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San Sebastian del Oeste, a mile-high refresher

By Paco Morás

July 21, 2021

If you live in Puerto Vallarta or are visiting and want to experience a different environment, San Sebastian del Oeste is a great option. Although it is very close, only 42 miles away, the change is remarkable. For starters, the height. In San Sebastian you will no longer be at sea level, but at almost a mile of altitude. First of all, this change is noticeable in the weather. No more heat and humidity that makes you sweat. Here you will wake up in the clouds! Literally, the mist embraces you and gives the streets of the town a unique touch.

And it is that visiting San Sebastian del Oeste is like going back in time to the age of its mining splendor. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries, it was an important center for the extraction and processing of silver. Surprisingly, it used to have a population four times greater than it currently has. Its mines stopped working during the Mexican Revolution, leaving behind its architecture and cobbled streets that are now an attraction.

Traditional style, red and white colored houses with brown brick roofs by the cobblestone street. Forest and cloudy sky in background. Historic hillside and mining town of San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco state, Mexico.

What to do in San Sebastian del Oeste

Of course, once you are there, there are some places you just can’t miss:


  • The church of San Sebastian – is a simple construction dedicated to the patron saint, Saint Sebastian Martyr. It was built by Franciscan friars in the 18th century


  • Main Plaza – the typical central square of Mexican towns, with a central kiosk and benches to enjoy the afternoon.


  • Hacienda Jalisco – headquarters of the largest mining company of its time and one of the largest in the area, now converted into a mining and metallurgy museum.


  • Old Cemetery – yes, a cemetery whose main characteristic is that the remains of the town’s personalities lie there.


  • La Bufa – a viewpoint deserving a separate article that you will soon be able to read on our pages.


How to get there

Although it seems strange, you can get to San Sebastian del Oeste by air! That’s right, at the entrance of the town there is an airstrip that can receive small aircraft. Also, there are the ATM buses, which have their terminal in the Versalles neighborhood, although the most practical thing is to go by car on state highway 544. It will take you approximately 90 minutes from Puerto Vallarta.







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