Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery: Exploring The Weird & Wonderful

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

Curious about the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery?

It’s no secret that San Miguel de Allende is full of lots of things to see and do including browsing the many local artist creations. But what if you want to experience something totally unique? Enter, the weird and wonderful world of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery!

I’m always looking for fun and unusual experiences when I travel so when I stumbled upon the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery, I knew it was a perfect match.

I have done all the legwork so all you have to do is read! I’m going to cover everything you need to know from pricing to booking, getting there to what to expect, and more. So let’s dig in!

About The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery, also known as Casa de las Ranas is a passion project created by American mosaic artist, Anado McLauchlin.

Anado and his husband Richard Schultz moved to the village of La Cieneguita just outside San Miguel de Allende in 2001 where they built their compound, which is now home to the gallery.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is named for Anado’s father and the artwork is just as personal. Taking the tour you’ll see depictions of the love the couple shared as well as tributes to various faiths, friendships and family members that were important to Anado.

The compound is comprised of four structures: an elaborate outhouse, a studio, the main gallery, and Anado and Richard’s home which also houses the workshop, all of which are visited on the tour.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is an unusual and quirky art compound on the grounds of a private home.
Anado & Richard’s house with workshop.

The gallery itself is an active gallery and event space which showcases local artists including works by Anado’s protegee, Carlos who still works on the property.

The grounds of the compound is my favourite part, dotted with eccentric and elaborate artworks like a giant head made of sticks and a Lucha Libre fountain. There are also donkeys, as well as cats and dogs roaming the property.

Anado used to guide tours of the compound himself, but after he passed in 2021 the tours are now run by his husband Richard, and in his absence, Anado’s protegee Carlos.

What To Expect

I really enjoyed my visit to the gallery and if you’re a fan of art, oddities, or just getting off-the-beaten-path the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is worth visiting for you.

The tour provides insight into the mind of the artist through stories and anecdotes told by those who knew and loved him. The gallery is eccentric, colourful, and creative with photo opportunities around every corner.

The tour guides you through the grounds of the compound along with the four structures on the property. You’ll take a leisurely stroll through the property while stopping to hear more about individual works of art and what they represent.

You’ll also learn about how Anado’s legacy is being carried on for him and how some of his artwork is being completed posthumously.

This 90 minute tour is a great way to experience something totally unique, away from the bustle and polish of San Miguel de Allende.

  • There are loose dogs in the back part of the property which is visited during the tour. These dogs are used to visitors and tend to keep their distance after an introductory sniff. We were told they are more comfortable with females but the men in my group didn’t have any issues.

Booking The Chapel Of Jimmy Ray Experience

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is located on the grounds of a private home and it only open to the public during scheduled tours so you must book your tour in advance.

Tours operate most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:30am and last approximately 90 minutes.

To book your tour email Richard at [email protected] and he will email you back to confirm your space and the price of the tour.

  • Make sure to bring cash to pay for the tour. There are no ATMs nearby and they may not have change.

The booking process is very informal, I provided my name and wasn’t asked for any additional details. There are no confirmation numbers or any extra information provided. Just show up and they’ll be expecting you!

  • When I booked it took 5 days to receive a response. I recommend reserving your space at least a week in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is open by appointment only so make sure to email and reserve your spot at least a week in advance.
The most elaborate outhouse in the world (probably)

Getting There (& Back) Without A Car

No car? No problem.

It’s likely that if you’re visiting the Chapel of Jimmy Ray it’s because you’re staying in San Miguel de Allende. And if you’re staying in the walker’s paradise of San Miguel de Allende, there’s a good chance you don’t have a car!

  • The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is located in a rural area outside of San Miguel de Allende. Read this entire section to avoid getting stuck.

Authorized Taxi vs Private Taxi

The most affordable and reliable way to reach the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery without a vehicle is by private taxi.

It is possible to hire a regular taxi for this journey but I recommend going the private taxi route. The private taxi will be cheaper, more reliable, more safe, and much more comfortable. If you’d still like to hire an authorized taxi make sure you follow these tips to stay safe in San Miguel de Allende.

San Miguel de Allende has several private taxi companies and I quoted this journey with most of them. After speaking to almost 10 operators, the company I used and recommend to you is Taxi Águila.

You can quote and book Taxi Águila via Whatsapp. They are a locally operated private taxi company with the best rates who are easy to deal with, prompt and professional. They also have very comfortable, clean vehicles.

  • I was so impressed with Taxi Águila that I booked them for all my future private taxi needs during my stay. I highly recommend them for any trips you may have.

