| currency | | credit cards | | time and place | | communication | | activities |
The Peso is presently valued beween 9-10 pesos to one US dollar. Banks generally have the best exchange rates and open at 9:00 A.M., be certain you check the hours they do money exchanges. Lines may be quite long at banks. In addition, there are private money exchanges or "casa de cambios" that stay open later and there is the convenience of a quick transaction at almost any time of the day, their rate of exchange however, is always lower. Be certain to bring your passport for identification if you are using traveler's checks.
Some banks have 24 hour teller machines that allow you to take cash advances on your credit cards, or even ATM cards - paid in pesos. However,at times the ATM machines may have communication problems with banks in the US or Canada, and consequently may not respond to your needs precisely when you need them.
Most larger establishments including shops and restaurants, will readily accept US currency. The issue in that case will be the exchange rate that they offer and it is advisable to ask in advance in order to avoid any disappointments. Also, whether paying in dollars or in pesos, it is a good idea to carry small bills and change with you, as it is often difficult for small shops or stands to make change for large bills.
Most of the hotels, resorts and upscale restaurants and shops will accept credit cards, with some or no surcharge. However keep in mind that many other establishments - (especially smaller ones with lower prices) do not accept credit cards. Make certain when planning your trip, to carry, or have access to, adequate cash or traveler's checks.
TIME AND PACE
San Miguel de Allende is in the Central Time Zone.
It is said that the pace of life is generally slower in Mexico. At times it is true! San Miguel is a bit different from other areas of Mexico; most businesses, especially in the tourism areas, will be open during the day. The custom of the mid-day lunch with family is still in effect but there are shops which have someone in attendance.
Siesta, or the mid-day break, is a traditional time to spend with family. It coincides with the warmest time of day when people retreat to their homes to eat and rest.
Most restaurants open about 1:30 P.M. for Comida (lunch)
You can call (direct dial) and fax to anywhere in the world from San Miguel. Major US long distance companies have also established Mexican 800 numbers for making calls charged to "calling cards". Check with your long distance carrier before leaving home. All U.S. 800 numbers are billed at almost 50 cents per minute. Local calls in San Miguel are billed at 15 cents per call including Internet access.
Internet cafes can be found in town for the convenience of both tourists and locals alike.
- Antique Shopping
- Art Galleries
- Gourmet/Fine Dining
- Historical Interests
- Live Music at Most Restaurants
- Photography classes and workshops
- Parks and Gardens
- Public Library with many English categories
- Movie Theater
- Educational and Informative Lectures
- San Miguel museum
- Sunday House and Garden Tour
- Performing Theater
- Local Artisans
- Packing and Shipping Available
- Picnic Areas
- Educational Walking Tours every Saturday
- Religious Services
- Ruins at Pozos, a colonial mining town 45 minutes drive from San Miguel
- Language Schools
- Day Trips to Neighboring Communities
- Cooking Schools
- Art Schools
- Scheduled Music Festivals
- Cultural Events
- Bird Watching
- Golf with Caddies
- Hiking Trails
- Horseback Riding
- Tennis on Clay Courts
- Hot Springs
- Croquet (2 clubs)
- Computer Classes
- Cactus Botanical Gardens
- Music Groups and Lessons
- Bellas Artes offers the following year-round courses: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Engraving, Lithography, Photography, Stained Glass, Ceramics, Weaving, Paper Making, Tinware, Ballet, Voice-Chorus, Regional Dance, Ballet, Piano, Violin, Violincello, Classical and Popular Guitar, Music Appreciation
- Instituto Allende offers Non-Credit and Credit Courses in art, languages, et cetera.
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