Guanajuato

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Guanajuato is a city in central Mexico and is the Capital city of the state bearing the same name. It is located at 21°02′N 101°28′W, 390 km northwest of Mexico City. The name of the city means "Place of Frogs" in the local indigenous language and therefore the frog is the city's official pet. Guanajuato is a beautiful mountain colonial town. Many tourists and locals consider this city to be the most beautiful in Mexico. It used to be a major silver mining town, and many of the mines are still active. The city is built on very hilly ground, so virtually every point in the city is on a slant. The city has a network of underground tunnels that serve as roads making this place really unique in the world. (less...) (more...)

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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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  • Casino Casino
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  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
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  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Guanajuato

Landmarks

  • El Pipila, A 28-meter tall statue of an independence hero, atop the San Miguel hill. To reach this place use the funicular (cable car) just behind Teatro Juarez. Juan Jose Martinez, or also known as El Pipila, is the legend of a hero who wore a stone slab on his back to protect himself while burning the Spanish troops holed up in the Alhóndiga, or granary in September 1810. The view is beautiful, particularly at night.
  • Jardin de la Union in Centro has several restaurants around the garden.
  • Teatro Juarez In the Jardin de la Union. The architecture of this theater is part roman, part greek and part moorish, making it a really beautiful building. Inaugurated in 1903 by President Porfirio Diaz.
  • Teatro Principal
  • Callejon del Beso (Back alley of the kiss) Next to Plaza de los Angeles, in downtowwn. Two balconies separated by only 69 centimeters is home of an old love legend. For a few pennies some children will tell you the story.
  • Temple of the Company of Jesus Built from 1747 to 1765.
  • Basilica of our Lady of Guanajuato Built from 1671 to 1696. Inside this church there is a 1000 year old statue donated by Spanish King Charles I who tried to protect it from the arab invasion in Spain.
  • Alhondiga de Granaditas Place where the independence revolutionaries burned the spanish troops.
  • Escuela Normal Teacher's School.
  • Palacio Legislativo (State Congress Palace). Located in Plaza de la Paz near Basilica of our lady of Guanajuato. This building was originally the city hall. It was built in 1903 and inaugurated by President Porfirio Diaz.
  • Plaza del Baratillo
  • Plaza de la Paz
  • Plaza de San Fernando
  • Presa de la Olla (Dam of La Olla) Built in 1749 to supply fresh water to the town. In this place you can rent a little boat. There's also a park and a great statue of Miguel Hidalgo casted in Italy also inaugurated by President Porfirio Diaz in the early 1900's. This area is very tranquil and quiet to have a break.
  • Templo y Plazuela de San Roque
  • Templo de San Diego Alcantara
  • Universidad de Guanajuato
  • Temple of San Francisco
  • Arquitecture In Guanajuato all the houses are typical and original is a very beautiful thing to see.

Mines

  • Mina de Rayas The first mine of Guanajuato discovered in 1550.
  • Mina de Cata
  • Mina Experimental El Nopal
  • Mina de Valenciana The richest mine in Guanajuato still in operation today. It supplied enough silver to sponsor the Spanish Empire and its colonies.

Museums

  • Museo de las Momias (the mummy museum). A must if you're in Guanajuato. In 1910, due to the overcrowding of the local graveyard, the authorities were forced to exhume several bodies and when they did that they found the bodies had turned into mummies rather than fully decomposing. After that they founded this really strange and unique museum. Adults $52 pesos.
  • Casa Diego Rivera The birthplace of Diego Rivera, a well-preserved traditional Mexican residence. Be sure to check out the collections of his simple, socialist-inspired works.
  • Don Quixote museum. Small, but very well done.
  • Casa de las Leyendas (House of Legends) Located in the hill of San Miguel, in the top station of the funicular.
  • Casa de la Tia Aura Paseo de la Presa 62. Sort of house of horrors that's sweet in its corniness. Inside this house a woman was buried alive inside the walls. The tour is conducted (appropriately enough) in Spanish and will be difficult to understand for those not fairly fluent, though the sights are self-explanatory and the gasps and screams comprehensible in any language.
  • Museum of the Town of Guanajuato Positos 7.
  • Museo Gene Byron Housed in the Ex Hacienda of Santa Ana in the neighbouring town of Marfil.
  • Museo de la Inquisicion (Museum of the Holy Inquisition) Featuring torture instruments. Valenciana street.
  • Galeria Mariana Ponciano Aguilar 7.
  • Museum of Mineralogy One of the richest collection of minerals in the world. Ex-hacienda de San Matias.
  • Ex-convento Diegino Next to Templo de San Diego.
  • Museo Alfredo Duges

Juarez Theater

Union Garden

La Paz Square

Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato

University of Guanajuato

Alley of the Kiss

Diego Rivera Museum

Public Granary

Don Quijote Iconographic Museum

Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhondiga

Pipila Monument

Guanajuato Convention Center

Mummies Museum

Exhacienda San Gabriel de Barrera Museum

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Popular events in Guanajuato in the near future

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About Guanajuato

Background

Unlike other Mexican cities that have an exact date of foundation, Guanajuato was the result of miner camping sites after silver veins were discovered between 1540 and 1558 and that eventually lead to a larger settlement. In 1558 a big silver vein was discovered in Guanajuato and produced nearly a third of all silver in the world by the next 250 years. The city was granted its city status in 1741 by Spanish King Philip V. Mining brought wealth to this town that spread towards its architecture and lifestyle.

