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Guanajuato
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Cities, Towns and Areas of Guanajuato
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Things to See and Do in Guanajuato

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Destination Information
Guanajuato is a state in the central highlands of Mexico. It is named after its capital city, Guanajuato, which comes from the local indigenous P'urhépecha language, meaning "Hill of Frogs." Las Ranas ("the Frogs") is a nickname for people from this state as frogs are their state animal. After central Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico coast, Guanajuato was one of the first areas of Mexico colonized by the Spanish, in the 1520s, for its rich silver deposits. Guanajuato's colonial architecture is very well preserved along with over 35 old churches in its capital alone.

Today, Guanajuato's mines are still among the richest-producing silver mines in the world (historically one of the largest). The state also produces tin, gold, copper, lead, mercury, and opals. Guanajuato also leads the nation in shoe production and various farm products such as lettuce and potatoes. The state's main export products are motor vehicles and autoparts, footwear, leather goods, chemicals, electric machinery and materials, fruits and vegetables. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanajuato for additional information.)

 

Location of Guanajuato in Mexico

Spanish in Mexico - Mexico is a great place to learn Spanish. A country where you'll enjoy the same comfort and technology level than in USA while getting in touch with the language spoken in Spain. Our school is located in downtown Guanajuato. A modern school with a multimedia room among the many classrooms in the facilities. We offer specialized courses for small groups or an individual student.

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Cities, Towns and Areas of Guanajuato
In addition to the state capital city of Guanajuato, the state includes the cities of San Luis de la Paz, Acámbaro, Celaya, León, Yuriria, Salamanca, Irapuato, San Miguel de Allende, Salvatierra—the first city of Guanajuato, Cortazar, Tarimoro, and Dolores Hidalgo, the cradle of Mexican independence.

Acámbaro
Celaya
Cortazar
Dolores Hidalgo
Guanajuato
Irapuato
León
Salamanca
Salvatierra
San Luis de la Paz
San Miguel de Allende
Tarimoro
Yuriria

Acámbaro

Acámbaro is a city and municipality in the southeastern corner of the Mexican state of Guanajuato, on the banks of the Lerma River, and the oldest of the 46 municipalities of Guanajuato. Acámbaro is noted as a major railway junction, a local transport hub, and the origin of the nationally famous Acámbaro bread. Its greatest claim to world fame is being the source of the Acambaro figures, a purported archaeological forgery. The current (2005 census) population of the municipality is 101,762 persons, that of the city proper 55,082. The municipality covers an area of 867.67 km² (335.01 sq mi) and includes many small outlying communities, the largest of which are Iramuco and Parácuaro. The municipality of Acámbaro is bordered to the north by Tarimoro and Jerécuaro, to the southeast by Tarandacuao, to the south by the state of Michoacán, and to the west by Salvatierra. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ac%C3%A1mbaro for additional information.)

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Celaya

Celaya is a city and its surrounding municipality in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, located in the southeast quadrant of the state. It is the third most populous city in the state, with a 2005 census population of 310,413. The municipality for which the city serves as municipal seat, had a population of 415,869. The city is located in the geographic center of the municipality, which has an areal extent of 553.18 km² (213.58 sq mi) and includes many smaller outlying communities, the largest of which are San Miguel Octopan, Rincón de Tamayo and San Juan de la Vega. There are many smaller towns around Celaya including Rincón De Tamayo, Tarimoro, Salvatierra, La Moncada, Panales Jamaica (Cañones), Panales Galera, La Calera, La Estancia, La Noria, La Acebuche, Cacalote, and Charco Largo. The Celaya Airport has as of January 22, 2007 opened flights in and out giving the city a chance to open its doors to tourism. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celaya for additional information.)

