In the Mexican State of Guanajuato, about 45 minutes from San Miguel de Allende, is the once thriving silver mining town of Mineral de Pozos or just Pozos. Today it is a small village with remnants of its mining days. There are cobbled streets, Jesuit churches, art galleries, handicrafts, some nice hotels and B&B’s and a few good restaurants. It is an easy day trip from San Miguel or you can stay overnight.
Though normally very quiet, I recently went during Holy Week or Semana Santa where the town was jumping with families and street vendors.
Pozos was founded in 1576 as a silver mining town. During its heyday, Pozos had 306 mines operated by some 500 businesses. It is estimated that more than 1,200,000 tons of ore were extracted since the arrival of the Spaniards (circa 1576 in Pozos) until the last mine closed in 1926. I had a population at one time of 70,000.
After the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the mines began closing down, and many flooded. Silver prices fell. By the 1950s the population fell to around 200. The town started to grow again in 1982, the Mexican government declared the town a national historic treasure.
What to Do in Pozos
Make sure to tour the Santa Brigida mines or the Mine of Los Cinco Senores. The abandoned buildings almost look like ancient Mayan temples. I found them very attractive and great for photography. You can see many old painted walls as you walk through. You might hire a guide to make sure you find the best ones to see and to make sure you are not putting yourself in danger. There is also a history museum in town, the Museo de Historia.
It had become a destination for artists, however on my recent trip, I saw fewer galleries that I had seen in the past. But there are a number of new boutiques selling folk art, clothing and accessories. There are several shops selling musical instruments and one, Manos Creativas, that sells really beautiful handmade dolls in native dress. Mariscala 2.
I really like the work of artist Dan Rueffert and own several of his pieces. He lives in Pozos and is featured at times in local galleries. The Gallery at Sollano 15 also has his work in San Miguel.
Make sure to stop in to the Parroquia de San Pedro Apóstol with its lovely dome and the Templo del Nuestro Senor de los Trabajos which is a beautiful church that is well-worth a visit. During Semana Santa or Holy Week, you can see some of the decorated statues used in the local processions. The painted walls are really stunning.
Lovers of mariachi music will enjoy the annual Festival Internacional del Mariachi held every spring in April or May.
Lavender Farms of Pozos: Just outside of town is this lovely lavender farm. Here you can tour the fields, buy soaps, oils and sachets at the small store and grab a drink or a bite at their small cafe.
Where to Eat in Pozos
There are some fun restaurants in Pozos where I have eaten over the years. My recommendations include:
La Posada de las Minas is a most attractive hotel with a lovely restaurant. The restaurant has great food and is a very good place for lunch. I have been there twice in the past and love the setting.
Just outside of town at Juana Lucio 309 is the Hotel Boutique Casa Diamante. I thought it was a beautiful hotel and enjoyed brunch at their Chilcuague Restaurant before heading in town to visit Pozos. I enjoyed sitting on the outdoor terrace on a beautiful day. I had a great omelette and a latte.
After lunch, I enjoyed a tour and tasting of their onsite microbrewery, Volper. They make three beers including a Clara or clear, Ambar or amber and a Negro or dark. They have a fun, casual tasting room and bar.
La Pila Seca, at Aldama #8, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and known for its traditional Mexican dishes.
For more fine dining, you might enjoy La Mine at the Hotel La Villa de Pozos where you will so be able to learn and watch tango.
You might check out Lola & Carlota Restaurante at Cinco de Mayo #28 which was getting ready to open when I was in town. I also read that Rey de Pozos Mexican Grill & Bar is a good spot with a nice rooftop terrace. Calle Leandro Valle 112.
Where to Stay in Pozos
Pozos has many more hotel options, than if did a few years ago, from small boutique properties in town town to some larger properties on the outskirts.
Posada de las Minas is most attractive with a very good restaurant. It is a block up hill from the main plaza. Manuel Doblado #1.
I was very pleased to find Casa Diamante Hotel Boutique at Juana Lucio 309, just outside of town. A Tesoros association property, it is a lovely hotel with a pool, spa, restaurant, bar and a beautifully decorated rooms. They even have a microbrewery onsite which offers tours and tastings in their contemporary tasting room.
On my recent trip, I also found the boutique hotel, La Casona Minera, on 5 de Mayo #28. It has some lovely rooms and a spa. The newer rooms are in the new building at the rear of the property.
El Secreto de Pozos: This is a small three room hotel located in the heart of downtown near the shops and restaurants. It has colorful rooms and a lovely patio in the rear.
On my last visit, I went to see a recently opened boutique hotel, Hotel La Villa de Pozos which has a restaurant, La Mina or The Mine, and a casual cafe, Cafe Turok. They are beginning to offer tango lessons and show in their downstairs restaurant. Gto 46 Calle, Miguel Hidalgo 407.