During the past few days, as I’ve posted a few hundred photos of Día de los Muertos festivities and karaoke and everyday life on my Facebook page, I’ve received a flurry of emails and private messages asking, “So Day of the Dead is the best time to visit San Miguel de Allende? Maybe I/we will come next year at this time.” And to that I say, ANY TIME is a great time to visit San Miguel. Here’s why:
NOVEMBER – Día de los Muertos is both manic and sobering. You’ll never experience anything like it, especially if you participate in the Catrina parade, as there is something profound about pretending to be dead. And about noticing the pieces of your personality that tend to emerge when you know you won’t be recognized.
DECEMBER – La Navidad…Christmastime…is so beautiful and peaceful here. The season is focused on family and the Lord Jesus Christ, for those who believe…not on gift-giving and other material things. The tree in the Plaza Principal is awe-inspiring.
JANUARY – Families converge upon the night market for Three Kings Day, Día de los Reyes Magos, on the 6th, when kids traditionally receive their holiday gifts (three kings bringing gifts to Baby Jesus). And it’s probably warmer here than wherever you are, but still cool, in the 50s and 60s.
FEBRUARY – Candelaria (the 2nd, same as Groundhog Day) is a religious festival marked by parties featuring delicious tamales and by the blessing of dolls representing the Christ Child. Also there is a three-week-long plant sale at Parque Juárez that you have to see/inhale to believe. The writers’ conference also is in Feb.
MARCH – Gorgeous weather (normally) and a steady stream of arts and entertainment happenings including the debauchery of Mardi Gras. This year (2017) the Holy Week before Easter, Semana Santa, is in March, and you won’t believe the elaborate parade. Also notable: Ser Mujer, a month-long celebration of women’s work in the world.
APRIL – Easter Sunday (usually) and all the joyous festivities including elaborate parades on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
MAY – Warm and wonderfully tourist-free. Some people leave in May-June because they think it’s too hot, but to me, it’s finally the Mexico I came for! Viva el sol!
JUNE – Quiet and perfect for a regimen of yoga, long walks, photography and food. There are music events and you can take field trips to neighboring Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Santa Rosa and other charming and historically significant destinations. Well, and shopping….
JULY – Rainy season! The sound of the daily cloudbursts and occasional night-long showers on tin and tile rooftops is cozy, and the sunny afternoons are perfect for margaritas on rooftop terraces. Visit the botanical garden, El Charco del Ingenio, which bursts into bloom with the rain.
AUGUST – One crazy week and then the kids go back to school, and the streets become walkable again. Fabulous month for being in nature, and taking Spanish classes. Lots of cooking classes and fascinating lectures, too.
SEPTEMBER – Independence Day is on the 16th but the festivities go all month long because San Miguel is part of the “Cuna de la Independencia”—the birthplace of Mexican independence from Spain (“cuna” means cradle)—and you will never forget the street dances, fireworks, and Mariachi music!
OCTOBER – Probably my favorite month everywhere in the world, as a traveler, and here in San Miguel you’ll get perfect weather (warm days, cool nights), starry skies, and freedom to explore art, culture, nature, sports (yes, we get the World Series on TV here!) and more. “More” meaning amazing events like the hot air balloon festival in León, and Festival Internacional de Cervantino (music and theater), taking place in San Miguel and Guanajuato.
There you have it…no excuses! Come visit me and mis compadres any time!!!