Your first time in Guanajuato: what to do
Fuchsia pink mingles with pillar box red, saffron yellow, baby blue, and lime green. The houses of Guanajuato tumble down the hills that surround it in every imaginable colour.
The houses of Guanajuato tumble down the hills that surround it in every imaginable colour. There's no subtle, complementary colour scheme—fuchsia pink mingles with pillar box red, saffron yellow, baby blue, and lime green.

We like the city better for its discordance. Despite its beauty it's not perfectly restored and retains a gritty realness—it's a city where people live, work, study, and play.

This colonial city in the mountains of central Mexico was once a silver mining town and although it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The historic center

A walking tour of Guanajuato's Historic Center is a must, getting lost in the city's small streets and tunnels, discovering colonial houses and ancient palaces. Guanajuato is a place rich in history and holds an important place in Mexico Independence History. It's also a paradise for foodies, from French bread to Vietnamese Pho, you'll find a lot of restaurants from all over the world. For traditional Mexican food head to the Hidalgo Market, where you can also shop for handicrafts.

Among the main landmarks, you'll find the Juarez theater, the University, many churches, and ancient edifices turned into museums. Don't forget to take the funicular to visit the Pipila Monuments and get a panoramic view of the historic center. Don't either miss Guanajuato's most iconic street: the Callejon del Beso (the Kiss Alley). Here we will write about must-see places during your trip to Guanajuato.
Teatro Juárez

Don't leave Guanajuato without visiting the magnificent Teatro Juárez. It was built between 1873 and 1903 and inaugurated by the dictator Porfirio Díaz, whose lavish tastes are reflected in the plush red-and-gold interior. The outside features 12 columns with brass capitals, lamp posts and eight of the nine muses; inside the impression is Moorish, with the bar and lobby gleaming with carved wood, stained glass and precious metals. It's only open when no performances are scheduled.

Posters outside the theater advertise upcoming performances. Tickets cost between M$50 and M$100.

Don Quixote Iconographic Museum

Cultural and art center, this museum features pieces of art from all over the world with one common theme: Don Quixote de la Mancha. An interesting museum worth a quick look. Guanajuato is also known as the Cervantes Capital of America. Everything started in the 1950s' with a college professor trying to democratize theater and bring it to the street, using mostly Cervantes's work. Guanajuato started being known as a cultural town. Later Eulalio Ferres, a Spaniards living in Mexico whose life at been changed after reading Don Quixote, opened the Iconographic Museum, sharing with the town his private collection.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 7 PM (12 to 7 PM on Sundays). The entrance fee is 30 pesos.
Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera's birthplace is now an excellent museum honoring the famous artist, who was persona non grata here for years. Rivera and his twin brother were born in the house in 1886 (Carlos died at age two) and lived here until the family moved to Mexico City six years later. The museum's ground floor is a re-creation of the Rivera family home, furnished with 19th-century antiques.

The labyrinth of upper floors exhibit a permanent collection of his original works and preliminary sketches (completed for some of his famous murals in Mexico City), plus there's a nude of Frida Kahlo. Several salas (halls) also host temporary exhibitions of work by Mexican and international artists. An intimate theater upstairs features black-and-white photographs of Kahlo and Rivera.

If you would like go deeper and learn more about Diego Riviera and Frida Kahlo, join our Diego Riviera Art Tour.

The Mummies Museum

Probably one of the best things to do in Guanajuato is to visit the Mummies Museum Its is a spooky experience. Around 100 naturally mummified corpses are found in this museum. It all started in the 19th century when the city introduced a tax for perpetual burial. When it wasn't paid, they exhumed the bodies and stored them in a building nearby. People started to pay to visit the building where the corpses were and it became a tourist attraction. It was turned officially into a museum in 1969.

The museum is open every day from 9 AM to 6 PM (6:30 on weekends). The entrance fee is 85 pesos
Visit a mine

Guanajuato is known for its mining past. Several mines in the area have been adapted to tourism and can now be visited. Visiting one is enough, among the most popular you'll find:

· San Ramon Mine – a guided tour will take you 200 ft (60 meters) underground and will explain about Guanajuato mining history. They also have a small museum, and the hacienda there often hosts events.

· Bocamina de San Cayetano – right next to San Ramon mine, you'll also find a small museum and retired miners organize visits of the mine shaft.

· El Nopal Mine – smaller mine where university students give you the tour, you get a lot of information on the mine and mining in general.

Near San Ramon and San Cayetano, you can also visit the Museo de Sitio Mina Valenciana. A museum retracing the city's mining past. You can easily get there with public transportation, ask around at the Hidalgo market or stop a bus heading north on Avenida Hidalgo (ask the driver if he's heading to Valenciana). If you go there, make sure to make a stop at Valenciana Church.
What to do around Guanajuato

Mineral de Pozos

Mineral de Pozas is a ghost town, it used to count around 80,000 inhabitants during the mining boom, only 4,000 stayed after the revolution. The town is filled with haciendas in ruins and abandoned colonial houses. There, you can walk around the village and visit one of the nearby mines.

Dolores Hidalgo

Dolores Hidalgo is known for the important part it played during the war for independence. Visiting this town rich in history is a must-do while in Guanajuato. Here are the main places to see there:

  • Wine Museum
  • National Independence Museum
  • Abasolo House
  • Jimenez House
  • Casa de Visitas
  • Hidalgo House
  • Parish of the Assumption
  • Templo de la Tercera Orden
  • Plaza Principal

On the outskirts, you can visit the Hacienda de la Erre and a vineyard (Cuna de Tierra or Santisima Trinidad).

In Guanajuato we have City Tour, Diego Riviera and Frida Kahlo Tour, Photowalks, Photography Workshop, Photosessions. Enjoy your staying in Guanajuato!
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