The grounds of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery are full of unusual and fun works of art.
The grounds of the compound are full of unusual art like this wooden stick creature

My journey from central San Miguel de Allende to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray was $180MXN [$10USD/$13CAD]. This may vary slightly depending on where in the city you are travelling from.

On my journey back I asked to be dropped off at the Mirador which was slightly farther. This journey was $200MXN [$10.50USD/$14.50CAD].

  • It is important when booking to set a time for the driver to return for you. I recommend leaving for Chapel of Jimmy Ray at 10:00am to arrive for the 10:30am tour. Book your pick up for 12:00pm.

Taxi Águila are familiar with the Chapel of Jimmy Ray and knew exactly where we were going. I felt confident with my driver Nico and the journey was a breeze.

At the end of the tour Nico returned for me on time, as promised.

Don’t Take Uber or DiDi (You’ve Been Warned)

I do not recommend using Uber for this journey. The gallery is located in a rural area up an unpaved road with little to no cell signal.

Even if your Uber or DiDi manages to find the gallery you will not be able to call another ride when it’s time to go home.

My tour group was myself and a father/son duo. They travelled to the gallery using DiDi and said their driver had trouble with the stone roads. They had to try to navigate for him using the directions from the gallery website and with a language barrier.

At the end of the tour they hadn’t arranged for anyone to come and pick them up and quickly realized they had no internet signal to call another ride.

Fortunately for them, my driver Nico arrived on time and I happily gave them a ride back to San Miguel de Allende.

  • To avoid any travel disasters, hire a driver like Taxi Águila who is familiar with the gallery and who you can trust to come back for you.

Visit The Chapel of Jimmy Ray By Car

If you have your own vehicle and are choosing to drive to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray you should consider a few things first:

  • There is limited to no cell signal in this area
  • Your GPS may not work
  • There is no formal parking area
  • The road to the gallery is unpaved

The most important thing about driving to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is to not follow the option Google Maps provides. I have outlined the route you should take in the map below. This route begins at the Old Train Station Antigua Estación del Ferrocarril.

When you arrive at the large colourful gates, you've found the gallery.
The colourful gates to the Chapel of Jimmy Ray

Chapel of Jimmy Ray FAQs

You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers about the Chapel of Jimmy Ray.

How Much Does the Tour Cost?

As of March 2023 the tour costs $300MXN [$16USD/$22CAD] per person.

Do I Need to Book in Advance?

Yes, you do need to book in advance. The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is located on the grounds of a private home and is not open to the public unless a tour has been reserved.

For more information on how to book please see the Booking section above.

Can I Pay By Card?

No, the tour must be paid for in cash, card payments are not accepted. It is best to provide exact payment as change may not be available and there are no ATMs nearby.

Is the Tour in English?

Yes, since Anado passed away in 2021 his husband Richard guides the tours. Richard splits his time between San Miguel de Allende and the US so when he is out of town Carlos, an old friend and protegee of Anado guides the tours.

Can I Take Photos and Videos?

Absolutely! In fact, photos and videos are encouraged! The tour moves through the grounds and allows time to pictures and videos as you go. Because the groups are small it’s easy to get great, uninterrupted shots.

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray is a fantastic place to take photos and videos.

What Restaurants are Nearby?

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is located in a rural area outside of town. There is no town centre and no real businesses, shops or restaurants to visit.

There are two roadside makeshift restaurants a 10 minute walk from the gallery, Don Ciro Gorditas and Quesadillas Y Gorditas ‘La Delicia’. These are outdoors with picnic tables and an awning. They are cash only and sell Mexican dishes such as gorditas and quesadillas.

For a better experience I recommend returning to San Miguel de Allende after your tour and continue your day there.

Is the Gallery Accessible?

No, unfortunately the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is not accessible for those with mobility issues.

There are two small sets of stairs and one large set of stairs that must be navigated on the tour in addition to the steps into each of the four buildings that are visited. The ground is mostly dirt and sloping with some uneven stone pathways.

Is the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Family Friendly?

The gallery is geared toward an adult audience. Much of the artwork includes nudity and some artwork may be frightening to young children.

Summary: The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery is a weird and wonderful, off-the-beaten-path attraction on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, on the way to La Gruta hot springs and is a great way to spend a morning.

With art and artists being such an integral part of the fabric of San Miguel de Allende, it’s nice to counter some of the high end galleries with a place as honest and peculiar as the Chapel of Jimmy Ray.

This tour was one of the highlights of my trip and one of the best day trips from San Miguel de Allende. With a little planning, I encourage you to add it into your itinerary too!