So Where IS San Miguel
de Allende?

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S o just where is San Miguel de Allende? OK, get out a map of Mexico. Now point your finger dead center of the country. You're almost to San Miguel.

I'm told the actual geographic center of Mexico is a mountain just outside Guanajuato City, about an hour from San Miguel. It's called El Cubilete, and you can see it driving in from the León airport. It's off to the left, with a statue on top of Cristo Rey—Christ the King—with outstretched arms. El Cubilete is an important site of religious pilgrimages. (My friend Mario tells me it's also a pilgrimage site, of sorts, for hang-gliders and para-sailors. The updrafts make it one of the best launch sites around.)

An hour east of the statue is San Miguel. We're in the state of Guanajuato, home state of the recent Mexican president, Vicente Fox. We're about 3 1/2 hours drive north-northwest of Mexico City, an hour west of Querétaro, and about nine hours drive due south of Laredo, Texas.

View San Miguel de Allende in a larger map

This area is called the altiplano, or high plateau, and it sits within an area called the Bajio.

The 6400'-plus (2080 meters) altitude makes for sparkling-clear air, blue skies, and the stunning light that has drawn artists to San Miguel de Allende for more than 50 years.

Here's a chart showing approximate distances from San Miguel de Allende to other points.

San Miguel de Allende to:
Dolores Hidalgo
Mexico City, D.F.
BJX Int'l Airport (Leon Airport)
San Luis Potosi
Laredo, Texas

When you tell your friends you're coming to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, you will invariably get at least one blank stare, followed by the question, "Where is San Miguel de Allende?" Now you'll know what to tell them.

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