Guanajuato is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District or Mexico DF, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 46 municipalities and its capital city is also called Guanajuato however, the largest city in the state is Leon. Guanajuato is just one of over 60 official online guides covering the whole of Mexico. If you´re planning a trip to Mexico and would like discover our fabulous nation before visiting or, if you´d like to visit a specific place in Mexico, then you´ve come to the right place.
Guanajuato is located in the North-Central Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Zacatecas to the northwest, Jalisco to the west, San Luis Potosi to the north, Queretaro to the east and Michoacan to the south, the state covers an area of just over 30,000 km².
Guanajuato is sandwiched between the arid north of the country and the greener south, and it is part of the Volcanic Belt called the Trans Mexican fault, the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Mexican Plateau. Guanajuato is one of Mexico´s most popular places, visited by millions of people over the last decade. When you travel to Guanajuato you may wish to check out the Guanajuato hotels we have available or maybe you´d like to rent a car in Guanajuato? We also offer extensive Festival events in Guanajuato. This unique place has simply amazing things to see. We´ve also compiled a list of Travel books on Guanajuato Mexico.
It was initially founded by the Spanish conquistadors in the 1520s mainly to exploit the abundant mineral deposits available near the now capital city of Guanajuato, however places such as the Bajio region later became important for agriculture and livestock due to their plentiful grazing lands and perfect temperature for farm animals. Traditional mainstays of the state’s economy include Mining and agriculture, but today, about thirty percent of Guanajuato’s GDP is derived from industry, which includes raw metal working, automobile manufacturing, leather items, mass market processed foods and clothing manufacturing.
Guanajuato is home to numerous historically relevant cities, especially those along the, now famous “Bicentennial Route”, which follows the path of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s insurgent army at the start of the Mexican War of Independence. For those interested in Mexico’s rich history the Bicentennial Route begins at Dolores Hidalgo, and traverses though the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, San Miguel de Allende, Celaya and the capital city of Guanajuato. Other significant cities in the state include Leon, the most populated and the city of Irapuato.
Whether you are visiting Guanajuato in Mexico to see the Festival, for business, pleasure or both, we´re sure that Guanajuato will meet all of your expectations and that the people of Guanajuato will make you feel welcome while sampling some of the unique cuisine on offer in the Guanajuato Restaurant districts.
On a Cultural standpoint, the state is most famous for its annual Festival Internacional Cervantino, which is held in the city of Guanajuato along with some other associated venues around the state of Guanajuato. The Festival Internacional Cervantino sponsors a group of artistic and cultural activities with artists invited from other states and cities of Mexico along with renowned artists from around the world. Visitors can see free shows of opera, theater productions, movies, art & craft exhibitions, academic conferences and discussions, musical concerts with local and national bands and even learn a few steps of local dance moves. The festival is held in no less than 70 different venues throughout the month of October. Tourists are often in awe during the festival when street artists, dancers, clowns and others, give small and impromptu displays on the streets, sidewalks and small plazas of the city which further increase excitement for attendees.
The festival brings thousands of visitors to the city who stroll around the streets, seeing the many historic sights of the city along with the street entertainment. This festival is not to be missed and if you have the opportunity, you should make this a definite trip in the near future. Seldom can cultural history be mixed with such fun on just one trip, however be sure to book in advance because hotel occupancy rates spiral as high as 98% before, during and after the festival.
Festival Internacional Cervantino is named in honor of Miguel de Cervantes, the world renowned author of Don Quixote. The first ever festival was held in 1972, as short plays performed by University of Guanajuato students based on the works of Cervantes. In 2013, special guests included the state of Puebla Mexico and the country of Uruguay and a special remembrance of Verdi and Wagner. Special presentations also include Arturo Chacón, Italian Barbara Frittoli and piano concertos from Cyprien Katsaris, Abdiel Vázquez and Édison Quintana.
At the same time visitors can see the amazing Festival International Cervantino Callejero (street festival) which is funded by an organization called the Centro Libre de Experimentacion Teatral y Artistica (CLETA). This event unites over 320 performances with socially relevant themes. This tandem event began in 1975, initially inspired by the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. Then as a final addition to the celebrations, the Festival Internacional de Cine Expresión en Corto (short movie festival) began in 1997 and today has grown into one of the most important cinematographic events in Mexico.
Visitors and tourists are well catered for because most events associated with the festival are situated in the city of Guanajuato and San Miguel Allende so everything is within walking distance, albeit sometimes quite a long time on your feet. As a final interesting twist to the festival, movies are often shown in unusual locations around the city, such as one of Guanajuato’s tunnels under the city or under the stars in the municipal cemetery at midnight. Overall the Festival Internacional Cervantino is a must see event and one you´ll remember for a lifetime.
