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Clementina Beas of Mexico Insurance Advisors – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are many neighborhoods in San Miguel de Allende that are very interesting places in which to live. An example is the Guadalupe neighborhood, which is a community where the foreign and Mexican neighbors have come together in many different areas and aspects. Community members have created wonderful, picturesque murals on some of the walls of the buildings and businesses in the Guadalupe neighborhood, and tourists, and foreign and Mexican residents alike enjoy walking around the Guadalupe neighborhood to see all these beautiful murals. 
 
Another very beautiful neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende is Guadiana. This is another community wherein the Mexican nationals and the foreign residents get along very well. Guadiana is a very safe neighborhood, and there’s very little traffic. There are very beautiful homes that have been built in Guadiana, and also beautiful public parks and gardens, which can be attributed to projects that have been developed and supported by both the Mexican and foreign communities. The project organizers often have activities in which they have music and food, and they use these activities as a way to raise funds for the parks that are not maintained by the local government. 
 
Another very popular neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende is San Antonio, which was named after the San Antonio church here in town. Saint Anthony is a very revered saint in Mexico, primarily by single women who don’t have a partner yet in life. The single women put a colored ribbon around the patron saint and pray for a loving partner. Saint Anthony is a very loving saint who grants wishes.
 
In June, there is a very famous parade and celebration here in Colonia, in the San Antonio neighborhood, called the Fiesta de Locos. During this parade, people dress up in masks and costumes. The funny thing about it is that you don’t know who’s behind the mask, and normally people are dancing as they parade through the streets of San Antonio. The parade is to honor Saint Anthony, and the people in the parade often throw candy to the spectators who are lined up along the streets. The spectators take out their umbrellas and turn them upside down, and catch the candy with them.
 
Like other neighborhoods in San Antonio, the foreign and Mexican residents here all get along. San Antonio is also known for a lot of its art galleries and artists, primarily painters and sculptors. There is artwork throughout the galleries and artwork shops here in San Miguel de Allende each year that are open to the public. The idea is that the artists open up their homes and their workshop so that the public can come in, have a drink, and see their creations, or be invited for some light snacks. 
 
Outside of the historical center in San Miguel de Allende, there are also residential areas that are also referred to as ‘fraccionamientos’, meaning “residential communities.” There’s one in particular which I really love- Rancho Los Labradores. Rancho Los Labradores is a community that has a little bit of everything. It’s different in that you can really feel the sense of community amongst the residents who live there.  The residents in Rancho Los Labradores are normally Mexicans and foreigners alike who have chosen to live in a community outside of the historical district, which is roughly 10 to 15 minutes away.
 
The nice thing about Rancho Los Labradores is they have many different options- you can stay at their hotel, or you can purchase a villa. They also have homes, as well as rental opportunities. They have a clubhouse, a pool, a Jacuzzi, and thermal hot springs. One place in particular where residents come together is their little café where food and drinks are available. They also have an auditorium, which is available for cultural events that are offered there throughout the year. 
 
Another very unique aspect of Rancho Los Labradores is Cielito Lindo. Cielito Lindo is an assisted living center, available to people who have dementia, Alzheimer’s, or who need the additional full time nursing care. The staff of Cielito Lindo is professionally trained caretakers, doctors and nurses. 
 
Two other communities that are located outside of San Miguel de Allende are Las Brisas and El Secreto. Las Brisas and El Secreto are about 15 minutes outside of San Miguel. These communities have more modern homes, and, like other communities, they have a swimming pool, a gymnasium, security, and green areas that are also very nice.  
 
(Plaza in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Wesley Gleason of Agave Sotheby's International Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Home in Los Balcones, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingCentro is the oldest part of San Miguel de Allende, and that’s where the old buildings are. Centro has become the most atmospheric part of San Miguel de Allende, where there are cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. There’s another circle around Centro, but it’s not the historic zone. 
 
Around San Miguel de Allende, there is consistent architecture- you walk everywhere and it’s still a mix of rich, poor and middle class, but there’s a consistency of architecture in the feel of the town. There’s an area in San Antonio that’s west and adjacent to Centro and has its own square. It used to be a separate town, and has a nice mix of Mexican families and Gringos. In San Antonio, there are a lot of good little restaurants, shops, and as well as workshops, including shops for perhaps an iron worker or a car mechanic, little tiendas and a tortilla shop, etc.  Americans and foreigners really like that area if they want to experience Mexican culture because it’s not as wealthy as a lot of other areas; it’s regular folks. It’s full of color and life 
 
To the east of San Antonio, there’s an area called Guadiana, which is a little more upscale than San Antonio, and is largely residential. The homes are worth US $350,000 to US $1,000,000. In Guadiana, there’s a square that’s very quiet and gentrified. There’s not a lot of activity in Guadiana- there are no workshops, and only a couple of little stores. 
 
