San Miguel Allende
Mexico is great in general, and San Miguel Allende is
in particular. It's small and pretty, a great place
for walking around and low-key sightseeing and
relaxing. And as I recall, the food was quite good as
well (I don't have any specific recommendations though
-- it's been a while since I was there). There's a
noticeable American presence there, since there are a
fair number of U.S. retirees and people who go down
for the winter months. And, of course, there are a lot
of tourists. So there's an English-language bookstore,
for example (or was when I was there, anyway.) And the
restaurants are a little more cosmopolitan than you
might find elsewhere in Mexico. Whether this is a pro
or a con is up to you.
Two things: If you have time, I'd recommend a trip to
Guanajuato. It's really nearby, and it's a beautiful
old European-ish city. Also, I'm sure you've heard
this elsewhere, but if you go through Mexico City,
keep in mind that one has to be careful there these
re: Chris E.
A footnote about safety in Mexico City: Before going
to Guatemala (see my other posting) I spent three and
a half GREAT days in Mexico City. This was my second
trip. I love it!
Just make certain you have a reputable hotel or
restaurant call you a cab. Do as you would in New
York -- don't walk where it is dimly lit and ask about
the area before walking around. The Zona Rosa ("pink
zone" -- not what you might guess) is a lively
international area with great night clubs, bistros,
restaurants,and shops. I loved Restaurant Focolare --
my second time eating there (I hope I spelled that
I discovered a great little Taco place (don't an
imageg of Taco Bell here folks, puleeeez) called El
Fogocintos (again, I need to find the matches to spell
it right). Real Mexican tacos, beer, and more.
Mexico City (or DF as locals call it) can be a
delight. I am meeting with friends from DF here in my
One more thing, the Hotel Bristolat Plaza Necaxa No.
17 is clean and European in type and about half the
price of the big US chains. Importantly, you can hire
a driver there to take you to the pyramids or
sightseeing for about 2/3 the price of what I found at
another larger hotel.
re: Chris E.
We stayed at a place called Posada de las Monjas, a
nice spot located in an old monastery. Like most
places in S.M., it was quite reasonable, though not on
the level of the bargains you might find elsewhere in
Mexico. For other options, check out the Lonely Planet
By the way, my caveat aside, I second the endorsement
of Mexico City. I expected a big, ugly, drab city when
I first went, and was caught offguard by its charm and
beauty. Plus, chowhounding opportunities abound there
-- see the Alpha Hound's account of his whirlwind chow