Guanajuato is immensely popular with Mexican tourists visiting the area due to its historic relevance and past. These make up 95% of the state’s tourists. The rest from other countries but, over the past few years, increased interest from abroad is slowly increasing the amount of international tourists to the state.
The three main cities for tourism are of course the capital city of Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende. The state has about about 75 hotels ranked of three, four or five star standards along with motels and quest house, especially in the historic quarters of the city.
Guanajuato is visited for its supreme colonial architecture and its role in Mexico’s rich cultural history, particularly during the War of Independence. Likewise, San Miguel has cultural and historical treasures. Both cities have been designated World Heritage Sites and, not without cause. While not a World Heritage Site, Dolores Hidalgo is particularly important as the site as it is where Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gave the orders called “El Grito” which commenced what is now known as the Mexican War of Independence.
The state’s tourism sector have set up sightseer routes such as the Ruta de Independencia, Ruta de Aventura (Aventure Route), Ruta Arqueológica (Archeological Route), Ruta de los Conventos (Monastery Route) and Ruta Artesanal (Handcrafts Route), all of which are extremely popular with Mexicans living in Mexico and those Mexicans who live abroad and wish to rediscover their country´s diverse history.
Guanajuato also has an impressive number of water parks and thermal springs which have been converted into fun water parks for families to enjoy the clean and natural spring waters.
To name a few of these you have; Villa Gasco, El Trébol, and Comanjilla near the city of Leon, Caldera Abasolo just outside Irapuato and Abasolo and Los Arcos and Agua Caliente close to Celaya.
The Handcrafts Route or Ruta Artesanal unites a number of interesting municipalities which specialize in specific or numerous handcrafted items, including artisan food produce which is particularly unique and delicious.
These include the bread from Acámbaro, wool items from Coroneo and ornate ceramics from Tarancuaro.
The Monastery Route or Ruta de los Conventos is focused on the south of the state where numerous religious outposts and buildings were constructed in the early colonial period for worshipping and evangelization. The Church of Agustino de San Pablo and Monastery is found in Yuriria and built by the Augustinians who came from the city of Michoacan in the 16th century. An amazing fortress type building designed by Friar Diego de Chávez Alvarado and Pedro del Toro, built in an area with a small population. This monastery became a heart from which missionaries would be taught and then sent to other religious centers and its imposing size and fortresses helped to protect it from Chichimeca invasions. Retaining its original purpose as a church and religious façade, however, the monastery area has been transformed into an impressive museum. Further along the Monastery Route you´ll discover Las Capuchinas Church and adjoining Convent both located in Salvatierra. This is one of only three buildings specifically built for nuns, unique in the entire state throughout the colonial period.
Once again, it has a citadel like appearance and its construction is credited to Joaquin de Heredia, from the San Carlos Academy. Throughout the presidency of Porfirio Díaz, the convent was utilized primarily as a Civil Hospital and afterward as a school, which still remains today and is called Colegio José María Morelos.
The San Francisco Church and Monastery can be found in Acámbaro and both were built between the years 1734 and 1743. The impressive and bright facade is Baroque of light pink stone with border accents. The church contains one of the most extraordinary main altars in the Bajio region of Mexico.
The Neoclassical construction consisting of gray and pink stone with gilded minutiae, with an portrait of the Virgin Mary Refuge of Sinners or in Spanish, Virgen María Refugio de Pecadores , an exact facsimile of one found also in the region of Zacatecas.
The most popular route is the Ruta de la Independencia or Independence Route which comprises ten municipalities through which the insurgent army under Miguel Hidalgo traversed. These notably embrace San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Leon, Irapuato, Penjamo, Salamanca, Celaya, Salvatierra, Acambaro and the San Agustín de Yuriria Convent, founded by the Augustinians in 1550, all these locations are on the Ruta de la Independencia.
In preparation for the Bicentennial of Mexico’s independence, the state rehabilitated and marked the sites in which the significant historic events occurred in each of these cities along the Ruta de la Independencia.
Another popular route is the Ruta de Aventura which links the ghost towns and abandoned mines with some excellent areas for hiking, mountain biking and ATV and other extreme sports such as mountaineering, free falling and paragliding. One of the abandoned towns is Mineral de Pozos in the northeast of Guanajuato. The township still has its deserted cobblestone streets with names such as lightning or Relampago in Spanish, stars or Estrellas in Spanish and Flowers, Flores in Spanish which offer an eerily quiet remembrance of a place once fully populated but now deserted.
