Cañada de la Virgen

#10 in Best Things To Do in San Miguel de Allende
Cañada de la Virgen picture
ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com

Key Info

Carretera San Miguel de Allende Km 10

Details

Hiking, Monuments and Memorials, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Tours Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Home to a 40-acre archaeological site, Cañada de La Virgen is a sprawling nature preserve located just 15 miles west of San Miguel de Allende. Explore the site and you'll find seven pyramid structures across four complexes: House of the Thirteen Heavens, House of the Longest Night, House of the Wind, and a fourth complex that has yet to be excavated. These complexes at the basin of the Laja River were occupied by the Otomí and Toltec Indians from 540 to 1050 A.D. Cañada's archaeological zone is preserved by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (Mexico's National Institute of History and Anthropology).

Even if you're not interested in seeing the archaeological sites, there's still plenty to do at the surrounding preserve. Cañada offers countryside horseback riding suitable for first-time riders and equestrian experts alike (although children must be 11 years or older to ride). The reserve is also suitable for a weekend camping trip. But keep in mind that you'll be roughing it — the campsite is a 45 minute hike from Cañada's busier areas. Expert-led astronomy tours are also available. To reserve any of these activities, contact the team at Cañada de La Virgen here.

Although visitors can tour the sites without a guide, travelers recommend booking a tour of the archaeological site with Coyote Canyon Adventures, which offers several pyramid tour options Tuesday through Sunday. Pyramid tour prices start at $50 USD per person and can last from four to eight hours. The cost of your tour includes transportation to and from Cañada from San Miguel provided by Coyote Canyon (you will meet your guide at the intersection of Hidalgo and Canal streets in San Miguel's city center). 

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El Jardín1 of 9
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Time to Spend
#1 El Jardín

El Jardín is San Miguel's main plaza, located in the heart of the city. At the Zocalo, as El Jardín is often called, you can spend time people-watching, perusing the nearby shops and restaurants and reorienting yourself should the town's winding roads lead you astray.

Depending on when you find yourself in El Jardín, you may witness a political rally or have the chance to listen in on a live concert. According to one TripAdvisor reviewer, there's always something happening in El Jardín: "You'll hear mariachi bands, you'll see dance performances, you'll find arts and artisans, and religious ceremonies and every other possible entertainment experience here in the center of San Miguel." Early evenings and weekend afternoons are particularly busy times in the plaza; this is when you'll find expats and locals catching up with friends or simply relaxing on the wrought-iron benches.

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