Welcome to SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, my recently chosen new hometown, and named yet again “Best Small City in the World” by the Condé Nast Traveler magazine!
First, some facts about “San Miguel”:
It’s famous for its well-preserved historic center with buildings and homes from the 1600-1700s.
Adding to other international awards, the city was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its colonial architecture and important role in the Mexican War of Independence.
The “HEART OF MEXICO”
The also called “Heart of Mexico” is, definitely, one of the most artistic places I’ve ever seen and lived in: You can find beautiful and very creative artpieces in almost every corner of this lovely city: Street paintings, wonderfully decorated house facades and door frames, lovely balconies with hanging plants decorating the streets. In some places there’s even the “Huele de Noche” plant (night blooming jasmine), adding an exquisite aroma to the surroundings. And of course, there’s also plenty of cultural festivals, art studios, galleries, jewelry stores, and antique shops, as well as many restaurants and cafés to turn your day or night from “nice” to “amazing”!
SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL, “protector” of our City
Officially our protector or not, “Saint Michael The Archangel” definitely plays an important role in our lives here, and you can even feel it in the beautiful city’s energy (well, me and many others can. ).
Dedicated to him are:
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel:
San Miguel’s top symbol is its parish church, characterized by its pink sandstone towers that beautifully frame the city’s horizon. After initial challenges and reconstructions, the church, as we see it today, was built by the indigenous stonemason, Zeferino Gutiérrez, inspired by a postcard of the neo-Gothic-style church in Cologne, Germany, and was inaugurated in 1890.
So, in a fascinating way, we have a little bit of “Germany” here.
And here you can see, guarding the entrance of the city, the amazing Statue dedicated to “Saint Michael The Archangel”, defeating “Evil”. It’s located at “Calzada de la Estación” Street, and I always love to walk by.
Oratorio San Felipe Neri
Another temple of great beauty and architectural grandeur is the “Oratorio San Felipe Neri”, an indigenous style temple built with pink Stone. It holds a fascinating legend*, and is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
(*More info on the legend at https://www.visitmexico.com/en/guanajuato/san-miguel-de-allende/oratorio-san-felipe-neri).
BEST ICE CREAM IN TOWN!
And here it is:
You’ll find the very best ice cream on the “Calle Canal” corner “Calle Hdez. Macias”, with exotic flavors like “pine kernel”, “rose petals” and “angel’s kiss”. For as little as $40-50 Mexican pesos (approx. 2-3 USD) you can enjoy 2 ice cream balls in the waffle or bowl of your choice. YUMMMM!!! - So, if you are coming to San Miguel, I’ll be glad to meet you there (unless I’m teaching at that very moment, of course).
Another jewel here are the famous hot springs at “La Gruta”, “Escondido Place”, and “Xote Water Park”:
- La Gruta , which I just visited and highly recommend, is a health resort/spa about 20 minutes from San Miguel de Allende downtown (at the “Sanctuary of Atotonilco”), with open air hot springs, and the famous “grotto/cave hot spring”, as well as other attractions.
- Escondido Place is a “conceptual park” and also located in the “Sanctuary of Atotonilco” (San Miguel de Allende), with indoor and outdoor pools.
- And the Xote Water Park is the oldest hot spring site in San Miguel de Allende, with water slides and temazcal baths (Mayan steam baths). You can find it on the road leading to Dolores Hidalgo.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
If you’re not afraid of heights, this is definitely something for you! More than just one company offer hot air balloon rides, and I’ve seen them on early hours rising in the horizon, from my home’s window! That alone is already a beautiful sight, now imagine to sit in one of them and feel the fresh morning breeze on your skin. One of the most recognized is “Globo San Miguel”, you can find more info here: WELCOME | Globo San Miguel | San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato. Mexico
Organic Shop “Camino Verde”
And if you are into shopping of organic goodies, from shower gel and cremes to all kinds of seeds, and, and, and, I can highly recommend “Camino Verde”, located in Street “Calzada de la Aurora #30”, Colonia Guadalupe (downtown), only 4 doors from the “Oxxo” shop. Owner Adriana is just remodeling her store, and reopening is scheduled for May, 15th, 2022.
So, let’s shop green and help our planet, while enjoying excellent quality at a great price!
If you like good, sunny weather at mild temperatures, for most of the year you’ll be very glad to visit “San Miguel”:
- Warmest period is NOW: April to May, where it can get really hot in the daytime (up to 34°C so far), but cool in the night. So, bring a hat and sunglasses, but also a jacket or warm sweater!
- Starting June, we expect the rainy season, which varies in intensity and duration, depending on the year, and you’ll definitely need an umbrella/raincoat, and can show off your rainboots!
- From October on, rain and temperatures will decrease, and in December/January you can expect as little as 1-2°C in the late night time, but mostly mild temperaturas on daytime (up to 20-23°C). Temperatures can rise relatively high in the daytime, but sink quite a lot in the nighttime, so you might want to always carry a warm jacket with you.
All this is what I’ve experienced so far myself, and have been told by Locals.
More official info here:
Although you’ll find plenty of excellent hotel acommodations in the regular booking websites, I highly recommend you the centric and beautifully decorated AirBnB of my friend Olga. It’s “Casa Dorotea”; she’ll sure be very glad to welcome you, as will her cute little fluffy dog “Mila”.
These are her 3 bedroom options:
As you can see, our city has lots to offer. And these are just a few of the highlights waiting for you here in “San Miguel”, as we Locals say.
I’m looking forward to welcoming you here soon (contact details in our live-lesson), have an ice cream together and share some interesting life stories!
Have a great trip!