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Guanajuato Travel Guide

Guanajuato Guide

This city is located in the centre of Mexico and is the capital of the state of the same name. Guanajuato means “Place of Frogs” in the local indigenous language. This is a beautiful mountain colonial town which used to be a major silver mining town and many of the mines are still in fact active. Considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Mexico, it has a network of underground tunnels serving as roads and boasts a wealth of fine colonial era Spanish architecture. There are a huge number of landmarks to visit as well as several mines which are obviously a huge part of the city’s history. In addition to this, there are a host of museums for those more interested in the cultural visits or they can even be saved for a rainy day… which there aren’t many of. You are guaranteed great weather here with temperatures well over 20°C all year round so it is ideal if you’re coming to enjoy the sun and visit the majestic sights.

Places of Interest

El Pipila
On top of the San Miguel Hill stands this tall statue of 28m high. To get here you need to use the cable car behind the Teatro Juarez. Juan Jose Martinez, also known as El Pipila, is the legend of a hero who supposedly sustained a stone slab on his back as protection whilst burning he Spanish troops in the Alhóndiga in September 1810. This view is highly popular at night because of the stunning sights you are able to see.

Cristo Rey del cubilete
This is one of Mexico’s most important religious monuments and is said to mark the geographical centre of the country. The statue stands at 65ft high and is where thousands of pilgrims ride on horseback every January to celebrate the Epiphany.

Basilica of our Lady of Guanajuato
This was constructed between 1671 to 1696 and inside the church is a 1000 year old statue donated by the Spanish King Charles I who tried to protect it from the Arab invasion in Spain.

Presa de la Olla
This dam was built in 1749 to provide fresh water to the town. Here, it is possible to hire a small boat. As well as this, there is a beautiful park with a statue of Miguel Hidalgo casted in Italy and inaugurated by President Porfirio Diaz during the early 20th century. This is a very calm and serene area and ideal if you are looking to have a break.

Mummies of Guanajuato
This is a museum of mummies and a trip here should definitely be made. It is a result of 1910 Guanajuato, when the authorities were forced to exhume several bodies due to the overcrowding of the local graveyard. This resulted in the bodies turning into mummies rather than skulls. This museum is an interesting insight into this. There is a low entry fee for adults.

Getting to Guanajuato

By Air
The Del Bajio International Airport (BJX) in Leon is the closest airport serving Guanajuato. This airport serves a number of other cities and there are many domestic airlines which serve this airport and travel to a host of cities across Mexico. Another option, if you’re flying from Europe, is to fly into Mexico City and take a bus or another flight from there. Normally, the bus journey lasts 5 hours. There is also the choice of Queretaro International Airport (QRO) which is approximately 3 hours from Guanajuato.

By Bus
Until recently, bus was the main mode of transport around Mexico. They are reliable, comfortable, cheap, have air conditioning, and often show movies and provide refreshments. There are lines serving Guanajuato such as ADO and Omnibus de Oriente. From the city’s bus station, it takes approximately 1 hour to reach San Miguel de Allende, 3 hours to Guadalajara and 5 hours to Mexico City.

Getting around the City

Guanajuato is a comfortably-sized city and it is easy to walk most places. On the other hand, there are lots of taxis which will take you anywhere for a very cheap price. There is also a very cheap bus service and this is convenient also run by Sistema Coordinado de Transporte de Guanjuato.