How to Get to San Miguel de Allende – Best Routes by Air, Bus, and Shuttles

How to get to San Miguel de Allende cover photo

San Miguel de Allende is among most popular pueblo magicos, and it’s not hard to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts visitors and expats around the world with its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and a welcoming atmosphere. In this guide, we’ll tell you how to get to San Miguel de Allende.

I’ve traveled to San Miguel de Allende as a remote worker and loved the place. It’s also easy to get to, and the number of transportation options are just growing because of the expat community here.

This guide will talk about where San Miguel de Allende is relative to other popular destinations in Mexico, and how to get there. We’ll go through the most popular routes and transportation options available too.

Let’s get started.

Where is San Miguel de Allende?

San Miguel de Allende is situated in the state of Guanajuato, which is in the central part of Mexico. The town is known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and vibrant arts scene.

It sits between Guanajuato City and Querétaro. To be specific, it’s northwest of Querétaro and directly east of Guanajuato. Mexico City is much farther away but San Miguel de Allende is northwest of Mexico’s capital city.

Why Visit San Miguel de Allende?

San Miguel de Allende is a picturesque and historic city located in the central highlands of Mexico. Known for its well-preserved Colonial and Spanish architecture, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts tourists from around the world. The city is renowned for its vibrant arts scene, cultural festivals, and a thriving community of both local and expatriate artists and writers.

The heart of San Miguel de Allende is its central square, known as El Jardín, where the iconic pink tower of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church stands tall. The streets are lined with colorful buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants offering a mix of international and traditional Mexican cuisine.

San Miguel de Allende has a temperate climate with warm days and cool nights, making it an ideal destination year-round. The city’s cobblestone streets and hilly terrain add to its charm but can be challenging for those with mobility issues.

how to get to San Miguel de Allende - street art

San Miguel de Allende known to host numerous festivals that creatives will enjoy, including the San Miguel Writers’ Conference and the Festival Internacional de Cine. The city also celebrates traditional Mexican holidays with great enthusiasm, such as Day of the Dead and Independence Day, with parades, music, and fireworks.

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For those interested in history and architecture, San Miguel de Allende offers a wealth of colonial churches, historic buildings, and museums. The Fabrica La Aurora is a former textile factory that has been converted into an art and design center, housing galleries, shops, and studios.

The surrounding area of San Miguel de Allende is also known for its natural beauty, with opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and hot air balloon rides offering stunning views of the countryside.

From Guadalajara to San Miguel de Allende

A drive down from Guadalajara to San Miguel de Allende will take you a scenic drive where you’ll see Jalisco’s beauty. You’ll see a stark contrast between the big city of Guadalajara and the quieter city of San Miguel de Allende

By Bus

Taking the bus is just as long as driving yourself, plus the comfort of being a passenger is nice.

ETN

The ETN bus terminal is at a terminal called Central Nueva, located in Tlaquepaque. The bus ticket to San Miguel de Allende is 960 MXN. Expect the trip to last for 5 to 5 1/2-hours.

These buses available as early as 6 am and as late as 5 pm. There are usually two morning and two afternoon buses. Best to book your ticket through their website.

Primera Plus

How to Get to San Miguel de Allende - Best Routes by Air, Bus, and Shuttles -

For a slightly more budget-friendly option, Primera Plus is available from various departure stations. Priced between 830 to 920 MXN, their buses operate from 7 am to 2:30 pm, offering a 5-hour, 30-minute trip. Catch one of the three morning or two afternoon buses and secure your seat through their website.

From Guadalajara Airport

If arriving at the airport, take a taxi to the Guadalajara bus station called Central Nueva (drivers would know this). From there, take any of the two options above.

From Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende

If you’re planning to drive to take the bus, the road will take you through picturesque valleys, rolling hills, and agricultural fields. The scenery changes as you ascend into higher elevations, giving you panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

By Bus

ETN and Primera Plus are the best options when taking a bus to San Miguel de Allende.

ETN

You can depart from either the North or South bus station of Mexico city. The bus fare should cost you 720 MXN and take around 4 to 5 hours depending on time of your departure.

