San Miguel de Allende Vacation Workshop with Stephanie Bower

  January 9-13, 2023

Explore the colourful, cobbled streets of San Miguel de Allende and learn new skills with a sketching workshop taught by Seattle urban sketcher, Stephanie Bower! During this 5-day workshop we will take in the art and culture of this safe, sunny and clean retreat popular with so many fellow expat artists. San Miguel de Allende is a colonial-era city in the mountains in central Mexico located at 6233 ft (1,900 m) above sea level. It is a World Heritage Site known for its baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and cultural festivals. In January the average daytime high temperature is 72°F (22°C) and the average night-time low temperature is 42°F (5°C)--perfect weather for our art vacation!

Stephanie Bower is an architectural illustrator, teacher, author and avid travelling urban sketcher. In this workshop over the course of the week we will be learning watercolor techniques, how to capture buildings and landscapes and a little about perspective en plein air in the beautiful city of Seville. Beginner artists are welcome. Learn more about Stephanie here: and follow her on Instagram @stephanieabower 






 Check out this demo by Stephanie of a view of Seville:



Arrive Saturday January 7, 2023

Your arrival date is your decision but we suggest you arrive on Saturday January 7, 2023 so that you have time to settle in and possibly to adjust to a new time zone or the vagaries of travel which, as we know, could include a missed or delayed flight. Better to be relaxed at the start of your vacation workshop.

Sunday January 8, 2023

Welcome to San Miguel de Allende! Workshop participants who arrive early are invited to meet in the hotel lobby at 2:00 for a warm up sketch (optional). All tour participants are invited to a welcome reception at 6pm. 



Day 1 Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel + Art Gallery crawl 

Monday January 9, 2023

After breakfast, participants will walk to a quiet spot under the trees near the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel where Stephanie will teach Workshop #1. 

After lunch we will enjoy an art gallery crawl exploring some of the many little art galleries supported by this town or you may wish to sketch on your own.

Day 2 Street Scenes + a Museum Visit

 Tuesday January 10, 2023

In the morning we will explore some of the cobbled streets near our hotel as we walk to the location of Workshop #2. 

After lunch we will take in one of the quirky little museums this town is known for  or you may wish to sketch on your own.

Day 3 Templo de San Francisco + a trolley tour

Wednesday January 11, 2023

Today we will make our way to the Templo de San Francisco just a few blocks from our hotel. This church with its lavishly embellished façade and tri-level bell tower faces a small shaded plaza where Stephanie will teach Workshop #3. 

In the afternoon we will enjoy a tour of the town by trolley with a stop at the highest point, the famous vista, el Mirador.




Day 4 Full Day Excursion to Atotonilco + a Folk Art Gallery

Thursday January 12, 2023

Today we will travel by private coach to Atotonilco, where we will visit the sanctuary. Here Stephanie will teach Workshop #4 in the morning.

After lunch (included) we will travel to the largest folk art museum in Mexico. It is 6,000 square feet of exhibition space and said to be "without doubt, the finest exhibition and sale of Mexican popular arts in the country.”

Day 5 The Lavaderos del Chorro at Casa Santa Elena  + a Mercado

Friday January 13, 2023

Today we will explore the park, the temple and the public laundry basins near Parque el Chorro where Stephanie will teach Workshop #5

In the afternoon we will visit a popular market just a short walk away  or you may wish to sketch on your own.

In the evening we will celebrate an amazing week with a farewell dinner (included).


Saturday January 14, 2023

It's time to say goodbye but you will never forget the friends you made or the skills you learned during this great week! Or extend your stay for a long relaxing holiday!  

Please note that the exact locations of the sketching workshops and the order of events in this itinerary are subject to change.

Recommended Workshop Supply List

The complete list of supplies will be added later. You may wish to note that San Miguel de Allende is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Every building in the pedestrian-only historic centre is painted in warm rust or terracotta or mustard or cadmium yellow or pale yellow or orange and you may wish to bring these colours in your palette.


Click HERE for answers to frequently asked questions.

