To understand the rich history and geography of Mexico, a traveler needs only to begin at its heart. Up in the rocky highlands of the nation's interior is the state of Guanajuato, a region of 5.5 million residents known for its vast mineral resources, its vibrant festivals, and its picturesque colonial towns. Here in the birthplace of Mexican independence, you'll immerse yourself in a culture that is alive and well - and you'll do it best in one of our beautiful Guanajuato vacation rentals.
Landlocked close to the geographical center of Mexico, the state of Guanajuato is bordered by Jalisco to the west, Querétaro to the east, San Luis Potosí to the north, and Michoacán to the south. The state capital, a city that shares the name Guanajuato, lies 172 miles east of Guadalajara and 227 miles northwest of the national capital of Mexico City.
With its abundant natural resources of gold, silver, tin, copper, and lead, Guanajuato built its name and riches among Spanish prospectors in the colonial era. But this lopsided colonization created widespread tension with the local people, and by 1810, the Mexican wars for independence had erupted in the village of Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo).
Since earning its statehood in 1824, Guanajuato has become a living museum of its history. Begin your visit in the state capital, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to 1559. Stroll the cobblestone streets, take in a night at the theater, and mingle with students at the University of Guanajuato. The city of Guanajuato also hosts the Festival Cervantino each autumn, drawing visitors from far and wide to an internationally acclaimed celebration of arts and culture.
Come September, join the Independence Day celebrations in Dolores Hidalgo just 35 miles east of Guanajuato. Learn the local lore at one of the town's museums, pick up a few Talavera ceramics, and walk in the footsteps of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla - the parish priest who became the father of Mexican independence.
Head east from Guanajuato to the sparkling city of San Miguel de Allende, the first Spanish settlement in the province that was established in 1542. Beloved among expats, photographers, food lovers, and artists, this colorful town is a place to peruse local crafts, stroll through El Jardín, and soak in the ambiance of another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Take a fascinating trip back through Mexico's history - book your stay in one of our Guanajuato vacation rentals today!
Photo Credit: Bud Ellison via Flickr