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Cortazar

Cortazar is a city bordered to the north by Villagrán, to the north and east by Celaya, to the southeast by Tarimoro, to the south by Salvatierra, and to the west by Jaral del Progreso and Salamanca. The city had a 2005 census population of 57,748 inhabitants, while the municipality had a population of 83,175. The municipality has an area of 331.8 km² (128.1 sq mi) and includes many smaller outlying communities, the largest of which are Tierra Fría to the west and La Cañada de Caracheo to the south. In pre-Columbian times the region was inhabitated primarely by Otomí and Mexicas people. Founded in 1721 by Franciscan friars, the village of San José de los Amoles was under the order of the congress of Guanajuato given the present name of Cortázar in 1857 after Luis Cortazar y Rábago, a Mexican patriot and leader of Mexico's war of independence against Spain. The municipal president of the city and its microregions is Jesús Oviedo Herrera. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortazar,_Guanajuato for additional information.)

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Dolores Hidalgo
Dolores Hidalgo (in full, Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia Nacional) is a city and its surrounding municipality in the north-central part of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. It is located at an elevation of about 6480 feet above sea level. In the census of 2005 the city had a population of 54,843 people, while the municipality had 134,641 inhabitants. The city lies directly in the center of the municipality, which has an areal extent of 1,590 km² (613.9 sq mi) and includes numerous small outlying communities, the largest of which is Río Laja. Dolores Hidalgo was named a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2002.
 
The city was a small town known simply as Dolores when Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico (the "Grito de Dolores") there in the early morning hours of September 16, 1810 in front of his parish church. After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed "Dolores Hidalgo" in his honor. On September 28, 1810, Hidalgo's forces killed more than 500 Spaniard and Creole loyalist soldiers during the battle for Dolores; 2,000 Indigenous Mexicans died in the fighting.

Today Dolores Hidalgo is known primarily for its ceramics industry, which provides income to well over half the town's population. The inexpensive and mass-produced output of the town is marketed throughout Latin America. The central square of the town, in front of Fr Hidalgo's historic church, is popular on weekends for the unusual flavors of locally-made ice cream, such as shrimp and tequila, sold by vendors from small barrows. Interred in the towns cemetery one will find José Alfredo Jiménez, one of Mexicos most beloved singers, as well as her most prolific songwriter and popular composer. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolores_Hidalgo for additional information.)

Church and the Statue of Hidalgo

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Guanajuato

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Irapuato
Irapuato is a Mexican city (and municipality) located at the foot of the Arandas mountain (in Spanish: el cerro de arandas), in the south central region of the state of Guanajuato. It lies between the Silao River and the Guanajuato River, a tributary of the Lerma River, at 1,724 m (5,656 ft) above sea level. The city is the second-largest in the state (only behind León), with a population of 342,561 according to the 2005 census, while its municipality has a population of 463,103. The municipality has an area of 845.16 km² (326.32 sq mi) and includes numerous smaller outlying communities. The city's main industry is agriculture and it is famous for its strawberries and the raising of pigs and cattle. The fruits and flowers of Irapuato's luxurious gardens are well known throughout Mexico. In the 16th century, vasts amounts of silver ore were discovered at the present day site of the capital city of Guanajuato. This discovery led to a massive migration of Spanish conquistadors settling in the area.

Historic Downtown of Irapuato

In the pre-hispanic era, the site was inhabited by the Chichimecas (c. 1200 C.E.), a group of semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Later on, the Tarascans (also known as the P'urhépecha) conquered the region and initiated the establishment of a permanent settlement. They constructed buildings in the tarascan architectural style, produced pottery, and practiced agriculture. They called the settlement Xiriquitzio (or Iriquitzio), which the Spanish conquerors pronounced "Jiricuato" (or Jiricuicho), which meant "the place with houses (or low dwellings)." The initial growth period, however, was short lived. The downfall of the Purépecha empire led to the abandonment of the settlement, at which point it was once again inhabited by the Chichimecas. In the 16th century, vasts amounts of silver ore were discovered at the present day site of the capital city of Guanajuato. This discovery led to a massive migration of Spanish conquistadors settling in the area. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irapuato for additional information.)

