San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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San Miguel De Allende, Mexico: Everything You Need To Know

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


San Miguel de Allende Market
Alamy/Theo Garcia

San Miguel de Allende sits in the center of Mexico, with its beautiful Spanish architecture and always-thriving art scene.

Referred to as the Heart of Mexico, this place is a combination of Hispanic and Mesoamerican influences, with baroque, neoclassical, and neogothic buildings as backdrop.

Mexico considers San Miguel de Allende its first modern municipal government, formed after the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.

Just a 10-hour drive from the U.S. border, it is home to a large community of retirees from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Cost Of Living In San Miguel De Allende

When it comes to groceries, San Miguel de Allende has large stores that feel much like stores in the States. You’ll find many products and brands that you already buy.

As for prices, a gallon of milk costs 106 pesos. Click here for currency conversions at today’s exchange rates.

Life in the center of the town is more expensive, and the rental market is extremely active. Monthly rent for a single room apartment is US$875 compared to US$526 for the same space outside the city.

The cost of monthly expenses for a family of four, without rent, is US$2,478.

Cable TV and internet expenses can reach US$85 depending on the plans offered.

Land in parts considered safe neighborhoods can start at US$250 per square meter.

Standard fare for a cab within town is US$3.33 but the rate goes up at night or when you go to a distant district. Ask for the price of the ride before getting in the car.

This is a walking town, so don’t rent a car. You can negotiate hourly or day rates with cab drivers.

If you’re into golf, the green fees in local courses range are between US$25 and US$45.

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Things To Do In San Miguel De Allende

Things to do in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico1. Historic Town Of Guanajuato And Adjacent Mines

The State of Guanajuato was the site of events that altered the history of Mexico, so San Miguel de Allende is home to deep historical significance that attracts tourists.

For instance, the 43-square-hectare historic town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of baroque-style and neoclassical buildings.

Founded in early 16th century, it was at the heart of a 40-year war between local Chichimecas and Spanish conquerors.

Outside the city, you can find the other part of the World Heritage Site: Atotonilco. It’s a Nahuatl word and it means the place of hot waters.

Above all, Santuario de Atotonilco is one of the most beautiful churches in all of Mexico. It features impressive colonial architecture full of embellishments and paintings on the walls and ceilings.

After sightseeing, you can also spend time on golf courses, aquatic parks, roofed pools, relaxing hot springs, and even do upscale dinning while at Atotonilco.

2. Cañada De La Virgen Archaeological Site

West of San Miguel de Allende, Cañada de la Virgen is a set of ancient sanctuaries of the Otomi people, one of Mexico’s indigenous groups.

This 16-hectare archaeological landscape features pyramid ruins, an observatory, and some burial chambers from the sixth century.

Here’s the official link.

3. Bellas Artes Center

Enjoy art exhibitions, music concerts, and workshops in a reconstructed 18th-century convent.

In 1962 the refurbished building of the Bellas Artes Center became the Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez El Nigromante.

Therefore, include a visit to Sala Siqueiros, a vaulted room full of murals by famous Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Siqueiros depicted the life of Ignacio Allende, a revolutionary figure in Mexican history.

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4. Parque Benito Juarez

Benito Juarez Park is a place for people watching, reading, or walking your dog. Parque Benito Juarez has winding paths that let you enjoy its pleasant environment.

This public space started as a series of orchards. Then it became the center of town encounters. It’s now part of a public Wi-Fi network set up in public parks and squares in the downtown area.

5. El Charco Del Ingenio

El Charco del Ingenio is a botanical garden and nature reserve just minutes from the city. It’s home to local arid plant species, an animal sanctuary, a trail full of sculptures, and a solar observatory.

Smoking is not allowed in the site and large groups must book visits in advance.

For English speakers, there is a natural history tour available two days a week.

Charco del Ingenio is also stage to the yearly local festival of Santa Cruz, a celebration led by indigenous communities of San Miguel de Allende.

6. Food

Unique tastes are part of Mexico’s culinary traditions, and San Miguel de Allende is no exception.

Try out the enchilada minero, or the miner’s enchilada. It’s stuffed with chicken and cheese and covered in guajillo chile sauce, carrots, and potatoes.

Central Mexico’s local dish is mixiote, pit-barbecued meat wrapped in leaves. Local restaurants cook it with mutton or rabbit but chicken, lamb, and pork are also used.

Also, restaurants go from very cheap to pricey. The majority of the fancy ones need a reservation. While in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, have your pick at rooftop bars, cafés, and outdoor patios.

Top tips for expats who want to live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico infographic

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Retirement Information

Jardin Parroquia Churches San Miguel de Allende
Adobe Stock/Bill Perry

Moving To Mexico

A move to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, can be easy. To begin with, Mexico has an uncomplicated residency and visa process.

First, you’ll need to apply for a Mexican visa. Then, apply at a Mexican consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Secondly, download and fill out an application form, submit passport photos, and pay an administration fee.

High-quality health care is another outstanding aspect of this Mexican city. As a result, it has lots of hospitals, and the newest one, Hospital MAC, has a good range of specialists.

And, people with existing medical conditions can live in San Miguel de Allende and be confident with the local treatment.

Read More: Best Countries To Retire Overseas With Excellent Healthcare

A couple can live and retire here for less than US$1,800 per month.

Expats who move to San Miguel de Allende love the fact that Guanajuato city and Queretaro are just 90 minutes away.

For example, Mexico City is about four hours to the south, Morelia is about three-and-a-half hours southwest, and Guadalajara is about four-and-a-half hours west.

Certainly, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is a premier retirement destination.

Being Safe In San Miguel De Allende

San Miguel de Allende in Mexico at night.
Adobe Stock/Bryan Busovicki

San Miguel de Allende is safe, especially in the daytime. At night you can walk around securely, too.

However, common sense and safety protocols are needed. The biggest risks in the city are minor crimes.

One tip is to drink only bottled water, even when it comes to brushing your teeth. Also, knowing conversational Spanish will help wherever you are in Mexico.

This city has a big expat community, it attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.

Weather In San Miguel De Allende

Climate
Graph by Weather & Climate

With 320 days of sunshine per year. As a result, San Miguel De Allende is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities.

The weather in San Miguel de Allende is one of the reasons it’s a year-round tourist destination.

However, it goes from hot during daytime to really cool at night.

The best time of year for a visit is the dry season, during January, February, November, and December. You get average temperatures from 68°F (20°C) and 79°F (26°C).

The hottest month is May. That’s when the temperature reaches 90°F (35°C).

Most importantly, the rainy season goes June through October.

Overall, July is the month with the most rainy days.

San Miguel De Allende - FAQs

Is San Miguel De Allende Worth Visiting?

San Miguel de Allende is worth visiting because of its dynamic lifestyle, art scene, and remarkable colonial architecture.

What is San Miguel De Allende Known For?

San Miguel de Allende is known for being at the heart of Mexico, getting 320 days of sunshine per year, and for its Hispanic and Mesoamerican influences.

Is San Miguel De Allende A Good Place To Retire?

San Miguel De Allende is a great place to retire. It’s a sociable colonial town where you can enjoy leisure activities every day.

Why Should Americans Move To San Miguel De Allende?

Americans should move to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, because it’s safe and has the small-town friendliness that most expats look for.

Is Mexico Your Dream Destination?


Learn more about Mexico and other countries in our free, daily Overseas Opportunity Letter. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you our FREE REPORT - The 10 Best Places To Retire In