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Guanajuato

Mexico
El Jardin

This World Heritage-listed city is known for narrow alleys that wind through the hillsides, colorful buildings, and plazas filled with theaters, museums, markets and restaurants.

Explore Guanajuato’s narrow callejones, or alleys, that wind their way around the city’s hills. Some of the alleys are less than 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide; most aren’t suitable for cars. Make the most of the traffic-free areas as you stroll along streets lined with colorful houses, through quaint plazas and past some of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Central and South America. Theaters, restaurants and bars entertain crowds well into the night, especially during the annual Festival Internacional Cervantino.

One of the city’s most famous alleys is the Alley of the Kiss (Callejón del Beso). Balconies on either side of the narrow alley are so close they almost touch.

Churches, municipal buildings and mansions in Guanajuato date back to the 16th century. Visit the Plaza de la Paz, the city's main square, to see a collection of these colonial buildings, including the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato.

Guanajuato is known for being the place where the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence occurred, in the city's Public Granary (Alhóndiga de Granaditas). Explore the museum at the granary then visit the nearby Diego Rivera House and Museum to see where the famous Mexican painter was born.

Of all Guanajuato’s museums perhaps the most popular is the Mummy Museum. It has more than 100 naturally preserved 19th- and early-20th-century corpses that were exhumed from the local cemetery when it became overcrowded.

For an interesting daytrip, sign up for a tour or catch a local bus to visit a working silver mine. Surrounding mines have been a rich source of income for the city for centuries, and many of them are still in operation today.

Another place to visit outside the city is the Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel of Barrera Museum. This estate with beautiful terraced gardens was, in the 17th century, the home of Captain Gabriel de Barrera, a wealthy landowner.

To get to Guanajuato, fly into the Guanajuato International Airport and then drive a rental car or take a taxi to the city center, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away. You can also take a bus from Mexico City.

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