Guanajuato is a small picturesque place located a few hours north of Mexico City. Formerly one of the world’s leading silver producers, this once famously rich area is now known for its perfect spring climate and well preserved architecture. A lot of the city is only accessible by walking or small vehicle. Aside from wandering aimlessly through cobblestone streets here is a list of 8 things to do in Guanajuato city.
Local miner, Juan Jose de los Reyes Martínez Amaro, nicknamed El Pipila, became a hero during the Mexican War of Independence. There is a statue dedicated to him on top of one of Guanajuato’s street lined hills. From here you have a spectacular vantage point over the whole city. To reach the top you can take the Funicular, a cable car, each way for 25 mx pesos or you can walk up the slightly steep hills past the Teatro Juarez. Anytime is good to visit this lookout, sunset is busy but also very nice on a clear day.
A tradition local only to Guanajuato, Callejoneadas, are a walking street performance and something not to miss. Local university students dress up in renaissance attire to put on a musical and acting performance while wandering down various streets of the city. This miniature walking party is well created and something that occurs every night starting next to the Teatro Juarez.
Home to the world’s largest natural collection of mummified corpses. This activity is not for the squeamish. This is museum of over 100 corpses and many are very well preserved, hair and all, due to the very dry soil that the bodies were buried in.
Cristo Rey or Christ the king, is the world’s second largest Jesus statue. Located an hour southwest of Guanajuato city, Cristo Rey is also supposedly located in the geographical center of Mexico. Being built in the center of Mexico signifies Jesus being in the heart of the country. This is a great way to spend a free day away from the city to enjoy the fresh country air. Buses leave from Guanajuato’s main bus station (located outside of the city, Central de Autobuses de Guanajuato) once every hour from 6 am to 6 pm.
Located north of Guanajuato city about 5 kilometers Valenciana once produced over one third of the worlds silver. Touring this mine shows you the insights to silver mining and the struggles miners faces. Pair this tour with a stop at the Templo de San Cayetano Confesor, for a beautiful church view.
To escape the small streets and stretch you legs you can hop on a local bus bound for Presa de La Olla, a reservoir southeast of the city. From here you are able to do the hour long hike to the peak of El Faro and back or you could continue southwest to El Cerro de La Bufa for a 4 hour trail.
Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera is another way to escape the city, here you can enjoy a casual stroll through beautiful gardens alongside rich architecture. This once hacienda now turned museum is a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon outdoors. Plan for 2-3 hours minimum.
What better way to explore a city than to wander? With most of the streets closed off to traffic Guanajuato was made for wandering. Beautiful bright buildings cover this entire city and each street you will find picturesque.
Guanajuato is a near perfect city, it has the right balance between modern and rustic. This young lively atmosphere is refreshing but not overwhelming. You could easily lose yourself here.
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