Queretaro • San Miguel de Allende
February 2014 • I thought the intercity buses in Turkey were deluxe—until I hopped on the Primera Plus. Not only do the seats recline like a Barcalounger, there's also a padded board to support the entire length of your legs, plus TV monitors dangling overhead showing films and documentaries. The tinted windows have pull-down screens as well as dark curtains, and the air is kept at a comfortable 23C. Like a baby in a car seat, I dozed off every time I used this magic bus for a day trip. Queretaro, located 2.5 hours away from Guanajuato, was a nice antidote to the feeling of enclosure in GTO. It's flatter, more low-rise, less congested; the only regret was not allowing more time there. San Miguel de Allende, just an hour east and reputedly charming, was in fact glutted with American retirees and eccentrics—an Old Mexico version of Santa Fe, at roughly the same price point. No wonder the locals call it Gringolandia. To its credit, though, the tikka masala at a cranky expat's restaurant was delicious and no doubt gluten-free.
Former nunnery, San Miguel
La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, San Miguel