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Traveling to San Miguel de Allende

Posted on May 31 2018

San Miguel de Allende

I’ve always thought that it’s a good idea to borrow from other cultures whenever possible ... take, for instance, traveling by bus in Mexico. We gringos could definitely learn a thing or two from our neighbors south of the border.

The whole experience of traveling by bus from Puebla to San Miguel de Allende was, from start to finish, extremely positive. Until just recently I wasn’t aware that Mexico had no national passenger train service (and now I understand why I've never seen a Cantinflas routine filmed in a speeding runaway train "a la Hermanos Marx"), which I suppose necessitated the development of the luxury touring bus industry.

Anybody who’s ever tried to buy a train ticket on line from overseas on the national RENFE website in Spain can tell you what an impossible freaking nightmare it is. By contrast, with less than a half dozen clicks we reserved our seats and bought our tickets to San Miguel ($27 each) on “La Futura” bus line’s website (incidentally, there are hundreds of high end bus lines to choose from in Mexico).

The buses themselves are extremely comfortable with plush reclining faux leather ergonomic seats, and a brilliantly simple spring-loaded leg and foot rest installed in front of each seat that makes a world of difference for your blood circulation on a 3 1/2 hour journey.

As you’re getting on the bus an attractive, smartly dressed young lady hands out complimentary bottles of water, fruit juices, soft drinks, yogurts, fresh fruit, etcétera, a porter checks in your bags, and the driver reminds you that the latest movies are playing on your seat’s individual entertainment system, and that there are separate men’s and women’s toilet facilities and wi-fi on board. If that isn’t civilized, I don’t know what is!

And the main bus station in Queretaro was unbelievable! A mammoth masterpiece of modern architecture in white marble that would make most of us wish that our newest, largest airports in America looked as good as that. 

For the last 40+ years I've heard what a charming town San Miguel de Allende, located at 6,200 feet above sea level in Mexico's central highlands, is ... and that's certainly true of the quaint cobblestone streets, the gorgeous colonial architecture, the flowering jacaranda, bougainvillea and jasmine, and the multi-colored village houses. However, you have to be half mountain goat to go up and down the steeply inclined streets so you'd better be in reasonably good shape ... and if you've come here for peace and quiet, well amigo, fuggedaboutit! Between nightly (and daily) fireworks, dancing Aztec parades with ear-shattering drummers, mariachis and long drunken street corner speeches by extras in a Cantinflas film, my guess is that this is Mecca for an audiologist.
And, call me "un gringo feo", but I also have a real problem with a town where nobody (and I mean absolutely nobody) is capable of giving directions with any degree of accuracy. One block turns into eight or nine, and around the corner means "anywhere from a half mile to a mile from here"!

We've found some wonderful products that I would definitely buy for Mediterrania, but, alas, everybody wants to sell retail here!

Enjoy the attached pictures (the first 3 images are from Puebla and all the rest are from San Miguel).

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