Three Unusual Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende

Everyone seems to love San Miguel de Allende.

I agree, it’s a beautiful place filled with art, artists and art lovers.

The ex-pat community drums a paint brush beat, but I found that if you’re not that into art, you won’t be that into San Miguel de Allende. Enjoy the walks, the tours, the churches and the colors; quench your artist thirst in the abundance of galleries; but after you’ve done all that, you might struggle to entertain yourself. Never fear, I have three unusual things you must do in San Miguel de Allende.

The “Free” Walking Tour

It’s not free, it’s actually a required 300 pesos. But your pesos underwrite the Patronato Pro Niños, a group that provides medical vans and medical care to Mexicans who can’t come to the care in town. Expats looking to meet new arrivals and share San Miguel de Allende lead the tours. You’ll walk about 1.5 miles, hear the backstory to the town’s name, and get entrenched in its religious conservatism.

You might also meet other tourists who want to meet you. From joining the tour, I met another female sola who treated me to lunch at Los Milagros and a couple from Washington, DC who invited me to their friend’s house for an ex-pat, wine hour, home tour!

Sketch San Miguel de Allende

Of course with a town full of artists, your inner artist might show her head. I couldn’t resist joining Meagan Burns on her Sketch San Miguel de Allende Airbnb Experience. Unfortunately for her but fortunately for me, I was the only person that signed up on May 1–the first day of the down season. We met in front of La Parroquia.

Meagan introduced me to the whole idea of urban sketchers and opened up the mystery of urban sketching. She founded San Miguel’s urban sketchers group after she needed to release some grief from a tough break up. She provided a small sketch pad and a pen, and we were off.

We started with some basic sketching warm up exercises, including sketching the sounds we heard! We then ambled through town, finding picturesque corners, streets and plazas to practice sketching. As we drew, she shared her story; I shared mine. She provided wonderful feedback to my chicken scratch, and she gave me confidence to share what I experienced.

After two hours, we found a shady cafe in the museum courtyard where she pulled out her water colors and shared how to brighten up my sketches. While painting, another artist whom she followed on Instagram appeared. Meagan flagged him down, we had an artsy chat and got invited to a future gallery opening!

Meagan leads bigger drawing trips to release your inner wild artist. You can find more information about her at Art Leap Adventures.

Singing Tibetan Bowls

Since the off-season was starting during my trip to San Miguel, the choices in Airbnb Experiences and elsewhere, including San Miguel’s very popular library, were limited. But when Tibetan Bowl Bath popped up, I decided to do it because it was so unique, not necessarily because I had an interest in Tibetan bowls.

I grabbed a cab–Uber couldn’t find her address–and arrived at Mabel’s house. A small apartment in a quadraplex complex, she made it as cozy and comfortable as she could by throwing a thick comforter and pillows on the ground. Incense and ethereal music played as Mabel offered me a cup of tea and explained what we’d be doing.

I laid down on the comforter, closed my eyes, and enjoyed the fresh scent she sprayed. Next, she placed two brass Tibetan bowls on me. One on my chest and one on my stomach. She then did a series of vibrations and sounds on the bowls with a mini gong. The movements echoed through my body, providing a pleasant sensation from head to toe.

I fell into a Zen state for almost an hour.

When she finished by ringing a bell, I opened my eyes. She provided another cup of tea and then we had a little chat. To my surprise, she described my knee pain to great detail and exactitude. She then advised me that the pain was coming from a betrayal that had happened within my family. Once I forgave the betrayal, the pain would go away.

I was stunned with her accuracy.

And I’m working on that forgiveness.

Meet, Eat, Greet, Repeat in San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende has many words written about her, including many art and eating tours that people suggest. Do them. But may I suggest you do these three things first? You’ll possibly meet some locals, you’ll find your inner artist, and you might even clear your head. With those three unusual things under your belt, you’ll be able to enjoy San Miguel de Allende at its finest.

As always, post your pictures and tag them #eatwalklearn so I can see them!

~See you in the world,



  1. Cristine

    I love this post Chris! I’m going to look for this Sketch Your Way around SMA tour, and maybe even do the Tibetan bowls if I an find a way to do it without having to get on the floor! Thanks for offering alternative ways to experience a place – I’ve never been, but mostly because I am not necessarily a gallery person (I’m not collecting stuff)… Happy Traveling!

    • EatWalkLearn

      Oh great, I’m so glad you’ve found my experiences helpful! Have a great time. Miss you!



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handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

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