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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.   

Click here for the step-by-step guide to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray day trip from San Miguel de Allende.

 

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!

Click here for the step-by-step guide to the Atotonilco day trip from San Miguel de Allende.

 

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.  

Click here for the step-by-step guide to the Rancho Toyan Vineyard day trip from San Miguel de Allende

 

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.

Click here for the step-by-step guide to the Dolores Hidalgo day trip from San Miguel de Allende.

 

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. 

Click here to join the San Miguel Sunday Hiking group on Facebook.

 

hiking in San Miguel de Allende

Hiking in San Miguel de Allende

 

4 Easy 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?

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

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

 

Like it? Pin it!

San Miguel de Allende day trips 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 Booking.com 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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