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San Felipe Torres Mochas

San Felipe Torres Mochas (or just San Felipe) is a small town situated in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. San Felipe is nestled within the scenic landscape of central Mexico, it is part of the municipality of the same name.

Situated at an elevation of 1,150 m above sea level, San Felipe is surrounded by natural beauty. The town is set against a backdrop of rugged mountains, with the Sierra Madre Occidental range dominating the scenery.

These mountains offer opportunities for hiking and exploring the local flora and fauna.

San Felipe Torres Mochas is surrounded by rolling hills, lush vegetation, and a pleasant climate, making this small town an attractive destination for both locals and travelers seeking a tranquil getaway.

The town itself is characterized by its traditional Mexican architecture, with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. The central plaza is the heart of San Felipe, where you can find quaint shops, cafes, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

San Felipe Torres Mochas boasts a history that dates back centuries, with roots in the colonial era of Mexico. Its historical significance is reflected in its architecture, traditions, and cultural heritage.

Weather & Climate

The climate in San Felipe Torres Mochas is influenced by its elevation and geography. It enjoys a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons:

Spring (March to May): Spring brings pleasant weather with mild temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. This is an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the town’s surroundings.

Summer (June to August): Summers in San Felipe Torres Mochas can be warm, with temperatures reaching up to 30°C. It’s a great time to experience local festivals and cultural events.

Autumn (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures, making it a good time for hiking and outdoor adventures. The foliage also takes on beautiful fall colors.

Winter (December to February): Winters are relatively chilly, with temperatures dropping to around 5°C to 10°C. If you don’t mind the cooler weather, this can be a peaceful and less crowded time to visit.

The best time to visit San Felipe Torres Mochas

The ideal time to visit San Felipe depends on your preferences. If you enjoy milder weather and want to explore the outdoors, spring and autumn are your best choice. Summers have cultural events, but it can get a bit warmer.

Winter is perfect for those who prefer a quieter, chilly atmosphere.

Origin of the name

  • The city was founded with the name of San Felipe in honor of King Phillip II of Spain.
  • In 1889 the name of the city was changed to “Ciudad González” in honor of the then-governor of Guanajuato, Manuel González.
  • The name of the city was again changed in 1938, this time to “Ciudad Hernández Álvarez”, after Governor Enrique Herández Álvarez.
  • In 1948 the city’s name was reverted to the original name of “San Felipe”.

Regardless of the several official names the city was given through time, it was always colloquially known as “San Felipe Torres Mochas” (“San Felipe stub-towers”), a nickname that persists to this day.

History & Timeline

Various groups of nomadic Chichimecas are recognized as the first settlers of the region that now forms San Felipe. The vast majority of these groups were hostile to Spanish colonization.

San Felipe was established as a prison in 1554 and later founded by Francisco de Velasco on January 21, 1562, by order of Viceroy Don Luis de Velasco, giving it the name of Villa de San Felipe in honor of King Philip II of Spain.

The purpose of the founding of the town was to protect the Mexican Silver Route. After the conquest of the area where the municipal seat is now located, the construction of the town began following the traditional Spanish urban plan.

In 1563 King Felipe II granted the title of Villa de la Comunidad to San Felipe, leaving it in charge of Francisco de Velasco.

Development and viceroyalty

The Villa was divided into two towns for more than 300 years; the Spanish village and the Pueblito de Analco for the indigenous inhabitants of the region. Both villages were separated by the stream now known as Río Cocinero.

The authority of the Town of Analco resided in an Indian governor, imposed by the Spanish mayor, who governed the town. Both leaders also recognized the parish priest as the authority and ecclesiastical Judge of the Villa.

The parish of the town began to be built after the foundation of the Villa, the construction was finished almost in its entirety in 1641, although the tower and bell tower were finished in 1884, during this time the temple of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, located in the Town of Analco.

Several important haciendas arose around San Felipe during the 16th century, including San Joaquín de la Quemada, which originated in the second half of the century, and San Diego de Jaral de Berrio, which was established towards the end of the century, and which stood out for its agricultural and livestock production.

The priest Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla arrived at the parish of San Felipe on January 23, 1792.

Tradition says that since his arrival Hidalgo began to work with the settlers, teaching crops, and pottery, and spreading new libertarian ideas. , arose as a consequence of the French Revolution.

The house where the priest lived during his stay is now known as Casa Hidalgo.

The parish of the town was burned and looted by insurgents during the War of Independence, its reconstruction was directed by Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras at the request of the priest Manuel Tiburcio Orozco, the main altar and several chapels were almost completely rebuilt, although many images managed to be rescued from the flames.


In 1863, during the Second French Intervention, on his way to the city of Monterrey, the President of Mexico Benito Juárez García stayed in the building now known as Casa Juárez, at that time called Hotel Casino.

Returning to Mexico City in 1867, the president once again stayed in San Felipe.

The towns of San Felipe and Ocampo benefited in the mid-19th century thanks to the construction of the Guanajuato-Tampico highway.

The economy of both populations was substantially improved by increasing trade as a result of improved communications and facilitation of vehicular circulation through the city of San Felipe after the installation of the highway.

In 1884 on January 31, the construction of the tower of the parish temple was finished.

During 1885 San Felipe faced problems of territorial limits with the municipalities of San Diego de la Unión and Ocampo and with the state of Jalisco. The political limits of the municipality were delimited after the intervention of the State Congress.

During the Porfiriato, large estates reappeared in San Felipe, such as El Cubo and San Diego de Jaral de Berrio, (the case of the Jaral hacienda is currently a tourist attraction in the municipality).

In 1892 by decree of Congress, San Felipe was elevated to the rank of the city under the name of Ciudad Manuel González, on December 24, 1939, the name of the city was again changed to Ciudad Hernández Álvarez.

On December 22, 1948, the original name was finally restored. The municipalities of San Felipe and Ocampo were the scene of various armed confrontations and religious persecution during the Cristero War.

Things to do in San Felipe Torres Mochas

Despite its relatively small size, San Felipe Torres Mochas offers a variety of activities and experiences for visitors:

The town’s architecture reflects its historical past, featuring colonial-style buildings and structures that showcase its cultural heritage. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets to admire the traditional facades, charming squares, and local craftsmanship.

Visit the San Felipe Parish Church, a centerpiece of the town’s cultural and religious life. This historic church features beautiful architecture and artwork that offer insights into the town’s spiritual and artistic history.

Indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine at local eateries. Enjoy traditional dishes that offer a taste of the region’s flavors, including various street foods and market stalls that serve up delicious Mexican treats.

Experience the town’s vibrant festivals and traditions, which often include colorful parades, traditional dances, and lively music. These events provide a window into the local culture and offer a chance to connect with the community.

The surrounding natural beauty of San Felipe Torres Mochas invites outdoor enthusiasts to explore its surroundings. Consider hiking or taking nature walks in the hills, enjoying the fresh air and panoramic views.

San Felipe Torres Mochas also serves as a starting point to explore the wider region of Guanajuato. You can consider visiting nearby attractions such as other charming towns, historical sites, and natural landmarks.

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