You don’t have to dig deep to discover this Central Mexican city’s charms. Built in the 16th century after the Spanish discovered gold and silver in the surrounding mountains, Guanajuato feels like a window into Mexico’s past. Yet, home to a thriving university population and contemporary cultural scene, it’s part of the country’s future, too. Discover it all from your luxury boutique hotel.
Central Mexico’s ‘silver city’, where paint box-hued colonial buildings climb up steep hillsides
Things to do
The Spanish struck gold (and silver) here in the 1500s – and as the precious metals flowed down from the hills, Guanajuato sprang up. Visit San Diego temple for a wonderful example of Mexico’s elaborate churrigueresque architecture. On the city’s more down-to-earth side, Callejón del Beso alley is a sight to behold. Here, the buildings are so close together that couples standing on the balconies of opposing houses can lean across and kiss.
Guanajuato history as a wealthy mining centre has meant it’s long been a centre of local life and culture. Look back in time at Alhóndiga de Granaditas museum, which gathers together art and pre-Columbian artefacts. Catch a performance at Juarez theatre, with its lavish red velvet and gold interior. Or, if you’re here in October, catch performances by Mexican and international orchestras, dance companies and more at the acclaimed Cervantino arts festival.
FOOD & DRINK
There is far more to regional Mexican cuisine than beans and fajitas. In Guanajuato, fuel up on hot tamales and fresh fruit juices at street stalls. The fertile valleys around the city are home to a thriving wine industry. Or drop into a local bar to sample quintessentially Mexican drinks such as tequila and mezcal. Both flow freely at the annual Gastronomia de Guanjuato food festival, which celebrates regional and international cuisine.
Guanajuato’s infamous Museo de las Momias is not for the faint-hearted. This collection of mummified remains offers an unforgettable exploration of Mexico’s funeral culture.
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