Travels

What to visit in San Sebastián del Oeste

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Puerto Vallarta, formerly called Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe, before proclaiming itself as a tourist destination par excellence, arose from the need to create a port to transport the silver that came from a nearby mine whose mining city reached 20,000 inhabitants. Today only about 600 live with the memory of those times of greatness but its cobbled streets and tree-lined paths evoke a magical atmosphere. We are leaving visit to San Sebastián del Oeste


One more day we continue in the State of Jalisco and we will spend the night in theVamar Hotel, that the truth is being a perfect place to take energy for the long route that awaits us.


Visit to San Sebastían del Oeste

It must be recognized that the name itself, and the 60 km that separate it from Puerto Vallarta in a place of "westerns", makes the denomination of "magical town" sound very good. It took us about 1 hour to arrive on Highway 70 without too much traffic


Shortly before the last curves we cross an impressive bridge whose lower cliffs are scary, but without problems!


 

Almost at the entrance of the town is the Fifth mary It is a place where they grow 100% organic tall coffee.


 

This plantation, which collects 3 tons of Arabic and robust coffee per year, has passed generation after generation by the same family and today is still a must for the lover of good coffee. Including "your west touch"


Before the arrival of the Spaniards (not us, the colonizers), the region was populated by the Tecos. Francisco Cortés de San Buenaventura accompanied by Juan de Escárcena were the conquerors who in 1524 took possession of the population, although it would not be until 1542 when the mines would be discovered.


 

Taking a dive into history takes us through the cobbled streets that once inhabited up to 20,000 people, discovering picturesque corners or admiring the houses of those who owned the mines.


The town perhaps the penalty that it has left is that they continue allowing the traffic of vehicles, because it is a real preciousness, worthy of its denomination. It is also worth a stop in your old parish


 

Walking through its streets is finding dozens of details of people anchored in the past, something you should never lose to maintain its authenticity


 

As well as its people and customs more ancestral, even the simplest as is the sale of freshly made tobacco, or continue educating the new generations


 

He Doña Conchita Encarnación Museum, and its owner Lupita is a real show and one of those places where the collector of gadgets and antiques will feel the king of the world.


 

Finally, the "concello" keeps in its third part another jewel. One of those prisons that are seen in the movies !! still in use !! and well worth a visit


 

Our walk ends in the high streets, also paved, that go to a fort, the cemetery and the occasional viewpoint


 

Who wants to have excellent views can opt for the Cerro de la Bufa, passing in Real Alto through the oldest Church dating from the 17th century, although today it is full of clouds, so it is not a bad idea to take the opposite path until you reach another good viewpoint of the picturesque San Sebastián del Oeste


They say that from one of these viewpoints you can see the Pacific Ocean on clear days of light, which contrasts with the days of intense fog of the town where it becomes a ghostly place.


San Sebastián del Oeste is a different proposal for those who are not looking for all-inclusive wristband tourism in Puerto Vallarta, or even the one that does, but wants to know a little more about the origins of the coastal city.

WHAT ELSE DO IN SAN SEBASTÍAN DEL WEST:

- Do trekking in the surroundings
- See a sunrise or sunset in Cerro de la Bufa
- Get lost in the streets when the fog falls over the town and its appearance changes
- Happen a holiday here: January 20 (Fiesta de San Sebastían), August 15 (Feast of the Virgin of Asunción and Processions), September 15 and 16 (Parade of the days of Independence), Christmas Holidays
- Eat at El Fortín restaurant, one of the best
- Get to know the Inn, an authentic architectural treasure dated from 1729

It has given us time to eat, so we will do it here. And I keep wondering ... why does everything itch?


 

But the Visit to San Sebastían del Oeste still keeps a secret. When we thought we knew some of the local drinks, especially tequila and mezcal, something called our curiosity.

It tells the story that around 1600, along with the mining boom, a traditional craft drink called in the west of Jalisco was called the rootlet


Its generation process is typical of the population and its surroundings, and it has been transmitted generation after generation as well as all its secrets. Basically, ripe pineapples are chosen, they are pampered, cleaned and tamed in a long and delicate process, until they are baked in sealed ovens. more than 130ºC


 

Once cold, they are ground and their juice is left to ferment for eight days, and then distilled.

It is said that it has healing and nutritive powers, but the reality is that it is a ball! of alcoholic degree elevated at most, although it seems that the female part of the group "does not affect him too much"


 

Time to return to the hotel and barely change clothes for the night

Rhythms of the night of Puerto Vallarta

The afternoon has reserved one of the activities offered Vallarta Adventures (which are not few) called "Rhythms of the night", which they define as a mixture of creativity, dance, acrobatics, mysticism and live music. This agency is possibly the best known in Puerto Vallarta and the region, and offers everything from adventures to swimming with dolphins (that we already did in Riviera Maya), whale watching (also recently in Madeira), snorkeling, diving and shows


 

The experience begins with a small cruise in Banderas Bay to the cove of Las Caletas at sunset.


Dinner is served under the stars, a really romantic staging to come as a couple, and that saving distances, reminds me a lot of the experience that night with Paula in the Lavengatonga beach in Nuku'alofa, main island of Tonga. !! Take this opportunity to send a "bicazo" to the heart of Chavetas!

Then the atmosphere is transformed, and the darkness of the night is only illuminated by torches that guide us to the shelter of the Caletas where the sea breeze and the sound of the wind in the palm trees prelude the show that awaits us, which recreates the oldest rituals and customs


 

Unfortunately, and being honest, the show hasn't told me anything at all. It does not follow any development other than seeing some "iguana" moving meaninglessly on the stage and a "no more" staging while we heat up in a bar that makes chairs for everyone uncomfortable


The return on the cruise has given to take more advantage of the open bar and laugh for a while. Perhaps, with dinner, the best of the tour, and return to the hotel, where I sit now to write these lines before bedtime.

Of the day I stay, no doubt, with the magical town of San Sebastián del Oeste, one of those places where you miss 3 or 4 days, and let yourself be pampered with the environment "turning off" stress for a few days. Tomorrow we have a pretty quiet day, so we'll keep telling you. A bicazo to all.


Isaac, from Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

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