San Miguel de Allende, about a 90- minute drive from Leon/Guanajuato Airport (BJX), is attracting travelers who don’t just want a beach and resort scene in Mexico, but more of an opportunity to immerse themselves in the Mexican culture. The city is known for its robust art scene, top food venues and natural attractions.
San Miguel de Allende is also growing in popularity because it does have a range of quality accommodations. Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada boasts guest rooms suitable for VIPs, including the Presidential Suite inspired by Mexican culture (note the Talavera-tiled bathroom). This top suite also includes two balconies that can easily facilitate hosting parties and barbecues, a selling point for group travelers. Another property to recommend is the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. We suggest visiting this hotel’s spa and recommend the mole scrub treatment that uses mole spice and cocoa to exfoliate the skin.
The other reason San Miguel de Allende is growing in popularity with travelers is because of the shopping, hot springs and vineyards. The springs are about 15 minutes from the main city and are popular with tourists and locals alike — especially those at Escondido Place, La Gurta and Xote. For some of the best shopping in Mexico, travelers visit the aisles of the La Calaca boutique. The shop sells artifacts dating back to the 19th century. Hope Smith of Born To Travel suggests travelers visit Cuna Quince, known for its various shops and a delicious eatery.
Of particular interest to oenophiles, there are four vineyards within a 20-minute drive of San Miguel de Allende. Some of the best ones to tour include Bodega Dos Buhos, Vinicola Toyan, Cuna De Tierra and Santisima Trinidad.
Travelers can’t go to San Miguel without noticing the blooming art scene. Fábrica la Aurora, home to more than 50 galleries, is the hotspot for art in the city. Here, shoppers can collect furniture, antiques and art. If travelers want to admire art instead of purchasing it, they should visit Bellas Artes or the cultural center of Ignacio Ramírez el Nigromante.
San Miguel de Allende also has a range of adventure opportunities — including horseback riding and rappelling — in the nearby Coyote Canyon. After a day of outdoor activity, travelers should check out the gastronomy scene. Myste Wright of Protravel International suggests that people order tacos from Don Taco Tequila. Her personal favorite is the signature taco on a flour tortilla, which is wrapped around a rib eye steak and then flambéed in tequila.