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A Hidden Gem

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Have you ever visited a place that continually piqued your interest and haunted you until you finally decided to just go? And when you arrived, you thought, “How did I not know about this before?” 

That is exactly what happened when I visited San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There is a reason Conde’ Nast named it the #1 City to Visit in 2022. 

San Miguel is a vibrant colonial city approximately one hour north via plane from Mexico City. Founded by a Franciscan monk in 1542, this UNESCO World Heritage Site combines a fascinating Spanish colonial history, a strong artistic community, a varied culinary scene, and fantastic shopping. Within a 30-minute jaunt are wineries, remains of a MesoAmerican complex, and hot springs. Add friendly locals, and you couldn’t want more from your Mexican vacation. 

Visiting from Atlanta is easy. Delta has flights via Mexico City to the closest airport, Leon. The hour drive to St. Miguel is worth every minute. I advise using Trip Advisor to book a driver. Their unvarnished customer reviews will help you select pleasant and reliable transportation.

Lodging choices are numerous. Rosewood Hotels has a lovely property with a rooftop terrace overlooking the city. Even if you do not stay there, try it for lunch. A number of boutique hotels with peaceful hidden courtyards are worthy of an afternoon cocktail. My personal favorite is a stunning Airbnb property, Casa Carole. Owners Bill and Carole are delightful and incredibly helpful. 

San Miguel’s main architectural attraction is the Mexican Baroque-inspired cathedral Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel. It is a confetti of pink perfection! Many buildings share this style, making the city as romantic as it is historically and architecturally fascinating. 

The city’s markets offer everything. I am drawn to jewelry crafted of Mexican-mined silver, local pottery and delicate linens. The latter are handwoven and simply irresistible. 

I was surprised by the culinary scene, in the best way. One of my favorite restaurants is Antonia, one of many with rooftop views. Great food is served against a dramatic backdrop of cathedral spires and colorful sunsets. 

A tour of area wineries is a must for those of us who enjoy a sip (or maybe two). The local wines are truly good and a great value. 

And don’t miss visiting the MesoAmerican complex of Canada de La Virgen Pyramid. The sixth century ruins include an observatory colossal temple and burial chambers. Try booking a tour with site archeologist Dr. Rosanna Quiroz Ennius; reach out at astronomiaprehispanica@gmail.com. 

San Miguel and the surrounding areas are romantic, charming, steeped in history and full of vitality. You’ll be glad you didn’t wait to visit!

San Miguel is located in the far eastern part of Guanajuato, Mexico.
http://sanmiguelallende.gob.mx/

  • Canada de La Virgen Pyramid
  • Parraoquia de San Miguel Arcangel
  • Beautiful view of the main square of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico