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5 Reasons Why This Historical Town In Mexico Is A Favorite For American Travelers

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Travel and Leisure’s annual awards have rolled in, and we’re all curious about what and where made the cut.

Almost every year, Mexico is named one of the fan favorites for U.S. travelers looking for a cheap getaway with a little sun, sea, and sand.

Readers were asked to rate cities based on several factors, from attractions to the friendliness of locals. More than 685,000 people voted, ranking San Miguel de Allende as number 2.

One reader mentioned it’s like “traveling back in time” due to its charming architecture and rich traditions. 


Located in Mexico’s Highlands, the pueblo is known for its Spanish-looking designs and cobblestoned streets. Like most of Mexico, San Miguel comes to life through its art culture.

Over 3 hours away from Mexico City, this charming area is relatively small and definitely worth a visit. 

A Thriving City Center

The streets of San Miguel are teeming with creative individuals looking to share their talents with the world. It’s easy to walk for hours around the cobblestone streets and looping alleyways in search of a traditional store or foodie spot to eat. 

aerial view of san miguel

There’s so much to see and always something happening in town. The neo-Gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church sits proudly in the main Plaza: most noticeable for its pink towers.

The Templo De San Francisco is also another must-visit if you’re into architecture.

Eclectic Shops

If you’re a lover of antique shops or emporiums, then you’ll be in for a treat if you’re visiting San Miguel De Allende.

There’s a variety of old-looking stores here that are quite unique, selling all sorts of things for locals and tourists. 

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San Gervasio Church Valladolid, Yucatan, Mexico

One of the most well-known is Botica De Santa Teresita. They’re famous for their budget-friendly homeopathic remedies and for the cool interior: which is designed like an old emporium.

The Handicraft Market also houses over 45 vendors, so this should be on your list if you want to shop around.

Food Always

Foodie lovers rejoice. If Mexico is known for one thing, it’s the array of food options on offer. Walk through the side streets to find fresh outdoor markets and cute restaurants.

From traditional Mexican to Italian food, there’s really something for everyone. 

Houses in Palenque, Mexico

From delicious street food to fancy restaurants, there are so many choices in town.

Ranked as number one in the area for 2023, Cosa Nostra restaurant serves a variety of dishes thanks to the creativity of its Swiss owner and the mix of flavors. 

Mercado Ignacio Ramirez is a popular spot that you should definitely visit. With food, clothing, and local products, it’s easy to spend most of the day exploring the wares. 


Named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008, San Miguel attracts history buffs from around the world looking to witness the deep history of the region dating back to 1542.

Street in Zihuatanejo, Mexico with a white VW Beetle

A blend of a few different cultures, San Miguel shows signs of both Spanish and Mexican history throughout.

Nods towards the region's historical past can be seen among the statues scattered around the town: including the statue of General Ignacio standing tall in the center. 

Good Prices

Travelers will be happy to know that San Miguel is relatively cheap. As a budget-friendly destination, Mexico is on many people’s lists looking to travel on a budget.

Once you’re here, it’s relatively cheap to travel around and live comfortably for very little. Hotels also typically start at $50 a night and go upwards, depending on what you're looking for. 

A reasonable-sized meal could cost anywhere between $5-10, and domestic beer can range from $2-3 (which is a major win). With the variety of street food offerings and local markets to buy groceries, it’s really easy to travel here comfortably on a budget. 

Young woman visiting the city of Merida in Yucatan, Mexico. Tourist destination with colorful houses and streets, typical of the country.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.