Guanajuato Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Guanajuato

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    Dusty Old Dead Folks in the Mummy Museum

    by spitball Updated Apr 14, 2006

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    Guanajuato Gate
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    In Guanajuato there is a mummy museum, its as freakish as it sounds. Turns out that in my understanding, families must continue to pay to have their relatives interned in the graveyard, and when they can't or won't keep paying, the authorities must make room for more bodies so they began removing some. Because of the conditions with the climate and soil, it was discovered, that the corpses where perfectly mummified.
    There are well over 100 corpses in there for your viewing pleasure, but a note here: have breakfast before you go, because you probably won't feel like eating anything afterwards. Not even the candy corpses the sellers try and hit you up with as you exit the place.

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    Casa Diego Rivera

    by VdV Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Reproduction of one of Rivera's most famous murals

    This museum is located in the house where Diego Rivera was born. He moved from Guanajuato when he was 6 years old and never returned. However, his daughter purchased the home back from its later owners (who had subdivided the property and remodeled it into student housing quarters), and restored the home and moved an impressive collection of Diego Rivera's works into the property, which now contains four floors of his artwork, ranging from pencil drawings, to paintings and a small-scale replica of his famous "Dream of A Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central" (the original can be found in the Museo Mural Diego Rivera in the Alameda in Mexico City; see my Mexico City Things to Do Tip.)

    The museum is just a few blocks from the main Plaza de la Paz. The ground floor was restored with original furniture from the period during which the Rivera family occupied the home while the upper floors contain his artwork.

    The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 7pm and on Sunday 10am to 3pm, with admission of $15 pesos (general) and $5 (students.)

    Go see it, it is worth it to see the range of artistic styles that Rivera used during his lifetime of artistic achievement.

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    Casa Museo Gene Byron

    by VdV Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Paintings and lanterns inside Museo GB

    After hearing that my Mom & I didn't want to go to the popular mummy museum (we didn't want nightmares!), but that I did like art museums, Francisco our guide took us to the Casa Museo Gene Byron. Located in the Marfil neighborhood of Guanajuato, the Museo GB is the former home of Canadian woman ex-pat Gene Byron. The house itself is a historical site (ex-Hacienda Santa Ana), the full history of which I cannot recall in full detail, though there is a great description on the museum's website (see below.)

    The property how houses an art collection devoted to the culture and art of the Guanajuato region. Many of the items, ranging from paintings to antique furniture, handcrafted lanterns and sculptures, were either personally made by Gene Byron, or designed by her but completed by local artisans.

    My Mom & I found it to be a beautiful place. Its courtyard, sculpture garden, and scenic surroundings (located near a creek and waterfall) was a nice respite after the drive from San Miguel de Allende to Guanajuato.

    Take time to enjoy this cultural treasure in Guanajuato--you won't be disappointed! More photos in the Travelogue section.....

    Hours: Monday-Saturday from 10am to 3pm
    Suggested donation: $20 pesos

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    Pipila

    by jumanuel Updated Jun 25, 2005

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    Pipila

    It's easy to find, it's over a mountain.
    Pipila is the meaning of the freedom that Mexico owns.
    Indpendence fighter

    I recomend you to go there, becuase you can have a great view from the city, also you can excersise a bit if you take the ladder =)

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    Treat Yourself to a Walking Tour

    by spitball Updated Mar 2, 2007

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    Guanajuato Mexico by Sam Logan

    A very large amount of Guanajuato is pedestrian, no vehicle traffic allowed, so this is a perfect spot to get some excersise in on your holidays. The streets are quite narrow, so no cars would fit. This city is not too large (pop. 100,000) also, located at alt: 2017 metres. It was in the past historically one of Mexico's richest. After silver was found in Zacatecas, Spanish prospectors combed the rugged lands north of Mexico City and were rewarded by discoveries of silver, gold, iron, lead, zinc and tin. For two centuries 30% to 40% of the world's silver was mined in Guanajuato. In my humble opinion, Guanajuato is the perfect quiet honeymoon spot, very, very romantic.
    You can hire a taxi tour up into the hills surrounding the city, this I have not done, but perhaps next time I get down there. You know what it's like, all the best laid plans of mice and men....don't always pan out. This beautiful painting was done by a local Vancouver artist by the name of Sam Logan, who has himself travelled extensively. Check out his website.

