Who knew a botanical garden of cactus - cacti? - could be so interesting? El Charco del Ingenio in San Miguel de Allende came as a surprise to all of us who traveled there.
Having the second largest collection of cacti and succulents in Mexico (Mexico City has the largest) in its 167-acre nature reserve doesn't mean much until you see the diversity and hear of the plants' importance to the economy and culture.
Tip: Don't let this description deter you, Levelers. What you want to see is reached by easily ambled, mostly flat paths.
That it is run and supported as a nonprofit by volunteers is impressive. So is that the Dalai Lama came here in 2004 during his first visit to Mexico and sanctified it a Zone of Peace.
the rocks around them .....
Inspired by the 16th century Chichimeca-Toltec codex, the Plaza is where indigenous communities gather for celebrations such as the festival of the Holy Cross (July) and where suchil, religious offerings, are made.
Shoppers will be glad to know there's a gift shop and everyone can benefit from the small cafe and nice banyos.
As with almost everywhere else I stopped in the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato, I could have stayed longer.
Ah, that most frequent, most hopeful and saddest of travelers' phrases: Next time.