San Miguel de Allende – Mexico – GRANDPAcking Costs

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AUGUST 2016:


My costs start in Guanajuato and include:

  • Transport from Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende
  • 7 nights in a BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard Hostel
  • Food & Drink
  • Other / Miscellaneous


For more detail, read about Guanajuato to San Miguel, San Miguel de Allende Information, and Buying a TELCEL Prepaid Plan.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes.

I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

Accommodation: My accommodation was below GRANDPAcking Standard. I did this on purpose … I dropped my accommodation standards so that I could live in the historical centre of town.

It was a very basic (but clean) Fan Triple with no furniture and a Shared Bathroom.

There were 2 bathrooms shared between 6 rooms … so there were no problems with the sharing.

Transport: I did not need any transport; I walked everywhere.

Communications & Fees: I still had my TELCEL Package. I did not need a top up in Guanajuato.

Food & Drink:

I continued my ‘avoid eating Mexican food all day’ health kick … which meant that most of my breakfasts were muesli, fruit, and yogurt back in the kitchenette at my hostel. This is below GRANDPAcking Standard.

I averaged MXP139 / day. But, you should totally ignore my figures.

I found myself eating a ‘hearty’ breakfast which lasted me well into the afternoon. I usually ate a late afternoon budget Lunch. By Dinner time, I was not hungry … I often skipped Dinner or just grabbed a couple of Tacos.My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was MXP527 / NZ$42 / US$30 / €27 / £23.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were MXP481 / NZ$38 / US$28 / €25 / £21.

Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 180 Day Visitor’s Visa is free.

Getting There: It cost me MXP171 to get from Guanajuato to San Miguel. This consisted of a Taxi and a Primera Plus long distance Bus.

Drink / Partying: I’m a GRANDPAcker, I took advantage of the Happy Hours

The trouble is, that instead of drinking my normal beer … I found myself drinking 2-for-1 Red Wine or Cocktails! I averaged MXP144 / night on drinks. But on my last night I had quite a big party on top of that!

Personal: None

Entertainment / Trips: None.

Shopping: I had to replace a shirt.

Other / Gifts: Tipping is normal. Expect to tip an average of 15% in Happy Hours and good restaurants.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at MXP818 / NZ$65 / US$45 / €42 / £36 per day. This was 81% of my total budget … I still had 19% left to play with.


To afford to take a GRANDPAcking ‘Holiday’ to San Miguel, you will need to choose where to stay very carefully. There isn’t much around online within the GRANDPAcker price range. You will be GRANDPAcking … but it will be borderline.

I suggest that you start looking for hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like AGODA or BOOKING) well in advance. Unless new Holiday Rentals come online, you are unlikely to find any available Vacation Rentals on TRIPADVISOR. But, try anyway. Then, you can pick the best deal for you.

I strongly advise that you stay in the very centre of town … no more than 1km from the central plaza … preferably on the Western-Southwestern side.

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: In Mexico, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Ensuite online for less than MXP500 / night. Under MXP500 you are usually looking at below standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms.

I have budgeted for you to spend the first 3 nights in a simple Double Fan Room with a Private Bathroom in a Hostel at MXP500 / night. This gets you into the city centre.

These 3 nights should be enough for you to find GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation after negotiating a long term 27 day discount for the rest of the month. MXP600 / night long term should be enough to get you what you need.

Target rooms in the MXP750-850 / night range and make them an offer of MXP600.

Transport: You do not need transport. I have budgeted for you to take a Day Trip out of town each week on a local bus.

Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month TELCEL ‘unlimited’ calls & texts MXP150 Package with 400MBs of data.

Food: You will not get breakfast included with your accommodation. Target a cheap breakfast in your favourite local cafe. Do the same for Lunch. For Dinner, I have budgeted for you to have something from the lower quartile of the menu in a budget restaurant (or something from the upper quartile of an Eaterie down at the Artesan Market). The budget that I have provided is enough for you to NOT have to eat Tacos every meal.

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MXP957 / NZ$76 / US$55 / €49 / £42 per day.


This leaves you almost NOTHING to LIVE on (i.e. 5% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

You are coming to San Miguel to ‘splash out’ on a holiday. You will need to ‘dig deeper’ for spending money. Either that, or drop your accommodation standards to Backpacker level.


San Miguel de Allende is definitely worth a visit. More so than Ajijic and Guanajuato.

The problem is the high cost of accommodation.

As a consequence, and with some sadness, San Miguel has NOT made it into my GRANDPAcking Retirement REVIEWS.

Come for a month and lap it up.

But don’t expect to stay here. You can’t afford it.

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