This route runs six buses with three in the morning and three in the afternoon. These buses start from 4 am to 5:20 pm.

Primera Plus

For flexibility, Primera Plus departs from multiple areas, including Airport terminals 1 and 2, Coapa, Plaza las Americas Ecatepec, Angel de la Independencia, Terminal de Autobuses Nezahualcoyotl, and Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Angeles AIFA.

Priced between 620 to 700 MXN, catch one of the two morning or one afternoon buses starting at 7:15 am. Booking is available through their website.

By Shuttle

If you’d like to have a shuttle to yourself, get one for 105 USD. It will be a four hour drive which can be faster than taking public transportation.

From Querétaro to San Miguel de Allende

The drive from Querétaro and San Miguel de Allende meanders through the Mexican highlands, providing stunning views of rolling hills, open fields, and occasional glimpses of mountains in the distance. The landscape is a patchwork of agricultural fields.

By Bus

The only bus company I’d recommend when departing from Querétaro is ETN. The city only has one bus station, so it shouldn’t be hard to find on Google Maps.

ETN offers a cost-effective bus fare of 120 MXN. This 1 hour, 30-minute journey should be comfortable especially with ETN’s amenities.

There is only one morning bus but four in the afternoon until the evening, and it starts as early as 7:30 am and the last departure is at 9 pm.

By Shuttle

For a more personalized experience, choose Bajiogo’s shuttle service, offering a 1 hour, 30-minute drive at 30 USD or ~500 MXN.

From Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende

The drive traverses the picturesque Mexican highlands, treating you to vast expanses of farmland. The landscape is dotted with agave plants, which is plentiful in Central Mexico.

By Bus

ETN and Primera operates regular routes from Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende.

ETN

At a cost of 225 MXN, ETN provides three afternoon buses from 1 pm to 9 pm. promising a delightful 1 hour, 30-minute journey.

Primera

For an alternative, Primera offers a similar route at a cost ranging from 200 to 230 MXN. Catch two morning or five afternoon buses, starting from 9 am to 6:40 pm.

From Leon to San Miguel de Allende

Leaving the urban hustle behind, the trip will take you through the outskirts of Leon, gradually transitioning from cityscape to the scenic beauty of the Mexican countryside.

By Bus

Among the main bus companies, only ETN runs a route from Leon to San Miguel de allende.

For 360 MXN, ETN offers a 2 hour, 30-minute trip to San Miguel de Allende.

There are two morning and five afternoon buses, with departures as early as 9 am and can go as late as 10 pm.

By Shuttle

Alternatively, opt for Bajiogo’s shuttle service, priced between 30 to 80 USD, ensuring a comfortable 1 hour, 30-minute ride.

Taxis are also available from BJX Airport for a direct 100 USD transfer.

From Puerto Vallarta to San Miguel de Allende

The trip from Puerto Vallarta to San Miguel de Allende is longer, taking at least 11 hours driving. For this one, I’d recommend taking a flight.

Buses though are still an option, but would opt for an overnight bus with ETN for maximum comfort when sleeping.

By Bus

The initial stretch of the drive takes you along the coastal highway, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. As you leave the coastal region, the landscape transitions into lush mountains and tropical forests. The road winds through mountainous terrain, providing glimpses of deep valleys and verdant landscapes.

ETN

There’s only one option for buses and it’s an overnight bus with ETN. It departs at midnight and it costs 1800 MXN.

This 11 hours and 30 minute bus ride will get you to San Miguel just before noon.

By Air

When taking a plane, you can choose Leon or Querétaro as your destination. Between the two, I would recommend opting for Querétaro Airport especially if you’re arriving in the evening. Roads from Querétaro to San Miguel are two lanes wider, plus Leon is busier.

Who Doesn’t Love Cheap Flights?

How to Get to San Miguel de Allende - Best Routes by Air, Bus, and Shuttles -

Skyscanner is your trusted service for buying cheap flight tickets, with no extra fees or markups! Their flight search will not only find the best option for your specific dates, but it will also offer another period when the cost may be even lower.

