San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is one of the country’s most beautiful colonial towns, perfectly blending small-town life with the cosmopolitan pleasures of a big city. The architecture in the central part of the town dates from the Colonial Era and legal restrictions ensure that newer buildings conform to existing architectural style.
Life in San Miguel is laid back and the town has attracted a large expat population who have come to find peace, tranquillity and the opportunity to express their love for the arts and culture.
When you visit the region you will be amazed by the number and variety of San Miguel de Allende excursions on offer, from horseback riding through rugged canyons to tours of ruins and historical sites, cantina tours, local farm and vineyard visits and even hot air balloon rides.
If you have never been before take a deep dive into our list of interesting facts about San Miguel and enjoy a trip to Mexico that you will never forget.
1. Getting Around
No need for car rentals here. Walking around and through town on cobblestone streets is the best way to explore and discover so much of the amazing architecture, numerous art galleries and great restaurants. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a jacket in winter.
2. Expats and English
Although the expat community is big it has not taken over. The good news is that because of the growing number of visitors to the region English is spoken frequently. Do however make the effort to learn and use at least a few words in Spanish. It is fun to speak another language and locals in any country will appreciate the effort.
3. UNESCO World Heritage Site
In 2008 the town was declared a World Heritage Site due to its historical, cultural and architectural importance. While it was established in the 16th century, many of its most impressive religious and civic buildings were built in the style of the Mexican Baroque in the 18th century. San Miguel de Allende also acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences, the consequences of which can be seen at the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.
4. Eat the Food
The list is endless but you are sure to come away from this vacation with a few extra pounds (or kilograms). The town is fast becoming a haven for regional gourmet specialties as well as a range of international options.
Try Muro, a must-stop breakfast shop, which serves up everything from “chilaquiles con arrachera” to french toast and pastries, including freshly made juices. Local ingredients are used where possible, and it remains one of the most popular local restaurants in the area, especially for its authentic Mexican cuisine.
Do not miss Áperi, featuring the likes of duck, pork and seafood dishes, prepared with local San Miguelense ingredients. Think farm-to-table cuisine in a fine dining setting without unnecessary pretensions. An international flavor is as constant here, as the ever-changing menu.
5. Mountains and Canyons
San Miguel is built alongside a mountain range, with the heart of the city built in the valley. This combination creates some incredible views from various vantage points within the town. But the surroundings are best enjoyed with the easy Mexico hiking tours on offer. This is a must do for nature and outdoor lovers and usually only lasts half to three quarters of a day.
Family fun in Mexico is being redefined by this little mountain enclave. San Miguel’s festive vibe, colorful culture and burgeoning art and food scenes make the town an attractive option for visitors looking to explore the world that lies beyond the beautiful beaches of Cabo and Cancun.