High up in the desert mountains, a couple of hundred kilometres northwest of Mexico City, is Guanajuato. Visitors will discover a romantic and colourful city, its chaotic collection of brightly painted buildings lining the narrow lanes and hugging the hillsides above a deep valley.
There are several reasons to visit Guanajuato. Not only was it, along with San Miguel de Allende, a “silver city” colonised by the Spanish in the 1500s and mined for its silver deposits, it is famed by Mexicans for the role it played in the country’s fight for independence from Spain. It is also the birthplace of Diego Rivera, the artist.
Guanajuato today retains much of the colonial era. The city’s buildings appear at times more European than Mexican, the plazas suitably elegant and the churches ornate and awe-inspiring. One of the most noticeable features of Guanajuato is its lack of streets. For these, look underground. The river, which ran underneath the city, use to flood the downtown area until a dam was built in the 1960s. The Underground Street (Calle Miguel Hidalgo) follows the river’s original course.
Guanajuato has a warm climate year round with mild winters (December to February) and hot summers (June to July). Winter temperatures range anywhere from 7 to 21 C (45 to 70 F) and summer temperatures range from 14 to 30 C (57 to 86 F). Guanajuato sees the most rainfall between May and September.
Guanajuato has a warm climate year-round making it an ideal destination anytime. October is a busy month because of the Festival Cervantino; a festival that combines the best of music, theatre and dance in Mexico. Christmas, New Year, Easter and school holidays are also peak times to visit.
Guanajuato’s rainy season runs from May to September each year.