The historic town of Guanajuato and adjacent mines were granted World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1987 and has been ranked by several travel magazines as one of the top travel destinations in the world.

Activities

  • Guanajuato is not that big, you can just walk randomly along the back alleys and steep streets.
  • At the University, there is a 3-4 story series of steps that lead up to an auditorium. Climb up the steps and look out over the colonial city.
  • Climb to the top of the mountain that overlooks Guanajuato. There's a trail that goes to the top- look for the signs to Pipila. It takes at most 1/2 hour to get to the top and there is an amazing view of the city.
  • Ride the Funicular to the top of the mountain where the statue of the "Pipila" is located. The Funicular station is just behind the Teatro Juarez. One way $15 pesos, round trip $30. It's easy to walk though.
  • The central plaza (Jardín de la Unión) always has a lot of things going on, day and night.
  • Visit one of the silver mines in Valenciana (Bocamina Valenciana nearby the Templo Valenciana charges an entrance fee of 25 Pesos plus the guide expects a tip), as well as the beautiful Templo de Valenciana.
  • In March, Guanajuato and nearby Léon host the Mexican round of the World Rally Championship.
  • As you can go clubbing at night museums in the morning etc, theres also nice tracks to exercise for example Nieto Pina located going towards the Pipila from los Mineros.

Food

In Guanajuato the local dish is Miner's Enchiladas. Served almost everywhere.

  • Mestizos (69 Pocitos, near Diego Rivera Museum). Fabulous food at rock bottom prices with a great atmosphere. A fine dining restaurant and art gallery combined. For 500 pesos it is possible to get 2 appetizers, 4 dinners, 2 glasses of wine and 2 sodas.
  • Truco 7 (near the Jardín). Features Mexican food as well as American and at a decent price. They have tortilla soup, enchiladas, and hamburgers. They have excellent aguas frescas and milkshakes. Try the strawberry, it comes with cinnamon in it.
  • No name bar (near the Teatro Juarez). Serves burgers, bar food, and Mexican food at a good price. They have seating outside the bar in a nice courtyard. Beer is fairly cheap.
  • El Midi (Plaza San Fernando). A fantastic Southern French lunch buffet featuring lots of marinated and glazed vegetables, salads and quiches. Food is sold by weight and is extremely affordable. Don't miss their delicious aguas frescas to accompany your meal.
  • Delica Mitsu, Callejon de Cantaritos #37. Located on an alley just off Plaza San Fernando, Delica Mitsu serves up homemade Japanese Delicatessen "sozai", sushi rolls, grilled chicken, and more. Many of the dishes are made from vegetables only, so vegetarians will also feel at home at this tiny restaurant owned and operated by a sweet Japanese couple. Popular with tourists and locals, there are new items on the menu everyday which are sure to keep you coming back time and time again.
  • Cafè Santo. If you want cheap food and free internet access visit Cafè Santo which is a 5 minute walk from Teatro Juarez and features a sweet little bridge upon which you can eat. The food here is very clean and you needn't worry about having fresh fruits or salads.
  • Cafe Tal, Temescuitate 4. 7:00-0:00. Coffee, tea, a mixed foreign and Mexican crowd, and high speed wireless internet access. It's between 5-10 minutes from Teatro Juarez up the main street towards the baseball stadium, just up the street from Bar Fly. The owner, an American expat, plays French horn in the city orchestra. Although it serves some distinctly Mexican drinks and snacks, it also has a much wider selection of tea and coffee drinks familiar to Americans and difficult to find in GTO. (Tea is pretty unsatisfactory in the city, not so here. And they understand the concept of iced tea.) They also have low cost international calling and tasty snacks. Before lunch, a bakery a few doors down has a wider selection of pastries and rolls.
  • El Zopilote Mojado, Plaza Mexíamora 51 (Plaza Mexíamora downtown),  524737325311. The beautiful Plaza Mexíamora host this unique Café, where you can find peaceful atmosphere with an excellent coffee, classical music, interesting books en English and Spanish, and delicious desserts and baguettes, a very Mexican place with an international taste.
  • Cupulas. If you are looking for some after-clubbing late-night/early morning food, try some of their delicious quesadillas.
  • Bagel Cafetín. Located just a few steps away from Teatro Juarez and Jardin Union, in Plaza San Francisco, right by the Iconography Museum. They have a great selection of coffee, drinks and loose leaf teas. There are around 20 different types of bagel sandwiches to choose from, and the extremely affordable cafe is popular with locals and foreigners alike. The cafe is very cheerful - brightly colored, with friendly staff. It's a great place to spend a few hours relaxing, and there is free wireless internet too.
  • Antik. is in El Baratillo, near Jardín Unión. They have bagels, Mexican food, coffee drinks and teas. It is not expensive and it has its own bar. They often have live music at night.