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    Guanajuato Streets

    by jumanuel Updated Mar 15, 2006

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    Streets

    Some of the streets to take you to the downtown are like caves, becuse Guanajuato was a place with many mills, gold and silver were the attractivness of the town. So during years mills were the economic activity for the country.

    You will be delighted to see a mill, there are some tours in there, if you like it I can recommend another Mill in the sate of Hidalgo, is near Mexico city.

    Nowadays this streets are aswesom in the sence you can realize of the hard work duirng all those years and how large they are, REALLY TAKE A LOOK !

    The streets own a colonial style, you can feel you can be in the renace time.

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    Teatro Juarez

    by jumanuel Written Jun 25, 2005

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    Teatro

    This is one of the ancients Theaters in Mexico.
    Porfirio Diaz (Dictator 1910) traveled from Mexico city to Guanajuato city to present the main plays that were showed at this theater. Most of the the plays camed from Europe specially France.

    If you enter at the theather you will find that is ancient and some interesting stories about the plays, public figures and the first time when a homosexual play was showed into the town during Diaz's dicator.

    Also you will find at the second floor a dance floor, when ladies and gentlemans used to dance having an special flirting with tobbaco.

    It's preatty intesteing and the architecture is definitly interesting.

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    Universidad de Guanajuato

    by VdV Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    My Mom the Traveling Gnome on the University steps

    Besides being the state capitol, and a cultural/historic center, Guanajuato is a university town. The downtown is full of students and academics who gather to converse, read or pass the time in the many cafes and restaurants. Students can be seen with their notebooks and sketch pads around the city, in the museums, etc. Turn the corner, and your likely to run into a group of students, one playing the guitar with the others singing along. This university setting gives the town a vibrant, energetic feel to it.

    The main campus of the state university is a cluster of big, colorful modern structures visible on a hill during the approach into Guanajuato. The original university building, however, is located in the central downtown area, and now houses the university's administrative offices. The University building originates back to the arrival of the Jesuits and their founding of the College of the Holy Trinity in 1732. The state of Guanajuato took ownership of the building in 1828 and renamed it the State College, and by 1945 it gained its University status.

    It is an impressive building to look at, and as you can see, makes for a great photo opportunity.

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  • Best Museum in town

    by jonbarb709 Written Jan 30, 2006

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    There are several museums in town, but the Museo Iconografico del Quijote, (Don Quixote) was fantastic. Don Quioxite is a favorite subject of a large number of artists and they are all here. This is a fantastic collection of art based on Don Quixote. The museum is spotless, the cleanest one we have ever been in. The bathroom is excellent. The price to go in - free. A must stop. There are paintings, murals, and sculptures. Unbelievable array of Don Quixote.

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    The underground streets

    by ephobius Updated Jan 1, 2004

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    Guanajuato City underground streets

    What a labyrinth! This is a really impressive experience. This postcard shows some of the large and somewhat spooky underground streets of Guanajuato City. Cars and people go by them since long time ago. Many of this passages were built more than 200 years ago.

    You can't miss the chance of try this maze! ...and best of all, it's totally free!

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    The Pantheon / Museo de las Momias Mexico

    by vaticanus Updated Sep 10, 2007

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    GM5921

    The Pantheon overlooks the city of Guanajuato. Here, bodies of the dead were placed inside crypts above ground. Heat dried the bodies creating mummies of exceptional quality. The first mummy, a French physician, was discovered after removal for failure to pay a burial tax in 1865. Beginning in the late 1800s some were transferred to galleries that are open to the public. The Pantheon contains the largest collection of mummies in the Western Hemisphere.

    Examinations of the mummies reveal many cases of arthritis caused by hard labor, tuberculosis, and the results of high infant mortality.

    Outside, there are a number of vendors and stalls that sell souvenirs of the Pantheon such as keychains, wallets, toys etc.

    The view of Guanajuato from the grounds of the Pantheon is tremendous- high up but not too far away. Although the route to walk up is confusing (NOTE: it is better to take a cab or bus up here); the walk down is a sightseer's paradise of tiny steep streets, stairways and brightly painted houses.

