About San Miguel
San Miguel de Allende is a small colonial town in the Bajío region of Central Mexico, about 170 miles northwest of Mexico City. Founded as “San Miguel El Grande” in 1542 by a Franciscan Monk, Fray Juan de San Miguel. It became a centerpiece in the war for Mexican independence from Spain.
San Miguel is, first and foremost, a city built for relaxing. This old Spanish town of perhaps 140,000 people is protected by the Mexican government to maintain its colonial character. In July of 2008 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a tourist destination, and an art colony. And now, San Miguel is also home to several thousand expatriates, so our English-speaking guests will feel right at home. In spite of the increasing number of tourists and newcomers over the past 20 years, it has retained its charm and still attracts both Mexicans and international visitors who flock here for special holidays, and more than just a few decide to buy a house on the spot.
Thanks to the central location, San Miguel is a great base for day and weekend trips.
DESTINATION: Dolores Hidalgo
HOW TO GET THERE: Buses to Dolores leave every 20 minutes from the bus station on Calzada de la Estación.
WHY GO: Dolores Hidalgo is the place of the famous El Grito, delivered by father Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo on September 16, 1810, that started the 14-year-long battle for independence from Spain. The monument depicting the heroes of the independence war greets all the visitors at the entrance to this historical city.
Today Dolores Hidalgo is famous for its talavera ceramics, with small factories, shops and stores along main entryways, and…ice cream. Ice cream stands stationed around the main square tempt passersby with popular and exotic flavors. Tired of plain vanilla? Try creamy tequila or whiskey and raisin instead. And for those brave souls seeking to impress their taste buds with uncommon experiences – how about pork-skin- or shrimp-flavored ice cream?