San Miguel de Allende is almost as colourful as my spice rack!
60 miles through the hilly Mexican highlands lands us in the charming city of San Miguel de Allende.
It was a twisty and winding road with a crazy bus driver that I yelled at a couple of times. We were happy to bid him farewell.
San Miguel de Allende is both quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. With its narrow cobblestone streets, leafy courtyards, fine colored architectural details and sumptuous interiors, San Miguel de Allende is a no doubt a very pretty town, maybe a bit too pretty.
There’s a hint of perfectness here.
Once an important stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, its historic center is filled with very well-preserved buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries plus Starbucks from the 21st century… arrghh.
It was recently included in UNESCO’s list due to its cultural diversity, buildings and monuments of great historical importance, which contribute culturally and architecturally to the Mexican Baroque.
Speaking of Mexican Baroque, lets take a look at the absolute highlight of our day (apart from our fish tacos) – this is one church you simply cannot miss. I’m sure we both photographed it from every angle!
The towering neo-gothic spires that protrude and the distinctive facade will strike immediately you walk into the square. Actually only the facade of the church is neo-gothic, the rest of the building dates to the 17th century, and is baroque in style.
Also contrary to popular belief it is not actually a cathedral, it’s a local parish referred to as La Parroquia. A cathedral on the other hand is the principal church of a diocese, at which a bishop presides. (that’s todays piece of learning for me!)
Although a totally different type of structure to the rest of the city, it has without question become the emblematic symbol of San Miguel de Allende.
And when you’re done marveling at this church, hail a cab for about 30 pesos and get a ride up the hill to El Mirador – pronounced El MEE RA DOOR.. here you’ll get a fabulous panoramic view of the city.
Then walk down for more gorgeous views.
San Miguel is a preferred destination of art lovers. Whether you’re an aspiring or accomplished artist, or just prefer to admire the creations of others, you’ll be happy here. Studio openings, courses and workshops form a vital part of the thriving arts scene. Galleries, boutiques and shops selling a wide range of art and handicrafts are plentiful so it won’t be hard to spend your money.
There’s also a substantial expat community in San Miguel, so it’s easy to find services in English and hotels and restaurants cater to the Americans, Canadians and Europeans who flock here. It is still very much a Mexican town, however, where locals cheerily co-exist with the foreigners who visit or call this city home.