Living in an Upended World: Alternative Tourism

Living in an Upended World: Alternative Tourism

By Natalie Taylor

It has been a difficult year for hotels facing rigid sanitation protocols and restrictions in their allowable number of guests. Even with these measures, many people are not willing to stay in hotels simply because they entail being indoors. One of the things we have learned about COVID-19, is that being outdoors diminishes your chance of contagion. 

Because of this, camping has increased as families look for options to spend time together outdoors. Not everyone, however, is thrilled about spending the night in a sleeping bag on the ground, cooking beans over a fire, or bathing in a stream. Some of us love the rugged outdoors during the day, but prefer comfort during the night. Welcome to the concept of “glamour camping” called glamping—and we have one of these, right here in San Miguel de Allende.

About 30 minutes from Centro, past La Cieneguita is Nomada Glam-Camp in the middle of vast alfalfa fields with an unobstructed view of the mountains. The owner, Efren Rosas, lives across the road and welcomed us on a visit. 

The “glam-grounds” taking up around half an acre, are surrounded by a wire fence. Inside this compound there are eight tents on elevated platforms, with gravel pathways between them. The tents have a waterproof canvas surface, a bed consisting of a thick, double mattress on a wooden platform, a night stand, and a chair. Bedding, towels, soap and other essentials are included. 

An outdoor kitchen is set on a wooden deck and has a gas stove, coffee maker, charcoal grill, refrigerator, and sinks; all for use by guests. Just off the kitchen are modern bathrooms complete with outdoor showers. Under normal circumstances—without COVID-19—Efren cooks breakfast for guests. These days, in order to minimize contact, he only provides the space for guests to do their own cooking. 

This is not simply a place to spend the night outdoors, there are many activities in and around the camp. To one side of the kitchen there is a children’s playground, a wall with carabiners and ropes for would-be mountain climbers, and bows and arrows for target shooting. A large, open clearing features a central fire pit and pools that can be filled with the area’s hot thermal waters. This four-element space—a mingling of earth, air, water, and fire—is a perfect place to watch the stars as you soak in the hot water and watch the fire sparkle in the night air. Beyond the camp, are possibilities for horseback riding and even kayaking in the Laja river. 

Presently, because of pandemic restrictions, only families or groups of friends may rent the tents and have the entire campground to themselves. He recently hosted a 20-people wedding party with the ceremony taking place in the open alfalfa field. 

Price for the night in one of the tents is 1,500 pesos with certain restrictions due to COVID. You can get in touch with Efren through WhatsApp: 4431645431.

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