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Capillas de Indios (Native Indian Chapels)

San Miguel de Allende

About 40 minutes from San Miguel de Allende’s downtown area, on the road to Atotonilco, there are six communities that harbor a special secret. The best way to discover it is on a horseback tour of the Capillas de Indios route, a dirt road that runs parallel to the Laja river, where Otomí temples were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.

San Isidro de Bandita, Oaxaca, Montecillo de Nieto 1 and 2, Cruz del Palmar, San Isidro Capadero, and San Mateo are both towns and chapels preserved by the locals. They safeguard not only the physical structures but the legends concealed behind their wooden doors, such as the legend of the Chán, a spirit who shape-shifted into a person or animal in order to help those in need. Very few have had the good fortune of seeing him.

Although moisture has crept into their walls, the chapels boast murals, each of which is dedicated to its patron saint. There is one dedicated to Jesus, which depicts the compass rose and pelicans, one dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, with her altar of angels and cherubs, and one dedicated to San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of agriculture.

In the town of San Isidro Capadero, local women set up a regional kitchen to provide travelers a buffet of dishes made with ingredients they themselves harvest, including wheat, chili, corn, squash, and beans.

To learn more about tours, including transportation, guides, horse rentals, and food, visit visitsanmiguel.travel

About 40 minutes from San Miguel de Allende’s downtown area, on the road to Atotonilco, there are six communities that harbor a special secret. The best way to discover it is on a horseback tour of the Capillas de Indios route, a dirt road that runs parallel to the Laja river, where Otomí temples were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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San Isidro de Bandita, Oaxaca, Montecillo de Nieto 1 and 2, Cruz del Palmar, San Isidro Capadero, and San Mateo are both towns and chapels preserved by the locals. They safeguard not only the physical structures but the legends concealed behind their wooden doors, such as the legend of the Chán, a spirit who shape-shifted into a person or animal in order to help those in need. Very few have had the good fortune of seeing him.

Although moisture has crept into their walls, the chapels boast murals, each of which is dedicated to its patron saint. There is one dedicated to Jesus, which depicts the compass rose and pelicans, one dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, with her altar of angels and cherubs, and one dedicated to San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of agriculture.

In the town of San Isidro Capadero, local women set up a regional kitchen to provide travelers a buffet of dishes made with ingredients they themselves harvest, including wheat, chili, corn, squash, and beans.

To learn more about tours, including transportation, guides, horse rentals, and food, visit visitsanmiguel.travel

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