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options other than San Miguel D'allende in that area to stay for two weeks

options other than San Miguel D'allende in that area to stay for two weeks

Old May 7th, 2011, 12:53 PM
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options other than San Miguel D'allende in that area to stay for two weeks

Hello Fellow Travelers
We have spent time in Mexico and enjoy staying in Mexican towns and cities. the descriptions I have read of SMD do not entice me to stay there- I could be wrong but my impression is a little too set up for tourism and not so much a Mexican place??

In that area North of Mexico city can anyone suggest an alternative option? We enjoy architecture, Mexican cuisine, sightseeing, local gathering places. Any ideas?? Thanks in advance for this
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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I think you're selling SMA a little short, especially if you've never been there. While it is true that there are many Americans and Canadians living here, the vast majority of the tourists these days are from Mexico City primarily, and weekenders from Queretaro. Isn't that "Mexican?" Consider from SMA you're within an hour to: Queretaro, Pozos, Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo. 2 hours or so from Morelia, Tequisquiapan, Bernal, San Luis Potosi. 3 hours or so to DF, Patzcuaro, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes, and who knows where else. The point is that SMA is indeed a great base to explore the Bajio and its surrounds. World class hotels and restaurants if you wish, or hostels and taquerias if that's your thing and everything in between. Its an easy drive to all of the aforementioned if you have a car, and there are any number of overnight trips you can make. You didn't say how much time you have, but with the exception of the Mexico City area and perhaps Oaxaca, there's as much to see and do in the SMA area as anywhere else in Mexico. Probably the only shortcoming is the lack of ruins to see.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Oops, I did see you have 2 weeks. I would definetly recommend SMA as a base for exploring. Have fun.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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Disclaimer I've never even been in that part of Mexico(!) but I don't have the impression San Miguel is quite as overtouristed as you're making it sound.

I've seen/read wonderful things about Guanajuato.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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Thank you baldone for very informative response. You are right and I apologize if I sounded disparaging about San Miguel. Some of the reading I have done gave me an impression that is not necessarily correct.
We are investigating rental places there now, so it is likely that we will make that our base.
Thanks again!
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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We rented a house in San Miguel de Allende for a week last July. I was surprised that the town was absolutely dead. We saw hardly any other tourists, only a handful, really. I took a cooking class and the woman who has been running the cooking school said she had 6 months of cash reserves left but if tourism and business did not pick up in those next 6 months, she was going to have to leave. She said she thought it was the drug wars that are scaring away the tourists (and then she launched into a tirade about how it is the U.S. that is the source of the demand for the drugs, etc.)

We had a nice time and also visited Queretaro that wk. Again hardly any other tourists. So unless things have changed since last summer, I don't think you are going to see many other tourists in that area.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Ichamp: Certainly no offense taken, I've read the same about sma many times. In fact, I heard the same thing during our first visit 10 years ago, which in turn made us want to visit other parts of Colonial Mexico from Jalisco to Chiapas. But after those 10 years we now find ourselves moving to sma and we are here now finishing a house. So if you happen to have any general questions regarding your search for a rental, I may be able to help. It is also true what emd3 says, July is quite dead due to it being the rainy season. A number of Texans and Arizonans do come down to beat the summer heat. Its a nice time of year to visit.
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Hello--

We are in the same situation and have pretty much the same interests as the OP--looking for a place to settle in for a couple weeks (first of the year) and enjoy ourselves without being on a mad whirlwind tour and with no need to do touristy things all of the time. And, we too have exactly the same hesitations about San Miguel.

We are in our 60s, quite adventuresome, have travelled extensively thourhout the world, don't need English-speaking areas, aren't shoppers, and aren't in to high-end dining experiences much preferring the authentic, local, hole-in-the-wall places. Any more recent thoughts on the subject of the appropriateness of San Miguel for people like us? Thanks.
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Old Oct 7th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Guanajuato is my first choice.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Hi julies, you'll probably find more lodging options in San Miguel than Guanjuato, tho they might cost more. SMA also has a greater variety of eateries, both high and low-end. I'd say there are probably only about 5 really expensive restaurants in San Miguel, but plenty of food carts as well. Lots of the "hole in wall" places as you describe. My wife and I had breakfast this AM in an organic restaurant about 8 blocks from centro, a place you'd only find by walking around. They brew their organic beer as well. SMA is more walkable, but GTO has some nice plazas you won't find in SMA. SMA is laid out in a grid, while GTO is a maze of streets and dead end alleys that gives it a more European than Mexican feel. GTO is more of a university town, while SMA caters more to weekenders from DF, QRO, and SLP. Most of the longtime expats and snowbirds stick to their routines and tend to stay away from the Jardin. SMA is probably better located for day trips than GTO. Weather in both GTO and SMA is near perfect, tho nights can get quite cool in both. The sun sets earlier in GTO due to its being in a valley. If you can find a place with a fireplace, that would be a bonus. In the end, you really can't go wrong in either place. But I will says this: There are those that say don't visit San Miguel because it isn't the "real Mexico". What is the "real Mexico"? Celaya or Irapuato with their industry and graffiti? That's like telling visitors to the US to visit Sioux City, Iowa instead of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Old Oct 11th, 2012, 05:27 PM
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I have a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house rented for 4,000 pesos a month this January in Guanajuato.
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Old Oct 14th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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SMA is a day trip from Guanajuato.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...07139404/show/
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