MINE, ALL MINE
Guanajuato is also home to some of the most significant silver mines in the world, giving the city a rich heritage for precious metals. Learn how Guanajuato built its fortune at the restored La Valenciana Mine, which takes you 60 metres underground through a network of tunnels and caves. This eerie attraction gives you an idea of the conditions that brought about the city’s wealth. And the guides are often happy to answer questions, as many of them are former miners at the site.
Back above ground, you can visit the landmark San Cayetano church. This pink-stone icon of Baroque architecture is astounding both inside and out. With an extravagant altarpiece almost entirely covered in gold leaf, the church stands as an opulent reminder of the wealth produced from the mining industry. For panoramic views of the city, take the road route back to Villa María Cristina, which takes you past the Monumento el Pípila.
With such a strong history in metal mining it’s no surprise that silver and gold are available in abundance in Guanajuato. For bespoke jewellery and handicrafts, look no further than La Casa del Quijote. As much an art gallery as a place to shop, the pieces range from pottery to textiles to modern art – with something to suit all budgets. It’s the perfect stopover to pick up souvenirs, gifts, and mementos of a culture that lives beyond its earthly borders.