Guanajuato, Mexico – the prettiest town I’ve ever seen

Guanajuato, Mexico – the prettiest town I’ve ever seen

I love Guanajuato, it’s the prettiest town I’ve seen anywhere. I was here a few years ago and had my visit ruined when I came down with a horrible case of the craps (don’t ever order a salad in Mexico). So this time around I had a mission – to come back to Guanajuato and spend the day exploring and taking photos.

I left my mom in San Miguel and took the bus to Guanajuato which is a little over an hour away. Have a look at these photos. Imagine if Guanajuato was in Italy instead of Mexico – there would be thousands upon thousands of tourists walking these streets. Luckily it’s not.

Below: Views from the Pipila statue viewpoint overlooking Guanajuato.

Views on Guanajuato

Below: one of many colorful churches in town.

pink church, guanajuato, mexico

Below: colorful streets

plaza de la paz, guanajuato, mexico

reds in Guanajuato, mexico

Below: Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato (also known as Guanajuato Cathedral)

Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato in colorful Guanajuato, Mexico

Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato views, guanajuato, mexico

Below: Guanajuato’s university. Established in 1732.

Universidad de Guanajuato, mexico

Below: Juarez Theatre

Teatro Juarez, guanajuato, mexico

Below: Views from the steps of the theatre towards the main square.

on the steps of Teatro Juarez, Mexico

Below: University (which includes the church).

another view of the university, guanajuato, mexico

Below: Lots of fantastic statues in Guanajuato.

statues and church, Guanajuato

Below: another colorful street

crazy colors, Guanajuato, mexico

Below: Views from the El Pipila statue on San Miguel hill (you can walk up or take a funicular).

views from San Miguel hill over Guanajuato, Mexico

views of Guanajuato, Mexico

Below: The El Pipila Statue.

El Pipila statue, on San Miguel hill overlooking Guanajuato, Mexico

Click here for a very short video of the views from San Miguel hill.

Below: More scenes from around town.

dog walkers, guanajuato, mexico

Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato, guanajuato, mexico

around Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato, mexico

views from Parroquia de Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato, Mexico

El Campanero cafe overlooking the street, guanajuato, mexico

colorful street in Guanajuato, Mexico

main street, guanajuato, mexico

colorful square, guanajuato, mexico

views in Guanajuato, mexico

beautiful guanajuato, mexico

street of colors, guanajuato, mexico

I walked around town for about 4 hours, retracing my steps a couple of times. Guanajuato is not a big place and can be explored in a day.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site – just like nearby San Miguel de Allende. But somehow Guanajuato still falls under the radar of most travellers.


Have you been to Guanajuato? Do these posts change your perceptions of Mexico?



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  1. This is so incredible! It’s way better than Reno’s biggest little city slogan LOL. No competition
    Hung Thai recently posted…Finding peace on Lake CrescentMy Profile

  2. Absolutely stunning! Very beautiful indeed…but don’t want it to become overrun..haha! My brain was fried.. l thought l read you got a case of crabs and l couldn’t understand what a salad had to do with it.. 🙂 😉 🙂 . I would visit Mexico again.
    Kemkem recently posted…How to spend a day in Madrid, SpainMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      HA! Crabs? No, those were my single day trips many, many years ago 🙂
      Yes, maybe I should keep Mexico a secret, many just think the worst…

  3. What a gorgeous and colourful place, the view from San Miguel hill is so beautiful. I am glad you have stayed away from salads this time.
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…La Digue, a Brief Love AffairMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      No salads in Mexico, never. You know how Peter from Family Guy would throw up? For me it was coming out the back end 🙂 Lost 5 lbs in 2 days on the Mexican shit diet.
      There are so many beautiful places in Mexico, I always love my yearly visits to see my mom.

  4. It’s mind-blowing that the streets are empty! What a beautiful city. I’m sure you had a lovely day strolling around and capturing these shots. Hope they served you drinks in manly size glasses there lol.
    Paula recently posted…Vancouver, A Stimulating CityMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      HA! Yes, no girlie-sized margaritas here 🙂
      I think you should visit Mexico Paula (if you haven’t been). My next post will be about the apartment my mom rents in San Miguel. It might make you want to visit the area.

