Guanajuato in Mexico may not be known to many but would you be surprised to hear that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? The town itself dates far back to the 16th century as a silver mining town and because of that is full of history, culture, art and religious sites. Guanajuato is also home to the Mexican independence movement and the site of the first major victory over the Spanish in 1810.
In modern times, visitors flock to the town to enjoy a charming colonial-era city situated in a idyllic valley surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains. Within the city, you can enjoy distinct European architecture with cobblestone alleyways amidst plazas are dotted with sidewalk cafés, museums, theaters, markets and historic monuments. Beyond that, the city hosts its Festival Cervantino every year in October, an arts festival that draws attendance from people all over the world.
If it's food you like, Guanajuato is home to Bajío cuisine. Favorite local dishes include enchiladas mineras (tortillas filled with meat, beans or cheese and topped with a sauce made from guajillo and ancho chiles) and pacholas Guanajuatenses (ground beef with spices).
Where is Guanajuato anyways?
If you only had two days
Most people transit through Guanajuato during their trip through Mexico and so I've found the perfect amount of time to spend here is 2 days to get a flavor of its essence and beauty. Here's a sample itinerary for 48 hours that will allow you to soak it all in.
|Day 1: Roam the Callejoneadas and the old city||Day 2: Exploring outside the city|
|Summary||The first day focuses on exploring the heart of the city. Keep note of the beautiful baroque architecture.||There are a number of excellent attractions outside the center that will blow you away.|
|Morning||-Guanajuato Basilica||-Templo Valencia - the church that silver built.|
|Afternoon||-Alley of Kisses (Callejon del Beso) - stage of a tragic Mexican love story.|
-Plaza san Roque and Jardin Reforma - beautiful plaza and garden.
-The Mercado Hidalgo Market- a great place to people watch.
-Alhondiga de Granaditas - huge historical importance in the Mexican revolution.
-Diego Rivera Museum and Home (Museo Casa Diego Rivera) - the birthplace of Mexico's most famous painter.
|-Mummy museum - 150 year old mummified bodies for the brave.
-Statue of Christo-Ray - The site that marks the geographical center of Mexico. 2400 meters above sea level with spectacular views. The statue is one of the largest statues of Jesus in the world.
|Evening||-Jardin Union - this place is buzzing with life in the evening. Don't miss the bandstand students perform and the mariachi bands sing for tips.||-El Pipila viewpoint - watch the sunset over Guanajuato.|
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Where to stay
Guanajuato isn't a large city but there are a lot of choices when it comes to finding a place to stay. If I were to recommend two properties, these would be it.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Guanajuato and have the budget, there's really only one hotel you should consider. It is currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor with 97% rating so you really can't go wrong.
With rates under $50, this is a great property in the city where the best feature is certainly the location. While you can't park here, this is perfect for anyone that's planning on walking around town. Rooms are clean although amenities at a minimum.