Should Visit the Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden

Charco del Ingenio is a non-profit organization that began in 1998. 

They’ve slowly collected over 160 acres of protected land in the mountains above San Miguel de Allende where they preserve both indigenous flora and fauna and plants from around the country. They also protect a second 220-acre forest reserve in the nearby Los Picachos mountains. 

The botanical garden has a small cafe, shop, and clean restrooms. The cafe serves food, drinks, and ice cream, and has free water you can refill your bottles with.

After you refuel with a snack or drink, you’re free to wander the trails with the handily-marked map you get at the entrance. 


cactus garden in Charco del Ingenio

The cactus garden was one of my favorite spots in the botanical garden


The circular route takes you through a cactus garden, a sculpture garden, a conservatory, multiple lakes, a viewpoint over San Miguel de Allende, paths running along canyon ledges, and much more. 

Dan and I spent over an hour exploring and probably only ended up seeing about half of it.  

Besides all of these good things, I also recommend a visit to Charco del Ingenio for every traveler in San Miguel because it’s easy to reach by foot from the city center!


canyon in Carco del Ingenio Botanical Garden

The rugged canyon walls were another highlight of the botanical garden


How to get to Charco del Ingenio from San Miguel de Allende

There are two ways to get to Charco del Ingenio from San Miguel. The fastest way is by Uber but the cheapest option is on foot. I’ll tell you how to do both!

Although, taking an Uber to the botanical garden is pretty self-explanatory.

Download the Uber app (if you haven’t already) and request a ride to Charco del Ingenio. From the city center, the ride should take about 15 minutes and cost around 50 mxn / 2.50 usd. 


view on the walk from San Miguel to Charco del ingenio

View on the walk from San Miguel to Charco del Ingenio


Dan and I chose to get a little exercise and walk to Charco del Ingenio from San Miguel instead (click here to find it on Google Maps).

The walk takes about 35 minutes but, be warned, most of it is uphill. 

However, it’s on pleasant neighborhood streets lined with colorful and flower-covered houses and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with beautiful views over the city and surrounding mountains. 

The garden opens at 9 am, so starting the walk around 8:30 will ensure cooler weather for the slightly strenuous trek and the prettiest views of San Miguel in the soft morning light. 


View of San Miguel from Charco del Ingenio

Expansive views of San Miguel on the paths through the botanical garden


How much does it cost to visit Charco del Ingenio?

The Charo del Ingenio entrance fee is only 50 mxn / 2.50 usd per person.

If you opt to take a taxi both ways, the total cost for the trip will still only come out to 200 mxn / 10 usd for two people. Dan and I decided to walk, so we only spent 100 mxn / 5 usd on the half-day outing!

We got some exercise, some sun, and some beautiful views, and we were able to support a great non-profit while we were at it.

If you’re planning a trip to San Miguel de Allende, I strongly recommend visiting the Charco del Ingenio botanical garden with this guide!


Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden


Ready to go? 

Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to San Miguel de Allende and explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in the city.

Then, plan the rest of your trip with the complete Mexico Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in San Miguel and beyond. 


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Charco del Ingenio botanical garden Pinterest pin


I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:

➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.

➤ I use for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.

Skyscanner and the Scott's Cheap Flights newsletter help me find and book cheap flights and mistake fares.

Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field. 

➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.

➤ Finally, I love hosting my travel blog on SiteGround because they have helpful and responsive customer service and I love MediaVine and CJ for helping me make a living doing what I love!


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