Guanajuato, Guanajuato. There's a special mistique about exotic towns with exotic names, and this old silver mining town has plenty of that mistique. Guanajuanto located in the Sierra de Media Luna in the Canada de Marfil. Being located in this ravine has cause the streets to be numerous sinuous and narrow, lined with multi-storied, brightly painted colonial homes. Many of the streets are so narrow and winding that they must be one-way (callejones). Some gradually reduce down in size becoming walkways. Nurmerous steep stairways leave these callejones to access the slopes of Canada de Mafil servicing entire barrios. As a result, there are few better places to walk around and get lost than Guanajuato. Many of the old street names have been kept, El Beso (The Kiss), La Casualidad (The Chance), Salto del Mono (Monkey Jump). These narrow colonial streets are noted for their balconies and iron work railings. A historic mine drainage system has been converted into a subterrainian road.
The city is hugely important to Mexico's independence, and has become somewhat of a pilgrimage site to Mexicans. The whole week around Independence Day Guanajuato can be packed with domestic tourists. Sites like the Alhondiga museum, El Pipila, and Cristo Rey may feel overwhelmingly crowded. The Cervantino festival in October is another big event not to be missed.
Guanajuato is a cultural treasure, with an excellent philharmonic orchestra (seats are inexpensive), a festival of cervantinas, great universities, night-time tours through the little callejones with groups of instrument-toting students, several neat local museums, great food and quiet cafes throughout the town, and it's a beautiful place to boot!
Don't miss Alhondiga de Granaditas, Casa Deigo Rivera, Teatro Juarez, Mercado Hialgo, Basilica de Nuestra Senors and Monumento a Pipila.