San Miguel de Allende has the small-town friendliness and hominess that most expats crave, set in a remarkably beautiful and sociable colonial town. It has been a retirement favorite for foreigners as far back as the late 1960s.
San Miguel is centrally located in Mexico, a good base for exploration of the country in all four directions. The colonial cities of Guanajuato and Queretaro are just 90 minutes away. Mexico City is about four hours away to the south, Morelia about three-and-a-half hours southwest, and Guadalajara about four-and-a-half hours west.
San Miguel is not one of the low-cost standouts of expat living. Years of serving both a large resident expat community and hordes of foreign visitors has caused the price of real estate to surge to prices often equal to North American prices. Consequently, prices in the restaurants and shops in town are comparable to prices found in the less expensive areas of the United States. Depending on where your “back home” is, you will find the cost of living in San Miguel to be roughly the same or a bit cheaper. A couple can live and retire here for less than 25,408 Mexican pesos per month.
|Gas||MXN 1,740||Used for hot water and cooking.|
|Electricity||N/A||Included with gas.|
|Water||N/A||Included with gas.|
|Internet||N/A||Included with telephone.|
|Cable TV||MXN 823|
San Miguel is steadily, if slowly, improving its road network, especially around the town periphery. New overpasses, traffic circles, bypasses, signage, and even a couple of traffic lights make it possible to get in-and-out of town, bypassing the congested traffic in the center. Popularity has brought traffic congestion and parking scarcity to the center.
Nestled among low hills, the semidesert valley is mostly flat in the historic center, great for walking, and chock full of delights for visitors and residents. The quantity of first-class restaurants and fine shopping per block is likely unmatched anywhere else in Mexico.
The large hacienda-style houses have been divided into patio restaurants, coffee houses, upscale cantinas, and niche shops that the expats never seem to tire of visiting. Most of these establishments are owned and managed by Mexicans native to San Miguel. Their famous friendliness and graciousness is soothing and charming for the harried visitors from Toronto or Chicago.
Seeing as San Miguel de Allende is in central Mexico, prepare for sunny weather (320 days of sunshine per year). The weather can be very hot during the day, but much, much cooler at night. Temperature swings of 25 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit are not uncommon.
It is generally dry and dusty in springtime. The hottest month is May, when daytime temperatures can go as high as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainy season is June to October. Rain usually arrives in short spurts, and continuous days of consistent clouds are almost unheard of.
The town is blessed with great weather and is full of high-energy foreigners who were entranced by the Mexican sense of style and colors. Over the years, the foreigners came to include more and more retirees and eccentrics that found their feet stuck to the sidewalks and plazas.
The FIFA World Cup is nearly here. By now your Panini sticker albums should be complete and days off work confirmed. From June 14 until July 15 the eyes of the world will be on Russia, hosts of this year’s competition. The big games and World Cup rivalries are about to begin in earnest. The biggest sporting event in the world, more than 1 billion tuned in for the last final in 2014. Current world champions Germany will defend their...Read more