Guanajuato, Mexico: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Situated right in the hearth of Mexico, the historic colonial city of Guanajuato is a hub for year-round cultural activities like films, theatre, orchestra and callejoneadas. Guanajuato is most famous for its Cervantino Festival. The narrow valley the city is located in makes its irregular streets narrow and winding, leading to a lot of confusion for newcomers. Guanajuato’s beautiful colonial architecture makes the city photogenic at all turns. Numerous wonderful museums add to some of its best attractions. Most touristic objectives are located in the Juarez and Pocito districts. Several bars and restaurants, together with the city’s theatres, provide nightly entertainment, while the surrounding area offers nice outdoor activities.

Guanajuato provides many excellent mid-range accommodation options, as well as some top-end and budget ones. Getting around the city is best done on foot, in order to fully explore the historic district. Otherwise, taxis are the best alternative.

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Founded in 1559, Guanajuato quickly grew into a rich town due to the silver and gold deposits found in the area. Between the 16th and 18th century the mines around Guanajuato produced one third of all the silver in the world, so the city flourished with elaborate churches and mansions. The San Barnabe mine ran until 1928 when the ore as depleted. As in most cases, the wealth generated created a great divide between the rich and the poor classes, so much so that in the 18th century, a number of events, that started out as protests against oppressive taxes, lead to the start of the Mexican War of Independence. The war began in the town of Dolores, in the state of Guanajuato, on the 16th of September, 1810. The city of Guanajuato briefly became the capital of the country, in 1858, during the in-fights between Federalists and Conservatives. Between the 19th and 20th century the local economy flourished again, funding cultural objectives, like the Juárez Theater, and in 1988, the historic city center was declared a World Heritage Site.