PUERTO VALLARTA TRAVEL GUIDE

Talpa de Allende Day Trip

The vast mountainous landscape of the Altos de Jalisco is home to the legend of Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Talpa, which, thanks to its numerous and incredible miracles, has become one of the most venerated images of the western part of the Mexican Republic.

Every October 7, more than three million faithful pilgrims from the vicinity of Ameca, almost 120 kilometers, bring music and joy to this virgin, who for more than four centuries protects the inhabitants of the Magic Town of Talpa de Allende .

At more than 1,200 meters above sea level, this picturesque little town has become an important enclave of religious tourism, as well as the superb Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, in its cobbled streets you find several parishes and chapels with great importance historically and architecturally, framed by natural wonders and beautiful mountains.

Founded in 1523 by order of Hernán Cortés, with the purpose of dominating the north and the west of the country from this location. Talpa was dedicated initially to the Apostle Santiago, appointed by the order of the Franciscans, whose evangelizing work was full of vicissitudes due to the reluctance of the indigenous peoples who occupied the region.

It took more than a hundred years for the legend of the Virgin of the Rosary to cement the faith of the population. Its history dates back to 1535, when a small figure of Maria’s dedication, barely 38 centimeters tall and made from cane paste, came from Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, where most of the religious figures of the time were made, and it was placed on the simple altar of a chapel.

Talpa experienced a certain mining boom at that time, since in its surroundings several deposits were discovered that were exploited by Peninsulares; However, in the early seventeenth century the conquistadors discovered a new material in the neighboring region of Los Reyes Postotipac, so Talpa was abandoned almost entirely, leaving only those settlers who were engaged in agriculture and livestock.

The sculpture of the Virgin elaborated in the rustic Michoacan material was also taken to Los Reyes and placed in a less modest church, but not on the main altar, so it began to show signs of deterioration. Diego Felipe, a singer of the temple, rescued it and kept it in his house for several years, but at his death he left it to his son, Francisco Miguel, to return it to the faithful of Talpa and propagate faith in it.

Thus, the image was placed next to the apostle James and the Virgin, but in September of 1644 the priest Pedro Rubio Félix ordered that it be buried sacramentally in the atrium of the church, together with a Christ, for the remarkable deterioration they presented. María Tenanche, granddaughter of Don Diego Felipe and in charge of the care of the images of the church, prepared to work wrapping them in a cloak, but when she was going to lower the virgin from her pedestal, a huge glow made her fall to the floor.

When seeing what happened, other people approached and experienced the same phenomenon, so they sent for the priest, who after three days came to attest to the event and recorded the first two miracles of Our Lady of the Rosary: renovation, because now it was thick and strong varnished wood, beautifully painted, and the candles placed by the Indians days ago were still burning without any melted wax. In addition, the church bells rang alone for several nights, as if announcing the wonderful events.

This is how faith arose in this dedication of Mary, which year after year only grows because of the immense number of miracles attributed to her. Among the most famous are the cessation of the plague that struck the region in 1660, or the reduced damages of a waterspout that reached land in 1737. Other epidemics such as typhus in 1737 or cholera in 1833 had low impact in the region , thanks to the divine intervention of the virgin, who was taken in pious procession.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a very curious event happened, which was recorded in ecclesiastical documents and its news lasts until our days: in 1932, a tremor shook Talpa and dangerously tilted one of the towers of the basilica, with the risk of destroying the sanctuary when falling. It was tilted and out of its foundations, so it seemed to float in the air, but after removing the statue in procession, there was a strong aftershock that returned the tower to its place.

These and many other stories that have traveled from generation to generation among the Talpian families, who proudly share their traditions and the beauty of their homes with the hundreds of visitors that arrive each week. The constant aroma of guavas, coffee and chilte give this Magical Town a very particular charm, and makes a visit an unforgettable experience.

