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Country Life in San Miguel de Allende  

Hacienda Swimming Pool in San Miguel de Allende
Credit: Ben Pitre

I’m in the real estate business, so when expats ask me for property in San Miguel, the most common request is for something within a 15-to-20-minute walk from city-center. But after years of living in Centro, I found a country life in San Miguel de Allende that has brought me happiness.

After an American lifetime of relying on a car for to get you everywhere, just walking out your door for lunch, a shopping trip or to visit a friend is very compelling.  When I came to San Miguel I was fortunate to live in Fabrica Aurora for some years.  It was appealing to me because I read a great deal and I liked that at any time I could open the door and have someone with whom I could talk.

As the years passed and I got older I found myself drawn more and more to the country.  I have always had a car in San Miguel and I would never give up the freedom to just up and go.  I had friends in the country who I visited for sunset drinks several times a week and somewhere to drive for Sunday lunch was always a treat.

But when I returned to San Miguel after a few years in Houston and South Texas I came to own a property in the country outside of San Miguel. It had been my intention to flip it as soon as I could because of litigation issues with the property, but a number of things delayed that planned sale, which allowed me to enjoy long walks in the wildflower-filled fields, quiet nights with full moons and gazillions of stars.

I am a bit hard of hearing as a result of a very small stroke I suffered because of the stress caused by the litigation on my home, so I like that I can have movies and music as loud as I like anytime I like. But more than anything, I LOVE the endless silence.  I hear no traffic, ever.

As much as I loved my homes in Los Angeles, Houston and New Orleans, I am so very, very grateful to be spending the pandemic quarantine here in the endless country with the freshest of air and the occasional mournful train whistle. I am only 8 miles from the center of San Miguel de Allende, but it seems as though it’s 100 miles away.

After more than a year of looking, my partner and I finally found a private chef (an extravagance we could never afford in the U.S.), so we have even fewer reasons to leave Abundancia, our home in the quiet of the country.  I have never been so happy or so satisfied in my life. It doesn’t get any better than this … really.

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Ben Pitre
Ben Pitre has worked in real estate for decades as a builder, renovator, sub-divider and syndicator in the U.S. and San Miguel de Allende. He has also been a long-term residential and industrial landlord. He is almost certainly the only real estate agent in San Miguel who has both demonstrated Japanese flower arrangements for the San Miguel Garden Club and fought in public boxing exhibitions (4-0). Ben is an agent with 1st International Realty and can be reached at benpitre@gmail.com.


  1. Hi. I had never really thought about San Miguel Allende because it doesn’t have a beach, but then I see you have a lake close by. Now a friend said there is a lot of crime there, and not recommended. What are your thoughts? Thanks for your article. All information is appreciated.

    • There is no ocean. There is a small and uninspiring lake though it is getting better and there are rowing groups. There has been narco crime in this State; so far nothing in San Miguel. There has been narco crime here in the past. It has never involved expats. There is nowhere in Mexico that I am aware that does not have some narco presence. It is not a good thing and I hope it will be over soon. I preferred it when it was in Florida and Columbia! I don’t think it should be much of a factor in any retirement decision you make. If you remove narco on narco crime Mexico is safer than Nebraska which is the safest state in the nation.

  2. I am thinking of moving to San Miguel. My husband have visited before and love it. However, we are reading more and more about the crime in San Miguel. What are your feelings on this matter, and are you planning on staying for awhile? Thank you for your time and consideration given in this matter. Cheryl Hall

    • I am here for more or less the duration! Our crime experience has largely ended but is still present in other parts of our state. All the crime has involved bad guy on bad guy with a few innocent bystanders none of whom have been Expands.

      It is a concern. I hope it will end asap! That said in the New Orleans of my youth (now some time ago) merchants paid protection money as here. Also sadly there is nowhere in Mexico without some narco activity.


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