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WELCOME TO GUANAJUATO
If you are looking for a town that offers the Mexican charm you hear about but can't seem to find you will love Guanajuato. It is truly a jewel, one of Mexico's most beautiful colonial cities. And located in the central mountains of Mexico at 6,649 feet above sea level, you'll be hard pressed to find a better climate.
Guanajuato is full of history, culture, youth and beauty. The town sits in a spectacular valley where streets seem to meander the valley floor and hug the valley walls. The town has so much of the charm that people look for in a Mexican city that it has been declared a national historic monument. If you have read James Michner's "Mexico" you will feel like you have already been to Guanajuato.
This special city is located several hundred miles east of Guadalajara, just a bit east of the large city of Leon. Guanajuato is the capital of the state of Guanajuato, and was founded in 1548. The name translates to "place of frogs" which were a common residents in the city's earlier days.
In the height of the silver mining era in Mexico Guanajuato was ground zero. A huge percentage of the silver mined in central Mexico came from the mines in and around Guanajuato. During those times this elegant town was one of the wealthiest in the country of Mexico.
Today's Guanajuato wears many hats. It is a learning center, a cultural center, a tourist destination and most of all a genuine Mexican city. The University of Guanajuato is one of Mexico's finest and accounts for the high percentage of students and young people in the city. Guanajuato offers a host of museums, colonial churches, government palaces, parks, plazas, and many unique places to shop. Plaza de la Paz and Jardin de la Union are two of the more popular places to gather on both weekends and weekdays.
Two of the unique attractions in town include the La Valencia Mine and the Museo de las Momias. While the mine sheds some light on the past commercial enterprises of the town, the museum is more of a tribute to the Mexican's fascination with death. Inside the "mummy museum" the remains of over 100 well preserved corpses are on display, complete with clothing. This is a real "E" ticket and a site to behold for those with the stomach for dead people. Buses and taxis can be used to access both the La Valencia Mine and the Museo de la Momia.
For those Mexico travelers on a road trip Guanajuato is only a half day drive from the fascination city of GUADALAJARA. From there it is not much further to the coastal destinations of MANZANILLO and PUERTO VALLARTA.
Travelers flying into Guanajuato utilize the large airport in Leon, about an hour's drive away. Aero Mexico flights arrive daily from Mexico City. The bus station in Guanajuato is a very busy place located about 3 miles southwest of town. Long range buses connect with Mexico City, while local city buses zig-zag the crooked streets between the major points in town.
The Department of Tourism is located across from the Plaza de la Paz. It is open 7 days a week, and the phone number is 011-52 (473) 2-0086. A visitor's center is also located near the bus terminal on Avenida Juarez at Calle 5 de Mayo.
Guanajuato is the perfect place to learn Spanish! For more information drop by the web site of FALCON LANGUAGE INSTITUTE.
Additional tourism information on Guanajuato can be obtained by calling the Guanajuato Public Relations Department at 011-52 (4) 732-9492.
For additional information on colonial buildings in the country visit the EXPLORING COLONIAL MEXICO web site.
More information on Mexico's colonial towns can be reviewed at MEXICO'S COLONIAL TOWNS.