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“Beautiful, Historic, but loud and not for the out-of-shape”
Review of Guanajuato

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San Diego, CA
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
39 helpful votes
“Beautiful, Historic, but loud and not for the out-of-shape”
Reviewed 22 May 2011

Guanajuato has some of the most interesting historical and architectural sites of many places in Mexico. The colonial buildings, small winding streets, and pedestrian only areas provide great entertainment and are truly sights to behold. It is considered a World Heritage Site for good reason with some of the churches dating to the mid-1700s and with several excellent museums and other attractions.

Some warnings- First, the downtown area is small and if you are staying anywhere out of the central district you are in for a lot of walking up and down some very steep hills. Regular travel maps do not show elevations, except perhaps as a number but think of it as walking up and down Lombard Street in San Francisco. If you do this more than a couple of times you are in for a good workout!

The city has a huge universty student population and tends to be very noise, even into the late hours of the night. Be prepared to hear a lot of singing, noise, etc. specially on the weekend.

Finally, the food is not the best I've had. We ate at four different restaurants and all but one had food I would consider only as 'passable' at best. The prices at a decent sit-down restaurant are in the $12- $15 per plate range. Being mexico one would expect better food but the city and state are not known for their cuisine.

We did find an excellent restaurant called Le Parisien (review upcoming as soon as Trip Advisor accepts it as a new listing) which served a fixed price meal for 50 pesos (about $4,50 US) that is excellent. They have both French and Mexican plates, it is well decorated and the service is very good. It is located about a half block from the Diego Rivera museum.

1 Thank TLCNate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guanajuato, GTO., Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
35 helpful votes
“Unique in so many ways.”
Reviewed 6 April 2011

This village is part of a ravine. Cut out over time. With a river at the bottom of the ravine/village. However the river only runs when it's raining. The rest of the time the river is dry. The man-made walls of the river also serve as the foundation for homes built along the river's edge. The name of this road is the "Subterrania Padre Miguel Hidelgo". Hundreds of years old. This road made Guanajuato the number two of the thirteen man-made wonders of Mexico. There are 266 arches holding the village up and out of the Guanajuato River. There are 25 tunnels bored through the hills of the village. They connect to the Subterrania or pop up on the surface to exit the village.

You can re-live the glorious battle at the "Alhondiga De Granaditas". The first fight for independence. The first time the Spanish were challenged in 300 years!! You can see the pock holes in the walls from the musket fire of the 75 "Dragones De Renia"(the queen's dragoons). The men under the command of Allende, fighting for their new nation. The very first army of Mexico, at their very first battle!!

The beautiful Templos, 34 altogether. The buildings of the "Diaz" era are truly both unique and beautiful. (you can make stuff happen when your "Dictator" :))

Most of the wonderful people that live in the village of Guanajuato are families with mine workers in their past. Many with family that worked the mines in the time of indentured slaves and before that, as slaves. They are a people that accept visitors like an extended family member that has come to visit. It is so safe in the Village of Guanajuato. Everyone seems so young, 18 years old is the average age. The "Jardin De Union" at the bottom of the ravine is like the front yard and the Careterra Panoramica at the top of the village is the back yard. Everyone lives between these two roads on the side of the ravine. The front yard is a flat spot in the village.

To really see the village, it takes about 3 days. Bring good walking shoes. Everything worth seeing in a small area and reached by foot.

The the hills of volcanic rock put Guanajuato on the map. All you have to do is add water to these hills for a couple bajillion years and wah-lah,... you have gold and silver. The "bocamina San Cayetano".(mouth to the mine Saint Cayetano) is what build the splendid homes of Guanajuato. This museum has old fotos of Guanajuato. A great place to visit. When this bocamina ran dry, Spain collapsed and Mexico was born. And.. it happened here in Guanajuato. It was here that Padre Hidelgo came to fight the Spanish for his children slaving in the mines

2 Thank RickZuniga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Lovely week in Guanajuato, Mexico”
Reviewed 18 November 2010

My wife and I just returned for a wonderful week spent in Guanajuato, Mexico. This is a beautiful and historic city with
very friendly people. Guanajuato is a Colonial era city that has
been declared a World Heritage Site. As such the historic zone (which is most of the city core) is nicely restored and well maintained. There are many lovely plazas, interesting museums, good restaurants, and amazing handicrafts.

Above all else, Guanajuato is primarily a pedestrian city. Much of the vehicle traffic travels in tunnels beneath the city, leaving only a small number of surface streets where cars and buses are allowed. The city is in a bit of a bowl, and the homes on the hillside are built among steep and narrow alleyways that make for fun walking and surprising vistas. We had lovely weather in November, and we enjoyed strolling through every part of Guanajuato.

Side trips to nearby towns are easy with good quality bus service.

2 Thank MichaelH60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
16 helpful votes
“Culture of Guanajuato”
Reviewed 12 October 2010

I have always dreamed of living in Mexico. I got that chance last October. I lived in Guanajuato for 5 months. It was incredible. The people are amazing. So friendly and helpful. I went to learn Spanish. Everywhere I went I was trying to use my Spanish, and all the little shop owners would help me. It was great. Nobody looked down on you for not being able to pronounce things exactly right, they just really tried to help you. I felt so loved by everyone. Also, while I was there, I went to "Iglesia de Cristo". It is right on the main street. It is one of two protestant churches around. Everyone there welcomed me immediately and became like family. They even helped me move. I would love to live there the rest of my life if I could.

Also, there is the Cervantino Festival. It is the longest festival in the world. It last 3 weeks. Just incredible. It is people all over the world who come and try to sell their things, do theater, art, and much more. It is beyond diverse. It turns into a completely different city during this festival. So alive and busy. I just love it.

This city is also known as the place of the Mummies. They have a museum of real mummies. It is about $2.50 to get in. If you have a strong stomach, go for it. When else will you get to see that?

They also have the largest silver mines there, and one is still working. You can get tours as well.

Antoher neat thing is that 1/2 the roads are in tunnels. It is awesome. There are sidewalks in the tunnels too, but still a little dangerous.

I would highly recommend visiting Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico above all other places.

2 Thank HeidiLynn03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
14 helpful votes
“The best of Mexico”
Reviewed 11 October 2010

Guanajuato is a truly amazing place. I had the pleasure of being there in August 2010.

This historical and cultural centre is such a colourful and lively university town. Great food, great people and great nightlife.

Each building a different bright colour, lining delightful lanes. Most of the vehicle traffic is underground in old mining tunnels that now serve as roads. This results in a fantastic environment for strolling the streets uninhibited by cars and motorbikes, which is a very pleasant change from larger surrounding cities.
Check out the delightful market, lively squares, grand theatres, and historical sites.

Unlike other parts of Central Mexico, Guanajuato is an extremely safe and welcoming destination. Only 4 hours by bus from Mexico City, this is a destination that I’d recommend to everyone.

3 Thank ParksyMelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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