The abandoned homes and numerous structural ruins add to the excitement. A once popular town during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it was named Ciudad Porfirio Díaz before the mines dried up and the population moved out. The town in 1982 was classified as a Historic Monument Zone.
Despite nobody living there, tourists maintain a vibrant and thriving business alive mainly around the main square called the Pozos cantina, which exhibits period photographs and other of the town’s memorabilia on its ramparts.
The Santa Brigida mine can be found outside the town, it provided all the financial income to the town while it existed. You´ll know you’re close to it when you see three large ovens accompanying tall pyramid roofs. Constructed by the Jesuits to work ore from the mine, they follow similar style to other Jesuit structures found in Mexico.
Guanajuato is just one of the websites Travelucion operates and is part of over 800 travel websites for over 130 countries worldwide. Our Mexico Collection of 70+ websites covers Mexican States, Cities and towns, along with 10 Mexico special interest websites. If you are traveling to Mexico, our websites will assist you in finding the right Mexican destination to suite your tastes and provide you with invaluable information before traveling to Mexico.
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Mexicali is one of most racially diverse cities in all of Mexico. The biggest festival in the region, the Fiesta del Sol (Festival of the Sun) is held each year starting at the end of September and continuing through mid-October. Popular dances and music provide a festive… Visit the official Mexicali travel Website
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Nuevo Leon ranks above all Latin American countries in the Human Development Index. With world leading companies such as Cemex, Bimbo, Maseca, Banorte, ALFA Ternium, i-service, Vitro SA, Coca-Cola, and Cervecería Sol, Tecate, Bohemia, Indio and Nochebuena are just but a few multinationals located in Nuevo Leon… Visit the official Nuevo Leon travel Website
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Puebla City and State, formally Puebla de los Ángeles, is one of the five most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico. The historical and cultural value of Puebla’s architecture is a major reason the city was chosen as a World Heritage Site. Various styles and techniques such as Baroque, Renaissance and Classic are represented here in over 5,000 buildings… Visit the official Puebla travel Website
Puerto Vallarta is a city and popular vacation resort on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Around its coastal bay lie beautiful beaches, lush jungles and sparkling waterfalls offer many options for the adventurous travelers, while five star resorts, world-class shopping and gourmet restaurants satisfy even the most sophisticated traveler. Stretching from the south end of Old Town to central downtown… Visit the official Puerto Vallarta travel Website
Queretaro is located in North-Central Mexico, in a region known as Bajío, bordered by the states of San Luis Potosí to the north, Guanajuato to the west, Hidalgo to the east, and Michoacán to the southwest. The Centro Histórico is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the Cerro del Sangremal, crowned by the Convent of the Holy Cross and the flat area on the east that extends into the Cerro de las Campanas… Visit the official Queretaro travel Website
Quintana Roo is located in Southeastern Mexico, on the Yucatán Peninsula, bordered by Campeche to the west. To the north, Quintana Roo borders the Gulf of Mexico and to the south, Belize and a small border with Guatemala. Quintana Roo is home of the world famous city of Cancun, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, the towns of Bacalar, Playa del Carmen and Akumal, as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Coba, Kohunlich, Muyil, Tulum, Xel-Há, and Xcaret… Visit the official Quintana Roo travel Website
Riviera Maya or the Mayan Riviera, is a tourism destination following the coastal Highway 307 which parallels the Caribbean coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, located on the eastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. Tourism started at the city of Playa del Carmen and ended at the village of Tulum, although the towns of Puerto Morelos situated to the north and between Playa del Carmen and Cancun as well as the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto situated to the south of Tulum are both currently being promoted as part of the Riviera Maya tourist corridor… Visit the official Riviera Maya travel Website
San Luis Potosi stretches across the windswept, sun-baked plains of north central Mexico. It is one of Mexico’s most picturesque towns, whose central historic center features tiered esplanades, several handsome plazas, flower-filled parks, and an active cultural scene. Its importance in Mexican history spans four centuries of influence, making its capital city of the same name a fascinating destination… Visit the official San Luis Potosi travel Website
Sinaloa is located in Northwestern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Sonora to the north, Chihuahua and Durango to the east and Nayarit to the south. To the west, Sinaloa has a significant share of coastline on the Gulf of California… Visit the official Sinaloa travel Website
