Guanajuato Rentals…an Alternative to San Miguel de Allende

If you plan to spend time in Mexico’s Colonial Highlands and want to look beyond San Miguel de Allende, consider renting a property in Guanajuato, the state capital.

This 16th-century Spanish-colonial city, a World Heritage site since 1988, is beautiful and lively, with a vibrant ambience. And Guanajuato rentals generally cost you less than those in San Miguel.

The city of Guanajuato lies in a long valley between hills, with narrow streets—many of them pedestrians-only—and colonial houses that climb up the steep hillsides. The historic center is hilly, with limited parking, so it tends to attract expats who like living in a city where they can walk. And on foot you can appreciate the many little plazas, the winding streets, and the well-preserved architecture in the center.

If you prefer to live in an area that’s flatter than the centro, or in a neighborhood where you can park a car, consider neighborhoods like Marfil, San Javier, Valenciana, and slightly outlying neighborhoods like La Presa, which has a lake. (Some of these neighborhoods, like Marfil and La Presa, have been around for a century or more, so there are gracious old properties here, too.)

Short-term rentals from $250 a week

Short-term, furnished vacation rentals in Guanajuato can start as low as about $250 a week or $500 a month for a comfortable studio or one-bedroom apartment. Depending on the area, one- to two-bedrooms can run about $700 and $800 a month. You can find rentals like these in the historic center or in neighborhoods like La Presa, which is about a 15-minute stroll from the center. See sites like Vacationrentals.com, Vrbo.com and Homeaway.com for typical listings.

Prices for long-term rentals are also reasonable. Furnished studios and one-bedroom apartments here can rent for $300 to $600 a month, say expats here. In the $750- to $900-per-month range you can get a very nice one- to two-bedroom/two bath, they say. High-end, furnished houses that rent to corporate executives who are moving here with their families will run $1,500 to $2,500 per month. For that price you get three to four bedrooms and baths, and generally other amenities like studies, gardens, a parking garage, and perhaps a roof terrace or even a pool.

Willing to rent unfurnished? You can knock a couple of hundred dollars a month off your rent—though of course you’ll have to buy furnishings. You can rent a comfortable two-bedroom, unfurnished, for about $500 to $700 a month.

With long-term rentals you’ll generally have to pay utilities yourself, so be sure to factor that into your budget. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a large expense in Guanajuato. Its high-mountain climate is relatively mild, so you seldom need air conditioning…though you may want a bit of heat in the winter.

Your largest utility bill is likely to be your telephone…due to those frequent calls back home to tell friends and family what a great time you’re having in Guanajuato.

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