Don’t Know San Miguel de Allende? Start Here!
In case you haven’t noticed, San Miguel de Allende is sexy. It’s trending with nationals from all over Mexico and continues to be popular with North American tourists and expats alike. Art, culture, tequilas and margaritas, shopping, dancing, swimming, history, music, beauty and charm - read about all of it in the section below, take in the stunning photos, and get ready to plan your next trip!
One of the World’s Best Cities - Over and Over again!
For years now San Miguel de Allende has been named a “best” city. In 2010, Travel + Leisure awarded San Miguel two winning spots, first as #4 among the World’s Top 10 Cities, and first in line as a top city in Mexico, Central and South America. Condé Nast voted it one of the Top 5 Cities in Mexico in 2013,and #5 among the top 25 Cities in the World in 2014.
Of course, the most celebrated of these awards occurred In October, 2013, when San Miguel de Allende won Condé Nast Readers’ Choice “Best City in the World” award, beating out cultural giants such as Rome, Budapest and Florence.
A UNESCO World Heritage City
San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco, located 14 km from the center of San Miguel, received World Heritage status in 2008. This status represents international recognition of San Miguel’s unique cultural features, and guarantees that its historical buildings, streets, and churches will be preserved for the benefit of future generations.
Home of Award Winning Hotels
In 2014, San Miguel was recognized as the home of the Nena Boutique Hotel. Another popular San Miguel hotel, the Rosewood, was named by U.S News and World Report Travel as “one of the...Best Hotels in Mexico for 2014”. And Hotel Matilda was named the #2 hotel in Mexico by Condé Nast Traveler in 2014.
A Favorite Among News and Fashion Publications
San Miguel has also been featured in popular publications such as the New York Times and Vogue magazine. Describing San Miguel as the “famous mountain city”, the New York Times devoted a slide show to some of its more picturesque spots, and also covered it in its “36 Hours In _____” series. Vogue magazine named San Miguel a Destination of the Month in 2011, and Vogue Australia used San Miguel as its backdrop in a 2011 photo shoot.
Named a Top Retirement Destination
Because of its relative affordability, mild climate and large foreign community, San Miguel is often named a top international retirement destination, as well as one of the best places to retire in Mexico.
Retirees who live in San Miguel de Allende often “complain” that the problem isn’t finding something to do, but finding the time to do it all! The opportunities for volunteering are endless, as are clubs and classes of all kinds - bridge, kayaking, sculpting, Spanish language, choir, writing, painting, yoga, dance, etc. There’s also plenty of “night life” at restaurants, clubs and bars. Then there are the annual events and various cultural celebrations that seem to be happening on a daily basis; you can read all about events like the parades and altars of the Day of the Dead, the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF), the Grito of Independence Day, the Jazz Festival, the Writer’s Conference and many others in our Event Calendar.
There’s a good reason why you’ll have to book far in advance if you want to visit San Miguel in February - the weather is fantastic! Temperatures average in the low 80’s and skies are sunny most afternoons. For folks who’ve had about as much snow as they can take, it’s a welcome relief. What’s more, the hottest time of the year usually lasts only about six weeks, from May to mid-June, with highs averaging in the low to mid 90’s and lows in the mid-60’s. It’s understandable why some people call San Miguel de Allende the “Land of the Eternal Spring”.
LOCATION AND HISTORY
San Miguel lies in the heart of central Mexico at 6500 feet elevation, just 170 miles north of Mexico City. (Where is San Miguel de Allende?) (LINK TO RSM PAGE)
This beautiful colonial city dates back to the 16th century, and it holds a special place in the hearts of Mexican nationals because it is the birthplace of Ignacio Allende, independence leader and national hero. It is also considered the birthplace of Mexico’s independence from Spain.
San Miguel first became well-known among foreigners after World War II when many US veterans moved here using their GI bill to study at one of the local art schools. Since the 1950’s, the city’s popularity as both a vacation and retirement destination has increased, particularly among Americans and Canadians.
In the 1990’s San Miguel began receiving a lot international press, which catapulted the number of foreign tourists and residents alike and fueled the beginnings of the real estate boom. Since 2008, when San Miguel was named a World Heritage site, the numbers of Mexican nationals who visit has also greatly increased.
Although San Miguel’s economy for many years was based primarily on tourism and agriculture, the last few years have seen lots of changes. In addition to the traditional retirees, we are also seeing a growing number of both foreign and Mexican individuals and families in their 20’s to 50’s who move to San Miguel and either start businesses here or work from home via the Internet. And since San Miguel is located somewhat at the center of several major auto and aerospace manufacturing plants, national and international suppliers are rapidly filling up San Miguel’s industrial park to supply parts and support to these two huge industries in Mexico.
REALTY SAN MIGUEL
We sell real estate in San Miguel because we believe it is a fantastic place to live, retire, and invest. Whether you come for a weekend, part of the year or for the rest of your life, we know you will love San Miguel de Allende.
Getting To San Miguel
San Miguel de Allende is now served by three airports, one to three hours away. You can find directions to San Miguel here.
Time of Year
Since the weather in San Miguel is pleasant and mild almost year round, consider planning your trip around some of the more exciting annual cultural events, such as Independence Day, Semana Santa (Easter week) or Day of the Dead.
Helpful Hints and Cultural Clues
Check out our Newcomers Guide to San Miguel which will give you an idea of what to expect and will help you get set up once you’re here.