According to clothingexpress, Guanajuato is the most beautiful city in Mexico, the capital of the state of the same name. It is located in the center of the country, far from the coast, so people come here exclusively for the sights and atmosphere. The hilly terrain distinguishes Guanajuato from other cities: low mountains seem to be strewn with bright small houses that look like colored boxes. Narrow streets meander between them, often more like corridors, sometimes in the form of stairs. Because of the steep ascents and descents, walking around the city is a serious test of endurance.
The name given to it by the local Purépecha Indians translates as “place of frog hills.”
Inside many mountains, tunnels are laid along the bed of a dried-up river, relieving pedestrians and motorists from having to climb mountains and maneuver through narrow streets. Previously, they were used for the extraction and transportation of metals, and now they are ordinary streets, only underground, they call them subterraneo.
How to get to Guanajuato
The nearest airport, Del Bajio, is located in Silao, 30 km from Guanajuato, but planes arrive here only from different cities in the United States and Mexico. There are flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Mexico City, all of them with transfers, the flight takes at least 16 hours. From Mexico City, 350 km can be traveled by car or by bus, the carrier is Primera Plus, the schedule is at the office. website (in English).
Buses depart from the Northern Bus Station, travel time is 5 hours. To get from Mexico City Airport to the train station, you need to take the metro (M5) from the Aerea terminal and get to the Autobuses del Norte station, it takes 15 minutes. You can save time by flying from Mexico City in 1 hour by plane to Silao, but you will only have to get from Del Bajio Airport by taxi or a rented car – there is no public transport there.
City transport Guanajuato – buses and minibuses, which maneuver with amazing dexterity through narrow streets and underground tunnels. Usually they are bright, painted, often old models, which only adds to the authenticity. The routes are mostly without numbers, on the buses themselves there are only signs with the name of the final destination, there are no schedules at the stops. Some stops are not marked at all, they can only be identified by the people waiting. There is a tourist bus that departs from Plaza de la Paz and circles the entire city for 1.5 hours; The guides are only Spanish speaking. From the square behind the Juarez Theatre, you can take the funicular up the hill of San Miguel to the Pipil monument.
There are many hotels in Guanajuato, and they are very different. There are hostels where a place in a dormitory room costs from 180 MXN, and there are luxurious 5 * hotels with suites for 4100 MXN per day. In general, budget options prevail at a price of 500-1000 MXN per night in a double room.
Cuisine and restaurants
Guanajuato’s most popular fast food is minera enchiladas. This is a flatbread in which cheese and minced meat are wrapped, poured with hot sauce on top, sprinkled with potatoes, carrots and grated cheese, and then baked. Restaurants always serve pacholas, spicy beef cutlets with vegetables or french fries; “carnitas” – tacos with pork. While walking around the city, you can cool off with the help of “charamuskas” – frozen drinks in plastic bags that bite and drink the contents as the ice melts.
Enchiladas costs 30-50 MXN, dinner in a restaurant for two will cost an average of 300-450 MXN.
Entertainment and attractions
Guanajuato’s main attraction is its underground tunnels and colorful houses scattered across the hills. Walking along the streets, from time to time you come out to tiny cozy squares, some with fountains, which seem like toys because of their size. There are many Mexican Baroque churches with extravagant façades. All this beauty is concentrated in the center, the outskirts look much more ordinary.
Most of the center’s buildings are made in the Mexican Baroque style, which was formed in the 18th century with the active participation of the colonialists. Guanajuato was rich because of its mines, so the development was carried out without too much modesty.
Throughout the city you can see trolleys and other items of mining. Now the mines are no longer working, but it is precisely the extraction of precious stones and metals, mainly silver, that the city owes its former wealth. Tours are conducted in some mines, the most famous of the open mines is La Valenciana.
The hallmark of Guanajuato is the large Our Lady of Guanajuato basilica in bright yellow. It looks like a box to which baroque bas-reliefs are glued in several places. But the church of St. Jose just behind the university is completely different, as if all covered with lace.
Kissing Lane (Callejon del Beso) is one of the narrowest streets in the city, where all tourists try to look. The distance between the balconies of the houses separated by the alley is 69 cm, according to legend, separated lovers exchanged kisses from them. Now you can climb one of the balconies for free through the gift shop, and kissing for couples to achieve happiness is recommended on the third step under the balcony.
The Mummy Museum houses more than 100 human remains exhumed in the 19th and 20th centuries from the local cemetery.
Then the relatives of the dead had to pay for their stay in a stone tomb, and when they stopped making contributions, the bodies were seized and stored in a special building. There is also a local history museum in the city, opened in Alhondiga de Granadita, an ancient fortress and prison; Iconographic Museum of Quixote (Museo Iconografico del Quijote), which contains many of his images in different techniques and subjects.
There are three theaters in Guanajuato! The most important is the Juarez Theatre, which occupies a beautiful building of the 19th century with columns, statues of muses, lions, and even more luxurious inside. This is pure eclecticism, where antique style, classicism and modernity are mixed. Pseudo-Moorish style prevails in the interiors, and the furniture has been preserved since the opening in 1903. It is not necessary to go to the performance, you can get inside for 35 MXN. Actors often perform in front of the theater, and the audience sits on its steps. The ancient Teatro Cervantes is much smaller, but it prides itself on its intimate atmosphere.
The third theater is Principal with an unusual colonial-style facade, it is famous for good acoustics and a comfortable hall.
In the very center of the city there is the Jardin de la Unión garden, where fountains, shops, small cafes are buried in greenery and flowers. Local songs (“mariachi”) are almost always heard here, performed by men in big hats. Nearby is the 1910 Mercado Hidalgo Central Market, which has long been a tourist attraction. Everything here is expensive, but bright, noisy and fun.
The hilly terrain allows you to look at the city from above from different angles. The most spectacular view opens from the hill of San Miguel, where the monument to Pipila stands – a huge sculpture of a Mexican revolutionary.
In October, Guanajuato hosts the annual Servantino International Arts Festival, the largest in all of Latin America. Musicians, dancers, actors perform in all theaters, museums, on the streets, the event lasts almost 3 weeks. On holidays and weekends, mainly for tourists, the locals arrange Callejoneada – a costumed procession with folk songs and dances. It usually starts at 20:00 from the Juarez theater, the routes change depending on the occasion.