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.
It has become a destination for artists. Here you will find paintings, photography and folk art in more than seven local galleries. There are art walks twice a year. They usually run a bus from San Miguel on one of the days.
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. Visit the website to check for the Mines & Music Tour where, once a year, you can tour the mine and hear a concert of pre-Hispanic music.
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.
To stay, La Posada de las Minas is most attractive with a restaurant and art gallery. The restaurant had great food and is a very good place for lunch.
Make sure to stop in to the Iglesia San Pedro 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.
Galeria 6: At No. 6 Jardin Principal, this is a quality art gallery in the center of town.
El Secreto de Pozos: Owned by the same people as Galeria 6, this is a small three room hotel located in the same building. It is in the heart of downtown near the galleries and restaurants and has colorful rooms and a lovely patio in the rear.
Casa Mexicana: This is a small, but charming, hotel in a former cigar factory. It has five well-appointed rooms and nice common areas. Just as with Galerie 6 and El Secreto, Casa Mexicana has the Galeria del Centro attached to the hotel. They also have a restaurant, Cafe des Artistes. Jardin Principal #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.
On my next visit, I want to see a new boutique hotel, La Villa de Pozos which has a restaurant, wine and mescal bar and offers special events like periodic afternoon teas.