Guanajuato: Mysterious City

Adventure awaits in the unique and romantic colonial city of Guanajuato, Mexico. From classic European performing arts theaters to grand museums of natural history and heritage, Guanajuato offers charm and refinement with a hint of Old World style.

Yet the real attraction to this unusual citry isn't in the colonial architecture of it's interesting buildings, or the spacious parks that offer quiteness and peace. The real strength of the city lies beneath your feet.

The city is famous for its subterranean main street, its museo de las momias (museum of the mummies), and the historical ruins of a city that stands beneath the existing city, destroyed by floods and now partially unearthed and shadowed beneath the ground. It is a city of alleyways and plazas, silver mines, history and culture.

Welcome to Guanajuato - a strange city of charm and romance; where ghosts walk the streets of the city-beneath-the-city, a destination lost in time and space; a city known at one time as the richest silver mining center in the world.
The city sits in a valley surrounded by semi-arid hill country. The nearby Sierra de Guanajuato mountains are tree-covered and offer plenty of outdoor adventure opportunities.

But so great is the charm and mystery of the city, it's doubtful you'll wander far for long. The city is made to explore by foot, not car, and every corner provides a subtle change in architecture, environment, and appeal.

Guanajuato's name originates from the word Quanax-juato which, in the indigenous dialect of the region, meant "Place of Frogs" - because the indigenous tribes thought the place was fit only for frogs!

Little could they have known that the Spanish would later find rich veins of silver and extract from them vast fortunes to build a magnificent city and such beautiful churches as Iglesia de San Cayetano (or Valenciana, built between 1765 and 1786) on the outskirts of the city.

The Valenciana mine located here was one of the richest silver finds in history. In the 18th century this one mine alone accounted for 2/3 of the world's silver production.

Explore the links below to discover more about this great alternative destination and how it just might fulfill your adventuresome fantasies of a place out of time, a unique adventure destination.

This essential overview provides a glimpse into the beauty and charm of this unusual destination. Start here and continue below to discover why the mysteries of Guanajuato have been compared to those of Rome, Athens, Istanbul and New Orleans.

Take the time to read this local's biography of the "crazy place" - Guanajuato. No one knows a place better than the one's who live there. The site provides both English and Spanish versions.

It is indeed a strange town that displays its mummies in a museum. Or is it? These famous mummies are naturally mummified by the soils and conditions of the region, adding to the overall charm, and mystery. of the city.

A great thumbnail gallery of photos of Guanajuato. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge/ Two pages of galleries takes you on a virtual tour. Links to the home page provides more information (in Spanish).