Drinks

The nightlife is very active in Guanajuato, especially on weekends. Look for people passing out flyers during the day for drink specials and sometimes free drink coupons. If you walk around the city center, you'll find plenty to do--music spills out of the bars and clubs into the streets and many establishments have outdoor areas.

To start the night off, stop by one of the little cafes in the Jardín, for dinner and drinks and mariachi band ambience. It is a great place to people watch. And definitely try Sol a popular Mexican beer similar to Corona.

  • Guanajuato Grill. Another favorite of locals and tourists. It is even bigger than Capitolio and boasts 2 levels. It is always packed on weekends, with the same type of crowd as Capitolio. Although it plays similar music to what you hear in Capitolio, it tends to play more electronic and techno music. It also offers great drink specials, especially on bottles.
  • El Bar. A salsa bar across the street from Teatro Juarez. It offers salsa lessons every night from 7 to 10. It plays mostly salsa and merengue all night and often has salsa shows.
  • La Havana. A salsa bar that attracts a more local, late-night crowd.
  • Why Not. Another chill bar that plays unique latino indie-rock and reggae. It's a good place to hang out and play pool. The bartenders are very sociable and entertaining. Why Not is open later than Bar Fly and is often the after hours destination of the Bar Fly crowd and staff.
  • Don Ole Karaoke (across the street from Teatro Juarez). Try out you Spanish, but don't worry, they have songs in English too.
  • Alcatraz (near the Jardín). Has great drink specials and a great atmosphere with many locals.
  • Bar Fly. Has a younger crowd. The staff is friendly and gets to know their customers. There is reggae music as well as lamp shades made out of solo cups. A definite must-see. If you are young and female, the staff will flirt unabashedly, but they're harmless and worth getting to know. If they know you are in Mexico to learn Spanish (whether you tell them or your teacher does) they won't speak English to you at all.
  • No name bar (behind El Teatro Juarez). Features good music, friendly bartenders and good drinks at night and a great laid-back atmosphere to sip a beer outside and plan your day in Guanajuato during the day.
  • La Botellita. known for having giant, delicious margaritas and good food. They also do 2 for 1 drinks on Tuesdays, but if you're a girl, or at least with a girl, you pretty much get 2 for 1 drinks all the time.
  • El Zopilote Mojado, Plaza Mexíamora 51 (Plaza Mexíamora downtown),  524737325311.
  • La Diabla. A small dark bar with cheap drinks, a young local clientele, and a functional jukebox. Also serves snacks (though there is always a taco stand just steps from the entrance), and is open until 4 AM.
  • Zilch. A great bar in the Jardín Unión, they have live music from wednesday to saturday. Great prices, great environment, awesome terrace, great service, pool table! They serve snacks from 7 to 10 pm.
  • Famoso Bar Incendio. A typical mexican CANTINA. Just in front of Teatro Principal. One of the oldest cantinas in Gto. Lately they have a students environment. They are famous for their mezcales. They close at 11pm.
  • Habibi, Sostenes Rocha #18 (In front of Bar Fly). 10am-2am. Fusion cafe offering vegetarian options. House-made chai, delicious coffee, muffins, and falafel. Open until 2 am. 25 pesos.

Shopping

  • Mercado Hidalgo, Juarez Street and Mendizabal. A 2 story indoor market selling from touristy stuff (handcrafts, souvenirs, etc) to groceries (food, confectionery and clothing). It is said, the structure of this market was originally intended to be a train station in Antwerpen, Belgium, but it was brought to Guanajuato by President Porfirio Diaz and completed in 1910, shortly before the start of the Mexican Revolution. The façade of this building is made of pink quarry and boasts a tower.
  • El Cubilete Juarez Ave. 188. Across Comercial Mexicana. This is your one-stop store for confectionery. Established in 1955 they sell all sorts of local sweets. The specialties include "Charamuscas" , figures made of caramel resembling the mummies. Try also Cajeta, sort of Dulce de Leche but this is made of goat's milk.
  • Embajadoras If you are looking for ripped-off CDs, go this place on a Saturday, and there are some tents set up there.
  • Del Sol If you need to get all your basics at once, check out this place which is similar to a Wal-Mart, or right down the road from Del Sol.
  • Comercial Mexicana On Juarez Avenue, three blocks from the Alhondiga. A branch of the mexican supermaket chain that sells everything from basic groceries to TV's and some clothing.
  • Donkey Jote sells (and might buy?) English-language books. It's located near the Diego Rivera Museum.
  • If you are looking more for handmade crafts and more touristy stuff, take a bus to [[San Miguel de Allende], about an hour away from Guanajuato. There is a large open-air artisan market there.
  • If you'd like to purchase handmade ceramics, take the roughly-one-hour bus ride to Dolores Hidalgo.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Guanajuato on Wikivoyage.

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