San Miguel de Allende (SMA) is a lovely city of about 200,000 full-time residents in the high desert of central Mexico. (Sorry, folks, nowhere near a beach!) It’s nestled in the mountains and averages about 75 degrees year round. It’s also the place Jay and I want to start our travel adventures.
- First, climate. I live in the foothills of the Cascades; I need to ease into this warm, sunny thing. (LOL, as I told friends about our plans, every one said, “You know it’s sunny there, right?” Yes, I know.)
- Second, I have a friend who owns a condo there. She told me enough about it to convince me that it’s the kind of place I would like.
- Third, the locals are supposedly really welcoming, but there’s still a large population of ex-pats. We’re NOT moving to Mexico to hang out with Americans, but as we get our feet under us in our first foreign country, we will feel better if there are people we can ask for help. (And that ex-pat community has also been very welcoming!)
- Fourth, fast internet. SMA has what we need to work reliably.
All that sounded good on paper, but we hadn’t actually BEEN to SMA. I, in fact, hadn’t even been to Mexico before! So we sent the dogs to “camp” for a week, and we took a vacation in SMA to check it out.
We took a red-eye from Seattle in order to arrive in Queretaro, the closest city, during the day. Queretaro is a modern city of 5 million people, but we didn’t realize that on the way in. We skirted the city and saw only a run-down industrial area. Jay was concerned when he saw it, thinking that was what SMA would be like.
He was wrong.
SMA is an UNESCO World Heritage site, and in 2013 Conde Nast Traveler selected SMA as the “Number 1 City in the World.” It’s a colonial city thriving with art and culture. And it’s breath-taking. I’m going to stop rambling and just post some pictures from our vacation. Enjoy!
After spending some time in SMA, our verdict is that the city is perfect for us. We absolutely can’t wait to move there for a few months!