Guanajuato State, Mexico

The mountainous central Mexican state of Guanajuato has a lot to offer visitors. Natural wonders, extreme sports and archaeological and historical sites lend the area fascination, and its proximity to Mexico City gives it convenience. While the state has established several tourist routes featuring everything from history to handicrafts, the area's three main cities also make first-class holiday destinations.

The City of Guanajuato

Guanajuato, MexicoGuanajuato City's most unique feature is the underground tunnels that function as a road system. The state's capitol city, it is built on terrain so hilly that almost every part of the city is on a grade. Guanajuato developed from the consolidation of the area's silver camps. The city's churches, theaters and museums, the revolutionary monuments and the silver mines are all worth visiting, and Guanajuato's night life absolutely sparkles. Visitors should also consider taking the funicular to the top of the city's highest mountain to see the statue of Pipila and the breathtakingly panoramic landscapes.

San Miguel de Allende

La Parroquia and Templo de San Rafael San Miguel de Allende, MexicoThe beautifully preserved facades in central San Miguel are only a few of the beneficiaries of the 1926 declaration making the town a National Monument. The city is famous for its artists' colonies, and the classes at its art institutes are first rate. Churches and the Botanical Garden are well worth a visit, and operators in the surrounding hinterland can arrange horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, boating and hot-air ballooning as well as adventure sports. San Miguel is a shopper's paradise, offering not only artwork but personal and household items in shops or open-air markets. Local pewter is a particular bargain.

Dolores Hidalgo

Dolores Hidalgo Church, Guanajuato, MexicoThe cradle of Mexican Independence is the small city of Dolores Hidalgo about an hour outside Guanajuato. It was here, in 1810, that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla raised a group of peasants and led them under the standard of the Virgin of Guadalupe, in an uprising that spread into the Mexican War of Independence. The town is full of history. Visitors can tour the Independence Museum and see the statue of Hidalgo in front of the church from which he gave the Grito as well as the Erre Hacienda where the insurgent army had its first headquarters as well as Hidalgo's home. Every night the city stages a recreation of the Grito from the church, followed by a light show.


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