San Sebastián del Oeste
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A real gem: go back in time to the Spanish settlements
I visited this town on a tour hosted by Puerto Vallarta Adventures. I'm not a big fan of crowds and busses but the host and hospitality of these warm, friendly people changed my mind. The ride through the mountains is an hour+ with rustic and artistic views of rural life with stops along the way for the banos and photos. Arriving in San Sebastian began with a visit to an original hacienda once occupied by the Spaniards who settled and operated the silver and gold mines in the area. The architecture and quiet beauty of this place was a favorite. The village with its cobblestone streets and Spanish buildings was life imitating art at every turn. We started at a small coffee plantation, walked the streets to a local history museum, a gorgeous cathedral, a silversmith shop (you can purchase one-of-a-kind pieces for cheap), and ended with an amazing 4-course lunch of roasted meats, local veggies, handmade tortillas and mexican coffee and chocolate. The community tables were awesome as we met people visiting from all over the world. We made one stop out of town at a Tequila ranch with tasting samples and a quick how-to make tequila demonstration. The tour guides are very entertaining. I learned so much about Mexico's history and I really appreciated their passion for their country. It's a full day and you will walk on hilly and rustic streets - wear good shoes, wear sunscreen and bring a hat. Water was provided throughout the trip.
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