San Miguel de Allende is the principal city in the municipality of San Miguel de Allende, located in the far eastern part of Guanajuato, Mexico. The city is located at a nexus of four arroyos: El Atascadero, Las Cachinches, La Cañadita, and El Obraje. The last of these, El Obraje, collects in a dam of the same name. Several dams are located in the municipality to control the flow of rivers and manage the water supply. The most of important of these is the Ignacio Allende Dam.
Many of the festivals here are purely Mexican, combining social activity with religious expression. Throughout the year there are pilgrimages, all-night vigils, ringing church bells, processions and fireworks. There are also secular and cultural festivals during the year. The annual Festival de Música de Cámara or Chamber Music Festival occurs each year in August in the city’s historic center. San Miguel de Allende has long had a reputation as a haven for visual artists.
Much of the municipality’s economy is tied to the influx of tourists and foreigners who come to live, mostly retirees. Despite not having a casino or an airport and being 640 kilometres (400 mi) from the nearest beach, this small city has been ranked by magazines such as Travel and Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler as a preferred place to live and visit. Outside of the town of San Miguel, the economy is more traditional. A bit over half of the land is used for grazing with 37% used for crops.