What to visit the Talpa de Allende Magical Town

The history and culture of Talpa de Allende are concentrated mainly in its center, where the Main Square is located, a quiet place to spend the afternoons contemplating the exquisite beauty of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa, dating from 1755. It is a superb building with three portals framed by gray quarry doorways carved with floral motifs, exquisitely ornamented, and flanked by strong fluted columns joined by semicircular arches.

On the sides of the facade are the two Ionic towers, which house the bells in which one of the miracles of the Virgin was officiated. In the interior you can admire eight neoclassical altarpieces, arched vaults, a half-orange dome, elaborate stained glass windows and oil paintings of the four evangelists.

The main altar of this basilica is impressive, which owes its beauty simply to the Virgin of Talpa, adorned with a radiance, a crown, a crescent moon, and a scepter, all made of gold with precious stones. Their dresses are made with fine fabrics embroidered in gold and rhinestones, and changed every September 10 in a traditional ceremony known as “The Bath of the Virgin”.

This collection of sacramental vestments can be known in its entirety in the Museum of Our Lady of the Rosary of Talpa. Opened on May 12, 1995, welcomes all those interested in knowing thoroughly the phenomenon of the miraculous virgin, since in its two large exhibition halls can be seen objects, official documents, votive offerings, films, ancient sculptures, priestly ornaments , sacred vessels, books, paintings, pennants and ancient parchments, as well as 24 sacred art oil paintings, which constitute an incalculable historical treasure.

Other important precincts in Talpa de Allende are the Temple of Señor San José and the chapels of the different neighborhoods.

The must-see in Talpa de Allende Magical Town

The government of Talpa has been concerned in the last decades to build amenities and beauties for tourists who arrive day after day to the town, as the Welcome Arch and the Causeway of the Queens, where pilgrims pass on their way to the sanctuary.

Beyond the municipal capital, there are several historical and natural sites worth visiting, such as the Sacamecate Petroglyphs Zone, where it is possible to explore through a series of engraved monoliths with canals, grooves, and anthropomorphic figures, vestiges of the first civilizations that inhabited the area.

The Maple Forest is the largest of its kind in Latin America, it has an area of 56,000 hectares populated by pines, ferns, oaks and of course, maples, such as those that are the pride of Canadians.

This forest represents a natural laboratory for researchers of the University of Guadalajara, because its biodiversity is huge and hosts many endemic species, such as epiphytic plants, which do not need to be planted in the soil to survive, but grow on other plant organisms.

The best point to admire such splendor is the Cerro del Cristo Rey, where there is a superb sculpture guarded by two chapels and offers a panoramic view of Talpa de Allende, its streets, temples and wooded areas.

The best dates to visit are on October 7, the Virgin’s Day, and in mid-November, when the Guava, Chilte and Café Fair takes place, parties that gather crafts, food, music and events cultural and sports, such as the village theater, folk ballets, concerts, marathons, and the coronation of the Queen of the Guava, as well as exhibitions and a wide gastronomic sample whose protagonist is the chilte, which serves to produce delicious sweets that to make picturesque crafts.

Talpa de Allende Hotels

Cabañas Vista Mágica

Located in Talpa de Allende, Hotel Cabañas Vista Mágica provides a garden, terrace and bar. Featuring room service, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. All rooms come with a balcony. With a private bathroom, rooms at the hotel also offer free WiFi. Guests at Hotel Cabañas Vista Mágica can enjoy a continental breakfast. […]

Hotel Casa Grande

Hotel Casa Grande is located in Talpa de Allende and features a garden and a bar. All rooms feature a TV with cable channels and a private bathroom. The property has a restaurant. At the hotel, every room is equipped with a terrace. Hotel Casa Grande provides certain rooms with mountain views, and each room […]

Talpa de Allende Tours

Day Trip to Mascota and Talpa de Allende

On this tour you will visit two magic towns: Mascota and Talpa de Allende, Jalisco. Mascota is a quaint and charming well-preserved colonial town with cobblestone streets framed by beautiful homes and estates in the nineteenth century. Although small, this place preserves much cultural, religious, architectural and archaeological interest. Talpa de Allende is a hidden pearl,  a […]