WHERE IS SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE?
San Miguel is located in Guanajuato State in Central Mexico, approximately 1 hour from Leon Airport (BJX) and approximately 4 hours from the Mexico City Airport (MEX). For more information on transportation, please visit our Travel page. San Miguel was voted #1 Best City in the World by Travel + Lesiure 2017.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL TO MEXICO? YES! As of 2007, all Americans traveling to Mexico must present a valid passport upon arrival in Mexico and upon return to the US.
IS SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE SAFE? YES! San Miguel is considered one of the safest cities in Mexico, with lower incidents of violence than virtually any other area of Mexico. Now, although San Miguel is very safe, we still urge you to employ the same common sense you would use in any city. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, and stay alert when walking through the city at night.
CAN I CONTRACT THE ZIKA VIRUS IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE?
The World Health Organization doesn't think so. Although the Zika virus is present in coastal and tropical areas of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is located in mountainous high desert where the genus of mosquito carrying the Zika virus is not found. This NY Times article provides excellent maps and information about the virus and its prevalence. By best estimates, you are (unfortunately) more likely to contract Zika in the southern US than in central Mexico. Additionally, the World Health Organization has indicated it's safe for all people to travel to areas of higher elevation since the mosquitoes who carry the virus can't live in those climates. See the official advisory here. The temperatures in September/October typically drop to the low 50s at night, so the climate is not conducive for mosquitoes.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK? The weather should be sunny and warm (70F-80F), while most nights will be cool and clear (40F-60F). However, note that the altitude – 6,400 ft – means that you’ll need hats/sunscreen during the day, and layers at night. The suggested attire for the events can be found on the "events" page of the website.
HOW WILL THE ALTITUDE IMPACT ME? San Miguel is at a very high altitude - 6,400 ft - so some people may experience altitude sickness. It also means the sun will be strong (wear sunblock!) and the evenings will be cool.
WILL THE FOOD/WATER MAKE ME SICK? San Miguel is a gourmet foodie’s paradise, but you should still keep a few basic precautions:
Do not drink the tap water. Bottled water is cheap and plentiful, and avoiding dirty water is the single most effective way of preventing illness. Note that some high end hotels/B&B’s effectively filter the tap water provided on premises. Always check with your hotel before imbibing. Use caution when eating street food. San Miguel has a vibrant street food tradition – tasting tacos and tamales from a street cart is simply one of the best ways to experience true Mexican cuisine. However, please keep a few things in mind before embarking on your culinary adventure:
Be very careful to avoid vendors without many customers. Crowds indicate a popular, vetted vendor and a rapid food turnover.
Give the “establishment” a cursory once-over before ordering – cleanliness is key!
Avoid pre-made juices, cold unsealed drinks, and ice, as they may contain unfiltered local water
Peel and/or wash any fresh fruit or veggies before consumption
Take it slow. If your belly isn’t used to spicy Mexican flavors, you may experience discomfort and other “issues” unrelated to food-borne illness. Be nice to your tummy and introduce strong flavors and spicy food gradually.
Use bottled water when brushing your teeth.
Bring back-up meds: It’s almost impossible to predict when and how you could get sick from food/beverage abroad – but it does happen, in spite of the best prevention efforts! Medicine is readily available and safe in Mexico, but we encourage you to bring your own stash of antacids, anti-diarrheals, and even antibiotics.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY? You can reference the accommodations section of our website where you will find a list of great hotels all located within walking distance of the hot spots in downtown San Miguel de Allende.
WHAT KIND OF MONEY DO THEY USE IN MEXICO? The Mexican currency is the peso, which trades at approximately 18 pesos to one US dollar. San Miguel is an extremely well developed city, with numerous ATMs available in the main Centro area. Money Changers are also available in banks, though ATMs generally provide the best exchange rates.
DO THEY ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS?
In addition, most major U.S. credit cards are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and vendors in San Miguel – and you’ll incur no additional fees for using your card in Mexico. However, be sure to notify your bank of your travel plans! Otherwise, your bank may put a security block on your card.
ARE ELECTRICAL OUTLETS THE SAME IN MEXICO? YES! Outlets in Mexico are type A/B – the same as the US.