Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hiking Peña De Bernal and Wine Tasting, a Perfect Day-trip From San Miguel de Allende

Located about an hour-and-a-half from our bed and breakfast in San Miguel de Allende, La Pena de Bernal is one of the world’s tallest monoliths. It is 1,150 feet tall, and its peak reaches an elevation of 8,230 ft. That's about 2,000 feet higher than San Miguel. The hike from the base takes about an hour, and good shoes are a must, although on our recent trip we saw many ladies doing the hike in heels!

Earlier this winter we spent a fun-filled day hiking the monolith, eating lunch at the nearby town of San Sebastian Bernal (known simply as “Bernal” to the locals) and wine tasting at Freixenet winery.

Here’s how we spent our day (the times are approximate, as we didn’t really keep track of time.)

  • 9 A.M. – We hop into our friends van and head out of town on the road to Queretaro.
  • 10:30 A.M. – We reach our destination, a visitors’ parking lot at the base of the monolith, and after a quick potty pit stop, we begin our hike.
  • 11:30 A.M. – After many stops along the trail to enjoy the views, we reach the highest accessible point, which is about two-thirds of the way up. The rest of the way is left to the expert mountain climbers.
  • Noon – We begin the trek back down to the base.
  • 1:00 – 1:30 P.M. – Back at the base we visit the market and buy some beer (post-hike carbo-load ;)) apple wine and candy for later.
  • 1:30 to 3:00 P.M. – After a short drive to the center of town, we have lunch at a nice Italian restaurant followed by a stroll around town.
  • 3:00 to 3:30 P.M. – Back in the car, we head to the Freixenet Winery.
  • 4:00 to 4:50 P.M – At the winery, we join a free guided tour of the facilities. The tour is given in Spanish only.
  • 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.– Wine tasting for 20 pesos a glass. The sparkling wines were pretty good.
  • 6:00 to 7:30 P.M. – Drive back to San Miguel de Allende.

View San Miguel de Allende to Bernal in a larger map

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