This massive hacienda, now turned museum, is the perfect afternoon escape from Guanajuato’s small streets. If you don’t know, hacienda is the term for a large estate, most likely a plantation, ranch, mine or factory and it was usually a for profit venture with large enough grounds for working, housing for the laborers and sweeping villas for the owners and management.
About the San Gabriel Hacienda
Now known as the Museo Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera, this hacienda was once a major world influence of silver. Built at the end of the 1600’s for a Captain Gabriel de la Barrera, heir to the Valenciana silver mine, the grounds stretch over 22,000 square meters.
Divided into 16 areas, complete with 17 gardens, all groomed to a different style and various manor buildings, this hacienda tour is quite a pleasant afternoon activity. The grounds are very peaceful and surprisingly not busy even on a holiday afternoon. Exploring this hacienda is for everyone, especially if you need an afternoon break from Guanajuato’s bustling atmosphere.
When exploring the grounds allow yourself at least 1 hour but more than likely it will take around 2 hours to explore everything. This is an activity not to rush, slow down and enjoy the nice scenery and cultivated nature.
San Gabriel Hacienda is located 3 or so kilometers from the city center. Combis, aka small mini-vans run a couple of times per hour to there. The best area to find a combis is at the Parada de Autobus, next to the Mercado Hidalgo, the local market. You need to look for the van that says Marfil in the window, cost is 7.5 mx pesos per person. When getting on the combis tell the driver that you would like to get off at Hotel Mision. The ride takes around 20 minutes and you will be dropped off close to the Hacienda parking lot. For a ride back to the city, stand on the road you got dropped off, there is a bus sign, just wave down the next combis you see.
Hours and Price
Open everyday of the week from 9 am to 6 pm. General admission is 35 mx pesos for adults and 25 pesos for children and students. If you would like to use your camera the cost is an additional 30 pesos and definitely worth it.
When touring the San Gabriel Hacienda I did not really know what to expect but I was quite impressed. I wanted to find an activity that my mother would enjoy during our final day in Guanajuato. This was a great choice and easily became a highlight of our trip to Guanajuato
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