For a place known as the ‘Disneyland for retirees’ of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende definitely does not disappoint. It’s a beautiful little city, with amazing colonial history, and wonderful cultural strength that amazes both visitors and expats. It doesn’t have beaches, is devoid of sparkling ocean waters, and can be a challenge to get to. So what exactly is it that makes people love San Miguel de Allende so much? Well, here are 5 reasons why it’s going to be on your next holiday destination list.
San Miguel de Allende is a place that many would call well preserved, but the history of the city is all around just waiting for people to experience it. Once the centre of the area’s silver trade, San Miguel de Allende was named after a famous general in Mexico’s War of Independence, General Ignacio Allende. What’s left of that history is written all over the buildings, such as the incredible Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel. Inspired by Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia it is a local church with a façade that will have you gaping.
2. Unique Culture
There are certain places in the world that attract retirees and expats wanting to find a little slice of paradise in which they can enjoy their days. San Miguel de Allende is one of those places, and the cultural mix is palatable in the air. Many of the individuals that make up the city’s massive expatriate population (some 20% overall) are artists and writers, spicing up the artsy melting pot with regular weekend festivals showcasing culturally diverse music and dance.
One of the biggest bonuses about San Miguel de Allende being so popular with tourists and travelers is that there has been a massive evolution in the variety and quality of food available. This is everything from local delicacies, to one-of-a-kind fusion dishes. If food is your thing, the areas local market is a must see, especially to get an inside look at both the local foods, and the culture connected to them.
There is an interesting mix of art galleries, boutiques, souvenir shops and antique stores all over San Miguel de Allende. This makes from some great shopping experiences, and you’re sure to pick up more than a bargain. In fact, San Miguel de Allende is a great place to pick up very authentic handicrafts and art products, produced by the city’s talented locals.
Surrounding San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful setting, but within the city visitors will find themselves blown away by the incredible sights and sounds of the environment. Jacaranda trees, with their purple flowering buds, seem to grow on every corner, and when they bloom in March their magic spreads all over the city. If that wasn’t enough to impress San Miguel de Allende also happens to be quite well known for its jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets. No doubt these natural wonders, made more intense by the changing light in the Sierra Madre foothills, will leave you speechless with their beauty.