      • Good to hear they treated you right with the margaritas Frank – almost took away your man card with the other 😉 Just by your post I know it’s my kind of place. I’ve been to Cancun area and on the west coast San Carlos, Sonora, but not inland. It seems I need to make a point to do just that. As always…looking fwd to your next post 🙂
        Paula recently posted…Vancouver, A Stimulating CityMy Profile

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          You know what I love about inland? In addition to all these beautiful towns, the weather is PERFECT. Never hot, actually cool in the shade, and almost always sunny. Last year I went there from Montreal and it was a relief from Montreal’s humidity. This year I went there from Split which is also a hotbox. It’s the perfect climate, I never sweat in that area.

  5. Wonderful and colorful photos. I last visited Guanajuato in 2001, and like you, found it a charming place. I remember it also having a good university. We have a few similar looking pueblos here in Colombia. They are always a treat to visit.
    Michael recently posted…El Pórtico Restaurant Near Bogotá is a Must for VisitorsMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Michael. I love those Spanish colonial towns and I know you have a few around Bogota (which I didn’t visit – the only colonial place I’ve visited is Cartagena (twice) which is also fabulous). Actually my mom has been talking about us visiting Colombia so I may get there again one day.
      Thanks for taking the time to post 🙂

  6. Orange overload. How much is a beer there?

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I love those colors, I’d paint my living room in those colors. I’d maybe get a seizure sometimes but they’re happy colors…
      Beer – I don’t remember. Cheap.

  7. How beautiful is that! wish I had known of the town when driving down through Mexico years back. A great excuse to return… with the family next time though. Thanks, Frank… another addition to my Pinterest boards!
    Jane recently posted…Family Travel Blogs from AustraliaMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Driving through Mexico, you’re adventurous!!! It went smoothly? I looked on your blog for something about it but nothing on Mexico.
      Yes, sorry you missed it. I hope you get back 🙂

      • The trip through Mexico was very ‘last century’! I left Australia in December 1999, bought an old Subaru in Oregon and trotted across and down the States, all the way to El Salvador. Fabulous driving through Mexico, no hassles apart from the car being broken into and everything nicked…but I left in on a street in a big city, could have happened anywhere. Made for lighter travelling! Didn’t have a digital camera back then…
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  8. Incredible colours – almost like a kids’ candy cake fantasy ! It seems most of the Central Mexican inland towns are v different and way ahead of most Chiapas + Yucatan towns (St Cristobal and Campeche were the closest ) “décor” wise – must be a regional thing ? And don’t worry too much about too much orange (I don’t regret having a wall in my room in solid “Mexican orange”. Yes the central inland highland climate in Mexico is about as close as you can get to perfect . Reminds me very much of the Highland (Highveld) climate in South Africa – warm sunny days even in winter, coolish invigorating nights in summer (nights can be a bit chilly in winter…) low humidity year round – even after the set-your-watch-by-them summer rain storms – which are short lived and followed by glorious cleansed sunshine ! Guess its the altitude (around 2.000 metres) at the right latitude… Impossible to beat .

  9. What an incredibly colourful city! How could you ever have a down day living there? Just the photos of the city brightened my day. 🙂
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  10. I remember reading about Guanajuato when we were living in the Yucatan area of Mexico and thinking that both its history and beauty were incredible. And then there were the fascinating (call me macabre!) stories about its cemetery and the mummies that really grabbed my interest. I’m hoping that we’ll get a chance in the future to explore more of central Mexico sometime and Gunajuato will be right at the top of our list. Gorgeous photos and I imagine you spent your whole time there with a HUGE smile on your face!
    Anita recently posted…The Pursuit of Happiness: First Impressions of CopenhagenMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      You’re right Anita! Just getting into the old town is quite something – you have to drive through these underground tunnels which were originally dug for the excavation of silver. And people actually park their cars down there. A bit weird. But you can walk down from street level right into the tunnels. Really is an incredible place and I’d come back again to spend a night and enjoy the views in the evening.

      I hope you get a chance to visit one day!
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…The place to stay in San Miguel de AllendeMy Profile

  11. Yes, beautiful and colorful town if I ever go to Mexico will make sure to include it in my plans, but also that is because of your great pictures as always.

    Take care.