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    Gardens de la Exhacienda San Gabriel de Barrera

    by Sladja_79 Updated May 9, 2007

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    Entry
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    This site is a MUST SEE...if you happen to only have a few days in Guanajuato, or even just a few hours, this is a place you have to experience. Serenity, peace and quiet, aromas, greenery, colours...endless stunning views once the entry gate is crossed.

    An "oasis of peace and rest, where 'one's' body is refreshed and soul takes pleasure"...

    This oasis was originally used in the extraction of ore and in the modern age has been converted into a number of colorful gardens, cortyards, museum residences, and a restaurant/caffe. Originally owned by the Barrera family, the entire area extends over 22,000 square meters (237,000 square ft.). Today, it is owned and maintained by the City of Guanajuato.

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    Teatro Juarez

    by VdV Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Statues of Muses crown the facade of Teatro Juarez

    This Neo-Classical structure houses an impressive theater, complete with grand salons, parlors, atrium/skylights, etc. Run by the Instituto Estatal de la Cultura, a peek inside this magnificent building is worth the few pesos and minutes it takes to see the interior of this historic structure.

    Performances are still held in the theater, and stepping into the foyer and the parlors and the main auditorium, all you have to do is close your eyes and reopen them to imagine stepping back in time and coming to this grand building. Unfortunately we visited during the day when there were no performances scheduled, but it must be a treat to see a performance in this majestic theatre.

    Open Tuesday - Sunday
    General Admission: $20 pesos

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    Must-see: View from El Pipila Monument

    by gdilieto Updated Mar 10, 2008

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    View from the El Pipila Terrace
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    In my view Guanajuato's top sight is by far the striking view one can enjoy from the terrace of El Pípila Monument (Monumento al Pípila), on the top of the hill on the Southwest part of of the city. The view of the valley and the city, with its churches and its buildings, its colorful roofs and homes is just gorgeous. The place is not hard to spot: just look on the top of the hill for the big statue of a man rising a torch and there is the terrace.

    The morning hours, when the sun is not high yet and the place is not packed with other tourists, is a perfect time to enjoy the view and take some photographs. A second visit during the night hours for a night-view of the city is also very well worth doing. You can walk to the top of the hill through a winding pathway (follow signs "Al Pipila") or you can take the cable railway (funicular) departing from behind Teatro Juárez, in Jardín de a Unión. At time of my visit in November 2007, the cable railway started service at 10:00 am in the morning. The cable railway ride up to the hills is itself an attraction with the view of the valley and the city gradually unfolding below you. From the terrace back, you may just want to walk down the stairway at the left-end side of the terrace (facing the city) which will get you back to the city center passing by El Callejón del Beso (The Alleyway of the Kiss, also see my Tip on this Sight) one of the other top Guanajuato's attractions.

    On the terrace you will find street vendors selling some Guanajuato's tourist booklets with excellent summary of sights and nice photographs, so if you don't have a guide book and wish to get one, that may be a good chance to buy one at a bargain rice. From the terrace you will also be able to spot the city's key places, churches and buildings and visualize your itinerary.

    And what about El Pípila Monument? With all due respect for the importance of El Pípila to the Mexican Revolution (on that regard see my Tip on Alhóndiga de Granaditas), I am afraid once on the terrace you will be attracted by the striking view of the city and forget about the monument. Worth a glance though, to El Pípila raising a torch high over the city in sign of everlasting vigilance.

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    Boca Mina de San Cayetano

    by jungles Written Apr 7, 2006

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    Mine shaft
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    The Boca Mina de San Cayetano is one of 23 interconnecting mines in Guanajuato and is named after the patron saint of miners. It is still operational, but it's also open for tours in which miners lead tourists 60 metres down inside the mine.

    The mine was opened in 1550, just 31 years after Cortes first landed in what is now Mexico. In colonial times it was worked by Indians who received no pay other than food and lodging. They descended 750 metres, then climed back up with 75 kgs of minerals on their backs, then back down and up again twelve times a day, retreiving 900 kgs each per day. Most of the miners died from being overworked within ten years, and many of them went blind due to working by candlelight in pitch black darkness.

    The miners who work there today have better conditions - they use elevators rather than steps - but the wages are still incredibly low. Our guide Ramiro told us he is paid 37 pesos (US$ 3.33) for eight hours of work.

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