Things to see and do in Irapuato
Dolphin (or Florentine) Fountain
: In 1864, Archduke Maximilian of Hapsburg donated three bronze Florentine fountains to the state of Guanajuato.

Fountain of Dancing Water: The fountain stands in the central plaza of Irapuato. Every night there is a light, music and water show. The fountain is lit up in a rainbow of colors, and the jets provide a choreographed show accompanied by music.
Irapuato Cathedral: The cathedral was built in 16th century in the baroque style. The outside facade is also baroque. The interior is in the neoclassical architectural style. The cathedral is laid out in the traditional Latin Cross style.
Irapuato Zoo: The Irapuato Zoo, which is located on the outskirts of the city, is home hundres of mammals, birds and many species of fish. The zoo was established in 1992 by architect Vicente Cázares Rodriguez, with the support of the then state governor, Carlos Medina Placencia.
John Paul II Monument: Bronze statue of Pope John Paul II, located in the Miguel Hidalgo square next to the Irapuato Cathedral. The bronze sculpture has a steel skeleton and has a weight of 661 pounds.
Little Hospital Church: This was the first church built in lrapuato. The interior was completed in 1713 and the facade in 1733. It is baroque in style and dedicated to the Lady of Mercy. The church is built in the traditional Latin Cross style. The main altars contain images made from corn paste. The church was originally built as a chapel for the Indians' Hospital, which was built two centuries earlier by Vasco de Quiroga in 1550.
Miguel Hidalgo Square: A large public square in the historical center of Irapuato. The square contains the Fountain of Dancing Water as well as the Irapuato Cathedral. The square is named after Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the father of the Mexican Independence movement.
Plaza Cibeles Mall: This is the newest and largest mall in the city of Irapuato. The mall contains many stores such as the Liverpool chain, and a Cinépolis movie theatre. The mall was named after the famous Plaza de Cibeles, a famous square in Madrid, Spain.
Sergio Leon Chávez Stadium: Former home of the Irapuato Freseros soccer team. It was one of the stadiums used in the 1986 FIFA World Cup. It has a maximum capacity of 32,000 spectators.
►Sun Clock: The clock is over a century old and it is located in the Juan Alvarez Square. The clock is elevated on a pedestal and column.

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León
The city of León, formally León de los Aldama is the fifth most populous city in Mexico and the first in the state of Guanajuato. It is also the seat of the municipality of León. It has a strong leather industry, offering shoes, boots, belts, jackets, and other leather accessories both to national and international markets. The city's public transportation system features a mix of buses and the Optibus bus rapid transit colloquially known as "La Oruga" (The Caterpillar). The municipally-operated Oruga started its operation on September 27, 2003; León pioneered its use in Mexico.

León was inhabited in pre-Hispanic times by diverse native groups, such as the Toltecs, Chichimecas, Guamares, among others. The archaeological sites of Alfaro and Ibarrilla, close to the city of León, reveal that the oldest settlements of this zone date from Preclassical times.

The city of León was founded January 20, 1576 with the name Villa de Leon, by the order of the Virrey Don Martín Enríquez de Almaza, for the purpose of creating a defense against the attacks of the Chichimecas. In 1580 it was elevated to the category of Alcaldía Mayor, separating it from Guanajuato and had jurisdiction in the present municipality of León. In June of 1830 it was elevated to the rank of city with the official name: León de los Aldama. During the Mexican War of Independence, it suffered in the political, social, and economic areas. Because many people abandoned the mines of Guanajuato because of the war, many workers were re-established themselves in León. Agriculture was the main economic activity to the 18th century, until the craft and the production of footwear began to compete with it. The post-revolution years were, for León, ones of prosperity and material progress, as well as of population growth. The economic development resulted in extraordinary agricultural and industrial growth and the wealth of 1923. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le%C3%B3n,_Guanajuato for additional information.)