  12. Wow – what a beautiful town! It looks like the scene from a storybook. I definitely need to explore more of Mexico – adding Guanajuato to my list.
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  13. you must have arrived a day after they painted the entire town!
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  14. Absolutely amazing – it has everything I love – when I go to Mexico, I’ll definitely go there – thank you for presenting this town as I’ve never heard about it! Now I’m preparing a trip to countries that no one from the west seems to like and visit – Belarus and Russia. Then, I’m planning to go down to South America and maybe Bolivia/Mexico 🙂

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Exciting trips coming up Tom!
      Funny enough I’ve just read a few posts recently on Belarus. Check out Globalgaz or Kathmanduandbeyond.

      I think Mexico compared to Belarus or Russia is pretty easy. I always enjoy. Make sure to see Guanajuato as well as San Miguel de Allende (as well as Mexico City of course).

  15. I agree… this town looks very pretty! So colorful! Is all the town that colorful or only the city center?
    I haven’t been to Mexico yet but I have a friend there so hopefully I’ll go one day 🙂
    Laia recently posted…Barcelona from a local: pirates, cacti and a magical fountainMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hi Laia – most of the town is like this. And it’s a strange place because you have to drive through old mining tunnels to get to the center which is located between the hills you see in the photos. Most unusual entrance to a town I’ve ever seen.
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Ziplining in Omis, CroatiaMy Profile

  16. I am madly in love with the vibrant colors of Mexico – they just scream life is good!

    I pinned one of your photos, the 5th one up from the bottom, to my Window Garden board. I’ve been dragging my feet to start a Pinterest account, because I mean, just how many social media accounts does one have time for and still have a life, but I did and now (don’t tell anyone) I’m kinda liking it.
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    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Patti, if there’s any advice I’ve got – get a Pinterest account and spend less time on the other stuff.

      Yes, I also love the colors of Mexico.

  17. We’ve also visited Guanajuato – and like you, found it extremely pretty! It’s a university town, and we found it very authentic. Far fewer American (or other) tourists visit Guanajuato than the better-known colonial Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende (and we enjoyed that non-touristy feel). The Mummy Museum there was riveting (our story on that was published in NUVO magazine; we also have a post on it). And we also enjoyed the Diego Rivera Museum. Love your photos! They bring back pleasant memories of our visit to Guanajuato :-).
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    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks for the comment Janice – I didn’t go to either the Mummy musuem or the Diego Rivera Museum. I did however walk through some of those underground tunnels…isn’t that the most unique entrance to a town?
      Frank (bbqboy) recently posted…Ziplining in Omis, CroatiaMy Profile

  18. so pretty! maybe one day I visit it too:)
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  19. Hi Frank!
    I found your blog when searching for images on google, I’m from Mexico City and I found your pictures and your blog amazing, I just wanted to point out that although Guanajuato is indeed not part of most American/Canadian tourists’ schedules, it’s actually a tourist destination for Mexican, Latin American and Spanish visitors, specially during the Festival Cervantino, a cultural event that takes place in October commemorating Miguel de Cervantes, the famous Spanish author, at that time of the year, the city is so full of tourists that you could barely walk, everybody has a great time and you’ll find drunk students everywhere (most of the times on a nice mood)… There are concerts, movies, plays, art expositions, etc.. I’m too old for that (late 30s) but when I was young I spent some of the best days of my life there. Oh, and there are many places with awesome salads in Mexico (although I’m not sure about Guanajuato to be honest).

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hello Alfredo! Thank you so much for the informative comment. I did not know that and I will make sure to never go in October. Like you say, fun if you’re young but I’m at the point where I can’t stand crowds anymore.
      I come to Mexico once a year and have become quite a fan of Mexico City 🙂
      Thanks again for your comment!
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  20. Ralph Haskins says:

    I’m planning to visit San Miguel and Guanajuato this summer. It’ll be my wife’s and my first time. It’s going to be an exploratory visit to see if we like either one as a possible home once we retire. Sometimes I lean toward San Miguel and other times toward Guanajuato. Your posts have me leaning toward the latter! lol Keep up the great writing and awesome pics!

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thank you Ralph.
      I’ve been to both several times now and my mom has also lived in both. I think for visiting Guanajuato is more spectacular…but for living long term San Miguel is probably best suited – it just has more for the expat.
      Thanks for the kind words 🙂
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  21. Wow, amazing colors, Looks like a great place to visit and hang out.

  22. Thanks for sharing these incredible pictures, I live in México and try to visit Guanajuato every year. I love it and I just want to say thank you for sharing images from a gem: Guanajuato city, a magic place.
    Best wishes from México.

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