San Miguel de Allende Travel Guide

Mexico  #5 in Best Places to Visit in January

Courtesy of Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images/Blend Images

Getting Around San Miguel de Allende

The best way to get around San Miguel de Allende is on foot. Some of the most exciting discoveries in the mountain town can be found along its winding walkways. Just be sure to pack comfortable sneakers; cobbled, narrow streets can be tough on feet. While a car won't be convenient for navigating the ins and outs of San Miguel, it will be useful if you choose to take day trips. Central San Miguel lacks public transportation, but buses are available for trips to attractions located farther from the city's core. You can also access all corners of San Miguel by taxi. If you're up to it, you can try biking through San Miguel's streets. Just note that the hilly terrain can be a challenge.

Finding your way to San Miguel can be simple, despite its remote location about 170 miles (or around a three-hour drive) northwest of Mexico City's Benito Jaurez International Airport (MEX). Queretaro Airport (QRO) sits nearly 55 miles southeast of San Miguel, while Leon/Guanajuato Airport (BJX) can be found approximately 60 miles (or about a 90-minute drive) west of the city. Though Leon/Guanajuato is a bit further, it's the most popular airport for international travel to San Miguel because it operates direct flights to and from several major U.S. cities daily. Taxis from either Queretaro or Leon/Guanajuato airports to San Miguel will cost about $90 USD for up to three people. 

On foot

Walk the narrow streets of San Miguel so as not to miss the beauty of the colonial architecture. Most of the city's attractions are within walking distance of one another, but be mindful of steep paths and uneven ground while you make your way to the sites. You should also note that walking may leave you slightly winded — the city sits at an elevation of about 7,000 feet. To limit walking time, use the city center as your home base and stick to the restaurants and attractions just off El Jardin.   


Bici Burro, a small bicycle shop that has been in San Miguel since 1963, offers bike rentals and organizes biking and hiking tours of the city. The tours range from five to seven hours, come with all the gear you'll need and are led by knowledgeable local guides. Rentals cost 500 MXN (about $38 USD) per day; tour prices vary by package and range from 850 to 1,350 MXN (about $67 to $107 USD) per person.


Driving in San Miguel is more trouble than it's worth. The roads are narrow, winding and steep — after all, it is a mountainous region. Add in the challenge of limited parking and you may wish you chose another mode of transport. But if you're interested in visiting nearby towns or attractions, a car can come in handy. San Miguel Rent a Car in the city's center offers a range of vehicle options. And a driver's license from your country of residence will suffice when renting a car in San Miguel.


For a total rate of 25 to 30 MXN (about $2 USD) during the day, cabs will go just about anywhere within the city parameters. But the rate can change to a higher flat rate (30 to 35 MXN or $2.50 USD) based on the time of day or destination, so be sure to ask your driver what the fare will be before you head off. Keep in mind, you should tip taxi drivers 10 to 15 percent of your total fare. 

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