Mexico’s Biggest Arts Fest

Moon San Miguel de Allende, 3rd edition

ALTHOUGH THE titular city gets the lion’s share of the book, the 3rd edition of Moon San Miguel de Allende also covers two other cities, Querétaro and Guanajuato, the latter of which “hosts Mexico’s largest and most prestigious performing arts festival,” the Festival Internacional Cervantino (

Held every October, the three-week festival features dance, theatre, opera and music events, at venues throughout the city. Shows run morning, noon and night and, “although Mexican artists are well represented in the program,” says the guidebook, “the event is distinctly international, with several foreign countries elected as honorary guests each year.”

Tickets go on sale in July, and those for the best-known performers can sell out in less than a week. “Same-day tickets may be available for some of the smaller events at lesser-known venues,” and “there are also many free events held in civic plazas,” although it may be necessary to line up for several hours to get the free tickets.

Guanajuato, founded around 1548, was built on the wealth from its silver mines. Today it’s home to a major university, and is “a city to stroll in,” with “a magnificent mix of baroque, neoclassical, and contemporary art and architecture.”

The guidebook notes that, for the festival, “it is necessary to book your hotel rooms six months in advance.” It suggests that, “if you can’t find accommodations, consider staying in San Miguel de Allende, just two hours away.” Aside from the commute time, that’s not a hardship. San Miguel “is a town of a thousand picture postcards… You can hardly turn a corner without finding a splendid scene in front of you.” San Miguel is 255 kilometres northwest of Mexico City.