San Sebastian is a small town frozen in time, approximately 2 1/2 hours outside of Puerto Vallarta.
Taking a tour or side trip to historic San Sebastian, Mexico is like exploring a well-kept museum. San Sebastian is also home to several small boutique hotels and authentic Mexican restaurants.
San Sebastian History
You will be fascinated with the Mexican history of San Sebastian del Oeste (meaning San Sebastian of the West), one of the gold and silver mining centers of Mexico in the 17th century.
San Sebastian del Oeste was founded in 1605. Known historically as a mining town, San Sebastian was once home to 40,000 inhabitants. They now humbly claim less than 1,200 residents with no working mines. While in San Sebastian, you will see traces of its industrial past.
San Sebastian was nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
What to See in San Sebastian
One important attraction is the Temple of San Sebastian, the religious center of the town. Detailed with Roman and Corinthian architecture, the church was originally built in 1608 and then rebuilt after an earthquake in 1868.
The town of San Sabatian has quaint cobblestone streets and a classic Porifian bandstand.
Hacienda San Sebastian
When in San Sebastian, going on a tour of a local tequila distillery is a fun and educational activity. Hacienda San Sebastian is an artisan tequila distillery that gives tours and has a beautiful panoramic view of the canyon.
Nearby Sights and Attractions
Stop at Hacienda Jalisco, a 170 year old Hacienda, which is a hotel and a museum where you can learn about the mining of gold and silver during the heyday in San Sebastian. The Hacienda Jalisco is open daily (except Sunday) from 9am until 4pm. The cost is $2 USD
Tour the local coffee plantation, Café de Altura, and learn about the process of making organic Mexican coffee. Walk the grounds, taste the fruit, sample and purchase coffee on this interesting side tour.
How to Get to San Sebastian From Puerto Vallarta
San Sebastian can be reached by bus, taxi, plane, car, tour or private transportation. San Sebastian is about 2-3 hours from Puerto Vallarta.
- Take a Bus and taxi to San Sebastian: Three ATM Red Line buses go from Puerto Vallarta to near by La Estancia. Most buses are modern with air conditioning and bathroom facilities. However, buses cannot navigate the tiny streets of San Sebastian so be prepared to take a taxi to the city line.
- Personalized Tour of San Sebastian: While a bus is cheaper, navigating the narrow, winding streets of San Sebastian may encourage you to opt for a personal guide
- Drive to San Sebastian: You can rent a car in Puerto Vallarta and drive yourself. It’s also wise to note that if you go during the rainy season (June-September), you may experience rock slides. Because of this, it’s best not to travel after noon during this time of year.
- Fly to San Sebastian: You can take a short 15 minutes flight from Puerto Vallarta.
Tours to San Sebastian from Puerto Vallarta
If you are looking for an off the beaten path experience full of history and colonial Mexican architecture, San Sebastian Mexico is a lovely tour from Puerto Vallarta .
San Sebastion Tour Description
Most tours to San Sebastian last 7 to 8 hours and are walking tours, so wear comfortable shoes.
Due to its 4,500 ft. elevation, the weather in the Puerto Vallarta Mountains can be 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the town of Puerto Vallarta. This makes a tour to San Sebastian a great escape from the warm summer weather.
The Mexican colonial architecture of San Sebastian combined with the hilly streets and the surrounding pine forests of the Sierra Madre Mountains make it a perfect day trip for travelers of all ages.
Booking a Tour to San Sebastian
When staying in Puerto Vallarta, you can either book your tour through your hotel or with one of the many tour sales companies in town as well as at the marina.
Booking a tour to San Sebastian before you leave home is not a problem. You can book directly with a Puerto Vallarta tour company on their web site
Don’t forget to search for web discounts and promotions before booking your San Sebastian tour.
Tour Companies that Offer San Sebastian Tours
There are many tour companies to choose from. Below is a list of some San Sebastian tour companies you can book with. The cost may vary so shop around and look for discount coupons and promotions.
- Puerto Vallarta tours
- Vallarta Adventures
- Vallarta tours
Restaurants in San Sebastian
Like Puerto Vallarta finding a restaurant will be no problem. Below is a list of some quaint restaurants in San Sebastian:
Desayunos Rancherso De La Hacienda San Sebastian- This San Sebastian restaurant offers country breakfast in a cozy open terrace that will make you feel like part of the family. Open Saturday and Sunday 8:00am to 1:00pm
El Paraiso de San Sebastian – this paradise will make you feel right at home with their fresh and authentic seafood.
El Fortin Restaurant & Galeria - this eclectic restaurant serves international food and has a great ambience for you and your fellow diners
Lupita’s Restaurant – Visit this restaurant for its delicious authentic Mexican dishes.
Hotels in San Sebastian
There are some boutique hotels and bed & breakfasts in San Sebastian Mexico, which makes a quiet and romantic overnight stay a great option.
La Galerita de San Sebastian – Fashioned in a rustic style with gaping views of the surrounding Mountains, this cute San Sebastian hotel is 5 minutes from the square on the outside of town in an area known as Otra Banda. Tel. (01.322).297.3040 Cel: 322 146339 Camino a La Galerita No. 62 Col. La Otra Banda 46990 San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco
Hacienda Esperanza de la Galera – This is a quaint bed and breakfast in the center of San Sebastian with a sunny patio and herb and floral garden. Calle República, San Sebastián del Oeste, Jalisco, 46990 San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco
Hacienda Jalisco – One of the most popular hotels in San Sebastian, this 170 year old colonial Hacienda, was built by the Spanish. There is also a little restaurant serving homemade food with many ingredients right from the backyard. Phone: + 52 (322) 222 9638 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting + 52 (322) 222 9638 end_of_the_skype_highlighting Cel: 044 322 107 7007
Hotel del Puente – Tucked in the town of San Sebastian you will enjoy this quaint small hotel. Lerdo do Tejada No.2 Col. Centro San Sebastian del Oeste,Jal. Phone + 01(322) 297-283