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SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

 
 

 
 

 

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE ~ THEN AND NOW:

Founded in 1542 by Fray Juan de San Miguel. San Miguel de Allende is a city that manages to be both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic center is filled with well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. With its narrow cobblestone streets, leafy courtyards, fine architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is arguably the prettiest town in Mexico.

In 2008 UNESCO recognized San Miguel de Allende and the neighboring Sanctuary of Jesus de Atotonilco as World Heritage of Humanity sites, citing the town's religious and civil architecture as a demonstration of the evolution of different trends and styles, from Baroque to late 19th century Neo-Gothic.

Located in Guanajuato state, 265 km (165 miles) northeast of Mexico City and 96 km (60 miles) from the state capital, Guanajuato city, San Miguel is located within Mexico's hilly central highlands. San Miguel de Allende has no international airport so visitors usually fly into either the Leon/Bajio airport, Querétaro airport or the Mexico City airport and then take a bus. This is not a major drawback and may in fact add to the city's charm: the sound of an airplane coming in for a landing never disrupts the pealing of church bells, plus the effort required to get here makes it all the more enjoyable.

Walking is undoubtedly the best way to explore San Miguel. A car can be more of a hindrance than a help in town, though it can be useful for day trips to the nearby cities of Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo or Queretaro. When your feet get tired, hop on the sightseeing trolley that departs from the tourism office on the north side of the Jardín Principal. After a tour of the main points of interest, it will take you to the Mirador, a lookout point where you'll be able to have a panoramic view of the city.

There is a substantial expat community in San Miguel, so it's easy to find services in English and hotels and restaurants cater to the Americans, Canadians and Europeans who flock here. It is still very much a Mexican town, however, where locals cheerily co-exist with the foreigners who visit or call this city home.

San Miguel is a preferred destination of art lovers. Whether you're an aspiring or accomplished artist, or just prefer to admire the creations of others, you'll be happy here. Studio openings, courses and workshops form a vital part of the thriving arts scene. Galleries, boutiques and shops selling a wide range of art and handicrafts are plentiful so it won't be hard to find souvenirs to take home with you.

San Miguel de Allende has an air of tranquility about it, belying the fact that there is always something happening. This is the perfect city for an extended stay. Take a Spanish course or some art classes and make yourself at home. It is safe to walk around day and night and the climate is pleasant year-round.

Art and Culture:

Much of the most obvious culture seen on the streets of the town relates to foreign residents and visitors. The town contains organic restaurants /cafes, boutiques, art galleries, upscale restaurants, luxury hotels, and a wide variety of bars and nightclubs. Bars and nightclubs range from DJs or loud bands catering to young people, to jazz clubs, sports bars and even those that specialize in traditional Mexican music such as mariachi. Some are owned by foreigners and reflect that ownership. Shops around the Jardin Principal sell art, handcrafts, furniture and decorative items. The Fabrica La Aurora is an old textile mill that has been converted into galleries and shops selling art, furnishings and antiques; it has a lot of open space along with a café and restaurant. San Miguel has several schools for learning Spanish, most catering to foreign visitors. These include the Instituto Allende (with credits transferable to U.S. or Canadian colleges), Bellas Artes, Academia Hispanoamericana, Warren Hardy Spanish School among others.

San Miguel de Allende has long had a reputation as a haven for visual artists. Since the 1950s, when Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros worked there, it has attracted professional and amateur painters, sculptors and printmakers to the classes and workshops frequently held. In addition to two major art institutions (Instituto Allende and Bellas Artes), artists and art venues can be seen in various parts of the town.

Climate Conditions:

At 1,910 meters (6,266 feet) above sea level, weather is typical of central mountainous Mexico. It varies little, and even in the hottest months (May and June) when daytime temperatures can reach 100 F (over 35 C), the dry air makes it tolerable and cool mountain breezes tend to make evenings delightful. Winter evenings (from December to February) can get cold, even down to freezing overnight, but it warms up quickly in the morning. The rainy season extends from June to September when days are pleasant for sightseeing until heavy downpours (usually late in the afternoon and evening) cool and freshen the air.

San Miguel’s average climates during the year:

Month/High Temperature (C-F) : Jan 22/71, Feb 23/74, Mar 25/78, Apr 28/81, May30/83, Jun 27/80, Jul 25/78, Aug 25/78, Sep 24/76, Oct 24/76, Nov 23/74, and Dec 22/71.

Month/Low Temperatures (C-F) : Jan 8/46, Feb 9/48, Mar 10/50, Apr 12/54, May 14/57, Jun 14/58, Jul 14/58, Aug 14/58, Sep 14/57, Oct 12/54, Nov , 10/49 and Dec 8/47

 

Weather in San Miguel De Allende

 

INTERESTING LINKS TO SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE NEWS

"CBS News has reported that International Living Magazine completed an extensive survey of international expats to determine the most economical places in the world to retire. Health care costs, groceries, housing, transportation, city amenities, distance from relatives, quality of the expat community, and the cost of eating out were all taken into account. The top three turned out to be in Mexico. Here are the top 10:

1. Chapala 2. Puerto Vallarta 3. San Miguel de Allende 4. Atenas, Costa Rica 5. Boquete, Panama 6. Coronado, Panama 7. Granada, Nicaragua 8. Cuenca, Ecuador 9. Penang, Malaysia 10. Malaga, Spain “

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/26/the-second-life-of-san-miguel-de-allende.html

http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/11/10/vacation-guide-san-miguel-allende-mexico-offers-beauty-history/WA3tGHHmWJWK93rmc9hvzK/story.html

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Under-the-Spell-of-San-Miguel-de-Allende.html

A perspective on safety in Mexico:
http://howsafeismexico.com/index.html

http://www.terrazassanmiguel.com/heart_of_mexico.html

MEXICO CELEBRATES LIFE DURING DAY OF THE DEAD

From the Smithsonian:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/Under-the-Spell-of-San-Miguel-de-Allende.html?c=y&page=1

Alluring San Miguel draws American retirees to Mexico

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2010-12-09-san-miguel-mexico-retirement-homes_N.htm?POE=click-refer

The War on Meixco

http://sanmiguelwritersconferenceblog.org/the-war-on-mexico-by-nathan-feuerberg

Southern Living

http://www.southernliving.com/travel/outside-the-south/san-miguel-de-allende-00400000007825/index.html

http://treatsmagazine.com/articles/san-miguel-de-allende/

http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/travel/36-hours-in-san-miguel-de-allende-mexico.html?hpw

http://www.vogue.com/vogue-daily/article/destination-of-the-month-san-miguel-de-allende/

Mexico: A Traveler's Guide to Safety Over Sensationalism

http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/story/2012-02-16/Mexico-for-wimps-A-guide-to-safe-popular-travel-spots/53123854/1

http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/travel/cn-traveler-top-cities/

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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