Why Guanajuato Is the Best Destination in Mexico

After visiting many locations across Mexico in recent years, I have officially decided that Guanajuato is the best destination in Mexico (in my humble opinion). This is a pretty big deal, actually, as I have gone out of my way to visit Las Pozas of Edward James, the natural hot springs of Tolantongo in Hidalgo, and a plethora of both hidden and mainstream locations.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel (18)

Why Guanajuato, you ask? Guanajuato is a city full of culture, history, color, and class. It’s a beautiful treasure nestled in the hills filled with art, music, entertainment, and breathtaking sights! It has almost everything you could want in a destination, and it’s located in a prime spot in central Mexico. So, read on to discover my ultimate guide to Guanajuato as I further explain why it has become my favorite place to visit in Mexico.

Before you begin, I encourage you to read about my first encounter with Guanajuato, before we became even better acquainted this year.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel (17)

The History is Rich in Guanajuato

Let’s start by saying that Guanajuato’s historic city center and mines were proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. In fact, this colonial city was a mine for a large portion of its history. After being an area for gold mining in the 1500s, it became primarily a silver mine in the 1700s. The silver and minerals in the soils here brought minors from around the world to Guanajuato. With the influx of minors, a group from New York actually brought baseball into the city. So, surprisingly, baseball is strong in the history and heritage of Guanajuato. The French had taken over the city during the French intervention in Mexico, so you can see a lot of French inspiration hidden in some of the older colonial buildings’ architecture, as well.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel (12)

Canals were built through the city as it was nearly wiped out in both 1760 and 1780 when floods began to occur, so many of the cobblestone streets you see today were actually canals centuries ago. This is also why these charming streets are so narrow and winding. Due to the floods almost wiping out Guanajuato numerous times, there is an underground city you can visit if you come on the right days, as the city was re-built on top of its former glory.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel (11)

When the city was restored in the mid-1900s, a lot of the European and colonial highlights were kept in mind during the renovations, so the historic city center along with the Teatro Juarez looks like something out of a glorious painting. Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, was well respected at this time and was used as an inspiration throughout the city. So, you will find the world-famous Festival Internacional Cervanto annually in Guanajuato as well as statues and nods to Don Quixote and Cervantes sprinkled throughout the city.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel (2)

And we can’t overlook the mummies! The mummies of Guanajuato are possibly the most famous aspect that the general public hears about when they discuss Guanajuato. In the mid-1800s, after a cholera outbreak, families had trouble paying the burial taxes for their dead relatives. If a family couldn’t pay, the bodies were removed from their resting places. Cemetery workers quickly found many bodies naturally mummified. Naturally, as this organic mummification process fascinated everyone, the mummies eventually became a hot spot for tourists. While for years they said the minerals in the soil were responsible for the mummification, later research is actually leaning towards something much creepier. It seems the cement of the mausoleums and the wooden coffins may have dehydrated and potentially cooked the bodies into the mummies you can see today. While it can be morbid to see, the mummies are definitely worth the look if you are brave enough to seek them out.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel-las-momias-the-mummies

Needless to say, Guanajuato has gone through many historical periods. But the thing that makes it stand out above all other destinations is that it not only held onto many of its colonial roots, but the city of Guanajuato is both inspired by and celebrates its rich history and heritage. And you can see elements of many cultures, historical events, and stories throughout Guanajuato.

It Has a Sea of Culture

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel-teatro-juarez (1)

A culture is generally defined by its history and the way its people have lived through that history. Since Guanajuato is so rich in this aspect, it’s no wonder why there is so much culture found in this city of roughly 200,000 people. If you’re up for a true cultural experience when visiting Guanajuato, we have some recommendations for you. Nightly, the city center booms with locals and tourists looking to sing, dance, and celebrate. Make sure you partake in these celebrations. Be sure to join the crowd for an iconic Callejoneada, where you will swerve in and out of the narrow alleys of the city while singing and celebrating. If watching theatre is more up your alley, be sure to stop in and view the breathtaking colorful interiors of the Teatro Juarez. And be sure to soak in the beauty of the muses on top of the exterior of the structure, as well. And, lastly, be sure to soak in all the nods to Cervantes that can be seen about. The statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza is definitely worth a look. A nice bicycle tour through the city will help you get immersed into the full depth of its culture.  

