Please tell me all about San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I know a great deal already, but yet to visit, will be two more years before my time frees up, in which I will go then for sure to at least visit, barring any unforseen circumstances. Would love to hear from someone actually living there, or has visited. Here’s what I know so far.

Often voted Mexico’s best city, this year was voted world-wide as best by a few different groups.

About 140,000 population, which I find about ideal, for my tastes, anyway.

A $250,000 home will only cost about $250.00 a year in taxes.

The drug cartels are not in this area and drugs are not the problem like border towns.

I’m told they are friendly to ex-pats, and there are quite a few, but the town still retains its Mexican culture.

What’s some of your favorite places to eat out that you’d recommend?

The weather is absolutely among the best in the world. It’s latitude lines up similar to Hawaii, but being in the central part of Mexico, you don’t have the heat or humidity like there. Elevation about 6,300’, year round nice dry air, and almost nobody uses an air conditoner, and some occasionally may supplement heat in the winter with a fireplace, but is not needed that often.

Doesn’t have earthquakes, obviously no hurricanes since it’s away from coast. I understand no tornadoes either.

Okay, who wants to be the first to burst my bubble? Seriously, what’s there not to like?

I have no personal experience, but two nonagenarian (!) friends of mine moved there for several years, and raved about it.

Probably one of their motivating factors was the affordable health care costs, which I forgot to mention as well. If you still keep in touch with your friends, you ought to arrange a visit.

I’ve been looking at some of their places to eat, Fat Boy’s looks like a great place, but there are many. Most of the YouTube clips are showing lots of neat places to visit and explore. I better brush up on my Spanish.

My parents vacationed there (away from the kids - you could get away with stuff like that in the seventies) and loved it. At my father’s funeral, he had insisted that mother wore a dress her bought there.

I know nothing from personal experience, but I think I’ve found our winter getaway. No heat, no beaches, no sweating tourists getting drunk at poolside.

Well, if you go, or anyone else, one slight inconvenience is not being able to fly directly in. There are some airports near-by though, and some take a taxi or bus from there. Also read, where $2.00 will take you anywhere in the city, just ask what it costs first so there is no misunderstanding.

considering retiring there.

a couple Mexican friends have confirmed all that you said. in particular, the weather is near perfect.

I lived in Queretaro, about 40 minutes away from San Miguel, until last year, and visited often.

The Good: Beautiful place. Unbeatable weather, relatively low cost of living, lots of cultural events, fairly close to big cities. Easy going lifestyle, for the most part. Nearest international airport is about 90 minutes away with direct flights to Chicago, DFW and Houston. Nearest beach is Ixtapa, about a 5 hr drive.

The Bad: Small-town Mexico can get boring and tedious. You run out of things to do pretty quickly. The highways into the city are dangerous from a traffic engineering standpoint. You’ll probably have to go to a city for medically reasonable health care. Schools are pretty bad. Like anywhere in Mexico, you really need to keep your wits about and be more distrustful than you might be accustomed to.

The Ugly: Narco violence isn’t a problem yet, but it is encroaching. My city was very safe and is still better than high alert areas, but the quality of life has been impaired. Nearby towns are being overrun by opportunistic gangs from other cities. Interstate bus travel has become quite risky. Kidnappings occur - Though I don’t know of foreigners being targeted specifically. It’s said that the political powers in the safe states have pacts with gangs, to leave the populace alone. In times of political transition the peace, and sense of peace, can be disturbed quite drastically. Rule of law and access to justice are tenuous, if not illusory.

Everything the original poster said is true. It is a wonderful place to live. Just to give a little balance there are some things you will find out if you move here that may be more or less annoying to some.

The sidewalks can be treacherous and uneven. Many tourists fall or twist ankles. It is not handicapped friendly. The climate is dry and dusty. Some find they have more allergies here. The elevation is about 6300 feet and the air is thin. There are fireworks in the middle of the night most weekends. Large numbers of local tourists migrate into the city most weekends. Crime avoidance and prevention require newbies to relearn their skills. Recognizing what you need to secure your home, where you can go at night, and how you carry yourself in the day, need to be reassessed. There are many activities among the 10,000 or so full-time expat residents, yet it is quiet and possibly boring. Shopping is limited. A beer or a house in the historic center are amongst the most expensive in Mexico.

Positive things you may not realize: Domestic labor (maid, cook, painter, remodeling) is cheap and high quality. Life is slow. For many total medical expenses may be less than what you would pay in co-pay.


This is great, and really appreciate the different perspectives, instead of finding this info through marketers and travel agents, this is the stuff I want to know about, good and bad.

The fireworks going off during the weekends would take some getting used to, surprised they allow that. Hope the cartels never ever ruin it for this beautiful and wonderful city, that so many sing the praises of.