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Whether you’re dreaming about visiting Mexico in the future or whether you’re ready to go now, San Miguel de Allende is an excellent choice for many reasons. For example, they have taken the health and welfare of their citizens and visitors seriously. So seriously that they were recently awarded the World Travel & Tourism Councils (WTTC) “Safe Travels” stamp of approval.
We’ve now spent a lot of time in San Miguel de Allende. But initially, we’d somehow explored Mexico for many months before making it to this beautiful city for the first time. When we finally set eyes on the cobblestone streets and pastel-painted buildings we were instantly enchanted with “the Heart of Mexico”.
San Miguel de Allende is not a bustling metropolis like Mexico City, it doesn’t have the beaches of Cancun, or the gastronomic acclaim of Oaxaca. Consequently, it may not be the best know Mexican vacation destination. But, its many awards as “best city” are definitely well-deserved.
In fact, as I wrote this post San Miguel was voted #1 in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Awards for 2020 as the Best Small City in the World.
Sitting in the center of Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende is one of the prettiest cities you’ll ever see. It’s also one of the most dynamic, romantic, and friendliest places in Mexico. As a result, there’s something to please every visitor.
Art lovers will enjoy the many galleries and artisan boutiques. Foodies will be in heaven with an array of bars, cafes, and restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. Photographers will be in awe of the colorful architecture and picturesque, winding streets. Couples will find no shortage of romantic spots or intimate dining options and those looking for boutique and luxury accommodations will not be disappointed.
As if all those offerings aren’t enough, the San Miguel de Allende spa and wellness scene is also top-notch. Plus, there are plenty of physical activities and adventure excursions nearby. If you’ve been to our site before you’ll know that these are important factors for us when it comes to choosing places to explore and share with you.
San Miguel did not disappoint and we can absolutely recommend the Heart of Mexico as a great place to spend some time nurturing your health and well-being.
Here are some of our favorite San Miguel de Allende spa and wellness finds:
San Miguel de Allende Spa & Wellness Centers
There is a fabulous selection of wellness retreats, holistic centers, and spas in San Miguel de Allende. Whether your preference is for Swedish or Thai massage, aromatherapy or rejuvenating facials, beauty treatments or holistic healing, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for at a San Miguel de Allende spa or health center.
Sense at The Rosewood
The gorgeous Rosewood San Miguel de Allende luxury hotel is home to Sense Spa. In this tranquil sanctuary, the ambiance and treatments are inspired by San Miguel’s positive energy and history of traditional Mexican healing.
Sense offers one of the most extensive treatment and healing therapy menus in the city using unique indigenous ingredients.
The IRIS Spa is part of the Hotel Dos Casas. Both the hotel and spa are decorated with a harmonious blend of modern and classic Mexican colonial style furnishings, materials and artwork. Therapists create a unique, tailored experience to achieve healing, relaxation, and rejuvenation pleasing to all the senses.
The contemporary and zen Hotel Matilda is home to a lovely holistic spa of the same name. Spa Matilda is known for its outstanding Apothecary Concierge which creates personalized journeys of aromatherapy and herbal healing.
Their statement is “rituals inspired by five points of wellness — Energy · Focus · Recovery · Radiance · Decompression.”
Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada is a stunning boutique hotel made up of restored colonial buildings, classic courtyards, and an oasis of fragrant gardens and flowing fountains. It’s a perfect setting for the Laja Spa. The range of holistic treatments using all-natural botanical ingredients will leave you renewed and the traditional Temazcal steam bath is highly recommended.
Meditation Center of San Miguel de Allende
The Meditation Center of San Miguel de Allende began as a small group gathering at Hotel Taboada and grew into their own space in 2002. It’s roots are Buddhist oriented meditation but it’s open to all forms of silent meditation. They are centrally located in the center of San Miguel where you can sit and meditate overlooking a peaceful courtyard and zen garden.
Esencia Yoga Spa
Find your balance at Esencia Yoga Spa! Their holistic approach to wellness includes daily classes in Yoga Fundamentals, Hot Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, and Yoga Trapeze. Most classes are led by Alliance Yoga certified instructor and owner, Melinda. There’s also a spa offering massage, beauty and reiki treatments as well as men’s and women’s change rooms and a fresh juice bar for post-yoga rejuvenation.
Hot Springs in San Miguel de Allende
Mexico is blessed with hundreds of natural thermal springs and there are several of these hot springs close to San Miguel de Allende. Ancient civilizations, such as the Aztecs, believed that these heated waters held magical healing powers which many still swear by today. One thing is certain, spending some time in these warm, mineral pools will ease aches and pains and leave you feeling blissfully relaxed.
