Introducing San Miguel de Allende
Many people say that San Miguel is a bit like a Mexican Disneyland for foreign (mainly American) retirees. Indeed, this is a stunning and neat city, with colonial architecture, enchanting cobblestone streets and striking light. Regular festivals, fireworks and parades dominate the local scene.
The town’s cosmopolitan panache is reflected in its excellent restaurants and high-class, colonial-style accommodation options. Numerous galleries are stocked with some of the best of Mexican artesanías and cultural activities are on tap for residents and visitors. There are few sights: as a Mexican-declared national monument, San Miguel is the sight.
Economically speaking, this is no budget destination and is a far cry from the 1940s, when beatniks and artists shacked up here on a shoestring to pursue their creative ventures. Visitors still flock here to study at the art institutions – Bellas Artes and the Instituto Allende. While the foreign influence is pervasive (more than 10, 000 foreigners are believed to live or have houses here), on the whole the population coexists comfortably.
Beneath the smart B&Bs and fancy shops, an authentic (and sometimes poverty-stricken) Mexico exists. You only have to laze in the main plaza, visit the food market or interact with the local people to sense an ambience, color and vibe that is nothing but Mexican.
The climate is agreeable: cool and clear in winter and warm and clear in summer, with occasional thunderstorms and heavy rain.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
7 September 2010
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