San Miguel de Allende was founded by the Spanish in 1541 but later became the first municipality declared independent of Spanish rule, during the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821). It became a quiet, calm place frequented by rich Mexicans because of its proximity to the hot springs. It’s right smack in the middle of Mexico’s cradle of independence and, like Guanajuato, it’s got a rich history. Today, the bustling town of 180,000 (approximately 12,000 of those are expats) is home to stunning art galleries, intriguing stores and international restaurants. At the same time, vendors meander down cobblestone paths with their burros (donkeys). You can buy a $10,000 USD bottle of vodka in a Faberge egg at the liquor section of the upscale gourmet grocer, City Market. Or a kilo of fresh, ripe, red strawberries for 20 pesos (about $1) at the farmer’s market. That’s San Miguel.
Is San Miguel Expensive?
As with any popular destination in San Miguel, renting and buying in the city center is expensive. Most of the businesses and buildings in Centro are owned by Mexicans. As you extend a little further out, prices drop. The population of San Miguel is about 8% expatriate. Tens of thousands of Mexicans live in SMA on low incomes.
There are many restaurants where it is easy to eat for 200 pesos or less. Can you have a much more expensive meal at the Rosewood Hotel or The Restaurant? Of course. The Rosewood was voted the one of the best hotels in Mexico. And, San Miguel has gained a name for its culinary offerings and five-star restaurants. Expect to pay New York prices in those establishments.
There are numerous markets with low cost, high-quality fruits, vegetables, chicken, cheese, etc. The prices are comparable in most Mexican markets. A dozen long stem roses may be as low as $3.50 US. A tire with a slow leak, removed from car and rim, patched and reinstalled again was $3.50 US. If you want to shop at City Market or any of San Miguel’s upscale or organic markets, expect to pay more – as you would anywhere.
We have a very nice home overlooking the city and our annual property taxes are $400 US. Our water bill is $20 per month; propane is $15 a month. We have solar electricity and our electric administration fee is $1.50 per month.
Can SMA be expensive? Of course, as with most anywhere, it can be – but it does not have to be. Many in San Miguel are able to live on small incomes, by living as the locals do.
So, come, enjoy and explore San Miguel de Allende, a World Heritage City.
Restaurants in San Miguel
Berlin is a great restaurant and bar, and a staple in San Miguel. It reminds one of “Cheers”, where you always see familiar faces and many know your name. Umaran #19
Denver’s Los Olivos is a modest Italian restaurant. His pastas and sauces are all homemade. Juan, the owner, cut his culinary teeth in the kitchen of the Olive Garden restaurant chain in the US. Excellent prices and home delivery is available. This is our favorite Italian restaurant. 20 Enero Sur #44.
El Archangel is an excellent small restaurant with unbelievably low prices. They open at 9 am daily starting with breakfast. Menu includes chicken with mole, fish, lasagne, salmon, chile en nogada, shrimp cocktail and much more. One of those little known gems. It is at Calzada de la Estación #35.
El Rinconcito Refugio Norte #7, Husband and wife team featuring very good Mexican food and reasonable in price.
Fenicia, Zacateros #73, Lebanese. When you are ready for healthy food, carefully prepared by the owners.
Hecho en Mexico Ancha de San Antonio #8. Large Mexican menu; very popular, fast service and excellent prices.
La Frontera Refugio Sur # 30; Comfort Food; excellent drowned burrito; very popular with expats. This is one of our favourites. 415-152-4265
OKO Plaza Alhondiga, Carreretara San Miguel-Celya (the strip mall across from La Comer). Thai food and there is an outdoor patio.
Orquidea Zacateros #83 Thai; excellent food and reasonable prices.
Vivali Café Hernandez Marcias #66 Italian Excellent service, Christina the owner is gracious and very selective in the ingredients she chooses.
Medical Services in San Miguel
Please never go to a medical professional (dentist, doctor, nurse practitioner, chiropractor, etc) who does not have a cedula, which is a professional license to practice medicine in Mexico. You will encounter individuals, both Mexican and expats, who say they are medical professionals, but have no credentials to practice in Mexico. And possibly no credentials anywhere. The same applies to lawyers, accountants, notarios, architects, and engineers, among others. Ask to see certification and ask for recommendations.