There’s an area in San Miguel de Allende called Ojo de Agua which is up the hill from Guadiana, behind Juarez Park. Ojo de Agua is a more upscale area, and the homes there are consistently nice, colonial in  style but relatively new. These homes often have great views, larger lots, and some of them can be huge. The population in Ojo de Agua is composed largely of Americans, but there are Mexican families living there as well. 
 
Above Centro, there are a couple of hillside areas. One is called Atascadero, which is straight up from the square and has been a nice residential area from the 50’s. The houses are a mix of architectural styles. This area is generally quiet, and you get larger pieces of property. It’s not suburban because you’re in town, but it has a very quiet neighborhood.
 
There’s an area called Balcones, which is a newer area. Balcones is a little more consistent- there was a developer involved in starting it, so it’s has uniform nice lots with colors of San Miguel de Allende. A lot of the homes in Balcones have great views of the town.
 
To the north of Balcones in San Miguel de Allende, there’s an area called Guadalupe. Guadalupe is a relatively new area, and is a little like San Antonio. It has a lot of Mexican families, working class and professionals. It’s become very popular with expats, and has a really nice arty vibe- street art, art supply stores, and organic foods. Guadalupe is cool and flat, and it’s a flat walk to Centro. If you go down towards the market, you’ll find a small arroyo (creek) that starts going out in the hills facing Centro. 
 
Other areas in San Miguel de Allende are Sta. Julia, Independencia, and San Rafael- the three main neighborhoods facing town. Sta. Julia, Independencia, and San Rafael’s inhabitants are working class Mexicans and a few expats. These neighborhoods offer really nice views to town, and are a little more humble and less expensive, but living there is very much a Mexican experience. It makes you feel that you’re definitely in Mexico. It’s not a huge mix, but people who live there love it. 
 
On the far outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, there’s Los Frailes, which is outside of the main road of town, and is an older residential community. It started in the 50’s or in the 60’s, and it feels suburban. It’s an official fraccionamiento. There are large 1 and 2 story houses with a yard, there are people walking their dogs, and it’s quiet out there. They have a golf course, a clubhouse, and nice houses overlooking the golf course. 
 
Across the main road are a bunch of new developments that are relatively new, probably developed in the last 10 years. These are newer homes, with a mixture of Americans and Mexicans, but also with a lot of Mexican weekenders, and a lot of Mexican families because they’re gated, secure enclaves. Price ranges are good- about US $250,000 for a house. 
 
( Home in Los Balcones, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ivy Del Pozzo of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Estate home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingHistoric Centro is the immediate center of the town of San Miguel de Allende. First of all, everybody thinks they want to be in the historic centro, because everything is happening there and it is fabulous. Historic Centro is the highest-priced property in the city and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so it is beautiful, but it is also getting very busy. Especially on weekends, it is not a quiet place. There is a lot of hustle and bustle.
 
Then you get to Centro, itself, which is outside of the historic center and it starts to get a little bit quieter. It also has some of the highest prices in town and it is where the most sold properties in town are located. The next most sold area is Colonia San Antonio, which is located west and southwest of Centro and is a 10-minute walk to Centro. It is divided between North and South San Antonio. North San Antonio is the most popular and the priciest right now. South San Antonio was on its way up when all of a sudden the crash happened and it has taken longer for it to come back, but it is coming back now. There are a lot of artsy people in the South San Antonio area and the nice thing about it is when San Antonio has an art walk, there can be about 40 different studios that are all open to the public. 
 
Going further south is Guadiana (10-minute walk away from Centro) on the south side of Centro, which is a lovely neighborhood. It has more organized cobblestones that are very level, which makes for an easy, flat walk and a lovely park.
 
To the east of Guadiana is Ojo de Agua and you start going up the hill, which is is lovely. You will find some very beautiful homes there and it is also where you start to see vistas from some of the main levels of your home but you need to start going uphill to get them. So it might not be for everybody, but Ojo de Agua has got beautiful with great views and not quite as pricey as Centro or Centro Historico. 
 
Next is La Palmita, which is a very mixed area that is just starting to be gentrified. Most of my clients are not Mexican. Most Mexicans like to deal with Mexicans and expats like to deal with expats. However, I do not think of it as much of a cultural thing as  it is because they just want to make sure that they understand everything that is going on when they talk about a large financial investment it is easier  in their first language. So most of the people that I am dealing with are English-speaking expats. 
 
Los Balcones and Atascadero are two areas going up in  the hills. Right above Los Balcones and Atascadero you will see El Charco del Ingenio, which is a preserved area. Los Balcones and Atascadero are areas that tend to be quieter and have more land with the homes as they are up above town itself.  It is about a 15-20 minute walk down but you would certainly want to taxi back up.
 
Then you go around again in the Barrio del Obraje, which is up and coming now. It is located northeast of Centro. It is a mixed neighborhood with some brand new houses being built. Next to Barrio del Obraje is Fabrica Aurora, which is an old manufacturing facility that has now all been turned into small art galleries, so it is very cool.  Also some great restaurants in and around there.
 
