The Heart of Mexico- Guanajuato
by Diana Olvera
During the winter holidays I took a vacation to Mexico City. Having been being born and raised there, I opted to explore a city I’ve never visited. Deviating from my original itinerary, I detoured to the city of Guanajuato. Located northwest Mexico City, Guanajuato is a friendly place and relatively unknown treasure amongst visiting tourists. This has enabled the old silver mining town to retain its unique character and charming local traditions. During my trip I stayed at quaint in-town apartment that offered a terrific value for my money, participated in town events, and savored authentic local foods and colorful candy.
The architecture of Guanajuato is Spanish colonial, the color is all it’s own.
The first night I took part take in a “callejoneada”, or evening street party, which departs nightly from the San Diego church on the Jardín de la Unión. Leading the callejoneada, was a group of student musicians referred to as “estudiantinas”. We toured the historic center of Guanajuato including the Alondiga de Granadita and the Kissing Alley- a super narrow alley, while dancing to live music, listening to local legends, and sipping tequila from a very unique looking cup.
The great architecture of this gorgeous city was built with the enormous wealth generated from silver mining during the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, Guanajuato was the source for one third of the world’s silver supply.
El Nopal is an old mine from the mid 18th century.
It was an amazing adventure walking down cobbled streets and alleyways, discovering new and unexpected things around every corner. My exploration expanded to a neighboring town- San Miguel de Allende. Whether on public buildings or private houses, newly painted or beautifully aged, the doors and windows of San Miguel de Allende are made to be noticed. Their inspiring styles include decorative ironwork, arched panels and painted or tiled frames on contrasting walls.
San Miguel de Allende is an incredibly picturesque and perfectly preserved town has also been named as a Heritage of Humanity Site by UNESCO.
Cars have to go through the old and long mining tunnels to get into the old city.
The underground road network in the city and surrounding regions is well developed, and traveling through it is fast and efficient.
The city and surrounding towns are clean and safe; it’s truly a great region to consider if you desire as genuine cultural experience in Mexico.
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