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There are so many San Miguel de Allende day trip options that just choosing the best one can be more difficult than planning the excursion.

Luckily, I’m here to help.

Dan and I lived in the small town for five weeks and ultimately settled on taking these four day trips from San Miguel de Allende during our stay. Now, I’ve got easy step-by-step guides to take you to:

  • The Chapel of Jimmy Ray (an explosion of color and art)
  • The Sanctuary of Atotonilco (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Rancho Toyan Vineyard (with a space rock and underground caves guarded by monks)
  • Dolores Hidalgo (the birthplace of the Mexican Independence)
  • Bonus: How to join weekly hikes in San Miguel de Allende

Even better?

Each San Miguel day trip guide comes with a budget estimate for the trip, instructions on how to get to and from the destination without a car, and everything else you need to know to add it to your itinerary.

Ready to go?

Learn how to take the four best day trips from San Miguel de Allende below!


Chapel of Jimmy Ray in San Miguel de Allende

Mosaic-covered art galleries at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray


1. Chapel of Jimmy Ray

This is my favorite San Miguel de Allende day trip.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is a compound owned by American artist Anado Mclauchlin and his partner, Richard. 

They’ve lived there since 2002 and in that time the ranch has turned into an insane explosion of color and art that’s been featured in publications like the New York Times and National Geographic. 


skull art at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray

Some of Anado’s art displayed at the Chapel of Jimmy Ray


The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is about 20 minutes outside of San Miguel de Allende and guided tours by Anado himself cost 200 mxn / 10 usd per person. They must be booked in advance.

In total, our outing to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray cost 800 mxn / 40 usd for a couple and was one of the most memorable destinations during our stay.  Visit with this step-by-step Chapel of Jimmy Ray guide!


cieling of Atotonilco Sanctuary

Frescoes at the Sanctuary of Atotonilco 


2. Atotonilco Sanctuary + Hot Springs

The Atotonilco Sanctuary is about 25 minutes from San Miguel de Allende and draws visitors from around the world because it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The church and chapels were built in the 1700s and every surface is covered in ornate frescoes, earning it the nickname ‘the Sistene Chapel of Mexico.’


Sanctuary of Atotonilco

Exterior of the Atotonilco Church


Entrance costs 15 mxn / .75 usd per person and you can take buses to and from the destination for another 13 mxn each way. 

Just make sure to bring a swimsuit, because after exploring the church you can walk to the nearby hot springs for a soak in the natural baths before heading back to San Miguel! Visit with this step-by-step Atotonilco guide!


tasting room and wine cave at Rancho Toyan

Wine cave and tasting room at the Rancho Toyan Vineyard


3. Rancho Toyan Vineyard and Winery Tour

The Rancho Toyan Vineyard and Winery tour is another one of my favorite San Miguel de Allende day trips because we went for Dan’s 29th birthday!

Rancho Toyan is about 30 minutes from San Miguel and just like the Chapel of Jimmy Ray you need to book your tours in advance. They cost 500 mxn / 25 usd per person and include a wine tasting with meat, cheese, and bread pairings. 

This is the most unique winery in San Miguel because they have a space rock to soak up negative energy, a hand-dug underground cave (guarded by monks), and the largest tricycle in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records). 


Rancho Toyan vineyard near San Miguel de Allende

Rancho Toyan vineyards


The wine is also 100% organic and preservative-free so it’s only sold at the vineyard and you won’t be able to try it anywhere else. 

Rancho Toyan is the most expensive of the four day trips from San Miguel de Allende – we spent $85 usd total for two tours, transportation, and a bottle of wine to take home – but the memorable experience is worth the hefty price tag.

Visit with this step-by-step Rancho Toyan guide or book one of the San Miguel vineyard and wine tasting tours on Airbnb.


Dolores Hidalgo church

Church and central square in Dolores Hidalgo


4. Dolores Hidalgo – the Birthplace of Mexican Independence

Have I mentioned that Dolores Hidalgo is the birthplace of the Mexican War of Independence?

This town is about an hour away from San Miguel and buses cost 58 mxn / 3 usd each way. 

Once you arrive, there are plenty of museums where you can learn more about the imporant piece of history that happened here, including one dedicated to Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo, the priest who sparked the revolution with the famous ‘Grito de Dolores’ and another dedicated to the war itself.


Dolores Hidalgo ice cream

Tequila and rose petal ice cream in Dolores Hidalgo


You can also visit the church, market, and pottery shops in Dolores Hidalgo and try the city’s famous-but-super-strange ice cream flavors like shrimp, cheese, avocado, tequila, and mole.

Dolores Hidalgo is a budget-friendly day trip from San Miguel and for transportation, lunch, ice cream, and a museum visit I only spent 240 mxn / 12 usd on the excursion.

Visit with this step-by-step guide to a Dolores Hidalgo day trip from San Miguel, or take a guided tour to Dolores Hidalgo from Mexico City. 


hiking in San Miguel de Allende

Hiking in San Miguel de Allende


Bonus: How to Join Weekly Hikes in San Miguel de Allende

If you’ve already got these four day trips from San Miguel under your belt, consider getting off the beaten path with the San Miguel Sunday Hiking group.

Simply join them on Facebook and then join the hikes in real life – the group meets every Sunday morning at 7:45 am.

They provide cars and transport for anyone who doesn’t have it and usually split into two groups, with one doing an easy hike and one completing a more difficult trek in the nearby mountains. 

This weekly excursion is a great way to get some exercise and meet new people in the city. Even better? The hikes are completely free of charge. 

For more of the outdoors, check out this scenic horseback ride through the mountains or this day trip to Pena de Bernal, the largest monolith in the world! 


hiking in San Miguel de Allende

Hiking in San Miguel de Allende


Add These 4 San Miguel de Allende Day Trips for Your Mexico Itinerary

These step-by-step guides have all the info you need to know to add these four day trips from San Miguel de Allende to your Mexico itinerary.

Simply choose your favorite and plan your trip with all the info on prices, transportation, and more at your fingertips. Enjoy!

Ready to go?

Explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb (like the lovely traditional Mexican apartment we stayed in) or the top-rated hotels on to plan the perfect night, weekend, or long-term stay in San Miguel de Allende.

Then, browse tons of San Miguel food, culture, and nature experiences on Airbnb to round out your itinerary!


This article is part of the Secrets of San Miguel Series. Read the rest below:

15 Best Instagram Spots in San Miguel de Allende

4 Best Cafes in San Miguel de Allende

How to Get Lost in the Botanical Garden of San Miguel de Allende

Celebrate Grito de Dolores in San Miguel de Allende (Like a Local!)

How to Spend a Perfect Birthday in San Miguel de Allende

Or, plan the rest of your trip with the Mexico Series for more insider tips on what to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country!


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