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.
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.
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.
For 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.