San Miguel de Allende
A Pacific Horticulture Society tour

Trip #1:  February 5-11, 2015, escorted by
Steve Gerischer, Tour Manager Cheryl
Nichols ---
Sold Out.  

Trip #2:  February 11-17, 2015  Escorted by Tour Manager Scott Borden -- Sold out

To Join the Waiting List for either tour, please click Here

San Miguel de Allende is a city that manages to be both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time.
Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic center is
filled with well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. With its narrow cobblestone
streets, leafy courtyards, fine architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is
arguably the prettiest town in Mexico. Making San Miguel de Allende our base, we’ll explore this
charming town and nearby historic colonial cities.

Day 1 San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Transfers are
included from Leon or Queretaro airports to the
El Palomar Hotel in San Miguel de Allende (see
Flight Tips below). Meet  your tour leaders and
traveling companions for a Welcome Reception and
Dinner on the rooftop terrace this evening.   
Reception, Dinner

Day 2  Following breakfast at the hotel, join our local guide, Francisco Correa, for a private walking
tour of San Miguel de Allende, including an exclusive visit to two private gardens in town, followed by
lunch at the world-famous
Casa de Sierra Nevada. Note that in Mexico, lunch is known as “la comida,”
and is often the most important meal of the day.   After lunch, the balance of the afternoon is at
leisure.  Guests may wish to visit the Parque Juarez to see the plants offered for sale at the annual
Candelaria festival.  Later, half of our group will enjoy an evening at La Cocina cooking school where
owner Kris Rudolph, owner of El Buen Cafe in San Miguel de Allende, will give us a hands-on lesson
in creating a deliciously authentic Mexican meal.   
Breakfast & Lunch for all guests; Dinner and
for those going to the cooking school this evening.

Day 3  After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart on a full
day excursion to
Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage
Site and charming colonial-era city situated in a lovely
valley surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato
mountains. Founded in 1559, Guanajuato is a former
silver mining city and home to  the La Valenciana mine.
Silver was first discovered in  Guanajuato in the 1600s.
La Valenciana was opened a century later and quickly
became one of the richest and most productive silver
mines in the world. The historic center of Guanajuato
has a distinct European flavor with hundreds of narrow
cobblestone callejones (alleyways) running up and down
the hillside. Known as the birthplace of Mexican Independence, Guanajuato is also the birthplace of
famed muralist Diego Rivera.  We’ll enjoy la comida (lunch) alfresco in town and have time for
shopping before returning to San Miguel de Allende where the balance of the day is at leisure.  
Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 4 *  (Day 5 for Scott’s group)
Following a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll participate in the
House and Garden Tour, hosted by San Miguel de Allende’s library, Biblioteca Publica. More than 300
homes are on the tour’s master list, and each Sunday a few of these are selected for touring. Visit a
Colonial mansion, an artist’s home or a simple adobe-style dwelling depending on the tour schedule.
Explore the interior of the homes and discover the art, architecture and design of San Miguel. Walk
among pristine landscapes and colorful gardens. The tours were started approximately 50 years ago
by local foreign residents in order to provide visitors with the chance to see “behind the hidden walls”
of San Miguel.   All the tours are conducted via local buses so normally very little walking is required.   
Following the tour, the balance of the day is at leisure.  
Breakfast.  .

Day 5 * (Day 4 for Scott’s group)  We will enjoy a private docent led tour of  El Charco del Ingenio, a
Botanical Garden and outstanding Nature Preserve, with a vast collection of cacti and other Mexican
Plants, many of which are rare or in danger of extinction. Next we visit Fabrica La Aurora, an art &
design center with art studios, galleries, antiques, cafe and restaurants where we will have time for
browsing and lunch. Later there is an optional visit to the Mask Museum, walking distance from the
hotel. The fascinating collection includes Mexican ceremonial dance masks from various regions in
Mexico.    The balance of the day is at leisure.  ---except-- this evening those guests who did not
participate in the Day 2 Cooking Class will do so this evening.    
Breakfast for all guests; Dinner &
for those going to the cooking school this evening.

