Ornate, colourful buildings line the valley
The wealth produced by the mines created a visually stunning cityscape of ornate churches, pretty squares and colourful houses, spread out over a verdant valley.
This natural and man-made beauty caught the eye of Pixar film producers, who used the city as inspiration for their animated Land of the Dead in new movie Coco.
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Founded in 1548, Guanajuato is one of Mexico’s oldest colonial cities and played a prominent role in the country’s fight for independence when, in 1810, a battle between rebels and Spanish troops turned a local miner into a national hero.
Guanajuato in the central highlands of Mexico punches above its weight when it comes to topical appeal
Nicknamed El Pípila, he singlehandedly stormed the granary in which soldiers were barricaded and gave the rebels victory.
In return, Guanajuato gave him a hilltop statue which today offers the best view of this Unesco World Heritage city.
Other highlights are the creepily cool tunnels dug to allow drivers and pedestrians to get around town without ascending the torturous hills.
Back above ground, the city is brimming with architectural wonders such as the lavish 19th-century Teatro Juárez and dozens of museums, including one celebrating famous local artist Diego Rivera.
Founded in 1548, Guanajuato is one of Mexico’s oldest colonial cities
Take wine, musicians in 17th-century outfits as well as Guanajuato’s historic alleyways and you have an estudiantina, a mobile street party that takes place every weekend.
Practise your Spanish listening to tales of Guanajuato’s past and sing along to popular tunes as you take an evening stroll through the city’s scenic passageways.
Sign up for one in Jardín de la Unión in the city centre – look for the costumed ticket sellers on weekend afternoons.
Journey Latin America (020 8600 1881/journeylatinamerica.co.uk) offers a 12-day self-drive holiday taking in Guanajuato, Mexico City, Morelia and the beaches of Zihuatanejo on the Pacific coast, from £3,371. (two sharing), B&B.
Price includes return flights from Heathrow to Mexico City, car hire and excursions.
Mexico tourism: visitmexico.com