Oaxaca or San Miguel de Allende


Jun 1st, 2003, 02:17 PM
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Oaxaca or San Miguel de Allende

I am considering a solo trip in August to either Oaxaca or San Miguel de Allende. Am looking to do some arts and crafts shopping and eat some great food. Looking for recommendations for either destination and suggestions for a B&B. Any info is appreciated. Thanks.
mexicosteve is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:11 AM
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My vote is for Oaxaca . . . we were there summer before last and LOVED it. Great food, lots of crafts, interesting sites in the town and lots of close/interesting day trips.

I typed up my notes . . . if you're interested, email me ([email protected]).

We also went to San Miguel and hated it . . . think Cancun without the beach.

Buen viaje,
sandy_b is offline  
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Like Sandy, I've been to both, but I disagree with her assessment of San Miguel. It was a few years ago, but I liked it - it definitely wasn't Cancun without the beach (I don't like Cancun with or without the beach!). We also stayed in Guanajuato, which I enjoyed even more. Maybe part of my enjoyment of San Miguel was that we were there during carnival. I remember small children running around, breaking egg shells over us - until we knew what was going on, it seemed rather odd to say the least! But it was a lot of fun and the town was charming at that time of year.

I think there's probably more to do in Oaxaca though - more day trips to take, etc. I have often said I'd like to go back there - again, it's been a few years (probably 10 years).
SusanInToronto is online now  
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Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:42 PM
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Oaxaca is a great area with so many places to see and crafts to buy. I have been taking my H.S. Spanish students down there for 5 years and have never been dissapointed. The markets are wonderful (Tlacolula on Sundays is a must)mixed in with a ruin here and there. The food also is great! Very reasonable; from tacos al pastor on the streets to moles and margaritas at El Naranjo (the manchamantales was the best!) B and B's are plentiful La Casa de mis Recuerdos y Las Buganbilias, also the hotel Las Golondrinas is very centrally located and offers breakfast for a price. Never been in the summer, I think it is rainy season so bring an umbrella or slicker. Diviertase!, Sr. G
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Jun 4th, 2003, 06:17 AM
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Hi Steve,
we will be going to SMA in August.
While some people dislike it there because there is a large American/European community, it is also a fine Colonial town with many art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
They have many many B&Bs as well as affordable hotels. We are staying at the Lamorada. I will look up my list of sites and post them here for you.
While we are there, 9 days, we are also visiting Guanajuato and perhaps one other place.
Scarlett is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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Hope these help!
Scarlett is offline  
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Jun 4th, 2003, 09:55 AM
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Definitely Oxaca over SMA. IMHO
santas_helper is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2004, 12:38 AM
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Oaxaca has the best cuisine in whole Mexico in my opinion. I used to live in San Miguel de Allende years ago before it became famous, so I know.
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Jun 29th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Perhaps you should return. While Dallas has more restaurants per capita than any city in the US, many in San Miguel are equal or better, especially given the exchange rate.
Yes, I shall eventually visit Oaxaca.
mikemo is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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I really don't get that comment about San Miguel being like Cancun. They're about as similar as New York City is to Amarillo Texas.

I'm with mikemo --- you can find INCREDIBLE eats in San Miguel (though you can in Oaxaca too).

Otherwise, I too would probably vote for Oaxaca over San Miguel given your interest in arts and crafts. Oaxaca has one of the strongest folk art traditions in Mexico (though there are quite a few serious contenders for the title, IMHO).

Have fun!
TioGringo is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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My comment about San Miguel being like Cancun without the beach was because SM was full of Americans. We went expecting to visit a colonial Mexican town . . . instead, we found a garden party of Americans.

The shops were either full of tacky souvenirs or VERY expensive art . . . this was not what we went to Mexico to experience. We LOVED Oaxaca and wished we'd spent all of our time there instead of splitting it between San Miguel and O. We did have good food in SM and a nice and cheap place to stay . . . other than that, we much more enjoyed Zacatecas, Morelia, Patzcuaro.

If your reason for travel is to hang out with rich Americans, then you'll love SM . . . that's just not what we wanted in our Mexican vacation.

This is why we have this great forum . . . so everyone can voice his/her opinion.

Have a great trip wherever you decide to go.

Buen viaje,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Jun 29th, 2004, 08:59 PM
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My vote is for oaxaca, specially for the food and crafts, you can also do some nice sightseeing.