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel-teatro-juarez (2)

There is a Wide Variety of Activities

If historical and cultural adventures aren’t exactly up your alley, that’s okay. Guanajuato offers a wide range of modern adventurous activities for you to participate in. If you’re comfortable being moderately active, try a newly-developed bicycle tour through the city streets. If walking tours are more your thing, hire a guide through Transportes Turisticos de Guanajuato. They can put an experience together for you with whatever you have in mind. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, speak with Turismo Alernative en Guanajuato (@gtoalernativo) about overlooking the gorgeous city from a hot air balloon. Or if you’d rather view the city from above while not in flight, be sure to go up to the state of El Pipila (a local hero who has his own glorious tale) and admire the views of the city from a closer (yet still high up) perspective while you’re on the ground. There is so much to do in Guanajuato, so it’s best to speak with a guide to map out your ideal trip. They can accommodate a wide range of interests to make the perfect vacation for you.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel-hot-air-balloon-2

Guanajuato is Extremely Accommodating

All else aside, Guanajuato is extremely accommodating for all types of people. Aside from having an activity for everyone, they have a meal for everyone, too. Especially when traveling as a vegan and vegetarian through many parts of the world, it can be hard (or really next to impossible) to find a good meal option. All the restaurants we visited in Guanajuato, including the restaurant in Quinta Las Acacias Hotel, where we stayed while in the city, were easily and happily able to make something unique for a vegan visitor. So, there truly is something for everyone in Guanajuato.

guanajuato-quinta-las-acacias-hotel-malorie-mackey

Hotel wise, it’s important we talk about the gorgeous Quinta Las Acacias Hotel, too. The main property of the building sits in an old, Victorian home decorated with gorgeous vintage furniture and accents. There are gleaming chandeliers, carefully painted ceilings, and stained glass accents coloring this beautiful location. The rooms outside of the hotel span throughout a gorgeous green courtyard with fantastic views of the area. And the rooms, themselves, were spacious, cozy, luxurious, and thematic.

guanajuato-viva-glam-magazine-malorie-mackey-mexico-travel-hotel-quinta-acacias (3)

All in all, Guanjuato really does have something for everyone. Thanks to the color, culture, history, and ease of accommodation, Guanjuato has made the list as my favorite place to visit in Mexico.

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

Other Adventures You May Like

how-to-pack-everything-you-need-on-a-trip

Weird Things Our Favorite Celebrities Can’t Travel Without

I think we all have some weird travel essentials that we don’t hit the airport without. It’s either a sentimental little thing, some supper bougie wellness tools, very specific snacks, or an ages-old neck pillow that we’re low-key ashamed of, but we just feel like it brings us good luck. It’s no coincidence that the…
Read More
mexico-white-sands-national-park-woman-walking-on-white-sand

The Magic of New Mexico’s White Sands National Park

Have you ever dreamed of wandering through a desert? Sand sparkles, white like snow under the sun, gleaming gypsum dunes, and a scene that feels like something out of a fantasy? If the answer is yes, then you absolutely have to visit White Sands National Park in New Mexico. This otherworldly space offers a mesmerizing…
Read More
keeping-up-with-your-meditation-practice-during-travel-main-free-will-consciousness

Nourishing Wholeness: The Healing Gifts of Holistic Mental Health Retreats

Amidst a complex world facing compounded climate, political and viral turbulence – mental health matters paramount even best-intended individuals experience times when persistently accumulated daily stresses overrun well-being tanks testing resilience dangerously depleted already. But rejuvenating sanctuaries exist giving essential holistic healing nourishment realigning inner equilibrium once lost. Welcome holistic mental health retreats delivering needed…
Read More