Mexico/Guanajuato: San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is one of Mexico’s most picturesque and colorful cities, literally exploding with colors – red, yellow, orange. It’s a major tourist draw within Mexico and from all over the world. Without a doubt, the biggest attraction is the Church of San Miguel Archangel, with a baroque 18th century bottom part but a fairy-tale spiky top built by a local stonemason in the early 19th century. El Jardin square lies just in front of the church, and various cobblestone streets and alleyways radiate from here in a grid in all directions, lined up with colorful buildings and ornate doors (supposedly, there are 2000+ antique doors). The town is packed with tourists, artists, galleries, restaurants, and boutique hotels. But it wasn’t always like this – the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918 wiped out almost everyone and city became a ghost down of abandoned buildings and crumbling colonial churches. Then slowly artists/squatters moved in and spread the word of the city’s architectural treasures. Fast forward a year – and it’s a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage site!