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Salamanca

Salamanca (Otomi: Xidoo "Place of Tepetate") is a city in Guanajuato state, México. Founded January 1, 1603 as 'Villa de Salamanca' by the Viceroy Gaspar de Zuniga and Acevedo, fifth Earl of Monterrey, who was originally from Salamanca (Spain). The town was founded in the lands of Bajio, after cattle ranchers and poor farmers, a few Spaniards, and small groups of Otomi Indians who formerly occupied a village named Xidoo, already lived in the area.

In recent years, many refineries have opened, and Salamanca has grown rapidly to become an important site for manufacturing and service industry in the region. Also, the University of Guanajuato has made many scientific contributions to develop agricultural and industrial technologies, giving a boost to the local and regional industries. The city reported a 2005 census population of 143,838, while the municipality had 233,623. The municipality has an areal extent of 745.96 km² (288.02 sq mi), which includes such smaller outlying communities as Valtierrilla, Cerro Gordo, San José Temascatio, and Loma Pelada. The fourth-largest city in the state (behind León, Irapuato, and Celaya), it is also the largest of four places called "Salamanca" in Mexico.

Salamanca's cuisine is very diverse, because thanks to the oil refinery, it is a city that has people from all over the country, from cities such as Veracruz, Tamaulipas, Oaxaca and Mexico City. Each of these cities brings its own variety of food, so one can find enchiladas, wheat gorditas, pambazos, hamburgers, the famous carnitas, arrachera, cabrito, birria, barbecue, cecinas, and pizzas, and there are food stands on virtually every street corner. Nieve de Pasta is a type of ice cream made of vanilla, nuts, egg, milk, sugar that is popular in the city. Salamanca is also known for its many cantinas, botaneros, and low-cost night arrancones. It is also renowned for its typical cockfighting and fair spring in which you can appreciate the workmanship, business, employment, and enjoying the theater of the people as well as different artistic groups and cuisine. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamanca,_Guanajuato for additional information.)

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Salvatierra
Salvatierra is a Mexican city (and municipality) located in the valley of Huatzindeo in the lowlands of the state of Guanajuato. With an area of 507.70 square kilometres, Salvatierra accounts for 1.66% the total area of the state. It is bordered to the north by Tarimoro and Cortazar, to the south by Acámbaro and the state of Michoacán, to the west by Yuriria and Santiago Maravatío, and to the northeast by Jaral del Progreso. The municipality had a total of 94,558 inhabitants of which 34,066 lived in the city of Salvatierra, according to the 2005 census. In pre-Columbian times the area was known as Guatzindeo or "Place of beautiful vegetation" by the mostly P'urhépecha inhabitants.
The city of San Andrés de Salvatierra was founded under the order of Spanish viceroy Don Garcia Sarmiento de Sotomayor, 2nd Count of Salvatierra and Marquis of Sobroso, on February 9th, 1644.

Due to its rich soil and strategic location (midway between the three most populated areas, namely Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey) for most of the next three centuries the city was one of the most prosperous in the state of Guanajuato. However, unlike León, Irapuato, and Celaya, Salvatierra never developed into a strong industrial town and has seen its working population shrink with many choosing to relocate to nearby cities and others leaving the country entirely to seek jobs in the United States. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvatierra,_Guanajuato for additional information.)

View of the Tetilla hills

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San Luis de la Paz
San Luis de la Paz, a charming city with great historic and cultural wealth, was founded in August 25, 1552, as a defensive town in the Silver Road, which linked the Zacatecas mines with Mexico City during Spanish domination. It owes its name to the peace treaty between Otomi Indians, who were Spaniard allies, and the native Chichimecas, in the day of Saint Louis of France, August 25. The Chichimeca Nation, as it is also known, is an attractive touristic center.

