Christmas Destinations: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

There's more to Christmas than carols, eggnog, and ugly sweaters. Broaden your horizons with a visit to one of these five holiday-friendly destinations.

    Photo: Tristan Higbee/Flickr

Just about any time of year is perfect for visiting San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era mountain town in Mexico's belly button. But show up in December, and you'll be treated to a month-long Christmas party. The celebrations begin in full on December 16, with a giant procession through town. Fireworks and live bands enliven the events, which center around the plant-filled main square, called the jardin. Because everything closes down on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, book a room at a downtown inn, like the 18th-century villa Casa Shuck, to celebrate with other travelers (rates start at $150 a night).

SIDE ADVENTURE: The locally owned bike shop Bici Burro in town rents bikes and offers laid-back mountain bike tours of the surrounding villages and mountain peaks. One of it's best rides takes you through oak forests in the Sierra Quanajuato on old, winding mining roads (tours start at $30).

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