Sonora is a major tourist attraction due to its pristine beaches of; San Carlos, Puerto Peñasco, Bahía Kino, also the Gulf of Santa Clara in San Luis Río Colorado. San Carlos has a large variety of sea life off its shores, making it popular for sports fishing and scuba diving. One of its main attractions is the Playa de los Algodones, called such because its sand dunes look like cotton balls. Puerto Peñasco has no less than 110 kilometres (68 mi) of beaches, which have calm seas… Visit the official Sonora travel Website
Tabasco is home to ancient Mayan empire called Comalcalco. The city’s architecture is unique among Mayan sites in that brick was used in place of stone. Comalcalco’s ruins include three large ceremonial complexes: the Grand Acropólis, the North Group and the East Acrópolis. Due to the prominence of the Olmec culture in Tabasco, the state dedicated a museum, the Parque-Museo La Venta, to the Olmec civilization… Visit the official Tabasco travel Website
Tamaulipas is one-third the size of the state of Chihuahua and fifteen times larger than Morelos. The Tamaulipas International Festival is held each October, features cultural and artistic events that include exhibits, plays, concerts, and cinema. The Tampico Port in Tamaulipas is one of Mexico’s first exporting ports. While oil is the primary commodity exported from Tampico, it also ships silver, copper, lumber, wool, hemp… Visit the official Tamaulipas travel Website
Tecate is a small city in Baja California located on the border with California, United States in the San Diego and in Tijuana metropolitan area. There is a small port of entry between the cities that serves as a calmer alternative to the bustling port of Tijuana. The Tecate brewery is the centerpiece of the town and it stands out more than any other landmark in the city. They have been making beer here since 1943… Visit the official Tecate travel Website
Tijuana´s skyline is the third largest in Mexico and is located in the Zona Rio and Playas de Tijuana. In the Zona Rio the buildings are concentrated on the Tijuana River parallel to the river and on the edges of the Tijuana Country Club. In Playas the high-rises are currently focused on the coast… Visit the official Tijuana travel Website
Tlaxcala is Mexico’s smallest state, was once home to the ancient Olmeca and Xicalanca civilizations. Tlaxcala is home to three famous bullrings. The most famous being the Jorge “El Ranchero” Aguilar plaza, built in the 18th century in the heart of Tlaxcala City. Today it’s known for its farms and textile industries and tourism… Visit the official Tlaxcala travel Website
Veracruz is located in Eastern Mexico, bordered by the states of Tamaulipas to the north, San Luis Potosí and Hidalgo to the west, Puebla to the southwest, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the south and Tabasco to the southeast. Veracruz continues to be a very important part of Mexico’s economy. The state is rich in natural resources and represents approximately 35 percent of Mexico’s water supply… Visit the official Veracruz travel Website
Xcaret is a natural park that treasures the best of the traditions and culture of Mexico, a paradise that combines the natural beauty and cultural wealth of the country and the region. Located 45minutes from Cancun, Mexico, Riviera Maya, in Xcaret you will find underground rivers, natural pools and a myriad of attractions… Visit the Xcaret Park Website
Xelha is located south of the modern town of Playa del Carmen, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Xel-Ha is an ecological theme park or natural aquarium. Here you can swim with dolphins, see sea turtles, bicycle, snorkel, cliff-dive, and scuba. If you choose to scuba you will get to pet stingrays and see larger fish. This park is large, so bring good shoes to walk up river, you bag your dry belongings and they will be driven back to the main area… Visit the Xelha Park Website
Yucatan is located in Southeastern Mexico, on the north part of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is bordered by the states of Campeche to the southwest, Quintana Roo to the northeast and the Gulf of Mexico lies off its north coast. Home to the restored Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and the Pyramid of Kukulcán… Visit the official Yucatan travel Website
Zacatecas Colonial Center contains many notable structures, including the Plaza de Armas or Main Square with its magnificent stone façade. The Palacio de Gobierno, the Residencia de Gobernadores and Palacio de la Mala Noche (Palace of the Bad Night) are also located in the Center… Visit the official Zacatecas travel Website
Zihuatanejo evolved from a quaint fishing village to a backpackers’ hotspot, to today’s incarnation of winding streets of galleries and folk art shops, small boutique hotels and palapa-style seafood restaurants serving the fresh catch of the day. Backpackers still holiday in Zihuatanejo, but share the experience with honeymooners, snorkelers, swimmers, and cultural travelers who appreciate “Zihua’s” laid-back vibe and postcard-worthy scenery of rocky cliffs, sand and sea… Visit the official Zihuatanejo travel Website