Aeromexico and Volaris are the main airlines serving this route. Going by plane is less than two hours of flight time, and it’s great for those that have a tight itinerary. Airfare is less than 100 USD when not in peak season.

Public Transportation Options – How to get to San Miguel de Allende

The main ways to get around between cities in Mexico is through airplanes, buses, and shuttles

By Air

The closest airports, Querétaro (QRO) and Guanajuato (BJX), offer good domestic connections and welcome international flights from specific US airports.

Among the airlines that fly from these airports are Aeromexico, Volaris, Viva Aerobus, and United Airlines.

US Airlines usually bring in passengers from Houston, Dallas, Detroit and even Chicago.

By Bus

Cities in Mexico are are not too far apart so taking a bus is a good and cheap option to travel.

Bus Companies

There’s a handful of bus companies running intercity routes but there’s three that I’ve tried and tested.

How to Get to San Miguel de Allende - Best Routes by Air, Bus, and Shuttles -

ETN, known for cleaner and spacious buses, is the top bus company I can vouch for. Their bus facilities gets upgraded quite frequently, and are as good as Peru’s Cruz del Sur. Bathroom’s also very clean! Sadly while among the amenities listed is wifi, it doesn’t really work. Nonetheless, you can be sure that the travel experience with ETN is smooth as it can get.

They can be reached at 01-800/800-0386 or www.etn.com.mx.

Primera Plus is another reliable option. It’s a bit cheaper than ETN but the good thing about picking them is they have an open-ticket option, which is great for people who have undefined travel plans. Compared to ETN, Primera is not as spacious but it’s still comfortable for long rides.

If you’re only going for a short distance trip, maybe you want something cheaper? Futura is another option.

For all these bus companies, it’s always recommended to book in advance to guarantee your seat. You can also book on the same day in-person but you may need to wait for the next available bus.

Bus Terminal in San Miguel de Allende

The city’s main bus station is Central de Autobuses. It’s at Calzada de la Estacion, just six blocks west of Jardin Allende.

If you’d like to know the latest bus schedule, just call (415) 152-2206.

By Shuttle

For a more personalized and prompt transfers, shuttles may be the way to go. They pick you up right at your location.

Shuttle Companies in San Miguel de Allende

Check out Bajiogo, a popular shuttle service within Mexico. They are known to have attentive drivers that can accommodate last-minute changes. When I was looking for a shuttle, this was the one most locals recommended and even searching online, you’ll see Bajiogo to be the most recommended on forums.

San Miguel Transfers is another reliable option for a personalized and comfortable journey. I haven’t tried them but based on online reviews, people who have used them approve of their service.

FAQ’s – How to get to San Miguel de Allende

What are the closest airports from San Miguel de Allende?

Querétaro (QRO) and Guanajuato (BJX), offering good domestic connections and welcome international flights from specific US airports. Between the two, it’s better to land in Querétaro for a smoother transfer to San Miguel de Allende.

What’s the best way to get to San Miguel de Allende from Mexico City?

Buses are the most optimal way to get to San Miguel de Allende because it’s more cost effective and the journey is only a bit over four hours. However, it is possible to also book a shuttle for a private ride.

What’s the best way to get to San Miguel de Allende from Queretaro?

Buses, in particular ETN, is the best option to get to San Miguel de Allende from Queretaro.

What’s the best way to get to San Miguel de Allende from Guanajuato?

Shuttles or buses are the best way to get to San Miguel from Guanajuato. You can book a shuttle though if you have a preference for departure times.

What’s the best way to get to San Miguel de Allende from Puerto Vallarta?

It’s best to fly to Queretaro, then take a bus or shuttle to San Miguel de Allende. You have the option to fly to Leon, however, the ride is smoother coming from Queretaro.

Can I Buy My Bus Ticket the Same Day as My Trip?

Yes, you can. Bus companies like ETN and Primera Plus have ticket booths at the bus stations themselves where you can purchase your ticket. However, there are usually discounts if you purchase tickets online and in advance that makes it more worthwhile to buy bus tickets earlier.


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