Friday, November 12, 2021


     Jon and I have talked for years about visiting San Sebastián del Oeste, a 400 to 500-year-old Pueblo Mágico (a Mexican Magic Town) in the Sierra Madre mountains of Jalisco state. We decided it was a good time to go now that the rains have stopped and before the weather turns too cool in the mountains. I convinced Jon to take an all-day, all-inclusive tour for our first visit to this charming town and we were glad we did.

San Sebastián del Oeste's Plaza and Cathedral's Bell Tower

     Our first stop was Panadería Carmen’s Bakery. Jon and I shared one pastry, a flaky jam-filled empanada, and it was delicious. We wished we would have shared one more! The courtyard and gardens there were beautiful and relaxing.

Jon Talking to the Birds at Panadería Carmen's Bakery

     I was amazed at the mature banana tree and its 2-foot long bunch of bananas, some of the fruit from the bottom already harvested. Jon talked to the pair of parrots for a while but they were busy building a nest inside a gourd so weren’t too interested in talking. We’d like to go back to Carmen’s bakery again.

How did this Banana Tree NOT Fall Down!

     La Quinta Mary (The Fifth Mary in the family) coffee roaster was our second rest stop. We had a tour of the edge of the plantation where our guide gave us an education on café de altura (coffee of the highlands), coffee roasting, and the family history. It was very interesting to learn that the citrus trees planted interspersed with the coffee plants provide a natural insect repellant for the coffee berries—organic farming.

Coffee Roaster at La Quinta Mary

Beautiful Macaws in the Aviary at La Quinta Mary

     The four macaws were screeching furiously when the group of tourists passed by, possibly looking for attention or hoping someone would feed them. Jon came up to their aviary and started “talking” to them in macaw language and they settled down immediately. Jon is a “bird whisperer”. As he continued to mimic them, they looked at him, stretched, and nonchalantly started to preen. One even closed her eyes and took a nap, hypnotized by Jon’s crooning.

Blue Agave Plants, Years from Maturity

     We stopped at a blue agave field for a look and education on growing the plants and making tequila, raicilla, and mezcal, distilled products of agave in the state of Jalisco. Our tour guide smilingly promised tequila tasting later in the day.

     After we arrived in the village, once a thriving silver and gold mining town established in 1605, we toured the Casa Museo Doña Conchita Encarnación museum, the beautiful cathedral which was constructed starting in 1608, and the Casa de La Cultura (House of Culture). Then we were free to wander around the plaza and along cobblestone roads to admire the old adobe and brick buildings and to shop. I enjoyed the cooler, dry mountain air in San Sebastian del Oeste while Jon admired the old architecture.

Touring Casa Museo de Doña Conchita Encarnación

Town and Family History Inside the Museum

Inside the Beautiful San Sebastian Cathedral

Casa de La Cultura Courtyard and Mural

Quaint Architecture and Cobblestone

Very Old Adobe and Stone Architecture

      The San Sebastian del Oeste plaza was beautiful and peaceful, a complete contrast to Sayulita’s, the Pueblo Mágico where we lived for six years. We wondered what it would be like on a Saturday evening with live music and lovers strolling hand in hand.

San Sebastian del Oeste's Peaceful, Pretty Plaza

     Our last stop was for lunch and tequila tasting at Hacienda Don Lalin, a small distillery and brewery. The multi-course, freshly prepared lunch was traditional Mexican food served family-style with six to eight people sharing a table. We enjoyed getting to know travelers from Britain and Michigan while we dined. Finally, it was time for tequila tasting. We loved the almond tequila and chocolate-coffee flavored tequila, which would be delicious over ice cream or ice with milk for a dessert.

Hacienda Don Lalin Tequila Tasting

     We booked our tour with Vallarta Adventures and recommend them. Having a friendly, knowledgeable guide who is bilingual and a good driver to expertly handle those windy mountain roads made it worth the price. One note for future tours—the instructions did not mention using insect repellent against the no-see-ums, but we had itchy, red evidence of their bites the next day. We were glad we had worn long pants, socks, and shoes as our legs and feet were spared the invisible insect attacks.

     It was a worthwhile day-tour. Even Jon agreed.

     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books to help others find them. I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter, published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.

     If you’d like to take a look at my recent newsletter, you can read it HERE.

     Happy reading and traveling! Stay safe and healthy. 


No comments:

Post a Comment