San Luis de la Paz, with its colonial elegance and narrow streets, preserves until now unique places and buildings that talk about its fascinating past. They range from native rock paintings in nearby hills, and remains of antique cobblestone Spanish roads, to forgotten chapel ruins and old structures. Mineral de Pozos, the most important mining town in the state of Guanajuato from the end of the XIX century to the beginning of the XX, is just like being in the movies (like James Bond and the Magic Roudabout)! It amazes to see everywhere deserted and rundown remains of ancestral constructions like the Jesuits’ Mining Ovens and the Modelo Schools. Vergel the Bernalejo it’s an Eden. It’s a place with wonderful natural sceneries, and caves that hide marvelous stalactites and stalagmites. It also is a forest where there are many kinds of trees like pines and firs, which are home to wild animals like deer and eagles. Finally, it is surrounded by many legendary mountains and rock formations, like the Bernalejo hill and the Bridge of God. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Luis_de_la_Paz for additional information.)

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San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is the seat of the municipality of Allende. It is a historic town founded in 1542 that has become an attractive tourist destination for wealthy Mexico City residents and has a large American and Canadian expatriate community composed primarily of retirees. San Miguel de Allende is located in the eastern part of Guanajuato in Mexico's mountainous bajío region. The bajío (low place) is a relatively flat region about 2,000 m (7,000 ft) above sea level surrounded by mountains; it is a part of the Mexican altiplano.

San Miguel de Allende is located at 6,140 feet above sea level. To the north it is bordered by the municipalities of San Luis de la Paz and Dolores Hidalgo. To the west it is also bordered by Dolores Hidalgo. To the south the municipality is bordered by Juventino Rosas, Guanajuato and Comonfort and to the southeast by Apaseo el Grande. To the northeast it is bordered by San José Iturbide. Finally, to the east it is bordered by Querétaro municipality in the state of Querétaro. The municipal seat is located 274 km (170 mi) from Mexico City and 97 km (60 mi) from the state capital of Guanajuato. (Information provided by Wikipedia. Click on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Miguel_de_Allende for additional information.)

The Temple of the Nuns

Things to see and do
During the final week of July, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato, Guanajuato are co-hosts to the Expresión en Corto International Film Festival, Mexico’s largest competitive film festival and the most prestigious of its kind in Latin America. The internationally renowned festival is free to the public and screens over 400 films from 10am until 4am each day in 16 venues, which include such unusual locations as San Miguel's Jardín Principal (or main square), the subterranean streets and tunnels of Guanajuato, the Guanajuato Mummy Museum and both city's Municipal graveyards (Panteónes). San Miguel de Allende was also named a Pueblo Mágico in 2002. In 2008, San Miguel was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Tarimoro

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Yuriria
Yuririapundaro, also known as Yuriria, is one of 46 municipalities in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Its location and historical importance are key factors to the outstanding and significal importance of the municipality.

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Accommodations Suggestions

Click on Hotels in Guanajuato for hotels and other accommodations in this area.

My preferred hotel chain is Marriott. I have stayed Residence Inns, which are prefect for longer stays with all the comforts of home; Spring Hill Suites, which I have found nice for longer stays as the have up to 25% more room than comparably priced rooms; Towne Place Suites, again when I want more room or am on a longer stay; Courtyard by Marriott, which has everything the business traveler needs, as well as families; Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, which I find spacious, comfortable and affordable. Another great idea is to stay at one of the JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts where you can enjoy a new dimension for your vacation or holiday. and Marriott Hotels and Resorts and have found them all to be of consistent quality and service. I have also stayed at some of their Vacation Club properties and have enjoyed each visit. AAA members can get discount rates at Marriott, as can Seniors. Click on Great Getaways for less at Marriott for special officers and great deals at Marriott hotels worldwide!

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Getting To and Around Guanajuato

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Things to See and Do

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Restaurant and Dining Suggestions

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Books, Maps, Travel Guides and More

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Links

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Date this page was last edited: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 14:27:42

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