Spa La Gruta thermal pools are just outside the city of San Miguel de Allende and are popular with both locals and visitors. The site is relaxed and family-friendly. They have several pools, places to eat and drink, a large temezcal, plus massage and aromatherapy services.
But, the most fun part of La Gruta is the dark cavern. The grotto is filled with chest-deep thermal water reached by a moodily lit tunnel.
The large resort hotel complex of Hacienda Taboada is an oasis in the desert about 20 minutes from San Miguel. It’s a 15-acre resort built around a large hot spring pool that is surrounded by lush landscaping. There are also several smaller pools with varying temperatures that are meant to be used in succession from coolest to hottest.
Because the pools are only open to hotel guests they are much quieter than the public thermal pools around San Miguel.
Escondido Place is another favorite spot to spend a day relaxing in thermal waters. It’s a little more basic than La Gruta. But, there are several hot and cool pools, lovely grounds with walking paths and lots of grass to lie out on and soak up the Mexican sun. There is also a restaurant and a spa offering massages.
The Mayan Baths are definitely the most atmospheric of the San Miguel de Allende thermal pools. All the mineral pools are underground, connected with a network of tunnels and lit with candles reflecting off decorative quartz and glass.
One thing to note is that these pools are not open for drop-in. Therefore, they must be pre-booked for parties of a minimum of eight people.
Nature & Healthy Activities in San Miguel de Allende
Hiking & Walking
The city of San Miguel de Allende is compact and walkable. But, it’s also very hilly which is great for those looking to combine exercise with sightseeing. There are also hiking trails just outside of town. For example, there’s the Loop that takes you to the Jesuit Cave, the family-friendly Joya la Barrera, and the beautiful but long Ruta Rio Laja which takes you all the way to Dolores Hidalgo. All Trails is a good resource for more details.
El Charco de Ingenio Botanical Gardens
El Charco is a unique botanical garden and impressive Nature Reserve just minutes outside of San Miguel de Allende. It’s easy to spend hours here communing with nature and learning all about the array of indigenous species of birds and plants and an incredible variety of cacti.
This is also a great place to hike. There’s a vast network of trails to explore leading to viewpoints, ruins, and exhibits. Alternatively, you can join one of the guided walks, workshops, and special events.
Golfing in San Miguel de Allende
If golfing is your pick for staying fit and having fun on vacation you’ll be pleased to learn there are some decent golf courses in San Miguel de Allende. Malanquin Golf Club opened over 50 years ago as the first golf course in San Miguel. The club has an 18-hole, Par-72 course as well as tennis courts, a swimming pool, a gym, and a restaurant.
Las Ventanas is the newest golf course in San Miguel de Allende. It’s an 18-hole, Par-70 with some lovely views, a good restaurant, a bar, and a full pro-shop. Course-side lodging is also available.
Horseback Riding: Coyote Canyon Adventures
The unique terrain and beautifully dramatic landscape around San Miguel de Allende are perfect for exploring on horseback. Coyote Canyon is the most popular area for riding with stunning scenery of cliffs, cacti, canyon, and river.
There are several tour companies offering excursions including the much-loved Coyote Canyon Adventures . Choose from half-day, full-day, and overnight options. You can even find your inner cowboy with a full week camping and riding adventure.
Healthy Food in San Miguel de Allende
The food scene in San Miguel de Allende is as colorful as the architecture. You can find everything from traditional Mexican to international cuisine as well as some great healthy food options. There are fresh food markets, organic health stores and plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and heart healthy options on restaurant menus.
The goal of Mercado Sano is not only to help their customers stay healthy but also to support local producers of sustainable and natural products.
As a result, farmers, artisans, beekeepers, and makers of all variety of foods provide delicious, beautiful, and organic products to the community every day of the week.
In their own words: “Vía Orgánica AC is a Mexican non-profit organization whose mission is to promote healthy eating and a sustainable future through the promotion of knowledge and practice of organic regenerative agriculture, fair trade, social justice, sustainable living and protecting the planet.”
They have a demonstration School Ranch 15 miles from San Miguel and an agroecological park that holds a restaurant, a shop, a monthly market plus eco-tourism activities, and tours.
Vegetarian & Vegan Food
It can sometimes be challenging to find a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options in Mexico but that’s not an issue with the San Miguel de Allende food scene. Don Taco Tequila is a fully vegan restaurant with amazing menu items like mushroom pozole, artichoke bbq burgers, and of course vegan tacos! Manipura is also all vegan using local, natural ingredients to create delicious Mexican dishes.
In addition, lots of restaurants that have an extensive list of vegetarian and vegan dishes in addition to their regular meat-lovers menu.
In closing, you can see, San Miguel de Allende is a great destination choice for many reasons and if health and wellness is a priority for you when going on vacation this city will rank high on your list for Mexican getaway.
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Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.