Dra. Laura Susana Vega Camarena, Gynecologist and Obstetrics, compassionate care, professional and excellent fees. Hospital Star Medica, Queretaro, office #1017, 442-195-8694; Emergencies 442-338-0952; 442-427-8000 / Ext. 21017 email: email@example.com
Dra. Margarita Karina Cruz, Cardiologist, bilingual; excellent doctor; MAC Hospital San Miguel de Allende (415) 120 5484 and Star Medica, Queretaro, (442)195-8685 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dra. Leslie Marie Flores, Primary Care Physician, office appointments and house calls, serving San Miguel and Queretaro. Speaks English, French, Spanish. Appointments: DRLESLIEMARIEFLORES.COM; MAC Hospital San Miguel de Allende Tel. 415-124-7656; Email: DRLESLIEMARIE@gmail.com
Dr. Roberto Matabuena Tamez, Plastic Surgeon, Queretaro and San Miguel. He has an excellent team who works with him using the latest technology.
Dr. Manuel Aparicio Alonso, Orthopaedic Spine Specialist / Surgeon. Bilingual; very skilled. The clinic also performs surgeries and MRI. X-Rays.Centro Médico Jurica. Priv. de los industriales 111-A, Zona industrial Jurica, Querétaro, Qro. Tel: (442) 199-3125 Urgencias: (442) 287-0300
Dra Luvia Rodriguez Quino, Ophthalmologist; bilingual; cataract, laser, refractive and retina surgery. Hidalgo No. 28 Centro San Miguel de Allende, Gto. C.P. 37700; 415 152 5466 email: email@example.com
Dra Itzel Martinez Magana, Dermatologist; Mac Hospital Consultorio #118; phone: 415-197-2208;email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dra Carla Archer, Dermatologist; Hospital Joya; 415-117-0166; email: email@example.com
Hospital Joya is new to San Miguel but they have other hospitals in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Address: Lib. José Manuel Zavala 12-A; Phone: 415 152 5900
Hospital MAC latest equipment; some bilingual staff, professional; across from the west side of Liverpool on Camino Alcocer; Phone: 415 150 3900
Medical Laboratory, X-Ray, MRI, Etc:
CHOPO services include X-Rays, MRI, Ultrasound, blood work etc. They are professional, fast and a fraction of the price found north of the border. Location is next to Santander at Plaza la Luciernaga.
Dr. Isaias Garcia is bilingual and his specialties are implants and crowns with training at a US university. Plaza Alhondiga where is OKO and Italian Coffee, across from La Comer. His office is upstairs PH: 415-120-0055 / 442-242-0551 / 442-186-6605 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jaime Garcia, Pediatric Dentist (only children and teens). Edificio Kubica Privada de los Industriales #110, Office #407, Jurica, Queretaro; Approximately 1 mile past Antea Mall on the same side; phone: 442-199-0656 / 58; Emergency: 442-343-4431;
Dr. Enrique Ortega Rodriguez, Braces for all ages. He and his team are excellent. Appointments are available in San Miguel weekly. Paseo del Prado No. 102-603, Col. Del Prado, Queretaro, QRO, Mexico 76039 Tel: 442-216-8611
Other Services in San Miguel:
After Death Services:
The 24 Hour Association is a non-profit legally registered Mexican association providing a prepaid plan of cremation and burial services that fully comply with Mexican law. The 24 Hour Assn. is the only entity which can register the death with the Mexican authorities without the involvement of a family member. No funeral home can do this. Email: email@example.com Phone: 415-185-2023
Cielito Lindo at Los Labradores, includes fully assisted and independent living;
Automotive Body Work:
Luis Gutierrez: bilingual, has indoor paint area, matches colors well; Colegio Militar #16, Colonia Guadalupe Phone: 415-154-7256 / cel: 415-113-9687
La Cocina Cooking School Sabino 26; 52 888-407-3168
Ramon Salazar owner of Merak Salon, is creative, current and very reasonably priced. Ph: 415-688-1309 Cel: 415-115-7133, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The location is a beautiful historic setting above Paprika Restaurant, Calle Ancha de San Antonio 9A, across from Hecho en Mexico.
