3 Days in San Miguel de Allende

Colourful and perfect

Winner of Travel & Leisure Magazine’s Best City in The World 2017, San Miguel de Allende soared up the charts to be my Number One pretty much on arrival. They say that’s love at first sight.

Handing the mantle over was not easy; prising it from the hands of long-time favourite San Cristobal de las Casas, another one of Mexico’s stunning colonial towns and Pueblos Magicos, took some careful consideration. And it can’t be forgotten that our previous destination of Guanajuato had also become a contender in its own right. Was Mexico becoming…. even more amazing?

katiebrooks2411@gmail.com3 Days in San Miguel de Allende

One Day in Guanajuato

Classically beautiful Guanajuato

We first saw Guanajuato on Masterchef Mexico several months earlier, appearing as a modern picturesque city in the heart of the country. Despite having backpacked through Mexico before, I had previously stuck to places on the more obvious backpacker trail, such as San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, and Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca state. Even having read many travel blogs, we hadn’t heard much about any of the beautiful places just north of the country’s capital.

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An Alternative To The Tequila Express – Guadalajara

The UNESCO area of Tequila is located just 50km from the city of Guadalajara and is a destination in its own right

A 6-hour bus took us from coastal Puerto Vallarta and into Mexico’s second most populated metropolitan area, Guadalajara. Home of tequila and mariachi music, we wondered what the capital of the Jalisco state had in store for us. Would it be as good as Mexico City? Would it be safe? Could Mexico really keep on delivering such incredible destinations? We checked into Hostal Nacional for three nights to try and find out what Guadalajara was all about.

katiebrooks2411@gmail.comAn Alternative To The Tequila Express – Guadalajara

Sayulita – Mexico’s Best Kept Secret

The beautiful laid-back Sayulita

Months back, we met a Mexican guy from Sayulita, who described his little beachside town as the ultimate backpacker’s paradise. Along our journey, our excitement grew as more people raved about this ultra-cool resort just outside of Puerto Vallarta. However, as always in Mexico, we now found ourselves running out of time, meaning that we sadly only had one night to explore this laid-back getaway.

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We got Engaged in Puerto Vallarta!

The Grand Miramar Hotel – where we celebrated our engagement

Picking a special place to propose to Kate was always going to be tricky on a backpacking trip lasting over a year and taking in five different continents. By the time we arrived on the 18-hour overnight bus from Mexico City, I’d spent many hours hoping (praying) that Pueto Vallarta would be a befitting destination – after all, we had just passed through so many great places in South America. However, from studying the photos online and some background research, PV looked to be an excellent Mexican holiday destination on the west coast and a rare place in Mexico that Kate hadn’t visited previously!

katiebrooks2411@gmail.comWe got Engaged in Puerto Vallarta!

More Things To Do in Mexico City

Looking out from Chapultepec Castle over Mexico City

Even after our action-packed first two stints in Mexico City, we still had a full itinerary for our third visit. The city is absolutely huge, and along with its incredible history and artistic culture, there is never a shortage of things to do. Once again we booked into the Mexico City hostel (next to the Zocalo) and were faced with what seemed like a never-ending list of activities to tick off our list.

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Visit Puebla – Now!

Puebla – Ciudad de Progreso

Yet another one of Mexico’s hidden gems, Puebla is an absolute treat for the inquisitive tourist. Countless modern museums, perfectly maintained cathedrals, distinctively tiled houses and a nightlife powered by the city’s university population – historic Puebla is a charming place to visit.

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Free Activities in Mexico City

Back in one of the world’s best cities

It was sad to be leaving South America, an amazingly varied continent that could steal anyone’s heart. But we were on our way back to the familiar metropolis of Mexico City; and what a sight to fly into at night. It was a Saturday evening, and we once again had an action packed itinerary of activities and sights we had missed out on during our last visit. You could spend a lifetime in this city and continue to be amazed every day. Mexico City is rumoured to have over 150 museums, and we were nowhere near through completing the list!

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Where to Visit in Colombia…? Salento

Colombia’s coffee region is idyllic

Luciérnaga Hostel was the type of place where you arrived and immediately booked another week. A modern and sleek building set on a serene hillside with views over rolling green hills, this was more boutique retreat than backpackers’ hostel.

We checked into our private room (at £20 per night and one of the cheapest in South America) and gawped at the views as cowboys trotted by on horseback. The whole upper floor was provided with a veranda filled with plush garden furniture including rocking chairs, and was a great place to enjoy a sunset drink. Managing to squeeze in only four nights before our flight back to Mexico, we were so glad to have discovered this incredible place to enjoy our last moments on the continent.

katiebrooks2411@gmail.comWhere to Visit in Colombia…? Salento