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San Sebastian del Oeste, Jalisco.

San SebastianSan Sebastian del Oeste behind Puerto Vallarta in the Sierra Madre Mountains is an old mining town that has a completely different atmosphere than Puerto Vallarta. At 4,500 ft. with pine trees, the air is crisp and clear and at night it can be quite cold.
In the surrounding valley you’ll find cattle, corn and coffee plantations. This local coffee is excellent and you can sample and purchase it in town.
Founded in 1605, San Sebastian del Oeste was one of the gold and silver mining centers of Mexico. At one time a provincial capital of 40,000 people, you will find it strangely deserted with only about 1,000 people living there now.

The Plaza, it’s Bandstand and surrounding buildings are typical of the colonial period.

The mines were, in part, responsible for the start of Puerto Vallarta. Then know as Las Peñas and consisting of just a few huts at the mouth of the Rio Cuale, it was used to supply the mines with salt which was taken by mules up to San Sebastian and other mines in the High Sierras and used in the smelting process. The silver and gold from the mines was sent, again by mule train through Guadalajara and Mexico City to Veracruz, where it was sent, once a year, to Spain

The mines are long gone, although the ruins of them are still there, some distance from the town..
The church, dedicated to San Sebastian, was originally built in the 1600s but was rebuilt after an earthquake in 1868.
It is a joy to wander around in this is very peaceful town, which has changed little in hundreds of years.

Getting There

By bus, two hours, cost about 140 pesos.
Five ATM Red Line busses leave every day to Mascota and Talpa de Allende from the corner of Calle Lucerna and Calle Havre, red on the MAP in Colonia Versalles, at 8:30am, 9am, 2:40pm, 4:45pm and 6:30pm. You can purchase your ticket there when you leave or purchase the tickets one day in advance. The busses do not go all the way, but stop for a 5 min break at La Estancia, where the side road goes to San Sebastian. It was usual to then hitch a ride from someone going there, now there are 8 taxis at La Estancia to take you the rest of the way for 200 pesos. The bus from La Estancia back to PV leaves at about 8:30am, 9am, 2:40pm, 4:45pm and 6:30pm but check at La Estancia where the schedule is posted.

Vallarta Adventures has a tour by land on Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesday & Friday, cost US$99 per person, US$84 if you book here. Info.
Superior Tours will take you for US$50 per person, if you can get 10 people together (the whole van is US500) Monday to Friday.  Pick up is from your hotel or condo, no need to go to a meeting point.   Info Click Here

You can also drive there yourself, with the new road and bridge about two hours  see Map.

Staying There

Several Hotels, Hotel Mansion Real, Hotel del Puente, Hotel Hacienda Matel and Los Arcos de Sol are just 3, for about 600-1,200 pesos for a double.