Is It Safe in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico?
Personal safety should be a primary concern for anybody interested in traveling or living abroad. Mexico, with its unsavory reputation in the American press, may seem an unlikely destination. Yet, with more than 1 million Americans and more than a half-million Canadians living full- or part-time in Mexico, and the vast majority not being victimized by crime, the country is quite safe. The way I always put it, neither I nor my fellow expats in Mexico would be here if we felt unsafe… or felt our families were in danger. That doesn’t mean there is no crime. Just that it is not at the level depicted on the U.S. news all over the country. There are hot spots to be avoided to be sure but also mostly safe areas.
San Miguel de Allende in particular is a secure community, a haven for expats with foreigners making up about 10% of the population of 140,000. As with anywhere, there are certain isolated neighborhoods you don’t want to be wandering around late at night. But in the historic centro, the main tourist area, you can go freely between its plazas, restaurants, bars, shops, and more any time. Just don’t flash jewelry or a lot of cash. Be aware of your surroundings. Use only marked taxis or Uber. Common sense stuff. Watch out for being shortchanged at some restaurants, gas stations, and small shops.
San Miguel de Allende has been named the best city in the world by various travel publications. And with its vibrant arts scene, live music every night of the week, traditional culture, gourmet food, almost always perfect climate, and Spanish colonial surroundings, it has been attracting tourists and expats for many decades.
Crime in San Miguel de Allende
What those who live in San Miguel are most concerned with and take precautions against is petty crime. Car and home break-ins. Robberies. Vandalism. Pickpockets. And the like. You just need to be aware of who you let in your home and always secure it with a locked door or gate. And keep your vehicle in a safe area, leaving no valuables inside. An alarm system helps too. Violent crime does occur but mostly in far-out neighborhoods and isolated nearby villages and mostly involving the drug trade.
Safety Travelling Outside San Miguel de Allende
However, you can safely travel outside of San Miguel de Allende to surrounding attractions, including the hot springs resorts about 20 minutes outside of town. Other good day (or overnight) trips include the state capital, and fellow UNESCO World Heritage site, Guanajuato, about an hour and a half drive (or first-class bus ride) away. Its historic centro is set inside a narrow valley, with views of the homes rising up the hillside painted in a rainbow of colors. Mineral de Pozos is an old mine that is today somewhat of a ghost town. Wherever you go it’s best not to drive at night, mostly because it’s so dark and the mountain roads are very curvy and unlit.
All in all, San Miguel de Allende is a safe location for expats of all ages, including plenty of single women who live alone. The opportunity to thrive in this vibrant community where there’s always something going on and live without fear is a huge benefit to living here.