Check out Hotel Vitoria, best city view.
Diego13 is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2004, 03:04 AM
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As nearly as I can ascertain, sandy_b's comments are from an "educator/perhaps tenured ass't, assoc, full prof" at a taxpayer supported (2nd, perhaps 3rd tier) University in N. Texas".
Typically, the academic community has no clue, like most politicians, but many opinions, most reflective, and one or two good ones.
Anyone who pays high public school property taxes, has children in private primary/secondary schools, and has/had children in the US undergrad "system" in the last 30 years knows our differences.
Lo siento, mi Amiga, MHO
fmr (70's) Ass't Clin Prof Radiology/Nuclear Med @ GWU and UCSD
mikemo is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2004, 04:29 AM
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mikemo: You live in San Miguel, don't you? I'm pretty sure I saw that on another thread.

I have been to both in the last 10 yrs. I stayed in small modest inns in both places. I liked them both for different reasons. I was able to do very good arts and crafts shopping in both. Oaxaca has a very good market, and I was also able to buy very high quality authentic goods right on the streets (esp. weaving- the women were sitting there on the road w/their looms, making fabric and fashioning it into shawls, etc.) I was in Oaxaca once at a particularly wonderful time period that included Christmas Eve, which is the most special festival of the year there IMO, the radish festival where the town's people carve nativity scenes out of huge radish tubors and set them up around the square on tables for everyone to see, along w/ a candlelight processional and eating bunuelos and smashing the plates they are sold on. The ruins at Monte Alban are very good. I don't know what the beaches are like now. I went to Puerto Escondito and it was a sleepy hole in the wall then (and I loved it) but it has probably changed now. Did not make it to Puerto Angel, it was difficult to get to. Yes, the food was great in Oaxaca. I still want to go back and have the carrot soup that I had every day for lunch while I was there. I have very vivid memories of everything from both trips. And I still have every craft I bought there on both trips. The black pottery is great, but the weaving is phenomemal.
San Miguel was different. It was a bit sleepier, lower key. Lovely colonial town. We strolled through streets and churches. Took some art lessons for a few days from an American (and yoga; I was really surprised to see yoga offered in a Mexican town by a Mexican national, but SAn Miguel is surprising in it's offerings). The crafts were freely available in shops, and they sold a wider range of crafts than Oaxaca had, from many different parts of Mexico, the green pottery from Patzcuaro, more good quality silver, more folk art from various areas, some not close by. The food was pretty good, but not as memorable as Oaxaca. The small art galleries were excellent; I bought some woodblock art that I still have up on the walls in out home.
My husband (a Yankee) has never been to Mexico, and I have often thought if I could take him to one place there, it would be Oaxaca.
emd is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2004, 05:55 AM
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I own a nice small 3 br 3 ba house in the very Mexican Centro neighborhood N of the Biblioteca near the Mercado Artisanias. Unfortunately, I spend less than three months a year there.
PS two of my four current tenants are private school Spanish teachers and all love it and especially my wonderful maid/cook/gardener - Patricia.
mikemo is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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To Mikemo,

What did I do to extract such wrath? I merely gave my opinion on a public forum, I didn't think I was insulting anyone or that I am illiterate poor white trash.

I'm sure I don't make the salary that you professional medical folks do (I'm just lowly staff here at UNT) but that should not mean that my comments should not be voiced.

And, another thing . . . UNT is a wonderful university, our music school is the very best in the country, our counseling program is ranked in the top 20 in the country and is #1 in Texas (according to U.S. News and World Reports); we have a college that is known for training exemplary teachers, and I could go on and on. Please don't lambast us for being a state supported university. Not everyone can afford private school.

Getting off my soapbox now . . .
Sandy (in Denton)
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Jun 30th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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comments to sandy were really uncalled for. Travel is subjective, we all have different opinions...I don't quite get the spewing about the educational system.
I always think of Cambodia in the '70's when people start screaming their heads off about academia...
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Jun 30th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Thank you Frankie!

Sandy (in Denton)
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Jun 30th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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I definitely agree with mikemo. Sandy-b's comments are completely exaggerated. San Miguel is a charming colonial town with a lot of Mexican flavor to offer. To compare it to Cancun is just plain wrong. Yes, San Miguel attracts many American visitors but the scene is entirely different from Cancun, the tourists that visit or the ex-pats that live there are the type that would never venture to Cancun, and this makes a heck of a difference. Why not speak about the beauty of both Oaxaca and San Miguel than wrongly inform others into thinking that San Miguel is on par with Cancun? Sandy-b's post reeks of the kind of people who feels the need to make herself feel better/wiser than others only because she's been to a *slightly* less visited locale.... please, San Miguel is an incredibly special place with much to offer.
novias is offline  
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Jun 30th, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Help with a couple of questions if you don't mind:

Can anyone compare SMA with Antigua, Guatemala?

Susan: Tell us a bit more about your time in Guanajuato.

Carnival was mentioned. Is the pre-Lent carnival and is it widely celebrated in Mexic0? [always looking for trips in dreary Feb and Mar]

Many thanks!
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