Please contact me as I have excellent resources for insurance. This includes medical, evacuation, car, property and life insurance.
Irrigation Systems Residential and Commercial:
Oscar Arroyo Delgado for Wills, property transactions, power of attorney, advance directives. De La Alondra 4, La Luz, one block behind Chrysler, 37747; 415-152-6333
For real estate sale needing calculations and a person who really knows the laws to save capital gains tax please contact Lawyer Fernando Patlan. 415-124-7232.
Real Estate Sales:
Please contact me for a professional realtor here in San Miguel. Email address on right.
SMA Home Solutions longer term rental accommodations and property management. Plaza San Antonio #2 Interior 3, Col. San Antonio. 415 154 646
Volca Movil will come to your house and fix a flat there for a very reasonable fee. No English 415-125-1107 y 415-111-6441
Transportation / Shuttle / Tours:
Safe Trips SMA provides professional, secure, punctual transportation to airports in Leon, Mexico City and Queretaro. In addition, tours including butterfly park, Mineral de Posos, Pacific Coast, Guanajuato, etc. Their vehicles have no identifying marks for your safety. This is the best service of it’s kind in San Miguel. Phone: (044) 415-181-2514; WhatsApp: 52-1-553-901-1914; email: email@example.com
Dr Octavio Capitan Tovar makes house calls. Very reasonable fees. San Francisco #66-5; PH: 415-121-0598
Hot Yoga uses a series of 26 postures (asanas) and 2 breathing exercises (pranayama), performed in a room at 42 degrees for 90 minutes. This sequence is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Each position works, stretches, lengthens and strengthens, in turn, ligaments and joints, preparing the body for the next posture. 415-566-2354
Exploring Around San Miguel
San Miguel has numerous museums, a gorgeous Parroquia (church) on the main plaza, and the seven-acre Juarez Park is just a five-minute walk from Centro.
San Miguel Adventure Park: The park has several zip lines, a suspended bridge, horseback riding, quads, biking and hiking; near La Luciernaga mall.
Candles: LaVela Calzada de la Estacion #239 (across from Immigration). Set back in from the street. 415-152-5353
Coyote Canyon Adventures: hot air balloon, hot springs, horseback riding, adventure tours etc.
Fabrica La Aurora was a factory that made fabric for nearly 100 years. Today, approximately 40 art galleries, interior design stores, and restaurants.
Guajuve is a factory that makes glassware, wine glasses, pitchers, vases, stemware and much more.
La Gruta and Xote are 15 minutes north of San Miguel
Mercado San Juan de Dios; Mercado de Artesanias; Tianguis de los Martes; Tianguis Organico
San Miguel has numerous museums, gorgeous Parroquia (church) on the main plaza, and the seven-acre Juarez Park is just a five-minute walk from Centro.
Nearby Towns Worth a Visit
Dolores Hidalgo is 35 miles north of San Miguel and is known for pottery and ceramics.
Mineral de Pozos, a 45-minute drive, once a very active silver mining town is worth a visit.
Canada de la Virgen Pyramids: 25 minutes from SMA
Queretaro Centro is European in feel with parks, and fountains and it is clean and safe. Explore the alleyways, numerous restaurants, museums and much more. About 55 minutes from San Miguel.
Shopping Antea Lifestyle Center is a modern, sophisticated mall on the northern outskirts of Queretaro in what is called Juriquilla. This mall is on a par with most any found in Canada or the US.
The trampoline center called Sky Zone is in Juriquilla just north of Queretaro, across from Antea Mall and City Market. In the Uptown Mall are big box stores, indoor skating along with Sky Zone for people of all ages.
Guanajuato City is another World Heritage Center and definitely worth a visit. It is 80 minutes away.
Guanajuato City Tourist Guide / Driver: Israel Torres provides tours of Guanajuato City and also will drive you to San Miguel etc. in his own car. He is very professional, bilingual, informed and secure. 473-732-3143 / 473-597-3953
High road from Guanajuato City to Dolores Hidalgo, HWY 110, is a 2 lane, paved highway rising to10,000 feet with gorgeous views and vast pine forests. The drive reminds one of the High Road to Taos, NM.