Centro 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.)