Going further to the left or northwest of Centro is Colonia Guadalupe. It is being advertised as the new East Village, which is a bit of a stretch for me but there are  a lot of artists. This is an easy flat walk to Centro.
 
Next is Colonia Independencia, which is a mixed neighborhood. There are a lot of Americans that have bought properties there. I think they moved in there since there were some cool houses and they thought Independencia was going to be gentrified faster than it happened. The same is true for Colonia San Rafael, which is also a more Mexican neighborhood than an expat neighborhood. 
 
Next is Santa Julia, which is due west, but I am not so familiar with this area as I do not sell many homes there.  It is mostly Mexican and just starting to be more mixed as inventory is running low closer to town more people are moving outwards.
 
Next is a golf club called Club de Golf Malanquin, which is located southwest of Centro, past the Libramiento on the road to Celaya. It is around 15 minutes away from Centro San Miguel by car. Club de Golf is a lovely development with beautiful homes, many reasonable and a golf course and clubhouse
 
Next is Villa de los Frailes. It is in that same area but a little bit further to the east side of the road to Celaya. There are a lot of Americans who live in Villa de los Frailes and you can buy houses there that are really inexpensive. However, it is a little bit more difficult to sell them right now because as the property can appear to be a little bit unattended to.  Sales are now increasing there though because the prices are so good and it is only a 12 minute ride to Centro.  Also a quieter area.
 
The top places that we sell are Centro, and Colonia San Antonio, followed by Los Frailes.
 
All in all, at the end of the day, I would have to say that I can’t imagine someone coming to San Miguel and not loving the new life that they can create for themselves.  We have a little bit of everything for everyone here.  
 
(Estate home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Daniel Ortiz of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
View from San Antonio neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAs differentiated from other tourist spots in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende’s main attraction emanates from the center of town.
 
San Miguel de Allende is essentially around 20 blocks around the center of town, or what we call “Centro,” and beyond that point, there are myriad neighborhoods with different names. As you go street by street away from Centro, you will find yourself in another neighborhood and you may not even notice.
 
Generally, the most desirable places are within walking distance to the center of town. We have San Antonio, which is a popular neighborhood that is closer to the center of town. We also have Guardiana, Ojo de Agua, and Guadalupe. The center of town is where the main historic buildings are located, so if you go to another neighborhood like Ojo de Agua, where everything is built about 20 to 25 years ago, you’ll see the difference in construction but you are still within a 20-minute walk from the “square” or “Jardin Principal,” where the main church of San Miguel is located. Jardin Principal is the center of the city but the neighborhood around it is called Centro.
 
There are several neighborhoods that surround this center of town and you won’t really see the difference between them when you are walking. The only difference that you would see is the difference in construction and the type of buildings because the buildings get newer as you get farther away from the center of town.
 
The center of town is very well taken care of. The older buildings are national monuments of the country of Mexico. San Miguel is on the World Heritage list and so we are also under the watch of the UN, so all that combines to create our historic center of town to be beautiful maintained.
 
Many of the streets in Centro already have underground utilities. Many buildings are of beautiful terracotta, red, orange, and yellow colors. The architecture is also colonial. When you move out of the area, you will know that you are in a different area because of the buildings. 
 
Because San Miguel is built on a hill, you also have the uphill neighborhoods that are on the eastern side of the city, like Atascadero and Balcones. Then you start getting into areas that are within driving distance, to different developments that are primarily master-planned communities. Some people live as far as 15 minutes away from downtown San Miguel, which sounds crazy to a lot of people because 15 minutes is nothing in many big cities, but in San Miguel, a 15-minute drive is pretty far. Communities like Rancho Los Labradores, which is a very popular development amongst expats, is on the road to Dolores Hidalgo. As you move closer to town, you have different communities like La Candelaria and Los Senderos. There are golf courses like Malanquin, Ventana, etc. We have developments with views like Vista Antigua. In general, depending on what people are looking for, you have a great array of options for them in and around San Miguel. There is another development here called Los Hacienderos, which is more ecological and very low impact. There are several master planned communities here but the main attraction of San Miguel is always going to be the downtown. That is where the biggest attraction and demand for property is.
 
When you start going to the outskirts of town, you will find smaller developments that do not look like master-planned communities. They look like neighborhoods that are just created but not essentially blended to the rest of the urban part of town. In the historic district of town, there are a couple of very nice condominium projects. One of the most exclusive one is the Rosewood Residences of San Miguel de Allende. There is also Arcangeles and La Fuente. Because of the nature of the historic district, it’s not easy to build condominiums but these projects have all been made considering the area where they are created and considering the type of property that people desire to have in the historic district of town. These projects are consistent with the architectural style of town. 
 
There is a water reservoir in the outskirts of the town of San Miguel and there are several communities that are focused on lake living even though that body of water is not a lake. You essentially go out to the country and you will find these beautiful locations with beautiful trees and nature. This is a high desert so there are mountains and shrubs. A lot of people like the countryside in and around San Miguel.  
 
(Pictured: View from San Antonio neighborhood in San Miguel de Allende.)

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