Nestled in a mountain valley, surrounded by canyons and forests that smell of oak, pine and fir, this magical town is ideal for a relaxing break..
By Cesar Lerma
Edited by Haydé Escalante
Translated by Nyima Bieber
San Sebastian del Oeste is a gem of a Mexican mining town that transports you to the past and tells a thousand and one stories. This magical village has fantastic colonial architecture, elegant cabins, orchards, organic coffee plantations, ruins of haciendas and mines, and excellent restaurants.
Formerly called Real de San Sebastián and then San Sebastián, mining became the town’s principal activity during the colonial era; bringing the population to 20,000 inhabitants. After the Mexican Revolution, it was slowly abandoned due to the closure of its mines.
Today, San Sebastian del Oeste has 600 inhabitants and has been known by its current name since 1983. The only way to reach this magical town is by car on the Highway 70 from Puerto Vallarta-Guadalajara- it is just one hour from the beautiful destination of Puerto Vallarta.
San Sebastian del Oeste has wonderful places to visit, as well as various activities. A few of the places you simply must visit are:
1. Hacienda Jalisco: One of the main estates that controlled much of the mining in the town.
2. Iglesia de San Sebastián: This church is dedicated to San Sebastián Mártir and was constructed by Franciscans at the end of the 18th century.
3. Cerro de la Bufa: During the trip to the top of this ridge you can observe wild animals and incomparable landscapes; once at the top you will have a spectacular view of the surroundings and on a sunny day you can see part of Bahía de Banderas.
4. La Quinta: This is a 19th century estate located in “La Pareja” right at the entrance of San Sebastián. It processes the region’s coffee, which is organic and of excellent quality.
5. Camposanto Viejo: This cemetery dates back to the 19th century and has stone tombs where notorious people of the community have been laid to rest.
Activities: Mountain biking, ATV rental, guided tours, horseback riding, hiking and camping, among others.
If you find yourself in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to experience this marvelous and magical village. It’s like stepping back in time.
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