One of the most mystical states of Mexico
The capital is the magical Guanajuato City, it is a very unique place to visit, you can walk around its more than 3,000 alleys. The city is home to natural mummies, buildings and temples from the XVII century, romantic callejoneadas, numerous museums, sculptures, and intriguing legends.
Other cities in the state are worth visiting too, like San Miguel de Allende, home to the impressive pink Parroquia de San Miguel de Allende and beautiful vineyards. León is the biggest city in the state with huge economic growth in manufacturing and technology. If you like leather goods, that’s also the place to shop.
We really loved all the places we went to, the cities’ vibes are incredible, people are super kind and wherever you look at you’ll find something that will amaze you. It is a super destination to go to if you love glasses and views.
Guanajuato was founded in 1570, it was a mining city, rich in gold and silver mines, due to that the city started to be inhabited only with the idea to work the mines and to leave once the mines were finished, that’s why the city had no planning and the houses and buildings were just built randomly, however, the inhabitants never left since some of the mines still have gold and silver.
The city has suffered lots of floods during its history, one of the most atrocious ones happened in 1905, there are signs in some of the historic buildings that mark the level of the water in that flood. The city is situated in a mountainous terrain so the alleys and the streets are very steep. The weather is mostly warm and mild, the hottest it gets is in spring, reaching 30ºC (87ºF) in May, we visited it during winter when it is super cold, and we experienced 2ºC (35ºF). As a good Brazilian, Max was freezing and wearing extreme winter clothes hahaha.
Where to work?
The internet at home in the city was pretty good and stable. The Airbnb we rented had very good internet and even provided us 2 different networks so we always had a backup connection if needed.
But, as cliché nomads, we did visit two cafes for working and testing working from anywhere. The one we recommend the most is La Victoriana, there you can be inside or out and you are going to have outlets available, also, the internet was good in both spaces. The food was amazing, the bread was really tasty, and the environment was cozy.
In the second cafe, Puscua, the internet did not work well and they hadn’t outlets outside, so we were supposed to go inside for charging the devices, but the inside was not that comfy and was colder. However, the bacon sandwich and the chilaquiles were delicious and they offer organic eggs. The coffee is also refilled so we could save a little bit on it. The meals and beverages are very traditional, just beware of the size of the blueberry cheesecake, is really small, and the other meals were very vast.
Also, the place is located right beside the forest and the construction gives you this cool vibe of an old hacienda, which was pretty cool.
Anyone said food and wine?
During our time in Guanajuato, we had the chance to visit different restaurants and bars.
If you are, like us, a fan of having some bottles (or glasses) of wine while you enjoy a pleasant conversation, we recommend you go to some of the restaurants downtown like La Trattoria, right beside the Teatro Juárez, they have a very wide variety of wines, the food is awesome and the prices are not too high. (bottle of Chardonnay MX$600 – Pizza MX$220).
If you do not want to eat but want to drink, we do recommend you go to The Beer Company, a great place with a big terrace where you can choose between hundreds of beers and also some Chilean wine. The prices here are cheaper and it is the perfect place to enjoy a view and a good afternoon and night outside. (bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon MX$290).
The funicular is a very good way of going up to the Pípila monument and down to the heart of downtown very quickly, and with a very good view, it is also cheaper than taking a taxi if you are only one or two people. The view at the Pípila is gorgeous, if you have the chance, go during daylight and also at night, it’s two different stunning views.
Culture and Art, that’s what we like!
We had the opportunity to visit several museums in a single day. All the museums charge a cheap ticket for you to get in, it is around MX$30 for each one, if you take a tour, they take you to all the museums so you do need to worry about moving from one to another.
Terrorism – Hacienda del Cochero – Galerias de la Inquisición
This museum was built on an old farm, and its dungeons were used for torturing people back in the colonial age, and of course, everything in the name of god, check the gallery below for pictures:
Hacienda Boca Mina
It is situated in a very beautiful old hacienda, and it is currently used for weddings and other different events. There you can go down to a mine, where they explain to you how the miners used to work:
La Casa de los Lamentos
Guanajuato is very famous for its legends. We were taken during a tour to a house called La Casa de Los Lamentos, it is an immersive experience where a guide with typical old Spanish clothing tells you the story of a man whose fiancee was killed in an alley. The house is decorated according to the time when the story happened. It is not a horror house, if you don’t like to get scared you’ll be perfectly fine there. The cost of it was MX$30 and it is not too long, but it was totally worth the price.
Is Guanajuato LGBTQ+ friendly?
We decided to answer this by sharing our experience with La Callejoneada.
The Callejoneada is definitely one of the most iconic and ancient activities of the city. It is a group of students dressed up in typical Spanish clothes, they take you walking through the downtown alleys playing very well-known Mexican and Spanish songs. It is a very unique experience for all that is involved in it, the views you have and the energy that’s created by everyone laughing and singing is amazing.
At the beginning of the tour, they take you to a place where they tell you is the last chance for you to buy alcohol and they only take cash, however, that’s a lie, you can still buy something to drink cheaper and with the option of doing money transfer a few alleys ahead. Even though it was great since we are a gay couple we think it is important that we tell the whole story with respect to it.
During the Callejoneada, since the beginning, the guide was trying to be funny by making jokes, however, many of those jokes were sexist and homophobic. We continued since we paid, and they organized some activities, in which they separate two groups, one of the women and one of the men, and they give the option (laughing…), if you are a gay couple, one of you go to the other group, in our case we were the only gay couple so we separated. Moving on, you do some activities with your group and then you get together again. In the end, they tell the legend of El Callejón del Beso and they invite a couple from the crowd to act the story for the rest, we were the first to raise our hands but the guide said “oh sorry, we had already chosen the couple from the beginning”, so if they had already chosen the couple, why to ask for volunteers? And of course, the chosen couple was a straight one. After that, Max commented that the legend was sexist since the girl was killed by her father because she could not love who she wanted to but the man her father wanted her to love, and then the guide said that Max could come back to participate when he speaks Spanish. Max lives in Mexico for one year and works in a multilingual position, he definitely speaks Spanish. That was embarrassing and Max, of course, called the guide xenophobic and got really mad. We finished the tour angry, and that was supposed to be a cool activity.
So, Gay friendly? We would say not, yet! All over the city, you can see LGBTQ+ flags, which is great since we can notice they are pushing the city forward, however, they still have a long path to go.