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San Sebastián del Oeste: a town trapped in time

To speak of San Sebastián del Oeste is to go back in time. In April 2019 it was 414 years since it was founded. A magical town full of tradition and a lot of Mexicanness that you must visit.

Along the Mascota-Puerto Vallarta highway there is a gap that takes you to this magical town that was trapped in time; and that precisely in that lies its beauty. Talking about San Sebastián del Oeste is talking about the smell of pine and damp wood. Its paths are disguised in brown, gray and green, thanks to the moss that playfully lies between the stones. In this season there is no better opportunity to escape the heat and get to know this magical town full of beauty and mystery.

history and architecture 

Its houses are mostly built of adobe and take us back to a past full of history. Wooden windows and orange tiles, with a typical Mexican architecture. As full of memories as the old roads to the mines. The moss and flowers that cover some of its walls form a perfect setting for this mystical and silent town.

At that time, the main economic activity of the town was mining. The mines of San Sebastián del Oeste were exploited for being rich in gold, silver and copper, metals of great value. It is thus that its greatest boom was lived precisely in the colonial era, at which time its cathedral and most representative buildings were built.

San Sebastián del Oeste

La Bufa: A place close to heaven

Cerro de la Bufa is a high and humid place, here it is common to extend your hand and have the sensation of touching the stars. The Sierra Madre Occidental is a mountainous and privileged place in its vegetation because it is a high and humid place. Currently, La Bufa has become the most visited hill by tourists. This natural viewpoint has a wonderful view of the town and surrounding areas. The cyclists have adapted it as their favorite challenge given their conditions.

Sports tourism in San Sebastián del Oeste

If it is about discovering, mountain biking has been another of the great veins that the town has, thanks to the beauty of its natural routes. Thus, for four years cyclists from different states of the Mexican Republic such as: León, Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas, eagerly await the "Puerto Vallarta - San Sebastián del Oeste Cycling Challenge", the sporting event most important in the region.

Hiking and hiking are other sports activities that you can do in this place, since the view offered by this beautiful mountain range is simply wonderful.

The square and the Kiosk

The central square and the kiosk elegantly cover the public areas where people usually walk. The joy of the place is thanks to the roses and flowers of all colors, which most adorn the walkways. The French-style kiosk continues to draw sighs despite the years.

San Sebastián del Oeste was a town that had its greatest boom in colonial times, hence the style of its buildings. It is said that the place is even older because it was inhabited by the Teco Indians before the conquest. On one side of the square is the Portal Morelos, an equally rustic construction that dates from 1750, and that adorns the view of the place.


San Sebastián del Oeste

Temple of San Sebastian del Oeste

Temples are places for the joy of the spirit, this temple is no exception. A beautiful cathedral dating from the 17th century and located in the heart of the town, where the Municipal Palace is also located, and which contains a mysterious attraction inside: The dungeon, which served as a prison in those years and was the protagonist of multiple legends.

Some locals even say that dozens of secret tunnels lie under the town where they hid in the Cristero war era. Can you imagine the mystery they contain?

A few meters away we recommend you visit the Doña Conchita Encarnación Museum; as well as two other buildings from those times: the House of Maestra Bertha and the Gómez Lepe House. The first, part of the central square and the second, is what was then the Parish College.


Hotels in San Sebastian del Oeste

Some very old farms date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, which today have been converted into lodging places. This is the case of the Hotel El Mesón, from 1729, Hotel Posada del Sol and Hotel Pabellón Mexicano. Its design and architecture are worthy of admiration, since they seem to have been trapped in time.

San Sebastián del Oeste

Why San Sebastián draws sighs

This little town is worthy of admiration because the rustic style of its buildings evokes a past that never left. We must mention that according to historians and architects, the historical roots of the architecture of Puerto Vallarta and the region have a lot to do with the constructions of this place hidden between mountains. Where silence is the constant that accompanies the melody of the wind.

Local Products

If you are a lover of the typical products of San Sebastián del Oeste, do not forget to take Raicilla, coffee, corn tortillas of different colors and handicrafts typical of the locals.


The coffee from San Sebastián del Oeste deserves a special section, simply because its peculiar flavor makes it truly special. It is said that the humidity and the latitude give it a special touch, but above all the kindness of its people. Throughout 150 fifty years, the inhabitants of the place have cultivated the coffee plant on this site. In the town there are still some houses, in which by tradition they continue to make. Do not miss the opportunity to try it or take it to make a top quality coffee at home.

Places you should not miss

We recommend you tour the town from end to end and see little places that will leave you amazed, such as:

The historic bridges of San Sebastián: the La Pareja Straight Bridge, built in 1884 and the iconic Curved Bridge, built in 1890.

The “El Garitón” watchtower: a peculiar construction from which the village store was watched over.

Soyatán Archaeological Zone: There you will find interesting petroglyphs of great cultural value.

El Real Alto: a small community with its traditional temple, which offers incredible views just 40 minutes from the municipal seat.

Los Reyes: a mining town with a great history due to its antiquity. There you can visit the Santa Gertrudis mine, which is 30 minutes away; the La Terronera mine, which can be easily visited and the La Quitería mine, which is the only one that is still being exploited.


San Sebastián del Oeste





Claudio Fabian Guevara

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