San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel

de Allende

An Upscale Mexican Haven

Not every one of us are looking for cost-cutting retirement, and for those lucky folks who aren’t worried about their finances, there are also great places in Mexico to live the next part of their lives.

San Miguel de Allende may be one of those places for them to consider.  San Miguel as it is often shortened to, in the state of Guanajuato, in Mexico’s central mountain plain, is a picturesque, culturally diverse city.  It’s located about halfway between the cities of Léon and Querétaro, with Mexico City a 4-hour drive to the south, Guadalajara a 4-hour drive to the east, and the Texas border 10-hours to the north, the location is a delightful change from the warmer, more tropical, sea level coastal communities. 

San Miguel de Allende

Hilly Street

Real estate in and around San Miguel, especially where expats have settled, has appreciated over the years same as other areas of Mexico, though, bargains may still be found. And, with the lower taxes of Mexico, and the expensive bountiful native foods, you’re bound to save, even if that’s not your main goal.  For those who are so inclined, San Miguel may be the perfect retirement spot you’ve been searching for.

The moderate weather in San Miguel is what entices a lot of expats.  The humidity is low with an average monthly rain fall of around half an inch.  The temperatures are cooler than you would find at the coast areas, due to the high altitude of about 6,400 feet.  At the same time, you also need to realize that due to that altitude, some retirees may not feel their best.  If you have a blood pressure problem, you may find, especially at first, there just seems not to be enough oxygen in the air.  Though most of the year the weather is just about perfect, you’ll need a nice warm jacket for some of the cooler winter evenings. 

San Miguel de Allende


With a growing metro population of about 140,000, of which 10,000 are expats, residents are proud of their relatively low crime rate in this Mexico community.  Albeit, the added population does very often create traffic problems, especially in the heart of the city, El Centro.

Welcoming artistic endeavors and apprecianados, San Miguel offers musical venues, art galleries, historic landmarks, libraries and art schools.  If crafts are one of your passions, you’ll spend days browsing the Mercado de Artisans or any of the many shops that line the winding cobbled streets of lovely San Miguel.  

At Tuesday market you can find fresh food from the locals, from snacks to gourmet items.  Residents do shop in nearby Queretaro, where there are mega malls along with Wal-Mart, Sams’, Office Max, GNC and the usual fast-food of Domino’s, Dairy Queen, KFC, McDonald’s, Subway and Chili’s.

San Miguel de AllendeFor health care in San Miguel, Hospital de la Fe, a modern, private hospital, can handle most normal health needs.  General Hospital, a few blocks northwest of the central plaza, is staffed by U.S. emergency physicians, who work with the Pan-American Collaborative Emergency Medicine Development Program.  Only 40 minutes away, the city of Queretaro has health specialists in most areas available.

Conveniences include telephone and high-speed internet, and all the usual amenities expected by North Americans, including golf, tennis, spas, and hiking. 

Airports that serve San Miguel include Aeropuerto Internacional de Queretaro at Queretaro, about 75 minutes from San Miguel; and the international airport Aeropuerto del Bajio, between Leon and Guanajuanto, about 90 minute’s drive.  Shuttle service is available at both facilities. Flying into Mexico City’s Benito Juarez Airport is another option for those of you wanting to visit and maybe make your new home in San Miguel.

San Miguel Article by Barbie.

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15 Responses to San Miguel de Allende

  1. jeff

    October 21, 2010 at 7:14 am

    ive been to puerto vallarta many times and we love it down there.never see any info on pvr just wondering if you have any

  2. Jayne Martin

    October 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Your article infers a higher cost of living. Would have liked to know what range the costs are. For example: Is it within a $1000 monthly income or $2-3000?

  3. Barbie


    October 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Jayne – I’ve said many times, that everyone is different as to what they can – or want to – live on. I personally think that anyone in San Miguel may be more comfortable with over $1000. BUT… it all depends – are you going to buy a home? Will you rent? Is your car paid for? And, again, out of the “Expat” sections, you are going to find the bargains.

  4. Barbie


    October 24, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Going to get started on that article – keep checking in. Barbie

  5. Milton Platt

    November 20, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I agree that the costs can be higher in San Miguel. I go through $1000 in a couple of weeks, but then that’s living like a tourist. And it includes bus fare down from the border. If every night isn’t a nite on the town, it should be cheaper. I think $2000 a month would work, maybe less.

    This is assuming that you don’t want to live like a pauper.

  6. phyllis

    May 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Hi- San Miguel sounds just wonderful, however, possilbly too expensive for me- I am planning on around $1,800 monthly at retirement. Is there another town similar? Kinda of artist- and nice weather, not too small? I am also interested in taking spanish classes. Also, are there any tours available that focuses on retiring in Mexico?

  7. novotel peace beijing

    June 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Good article, very helpful to me, thank you very much.

  8. Desiree Lara

    July 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I just moved to San Miguel de Allende after 12th. Years living in Puerto Vallarta. San Miguel is unique, beautiful and friendly people, rich in history, arts and architecture. I joined a very proffesional Real Estate Group who represents among others; a wonderful retirment community and one of the best Assisted living in Mexico.
    With the monthly budget mentioned before by Phyllips: yes, you will be able to retire in San Miguel with about 1,800 usd. And studing spanish. It will be a pleasure to assist you in this adventure!.

  9. Barbie


    July 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Glad to have my writtings confirmed :) Barbie

  10. Andrea Carpenter

    September 29, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I would love to get in touch with actual Americans who live in San Miguel De Allende. I’m looking to have to go to the Long Term Facility there as I cannot afford it in the USA.
    Would anyone want to communicate with me so I can find out more about what I have to do in order to make this happen? I have already been in SMDA and liked it very much.

  11. Andrea Carpenter

    September 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Hi, my name is Andrea. I live in the San Francisco, CA area. Been to San Miguel and love it. Want to retire there. Have health care issues and thinking to live at their LTC facilty.
    I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to speak Spanish in San Miguel, but sure couldn’t hurt. Everyone at Cielito Lindo (LTC) speaks English, but I would love to meet some friends so I would be more comfortable. If you are still very young and don’t need Long Term Care, then you probably might need more than $1,800 to live there as I found SMDA to be pretty expensive. However, you could live in a villa-like Longe Term Care facility starting at less than $1,600, everything included. I also know people personally who live there, (I play bridge on the computer some people from SMDA).
    Maybe we can meet in SMDA next time you go there and find out more things. It’s one thing to learn through mail, but I think it’s more important to find out by yourself. What do you think?
    MY EMAIL IS: [email protected]
    I live in San Francisco, CA

  12. Barbie


    October 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    How about it Readers – any info will be shared with others and Andrea. Until then, Andrea, read these:
    for Lake Chapala and San Miguel info.

  13. Barbie


    October 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Andrea, me again – check this out too: Barbie

  14. Andrea Carpenter

    October 22, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Any comment from anyone living in or knowing about San Miguel De Allende, I would love to communicate with you as I will be living there in the future, hopefully (Cielitolindo Assisted Living).
    Will answer all mail .

    thanks so much,

  15. Barbie


    October 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Please, I know lots of my readers love San Miguel – write back here so Andrea can have the info, and all the other soon to be retirees too! Barbie

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