Welcome to our small, secure residential community in the heart of San Miguel’s historic center! San Miguel is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the crown jewel of Colonial Mexico; you could not choose a better home than the Casitas at Cinco Flores. Why? Four reasons: Location, Security, Comfort and Choices.
Location: We are just a 30 second walk (one level block) to the Jardin, the energy center of San Miguel. When you walk out the door, you might encounter a wedding party with giant puppets (mojigangas), street singers, a tequila donkey, the ladies who sell flowers on the street - who knows? But you will certainly find restaurants of all kinds, galleries, shops, cafes and the endless activity; and being this close to all that San Miguel has to offer is priceless.
Security: San Miguel is a very safe city compared to others of its size, but anywhere that you travel, you have to be concerned about security. One advantage of Cinco Flores is that when you walk home at night, you are on the street for a very brief time. We have intercoms in all of the casitas that allow you to screen who enters, a secure front door to the street and two secure locking doors to each casita. We continually monitor security with a professional firm to ensure that we are doing all we can do to create a secure environment.
Choices: With five charming casitas, ones is bound to fit your needs and budget....
Comfort: When you enter Cinco Flores from the cobblestone street, you enter a world of fountains and plants, warm colors – a piece of old colonial Mexico. But within the privacy of your casita, you will find all the modern amenities that you need to make your stay comfortable. There is purified water that you can drink from the tap, gas fireplaces at the touch of a button for cool mornings and evenings, WIFI, and each is decorated with attractive modern furnishings, Mexican arts and crafts, and wonderful Mexican colors. All have fully equipped modern kitchens with gas ovens. Each casita has a furnished terrace with comfortable spaces to eat, rest and enjoy a coffee in the morning or a margarita at sunset (yes, each has a blender!) We provide housekeeping services and since we have lived here for over five years now, we can also provide information and support for you during your stay.
"This is Mexico:Tales of Culture and Other Complications" is a collection of essays on the often magical and and mysterious--and sometimes heartrending--workings of everyday life in Mexico, written from the perspective of an American expatriate. By turns humorous and poignant, Merchasin's stories provide an informed look at Mexican culture and history, exploring everything from healthcare, Mexican-style, to religious rituals, and from the educational role of the telenovela to the cultural subtleties of the Spanish language.
Read her witty article in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.
Robert and I have always loved Mexico -- so, no surprise, when we visited San Miguel we knew immediately that this was the place we wanted to be! We had owned and developed many other properties in the US, but that did not necessarily prepare us for the construction process in Mexico. When all was said and done, however, we managed to take a small, run-down residential compound in the heart of the historic center of town and make it into Cinco Flores - an oasis of calm and beauty, where we love to be and where we love to greet others coming to San Miguel. Whether you are a one-time tourist, a regular visitor to San Miguel or you are considering moving to Mexico, we would love to have you as our guests.
Well, obviously, but what kind? Well, for one thing, almost everything here is within walking distance, which is a good thing. But streets are mostly cobblestones and sidewalks are narrow. Comfortable shoes are a MUST! They don’t have to be sneakers, although that works, but could be anything with some support and a good rubber sole. I see people in flip-flops and Mexican girls love high stiletto heels (I would save them for dress up and not the streets). Cabs, by the way, are inexpensive here (25 pesos or about $2) and mostly you will be able to find one wherever you are or within a short walk. P.S. Women come here from all over the world and purchase the unique “San Miguel shoe” which is great for the street. So maybe you'll leave with a pair or two.
If you have pesos when you come, that’s great. But it is easy to get pesos as you need them. One option is to use one of the many ATM machines in Centro; or you can go to Intercam or one of the banks - take your passport. A small calculator may also be helpful.
Note: Manyplaces do take credit cards, but smaller restaurants and shops may not. This is a cash society. On the other hand, carrying lots of cash is probably not a good idea. A reasonable strategy is to bring some dollars (you can pay for airport transport in dollars) and then change money as you need it. Also, be careful where you carry money. We do not have violent crime here (contrary to what you hear about Mexico) but this is a tourist area and you will want to watch your purse/wallet. I carry a fanny pack or leather strap bag that goes across the body, and I never carry a purse on my shoulder. I do not carry a lot of money at any one time. Also, don’t carry your passport in your purse and make sure you make a copy of it before you leave. Then keep your passport in a safe place and the copy in your suitcase.
Here is the thing that is hard for everyone to understand – it is NOT all that hot here in the summer and not really cold in the winter. Late April and May are usually our hottest months (but dry), December and January are usually our coldest months (it could be 40 degrees in the morning). When it's hot during the day, it's cool in the morning and evening; when it's cold in the morning, it's pleasantly warm in mid-day. We are at 6500 feet of altitude, so think high desert - no humidity. I have found that dressing in layers is key. I might start out with a sweater in the morning, a tank top or tee shirt underneath, and then ditch the sweater. In the evening a shawl or light sweater is normally the most you'll need.
If you have a small folding umbrella, bring it. The rainy season is scheduled for mid-June through September, but it's un-predictable; and on hot days it sometimes helps to have protection from the bright sun.
Six - Bathing suit.
There are hot springs and swimming pools around that are fun if you have time and are so inclined. We have beach towels you can use.
Seven - A few words
Gracias (thank you), Por favor (please), and buenos dias (good morning), buenas tardes (afternoon) and buenas noches (evening). Some Mexicans speak English, particularly in hotels, shops and restaurants, but these phrases go a long way in getting what you need. Mexican culture is very formal, especially in language. I wrote an article on using greetings in Mexico – it is called "How it goes in Mexico: Where we work on saving our breath." Read it at www.howitgoesinmexico.com or go to the link on our home page.Where we work on saving our breath.
Or used clothing for children, including jackets or shoes. Here’s the deal: it is not possible to be here and turn away from the poverty that exists. We support a number of worthy causes and a number of spontaneous situations (See Burros, Bricks and BienEstar on our home page for more information), so every opportunity that we have to encourage people to BRING SOMETHING DOWN, we do so. If you do not have used clothing to bring, you might go to CVS or Walgreen’s and shop the school supplies aisle - pencils, crayons, notebooks, school scissors, watercolors, erasers – you name it, we need it. If you have an unused computer, bring it down. We support an organization that will refit it for the Spanish language. A monitor? We need it. A friend has a project that requires little digital "flash (thumb) drives." Almost anything you have that you don't need – we need it. Here is the very good part of this: you will get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction for sharing what you might be wasted AND (here is the icing on the cake) you will have room in your suitcase to fill with Mexican crafts like pottery, silver jewelry, and any number of wonderful and inexpensive handmade goods.
Nine - Sense of adventure.
It has been said that there are no two countries in the world which share a border, yet are as un-alike as United States and Mexico. Language, culture, there is so much here that is different from El Norte. So, good to remember that you are coming to a foreign country. If you have never been to Mexico (or if you have only been to the “beach resorts”) you are in for a surprise. Try things – food, language, experiences. I am sure you will find it fun and interesting!
Ten - Open heart and open mind.
Mexico is a warm, wonderful country. Most of us have not had an opportunity, while in the US or Canada, to get a glimpse of Mexico’s elegance and culture, particularly given all the recent bad news, much of it erroneous (do see our page on Safety and Security for more information). We may do things a little differently down here (yes, it is true, we do not throw toilet paper in the toilet, among other little idiosyncrasies….) But, if you bring an open heart and an open mind, all of the other nine things will take care of themselves! And, if you have any questions, problems, or concerns, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s how it goes in Mexico,