San Miguel de Allende is a city located on the eastern side of the State of Guanajuato in central Mexico.
The city was founded in 1542 by Fray Juan de San Miguel in order to protect the Antiguo Camino Real, a silver trading route that led from Zacatecas through Guanajuato and on to Mexico City. Then known as San Miguel El Grande, the town thrived for almost three hundred years under the repressive Spanish rule and Catholic Church.
After Napoleon invaded Spain in 1807 and put his brother on the Spanish throne, it became clear that Spain was severely handicapped under French occupation. This, amongst other reasons, gave rise to the Mexican War of Independence, and eventually on the 15th of September in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest of Spanish descent, declared Mexico’s independence from Spain.
By 1900, due to the collapse of the silver mining industry, San Miguel de Allende was in danger of becoming obsolete. However, the Mexican Government declared San Miguel a national historic monument in 1926, thus preserving its reputation and status as a Colonial city in Mexico’s central highland. In 2008, San Miguel and the nearby sacred town of Atotonilco, both achieved UNESCO World Heritage status.
The contemporary city now thrives as an adventure tours destination. Horseback riding in Mexico, picturesque adventures through the Coyote Canyon or hot air ballooning across the clear skies, are all considered to be some of the best San Miguel de Allende tours on offer today.