Guanajuato, nestled in Mexico’s central plateau, brings to mind essences of Rome. And some have dared to proclaim it as being the most beautiful city in the world.
From the historic center, narrow curving streets and steep staircases climb past jewel-tone houses that cling precariously to valley walls. Every step brings another delight: doorways open to lush interior courtyards, murals decorate long stretches of wall, and bougainvillea dangle above the sidewalks.
The city has always been a bastion of culture, and as a result, there’s always many things to do in Guanajuato. Since 1972, during the months of October and November, Guanajuato holds the Festival Cervantino – in honor of the illustrious author Miguel de Cervantes. The Cervantino International Festival is the most important cultural and artistic event in all of Latin America. There are concerts, plays, exhibitions, performances and literature workshops among many other cultural and artistic endeavors.
The Diego Rivera Biennial is another great cultural event. Held in honor of the famous painter and muralist Diego Rivera. He founded the Colegio Nacional and was a distinguished painter who had exhibitions in the United States and Europe throughout his illustrious career. He was married to fellow Mexican artist, an Icon in her own right, Frida Kahlo.
Guanajuato crafts primarily consist of leather products: saddles, shoes, purses and moneybags are displayed to the public through international fairs. Handmade ceramics and pottery from the Sierra Central, Los Altos and the Bajio, are the most popular. While the woodcrafts and furniture from the Apaseo municipality and Tarandacuao Pottery are among other crafts also available to visitors.
The variety of dances is another cultural asset. They are mostly performed during the patron celebrations like the Virgen del Refugio Day, the Virgen del Carmen Day, the Inmaculada Concepcion day and the Maria Auxiliadora day. These dances often provide insight into the peculiar lifestyle of the people and the region’s rich Mexican history.
Not surprisingly, however, Guanajuato is one of the country’s most important tourist destinations. And today, this city remain a hidden gem among the vast contemporary jewels that make up Mexico’s treasure.