San Sebastián del Oeste, Jalisco
If you are in or around Puerto Vallarta or Sayulita making a stop in San Sebastian is an amazing trip for those who are interested in history and culture. The coffee and the Mole is the best I have ever had also!
San Sebastián del Oeste
Just 1.5 hour drive from the coast, this small town is very easy to get to and is an incredible drive through the beautiful mountains of western Mexico. The views on the way are incredible. San Sebastian has been marked as one of the “Pueblos Magicos” or magical towns of Jalisco, Mexico which basically means it is a historical landmark with a rich heritage. Most of the town is still frozen in time, 300+ years old. It’s like walking through a piece of history. At an altitude of 1,480 metres (4,856 ft) it can sometimes get chilly so bring a sweater.
The town was founded in 1605 so that should shed some light on how cool it is to walk around this place, and that is exactly what you should do. There are a few do not miss places that I will get to but as far as what to do when you get there you literally just need to walk around and explore! Every inch of this town is beautiful and there is much the be learned. Everyone in the town is incredibly nice and helpful, some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. This place really lives up to it’s description of being Magical.
La Lupita is a must for an incredible authentic meal. The Mole is easily the best I have ever had in my entire life. If you ask for the special they will bring you out an all you can eat fixed menu of lots of treats including the delicious chicken mole and you can always ask for seconds. Get a pitcher of one of the juices as well, you will not be disappointed. The staff are incredibly nice warm people, some of the kindest people I have ever met.
Cafe La Quinta Mary is the best coffee distributor and coffee plantation in the state of Jalisco. Because it is cultivated at such a high altitude it falls under the category of Cafe Altura which is known to produce a more robust flavorful coffee bean. To be considered Cafe Altura you must have your coffee plantation at a minimum of 1,200 meters above sea level. Take a quick tour of the plantation it has some amazing artifacts of early coffee production, a lot of which we still use today in a more simplified form. Also grab a few bags of the coffee while you are there, I had regular cafe altura as well as their special cinnamon and chocolate cafe altura which is very delicious. I of course bought 4 bags of coffee.
Hacienda Jalisco is an absolute must. You can go to it on your way in or your way out of San Sebastian, it is right down the street so just look for the sign. Don’t forget to close the gate behind you to keep animals out. Originally this hacienda was built to oversee the production and distribution of the silver mines nearby but it has a rich history including once being a hideaway for Elizabeth Taylor. The house itself is full of old history and artifacts and you can even walk around and see the mines if you would like. Truly and incredible experience.
El Progreso Bridge you can’t really miss as you need to drive over it to get to and from San Sebastian if you are coming from the wet coast. Take it slow or stop at the little market right at the edge so you can see the amazing view of the ravine!
I just had a cab driver take me but there are many ways to get there, tours, car services, even just rent a car if you are comfortable driving in the mountains. Whats important is you go and enjoy all there is to see and do!