What You Need To Know
San Miguel de Allende is a city and municipality located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío. It is 274 km (170 mi) from Mexico City, 86 km (53 mi) from Querétaro, and 97 km (60 mi) from the state capital of Guanajuato. Historically, the town is important as being the birthplace of Mexican General Ignacio Allende, whose surname was added to the town’s name in 1826, as well as the first municipality declared independent of Spanish rule by the nascent insurgent army during the Mexican War of Independence. San Miguel de Allende was also a critical epicenter during the historic Chichimeca War (1540–1590) where the Chichimeca Confederation defeated the Spanish Empire in the initial colonization war. Today, the town is a proclaimed World Heritage Site, attracting thousands of tourists and new residents from abroad every year.
San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands, is known for its baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and cultural festivals. In the city’s historic, cobblestoned center lies the neo-Gothic church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, whose dramatic pink towers rise above the main plaza, El Jardín. The Templo de San Francisco church nearby has an 18th-century churrigueresque facade.
The Mexican peso (MXN), the national currency, is accepted throughout San Miguel. One peso is equal to about $0.075 USD. Visitors can exchange international currency at the Casa de Cambio (currency exchange office).
San Miguel de Allende is influenced by the local steppe climate. In San Miguel de Allende, there is little rainfall throughout the year. This location is classified as BSh by Köppen and Geiger. The average temperature in San Miguel de Allende is 19.5 °C. The average annual rainfall is 545 mm.
The driest month is February, with 6 mm of rainfall. With an average of 108 mm, the most precipitation falls in July.
The warmest month of the year is May, with an average temperature of 22.6 °C. January has the lowest average temperature of the year. It is 15.4 °C.
The difference in precipitation between the driest month and the wettest month is 102 mm. During the year, the average temperatures vary by 7.2 °C.
Spanish is spoken in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a safe place day and night. No wonder thousands of retired North Americans choose this city as their home. Use common sense, don’t leave valuables out in plain sight.
Consulate of the U.S.A. Hernandez Marcias 72. Phone 152-2357
Driving in San Miguel is even more nightmarish. There was a time when the city was not so wealthy and only taxis could be found on these roads. Now that the real estate market has boomed, an influx of money has made cars more affordable and now the average resident is more likely to own one – good news for the economy, but bad news for the roads. Many two-way streets in San Miguel are too narrow to support two lanes of traffic, and it’s not uncommon for a street to become so choked with cars that drivers have to get out and negotiate which one is going to back up to a wider street to let the other pass. Many streets are one-way so look for an arrow on the side of a building indicating which direction the traffic is going. A double arrow indicates a two-way street. Watch out for very steep streets. They can get even steeper than you realize and at least one in San Miguel is so narrow at the bottom that no more than a medium-sized car with its side mirrors pulled in can safely maneuver between the buildings. Scratches on the walls attest to drivers who have literally had to scrape between the buildings. Backing up the hill is not an option.
Catch a taxi within San Miguel for a flat rate of only 30 pesos within centro, more outside Centro or after dark. In-town taxis are abundant and a great option after an afternoon of shopping. If you call a taxi to pick you up in a location, there is additional cost. Rates can also be negotiated to destinations outside of town. For the best luck with taxis, and to avoid any confusion or argument, you best bet is to ask the taxi driver what the rate will be to your destination before you get into the taxi.
By tourist trolley
Two different companies provide Sighseeing rides using trolley-looking buses that cost 60 pesos. You can ask for tickets in the main tourist office just in the main square. The ride lasts 1.5 hours (if traffic allows) and reaches the top of a hill for a fantastic sight of the town.