San Miguel de Allende

15th September 2011

The Hollywood movie “Once Upon a Time in México” (2003) was filmed in charming San Miguel de Allende [32]. A Franciscan friar, Juan de San Miguel founded the city that bears his name in 1542. It is now World Heritage. With bougainvillea tumbling down the muted multi-coloured houses that crawl up the hill side, cobbled streets, a bull ring and clear blue skies it is the classic Mexican colonial town. No wonder thousands of expatriates, mainly US retirees have settled here.


We arrived on a Sunday afternoon to find the central plaza packed, a band playing salsa, folks dancing and food carts doing a roaring trade. The Jardín Botánico, 30 minutes walk from town, has over 1000 species of cactus. Many birds and butterflies are attracted to the flowers growing there. The Santuario de Atotonilco is a World Heritage Site, built in the 18th century. The interior is a real surprise, adorned with rich Mexican Baroque murals. It´s about 20 minutes by taxi from San Miguel and an immensely important pilgrimage site for Mexicans.


San Miguel de Allende

Filmed in San Miguel de Allende (2003)

Behind these swinging doors lies a real Mexican cantina

Arcade around the main Plaza

Plant filled window

Muted coloured houses of the streets of San Miguel

The houses are narrow, but deep

Sope - a tortilla with raised edges full of beans and salad

One of the churches in the centre

Hats for sale at the market

Boy fascinated by mariachis

San Miguel´s bull ring


Santiago Matamoros

Houses winding up the hill

Jeff waits patiently for his hamburger

View of church domes

San José chapel

Cobbled street goes right through this house

A couple of San Miguel´s expat retirees

Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of town

Colibrí – Hummingbird – in action

The austere walls of Santuario de Atotonilca ...

... hide beautifully painted ceilings