Reminiscent in historic ambience, manageable size, mountainous elevation and dynamic arts scene to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the small city of San Miguel de Allende was established in the mid-16th century and has become increasingly popular in recent years as sophisticated, friendly and a distinctive vacation getaway.
The popular travel memoir “On Mexico Time,” written in 2000 by Tony Cohan and based on his time living in this magical city, helped boost San Miguel’s already considerable following with expats from the U.S. and Canada. These days, charming San Miguel represents one of the better travel bargains in the Western Hemisphere. With Mexico enduring unfortunate (and largely unfair) negative stereotypes related to the drug violence plaguing its borders, and U.S. and Canadian currency strong against the Mexican peso, the cost of visiting here is extremely reasonable.
The city is well known both for Spanish-language immersion schools and culinary classes, but it’s also a lovely place to simply relax and explore for a few days – or even weeks (many long-term vacation rentals inside historic casitas and houses are available).
San Miguel is a 3.5-hour bus ride from bustling Mexico City, and many visitors here fly in and out of the capital. There’s also a small, relatively new airport 40 miles away in Queretero (with limited direct flights from Houston and Detroit), and an airport 110 miles away between the cities of Leon and Guanajuato, which has direct flights from Chicago, Dallas and Houston. Keep in mind that flights to Mexico City are far more affordable than to these regional airports.
Additionally, inexpensive buses provide service from Mexico City and its airport. Regional buses in Mexico are operated by private lines and have climate control, TVs, comfortable seats and clean bathrooms. Reliable companies serving San Miguel de Allende include Primera Plushttp://www.primeraplus.com.mx and ETN http://etn.com.mx. Within the city itself, it’s very easy to get around and explore sites on foot. Taxis are also cheap, safe and plentiful.