Tours de Casas y Jardines, guided tours of restored Alamos mansions and their gardens, start at about 10 AM every Saturday from about November - April. The tour usually visits 3 private homes. $10 USDollars per person. Meet your expat guides on the east side of Plaza de las Armas (1). The featured homes often change, so it is worth taking the tour again. Proceeds benefit the Alamos scholarship fund sponsored by Amigos de la Educacion de Alamos. 300 plus local students are receiving full scholarships and other support for secondary school or college.
Local, licensed, English-speaking guides gather at the plazas and hotels. If you look like a visitor, they will approach you. These gentlemen give good tours and have flexible schedules to accommodate your time and interests (1, 2, 5).
Hacienda de los Santos, tours of the hotel and spa some afternoons. Meals, etc. may be booked even if you are not staying there Check at the reception desk.(5).http://www.haciendadelossantos.com/
Casa de Maria Felix Museum y Inn, Maria Felix, the famous Mexican movie actress, was born in this house. The small museum has items excavated from the site and some movie memorabilia. Calle Galeana 41 (7).
The Alamos Guide (in English or Español) by BK Hamma and Donna McGee is an excellent guidebook. It includes self-guided tours with maps of Colonial Architecture (with sketches) in the Plaza, an El Centro Walking Tour and a Barrio Walking Tour.
The Stately Homes of Alamos by Leila Gillette is sometimes for sale in the hotels, cafes or gift shops. The booklet includes a history of Alamos, points out landmarks like the Old Mint from 1864, tells stories of the colonial mansions and mines, plus maps to make your own tour.
Alamos means cottonwoods (Populus fremontii). Alameda means cottonwood gallery. Plazas shaded by towering cottonwood trees were a common feature in towns founded by the Spanish. Both Parque de Alameda and the adjoining town market (2, 3) and Plaza de las Armas in front of the church (1) are pleasant plazas to wander around, buy snacks, or sit and just watch the life of the town go by. Bobby will shine the desert dust off your shoes on the south side of the Alameda. The Hotel Posada de Don André has a sitting balcony for guests that overlooks the Parque.
The lovely church of La Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción was started in 1786 and completed in 1826. The original furnishings were looted, but the massive exterior still recalls the wealth of the silver mining town. Traveling carnivals, annual festivals and music after the 7 PM Sunday Mass take place in Plaza de las Armas.
Museo Costumbrista de Sonora, Guadalupe Victoria #1, is a regional historical museum with interesting exhibits, including a coach that once carried the Emperor Maximilian. Some labels are in English. $10 pesos adult admission, students and children $5 pesos. Usually open 9-6, Wed-Sun. (1).
Capilla Zapopan is a small chapel completed in 1841. Walk north across the Arroyo la Aduana (6) meander through the barrio to your left/west to find it. If you go after about 3 PM, stop at the Panadería Moderna on the way for fresh rolls.
El Cárcel is the old jail which is being remodeled into a cultural center. Follow one of the streets or lanes up Guadalupe Hill in the center of town to the jail for an overlook of Alamos. There is a large painted shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe on the hill.
El Mirador is the best overlook of Alamos and the blue ranges of the Sierra Madre Occidental off in the far distance. Drive El Camino Real out of town towards El Fuerte and take the left turn to the overlook. The climb is a good workout for joggers. A small cafe is sometimes open in the afternoon and evening with a view of the city lights.
Panteon is the cemetery. The groupings of family graves from the 1700's on the west side are very interesting. Unfortunately many of the marble decorations have been stolen or damaged. The expatriates have a section to the north. During the time of Dío de las Muertos (Oct 28-Nov 2) the Cemetario is very busy with families repainting and decorating the graves. Food and curio vendors set up outside and sometimes a group of mariachi singers is playing at one of the graves.