Guanajuato Sightseeing,Churches, Aqueducts, Museums, and Shopping
Guanajuato sightseeing offers churches, museums, aqueducts of stone, old mansions and an interesting old shopping market. Guanajuato's center is easily walked and includes many colonial era buildings in what was once Mexico's wealthiest colonial town.
The nearest large city is Leon, a forty peso bus ride, where many first class buses lead to all of Mexico.
Going northwest the next large city is Aguascalientes, San Miguel de Allend is a 75 pesos bus ride of about two hours.
Primera Plus Buses run from Mexico Central Norte station to Guanajuato. 360 peso (34 USD) in 4 and a half hours
Guanajuato was a rich gold and silver mining town during the 16th and 17th centuries. The wealth built many colonial churches, elegant buildings, and an extensive system of aqueducts and water impoundments of stone. As the capital of Guanajuato State in Central Mexico, the town attracted the wealthy who built estates and mansions.
Guanajuato occupies a narrow valley at over 6000 feet in a mountainous region that offered a moderate climate.
Stone is plentiful in the valley and with it the early settlers created many splendid colonial buildings including private mansions, public building, churches, aqueducts, and a European style castle that is now a hotel.
Several streets in the center of the town go underground through tunnels cut like mines through the rock or constructed like bridges to support building at ground level. Many narrow streets are pedestrian only and other alleyways have staircases to the higher parts of the town.
One of the interesting hotels in Guanajuato was once a European style fortress built in the 17th century colonial era. Check recent reviews of this hotel
The building is one that will transport you to Europe and the views can be great as the hotel occupies the high ground above the narrow valley that once saw great prosperity.
The first inhabitants of the Guanajuato area were the pre Hispanic Chichimecas and later Aztecs who mined the precious metals. The Spanish defeated the local Indians in the 1540s and started mining on a large scale.
By 1555 the town had forts for protection against raiding Chichimecas and the first church was under construction.
One of the earliest mines, the 1540s Bocamina Mine is today open for visits by tourists who descend into the mine shaft and tour the above ground support buildings. The mines made Guanajuato the richest cities in Mexico during the colonial period.
Of interest to sightseers are the Mummy Museum, the Don Quixote Museum, and the Diego Rivera Museum among many other sights.
Church interior built between 1717 and 1775
The Belen Temple
Many streets in Guanajuato are narrow and restricted to pedestrians only. Other alleyways have staircases to the higher parts of the town.
The ornate entrance to the market in the center of Guanajuato.