For more information about the workshops content contact Stephanie at

For more information about this vacation package contact Brenda Murray 

Tour Includes

  • A welcome reception
  • All art classes
  • Admission to attractions listed above
  • Full-day excursion via coach to Atotonilco + a Folk Art Centre including lunch
  • Farewell dinner

Tour Excludes

  • Flights to/from
  • Hotel
  • airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Meals (except those listed above)
  • Painting supplies
  • Porterage/luggage handling
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Items not explicitly specified in the inclusion list

Cost in USD

$1599. USD Workshop Participant

$499. USD NonWorkshop Participant (such as partner or travelling buddy)

NonWorkshop Participant tickets include the same attractions and meals as the Workshop Participants with the exception of the art classes.

To reserve your spot in this workshop a $500 nonrefundable deposit is required for Workshop Participants and a $200 nonrefundable deposit is required for nonWorkshop Participants. 

To make a deposit, please scroll to the bottom and click BOOK NOW.



The official hotel of this tour is Hacienda el SantuarioAldama 41 & Terraplén 42, San Miguel de Allende San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato, 37700. It is a beautiful boutique hotel with an enclosed leafy courtyard just a 6 minute walk to the historical centre of town. The room rates and instructions for booking a room will be posted here in the next week. 

The room rate varies depending on type of room and day of the week. Below is a chart of the rooms rates. Please note these room rates below are in Mexican pesos. These rates include taxes and breakfast. Please click HERE to use this currency converter to figure out what the rates are in your currency.

How to Make A Hotel Reservation

Before making a hotel reservation, please click the BOOK NOW button below to ensure you have a spot in this workshop.

After you have secured your spot in this workshop, then you can make a reservation in this hotel first by visiting the hotel website to familiarize yourself with the types of rooms available. I recommend that you email and copy to request a reservation stating the type of room you want and your check in and check out dates asking for the Studio 56 group rate. Then you will need to call (011-52-415-152-0335 extension 2) to give the hotel your credit card number over the phone because you do not want to include your credit card number in an email. No charge will be made to your credit card at time of booking. It is only used as a guarantee to hold your room. Your room will be charged to your credit card upon arrival at the reception. Free cancellation up until November 15, 2022.

Workshop participants are not obliged to stay in this hotel. You are welcome to stay in another hotel or Airbnb if you prefer. However, if you would like to stay in this hotel, we suggest you make your reservation asap to get the type of room you want as there is free cancellation up to November 15, 2022. Note if you want to share a room with another participant, let Brenda know and we will try to find a room mate for you. The hotel has only 3 rooms with 2 beds. All other rooms have one king sized bed.

Pedestrian Friendly??

The historic centre of San Miguel de Allende is pedestrian-only but not necessarily pedestrian-friendly due to the narrow sidewalks, cobbled streets and high elevation. You must be fully mobile and able to walk for 20 minutes and sometimes uphill without the aid of a walker. If you are not able to walk 20 minutes and sometimes uphill, we recommend you consider a workshop that is less physically demanding. 

Practical Tips

San Miguel de Allende is located midway between two airports: Santiago de Querétaro (QRO) and Guanajuato (also called Bajío International Airport) (BJX). You will want to fly in to the airport that has the best connection from your local airport. Both are about an hour's drive from to the hotel. You can ask the hotel to arrange a shuttle (not free) to pick you up at the airport or call for an uber or taxi. The cost for an uber from either airport to the hotel will be approximately $45-$50 USD.

Travel + Medical Insurance

Travel insurance is also highly recommended as it covers you in the event you must cancel your trip and it covers emergency medical services which may be significantly more expensive than expected when travelling in a foreign country. Please check with your insurance provider. Click HERE for a list of US insurance providers. Some credit card companies may also offer travel insurance if you paid for your trip with that card.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

The instructor and tour manager are fully vaccinated against covid-19.  This tour will be following all locally recommended protocols. Please check HERE to read more about Mexico entry requirements and check back closer to the date as entry requirements may change.

Your Tour Manager

Participants will be accompanied by Studio 56 owner, Brenda Murray. Brenda is a Canadian artist and arts advocate, the founder of Urban Sketchers Waterloo Region and a former Urban Sketchers Board member. A seasoned traveler, Brenda has traveled to Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea (lived there for 4 years), Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, UK, and the USA (35 states). Brenda will be on hand to assist the instructor and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Learn more about Brenda HERE. 

For More Information

Email or call Brenda Murray at 519-572-1757.

How to Register for this Workshop

The first step to register for this exciting vacation workshop is to click the BOOK NOW button below to make your deposit.