Central Mexico is known for being home to some of the countries most enchanting “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Villages) and the state of Guanajuato is chock full of them! In an effort to boost tourism and celebrate history and culture, the Mexican government created the ‘Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country with specific characteristics that make them unique, historically significant, full of great traditions, and offer magical experiences to its visitors.
The state of Guanajuato is home to impressive art, architecture, artisan products and of course delicious food and drinks. Not only are Guanajuato’s cities and towns beautiful but the state also boasts impressive landscapes with stark contrasts between mountains and valleys as well as sparkling rivers and lakes.
Guanajuato is also full of the unexpected and our trips here include visits to silver mines, a picnic at a Mexican winery, a tour of Toltec ruins, a tour of subterranean tunnels that were originally rivers and a relaxing temazcal experience. Plus, no visit to Central México would be complete without some incredible mariachi music in the park and Guanajuato is a perfect place for just that!
- 68 Additional indigenous languages, with Chichimeca Jonaz, Otomí and Náhuat being the most common.
What will the food be like on my trip?
Though Mexican cuisine is a blend of indigenous and Spanish influences, most Mexicans continue to eat more native foods, such as corn, beans, and peppers. Such foods are cheap and widely available throughout most of the state. Bread and pastries are available too, but the corn tortilla, homemade or bought daily at the local tortillería (tortilla stand), is the primary carbohydrate of most typical meals. Flour tortillas are also eaten, especially in northern Mexico, but the corn variety is most popular especially the further south you go!
Can I drink the water in Guanajuato?
We do not recommend drinking tap water in Mexico. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water which we will always have available in our van, or ask your leader where filtered water can be found. It’s also advisable to peel fruit and vegetables before eating to cut down on the chance of food born illness.
Is it safe to travel through Guanajuato?
As far as crime goes, Guanajuato, particularly the parts we will be visiting, is very safe. In fact, Guanajuato is home to one of the most famous Mexican towns for foreigners looking to study Spanish, enjoy a relaxing vacation or retire, San Miguel de Allende. Of course, like all other major cities, certain areas should be avoided and the necessary precautions taken to ensure your security. Like in all places, visitors are encouraged to remain aware of their surroundings to avoid potentially dangerous situations though if anything tourist are most likely to be the victims of non-violent petty theft.
Are credit cards/debit cards accepted?
Credit cards are accepted at many restaurants, hotels, and shops, especially if they are of the higher-end variety. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted types, although American Express and Diners Club are accepted by some establishments. Do note, however, that some businesses will add a 5 to 10 percent surcharge for using a credit card. Small stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and remote hotels often only accept cash.
Do U.S. citizens need a visa to visit Guanajuato?
If you’re holding a normal U.S. passport, you’re not required to obtain a visa to enter Mexico. Tourists and business visitors can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. Please note, as of January 23rd, 2007, all passengers—including US citizens—traveling to or through the USA by air will need to hold a valid passport. US Citizens are no longer able to use their birth certificate or driver’s license to enter the US by air from Mexico.
Do I have to pay a departure tax for Guanauato?
Yes. The departure tax is around 900 Mexican Pesos – approx. £45, $65 or €48 – payable locally in cash. However, this is almost always included in your airfare so you don’t need to worry about it! The only one airline that does not include that tax in its fare is Thomson Airline.
What’s the rule of thumb for tipping?
Tipping is a personal choice and depends on the service rendered, but 10% is standard in most places. Due to foreign tourism from the U.S. some places/people have become accustomed to the standard 15-20% from tourists but 10% is culturally appropriate and acceptable throughout México.
What is the weather like in Guanajuato?
The average temperatures in Guanajuato are very temperate and don’t vary much throughout the year. Considering the humidity, temperatures feel nice most of the year, excluding some hot weeks in the summer. There is a low to mild chance of precipitation throughout most of the year so a light raincoat or umbrella may come in handy but massive storms and flooding are not an issue in this region. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid-May where highs are regularly around 93.7°F (34.3°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 60.2°F (15.7°C) at night
Do I need an adaptor for my electronics?
Electricity in Mexico is 110 volts and the outlets are the same as in the United States and most of Latin America. Visitors from outside of this region should bring an adapter! Plugs are either two flat prongs or two flat prongs with an additional round grounding pin although this is less common so an adapter could be useful to convert a two-prong into a three-prong outlet, particularly for laptop charges.
What is Guanajuato's currency?
Mexico’s currency is the Mexican Peso. One U.S. dollar is equivalent to around 19-20 Mexican Pesos though this does fluctuate often so we recommend checking online a week or so before your trip. The symbol for the Mexican Peso is the $ sign so in order to distinguish this from the dollar, you’ll sometimes see it presented as MX$ or the value with the letters “MN” after it, e.g. $100 MN. The MN stands for Moneda Nacional, meaning National Currency.
Mexican Bank notes are printed in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 pesos. The most commonly seen and used are the 50, 100 and 200 peso notes. The easiest way to get money in Guanajuato is to just pull it out of the ATM (let your bank know you’ll be traveling) as opposed to bringing U.S. dollars in cash and exchanging them.
Can I use my cell phone in Guanajuato?
Most restaurants and hotels have wifi, but if you’d like to be connected outside of wifi zones, you can buy a Mexican chip for your phone so that you can make and receive calls on a pay-as-you-go basis. Another option is to buy a temporary international package direct for your U.S. phone provider. All of that being said, in the case of México, most U.S. phone plans allow for your phone to work in Mexico completely free of charge with access to texts, calls, and data. We encourage you to check directly with your provider before the trip