Pronounced “gwana hwato”, the city of Guanajuato is found within the central portion of Mexico. Its largest city is Leon and although traditionally famous for its industrial centre as well as agriculture, a growing number of travellers are now arriving here to experience a bit of traditional Mexican history. There are also several important cities found within this state and many of these played critical roles in the Mexican War of Independence. Let’s take a quick look at a handful of the major attractions to be found here as well as what you should keep in mind before you arrive.
The Main Sights Within Guanajuato
Many of the attractions in and around Guanajuato are focused around the unique architectural history of the state. Some of these buildings can be traced back to at least the 17th century although there is certainly evidence that humans had existed here for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. A handful of worthwhile structures to visit during your stay include the Alhondiga de Granaditas, the Museo de Monmias de Guanajuato (the Guanajuato Mummy Museum) and the Museo Casa Diego Rivera. Thankfully, these and other official destinations are all found quite close to centre of the capital city of Leon.
There are also a number of unique festivals which are entirely particular to Guanajuato. It can be argued that the most famous is the Festival Internacional Cervantino. Concerts, dance recitals and open-air markets are a few of the attractions that you can expect to experience. There is a another event which is normally held towards the end of the summer. It is referred to as the Festival Internacional Cervantino Callejero and it is primarily denoted by its use of social events to promote local culture.
Of course, you should never pass up a chance to experience some of the delicious local cuisine. Guanajuato is particularly known for a soup known as “birra”. This dish is a combination of fish, tomato juice and locally grown spices. Tortillas, paellas and pan con tomate are also quite common. The most well-known product that is offered solely in Guanajuato is a soft, sweet spreadable cream known as cajeta. It is made from goat’s milk, flavourings and many secret sugar combinations.
What to Know Before You Arrive
As the state of Guanajuato is found within the central portion of Mexico, it can become quite hot and dry during the summer months. This is particularly problematic if you plan on taking guided tours to nearby villages or natural attractions. It could be better to arrive in the early spring or the late autumn before the holidays begin. The pound is much stronger than the Mexican peso, so you will definitely benefit from the exchange rates. Still, try to avoid using local “cajeros” at airports; these tend to charge rather ridiculous commissions and fees. If you have been looking to experience a true taste of Mexican culture, the state of Guanajuato is a perfect option to keep in mind.