Day 6   After breakfast at the hotel we depart for the historic city
of Dolores Hidalgo.  The city was a small town known simply as
Dolores when Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for
the independence of Mexico (the Grito de Dolores) there in the
early hours of September 16, 1810, in front of his parish church.
After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed
Dolores Hidalgo in his honor. We’ll visit the Sanctuary of
Atotonilco, built in 1748 and known as the Americas Sistine
Chapel.   Of course we’ve included time to shop for the famous
talavera ceramics for which the state of Guanajuato is justly
famous. We also visit  Galeria Atotonilco, The owner finds the
most talented and imaginative artists and craftsmen working
today, and then buys their finest work including Mexican antiques,
crafts, and folk art, pottery, Mexican
papel mache, vintage serapes, and Oaxacan wood carvings. We’
ll have a memorable farewell lunch in the garden at Nirvana before making a visit to Rancho Mi Sueno
(“My Dream Ranch”) home to a charming ex-pat from Texas.  Returning to the hotel late afternoon,
with the balance of the day at leisure, perhaps to enjoy one last dinner in San Miguel de Allende.  
Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 7   Following breakfast at the hotel, time to say “Adios” to San Miguel de Allende transfer back to
the airport for your flight home.   Hasta la Vista!   

Based on a minimum of 13 guests per trip: $2195.00 per person for members of Pacific Horticulture
Society, $2245 for non-members*.  Supplement for single occupancy of a bedroom with private bath:  
$545.00.   *Membership starts at just $28 so if you not a member, we strongly encourage you to join
before you register for the tour as you can then receive the member price.  You can join online

  • 6 nights accommodations at El Palomar Hotel (see special “Hotel” note below)
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners, 1 reception
  • Motorcoaches, shuttles, taxis as specified in itinerary
  • Top local guide
  • All sightseeing and entrances as per the itinerary
  • Airport transfers (see separate section on “Flights”)
  • Deluxe portfolio of documents
  • Escorted by Steve Gerischer or Scott Borden of Pacific Horticulture Society
  • Donation of $200 to Pacific Horticulture Society

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips to local guides and drivers.
  • Passports

HOTEL ---We have reserved all of the rooms at
El Palomar Hotel for both of our trips.  Each room is
unique, ranging from deluxe rooms to 3 bedroom suites.  Room assignments will be made on a first-
come, first-served basis so we encourage early reservations for these tours.   Note that for single
travelers wishing to share, several of the suites offer multiple bedrooms, each with private bathroom
and a common living room so it may be possible to share with other single travelers without sacrificing
your privacy.
Extra nights----our trips operate back-to-back and we are using all of the rooms, so guests on trip #1
may arrive early but may not stay on at the hotel after the tour as the 2nd group will be coming in.  
Similarly, those on trip #2 may not arrive early but are welcome to stay on after.  Extra night rates
available upon request.  Note there are other small hotels and B&Bs near El Palomar which also may
be used for extra night requests.

FLIGHTS --- San Miguel de Allende is served by Leon airport (BJX) and Queretaro (QRO)  airport,
each about 1.5 hours away from San Miguel.    US carriers offering service include United, American
and Delta.  Mexican carriers include Volaris and Aeromexico.   We suggest booking flights to arrive
either airport no later than 4pm on day 1 of the tour, so you will have sufficient time to reach El
Palomar Hotel before the welcome reception and dinner.   If meeting this schedule becomes a
problem, please consider coming a day early.

PASSPORT--a passport valid at least 6 months beyond trip date is required for this trip.

PHYSICAL CAPABILITIES - These tours include a SIGNIFICANT amount of walking, FREQUENT use of
stairs and steeply sloped pathways on uneven or unpaved surfaces.  Some of the places we will be
visiting can only be seen on foot with no other access possible.  Guests with limited mobility MUST
consult with Sterling Tours prior to tour registration.

To review or print Terms and Conditions, click
To print the Itinerary, please click

or Contact:
STerling Tours, Ltd            
2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262    
San Diego, CA 92106      Tel: 619 299-3010     800-976-9497
sterling tours, ltd