Sunday, May 21, 2006

Portal San Miguel

Title: Portal San Miguel
Type of website: Online guide to San Miguel de Allende
Excellent source of...: Events, maps, reference information, and advertising of businesses in San Miguel de Allende.

This website shows you just how gringo-ized San Miguel de Allende has become, and what a large gringo population lives in this small Mexican town.

If you are traveling to San Miguel, you would probably want to use this website as a reference tool. Not only is there a map showing you where San Miguel is in relationship to the rest of Mexico, but there are easy-to-read themed maps of the downtown area. Choose from Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping, Art, Tourism, Real Estate, Schools and Services or Health and Beauty. Of course, these maps are all designed as advertising mediums, with ads from local businesses pointed out on each map, but they are still useful for visitors or new residents.

One of the most useful features on the site is a White Pages listing of phone numbers, the San Miguel on-line phone book, which appears to be mostly gringos (but not all). Of course, this is probably most useful to people living there, while the rest of the site is more geared towards tourists.

There is an extensive and exhaustive activities calendar which includes everything from Bridge games to Nightlife. There is also a Lifestyle section, which is mostly listings of local businesses with a little bit of information on visas and moving to Mexico. Better information on that subject can be found on other websites. There are Obituaries, Classified Ads and even a listing of books written by gringos about San Miguel de Allende.

The people who run this website are selling the advertising, as well as their services doing web design and hosting. I think it's important to keep in mind that the businesses featured on the website are their advertisers. That doesn't mean it isn't a useful site... just that it probably only represents a portion of what is available in San Miguel.

(Editors Note: This website seems to have disappeared since I wrote this review. If you have any idea where it went, please let me know!)

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