Dolores Hidalgo may be smaller than its neighbor San Miguel de Allende, but it’s rich in Mexican history, art and charm. This tiny town is where Father Miguel Hidalgo gave the cry for independence from the Spanish rule. The Mexican War of Independence may have started in this town, but it’s artistry in ceramics and tile and love of wine are excellent reasons today to visit this enchanting Pueblo Magico.
Follow the wine, cheese and art route from San Miguel de Allende and immerse yourself in the colorful traditions where Mexico’s Independence from Spain began.
Situated between San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato in the state of Guanajuato, it’s an easy day trip from either city and just 90 minutes from Queretaro. In the 18th century, the town was simply known as Dolores. Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is famous for uttering the Cry of Independence in front of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores Church on September 16, 1810. This led to the Hidalgo Revolt which began the decade long Mexican War for Independence from Spain. In honor of Father Hidalgo, the townspeople renamed the city Dolores Hidalgo.
Monument to the Heroes of Independence greets you as you enter Dolores Hidalgo from the southeast. This monument and many others throughout the town were created in the last century to commemorate Mexico’s Independence Day, Hidalgo, and the indigenous people.
2.Ceramics and Tiles
Father Hidalgo did more than just change the course of Mexico’s history. He also founded the ceramic industry in Dolores Hidalgo. Besides Puebla, Dolores Hidalgo is also known for its tiles and Talavera ceramics. The town of Dolores Hidalgo is petitioning for its own Denominación de Origen for its beautiful artistry.
We’ve made several trips for the beautiful ceramics especially planters and decorative pieces. If we had our own house instead of renting we would probably have every room tiled with unique designs. You can even buy hand-painted tile murals to install in a picture frame or wall. The best stores for tiles and ceramics are on the road leading into Dolores Hidalgo.
The Centro historico is a feast for the eyes. Doorways are lined with beautiful tiles. small restaurants and food stands line the streets. Well-preserved churches built in the 17th century occupy several blocks.
The Plaza is where all the action happens, from people watching to ice cream festivals. Dolores Hidalgo has a reputation for unique (and delicious!) ice cream flavors. You get a real feel for Colonial Mexican life in this town.
Dolores Hidalgo has plenty of historic museums. You can learn about the life of father Hidalgo at the Casa Hidalgo Museum, the events that lead to the war at the Museum de la Independencia or learn about one of Mexico’s most beloved singers and songwriters ath the Jose Alfredo Jimenez Museum.
Because of our love for wine, we visited the Museo de Vino just down the street from the plaza. Dolores Hidalgo is smack dab in the center of the Guanajuato wine region on the art, cheese and wine route.
Surrounded by wineries such as La Santisma Trinidad and Vega Manchon Winery which produces Cune de Tierra, Dolores Hidalgo has a rich wine tradition. This museum walks you through the history of the vines in Guanajuato using modern displays. It’s all in Spanish, but it’s easy to pick up on what they are trying to convey if wine and food are your passion.
At the end of the self-guided tour is a tasting room where you can try some wines from the region. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are the top 3 varieties, but they also have smaller plots of other grape varieties throughout the state.
Dolores Hidalgo is an easy day trip from many surrounding cities in the states of Guanajuato and Queretaro. This is the real “Mexico charm” that so many foreigners seek. Learn a little history, surround yourself in beautiful colors and spend time in the real Mexico.