San Miguel Allende, Mexico

Old Dec 11th, 2001, 02:33 PM
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San Miguel Allende, Mexico

We were wondering what San Miguel would be like in March or August..Has anyone been there or does anyone have any information about it, such as places to stay and personal opinions as to how they liked it there .~ Thanks a lot~C
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 07:24 AM
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We were there in July and the weather was nice, not too hot. We had just come to SMA from a week in Oaxaca and therefore we did not like it too much. In fact, we coined it "Cancun without the beach."

The town was full of retired Americans all dressed like they were going to a garden party, everyone spoke English, all the shops looked like tacky "beach" shops, it was not a Mexican experience at all.

We were to stay 4 nights but only stayed 2 and took the bus to Zacatecas. We loved Z, lots of local color, hardly any tourists, a beautiful, old "silver mining" town.

If you want to hang out with fellow Americans, you will probably enjoy SMA, we wanted to experience more of the Mexican culture and wanted a chance to practice our Spanish.

We did stay at a nice and very inexpensive hotel though . . . Parador San Sabastian, Mesones 7. For about $33/night, we had a big en-suite corner room with fireplace and two double beds.

I'm sure I'll be flamed on our opinion of SMA but we were spoiled by our visit to Oaxaca.

Buen viaje,
Old Dec 12th, 2001, 05:03 PM
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Sandy is correct that there are a lot of Americans in San Miguel de Allende, but I still enjoyed my time there. It was a few years ago and we happened to visit during carnival. We hadn't realized it was carnival until that day. There were women in the jardin selling eggs that had been blown. Little kids would buy the eggs and then break them over your head. First time it happened, I didn't know they were blown eggs - big relief! There were bands and a party atmosphere that evening. The next day we asked what the occasion was and we were told it was carnival - as the man in the tourist said, "some towns have marching bands and parades, we have eggs"! We also spent a couple of nights in Guanajuato which I loved. It was a really interesting place to visit.

Like Sandy, I've also been to Oaxaca. I can't remember which city I visited first. (Both trips would have been a few years ago.) Both are great destinations. You can't really compare them, but I enjoyed both areas, and I'd go back to either.

Both trips would have been in the February or March timeframe - that's when we always go to Mexico.
Old Dec 16th, 2001, 03:46 PM
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I did not like San Miguel de Allende, too Americanised... Guanajuato is nicer and cheaper for htls & restaurants
nicer people happy to see tourists.
I also loved Zacatecas, Colonial city,
Puebla is also worth the "détour" from Mex. city.
all these cities have good weather, might be cool in a.m. in winter time.
Zac. could be freezing...
Old Jan 19th, 2002, 01:25 PM
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If one were to want to live in Mexico,do you think that San Miguel would be too American ? Maybe too American for a vacation but what if you were there for months at a time?
Thank you.
Old Jan 20th, 2002, 04:52 PM
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Responding to Mariisa in the UK:
My Opinion.....
"Vacationing in" and "Living in" Mexico are 2 quite different things.
Do you speak Spanish rather well?
If not, accomplishing ALL THE THINGS necessary to establish a permanent residence and living day-to-day with all life's little problems is severely impacted with a working knowledge of Spanish.
That is why there are several Mexican cities with large English speaking expatriate populations (mostly Canadian and American); not necessarily in enclaves and certainly not all in walled/gated communities but at least in the vicinity. SMA and Ajijic (about a 45 minute drive from Guadalajara) are just 2 worth mentioning. Puerto Vallarta has a certain number as well but you better like heat and humidity to be a year-round resident. They help one another learn the ropes in finding a place to rent; getting medical and dental care; legal work; finding and buying foods you want if you're not content with Mexican cuisine full time; finding and dealing with people to fix things around the house, making repairs, buying a car and keeping it in working order if you don't want to rely on buses and taxi 100% of the time. Just dealing with typical Mexican government required paperwork to be a part-time or full time foreign resident can be a frustrating and time consuming task.
I certainly do not recommend 'moving to and buying property' in your initial destination city. Property can be difficult and take a long time to sell if your first choice is not your permanent choice. Long term rentals are easy to find with a wide variety of apartments, condos, private homes.
I suggest you visit the * * website. There's a HUGE amount of info on it; do take the time to read extensively before posting questions - especially basic ones.
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 08:21 PM
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Thank you very much.I will look at the website and start doing my homework.M
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 01:58 AM
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You're welcome, Marissa.
In my earlier post, of course I meant to typing dealing with life's day to day problems and errands WITHOUT a working knowledge of Spanish can be frustrating.
That is why there are 'English-speaking expatriate' neighborhoods in several well known Mexican cities. There are more than a few paperback books written (for the most part by Americans) on the subject of retiring in Mexico. Use the website:
and do a topic/subject search. Key words to type: Retire in Mexico and/or Living in Mexico.

Also, I recommend an excellent Internet Search Engine called 'Google,' at:
for find just about anything on the Internet.
Once there, just type in search words, such as:
San Miguel Allende
will bring up just about every website which mentions it.
If you type instead:
San Miguel Allende retirement
you'll be better defining the search.

One more thing about the books, I believe they all under estimate the costs of rentals. Yes, it is true there are some bargains and it's unlikely you'll find them as rentals on the Internet. Many times, word of mouth referrals and driving around and looking for signs in the windows are the best way to find long term rentals.
Good luck!
P.S. There's another interesting website on Mexico and I think it's:
If that doesn't work, use Google and type in People's Guide to Mexico.

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