Take a refreshing inland break from Mexico’s beach resorts. Explore an English-speaking artists’ colony deep in Mexico’s canyon and mountain interior. Bathe in hot springs under the tropical gaze of banana trees. Mountain bike, hike, golf, horseback ride, and shop along cobblestone streets. Learn Mexican cooking and take Spanish lessons. A money-saving San Miguel de Allende vacation rental, north of Mexico City between bustling Queretaro and the mines of San Luis Potosi, has it all for the whole family.
After the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel de Allende became a haven for foreign artists. Bellas Artes, the main art school, is situated around the cloistered courtyard of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception. Sip a drink in the Bellas Artes cafe. Then view David Siqueiros murals, art exhibits, films, and live performances. Instituto Allende, in a 1730s hacienda, has arts and crafts workshops for adults and children, plus Spanish language classes. Combine a month of intensive Spanish lessons at Instituto Allende or Instituto Habla Hispana with a money-saving San Miguel de Allende vacation rental villa, home, casita, apartment, or guest room.
El Jardin Principal is the main plaza where locals gather to sit, stand, chat, and endlessly stroll. El Jardin is surrounded by cafes and restaurants with good outdoor seating for watching plaza daily life slowly unfold. If the slow food service around the plaza grates, consider learning some recipes at nearby Marilau's traditional Mexican cooking school. Save money using your vacation rental kitchen to transform fresh market ingredients into tasty tamales wrapped in banana leaves, moles, salsas, pipianes, and adobos washed down with spicy home-brewed cafe de olla.
Buy fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs, and cooking utensils at Mercado Ignacio Ramirez, just north of El Jardin. The nearby Mercado de Artesanias sells handicrafts from all over Mexico, and will be fun for the whole family. Several blocks from the city center, Fabrica La Aurora is a shopping mall with restaurants, books, jewelry, antiques, home furnishings, architects’ offices, galleries, artists’ studios, and mailing and packaging services to send it all home. Lots of good uses for money saved by choosing a San Miguel de Allende vacation rental.
A mile northeast of town, atop a hill overlooking plush suburbs with vacation rentals, is El Charco del Ingenio. A 220-acre botanical garden and desert “ecological preservation zone” packed with cacti and Mexican plants, El Charco offers botanical illustration classes and 2.5-hour guided tours Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Conclude your vacation rental stay in San Miguel de Allende with an herbal steam bath or a hot springs soak just outside town.