Mexico, Guanajuato

March 20 – 31, 2016.

Our next stop after the state of Jalisco, was the state of Guanajuato where we spent time in the town of Guanajuato (same name as the state), a brief stop in Dolores Hidalgo and a week in San Miguel de Allende where we visited a friend.


The Unesco World Heritage city of Guanajuato was founded in 1559. It was definitely one of our favorite cities in Mexico because of it’s colonial buildings, stunning plazas, brightly colored houses and the presence of Art everywhere.

The tunnel system in the center of town is quite impressive! In our research we had read that “what ever you do, don’t get into the tunnels because it’s a maze and you will never found your way out”. So what is the first thing we do? We get in a tunnel!! Thank God, our GPS led us directly to the campground through tiny tiny steep streets.

Not to toot our own horn but Joe is a great driver and I am a pretty good navigator so besides the occasional arguing, screaming, wrong turns, bad directions, u-turns, application failures, backing up … we seem to always make it to our destination!

Nice campsite overlooking the colorful city of Guanajuato! Morril RV Park, 140 Mexican Pesos (approx. $8) per night. It was more a parking lot than an RV Park but it had decent bathrooms and showers, walking distance to the center of town and an incredible view
We met 3 other Overland couples. Pete and Natasha Here Until There, with their dog Malta. Chris and Jen The Globe Trol and Josh and Jenna Travel Amateurs. Had been there for a while so they gave us good info on where to go and what to see.
One of our favorite thing to do on the road is cooking and sharing meals with the people we meet. Joe and Chris had two Dutch Ovens and the Cast Iron Hibachi grill going full swing! Pulled pork and Ribs! YUMMY!
The downhill walk to the center of town! The tunnel system or underground roadway is quite impressive! They were originally constructed as a diversion for the Guanajuato River to prevent flooding.
The tunnel system or underground roadway is quite impressive! It was originally constructed as a diversion for the Guanajuato River to prevent flooding.
Art everywhere!
The University of Guanajuato is one of the oldest Universities in Latin America. It first opened in the 18th Century as a Jesuit school for children. Now with it’s 113 stairs, it has become a landmark of the city, where tourists get their picture taken.
Old town
We loved walking through Guanajuato and just getting lost in t’s tiny streets. You just never know what you will see!
Getting lost in the maze of tiny streets
Don Quixote and Sancho Panza galloping down the hill!
We visited the house/museum where the famous Mexican Artist Muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was born.
The Hildago Market clock Tower.
The building housing the Hidalgo Market was suppose to be a Train Station but the Railway was never finalized. The iron work on the clock tower was design by non other than Gustave Eiffel.


Dolores Hidalgo

On our way from Guanajuato to San Miguel de Allende we stopped for lunch and a walk around the historical town of Dolores Hidalgo, Cradle of the Mexican Independence. The city was a small town known simply as Dolores until Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico, there in the early hours of September 16, 1810 in front this beautiful church. After Mexico achieved independence, the town was renamed Dolores Hidalgo in his honor.

San Miguel de Allende

Like the town of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende (SMA) is a Unesco World Heritage Site. It was one of the first item on the list of places we wanted to see in Mexico. San Miguel’s main attraction is it’s well preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Some say it’s the prettiest town in Mexico and we may have to agree. Walking down the cobblestone streets admiring the striking Baroque and Neo-Gothic Architecture, the warm earthy colors, stoping for cocktails on a rooftop terrace or sipping coffee in one of the many courtyards filled with plants, is what San Miguel is all about.



One of the many courtyards filled with plants.
El Jardin (Central Plaza) and the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel (church) were busy on Easter Sunday.

Expat heaven

As early as the 1930’s, expatriates have moved to San Miguel to reinvent their lives. Now 15,000 of the city’s population of 80,000 are expats, roughly 70% of them are from the United States.

Thanks to its somewhat remote location San Miguel has remained intimate and welcoming. With it’s vibrant Art and Cultural scene, incredible climate, great restaurants, shops, bakeries, cafés, boutique hotels, language schools, cooking and art classes, yoga, who would not want to live here? for a fraction of the price it would cost in the US or Canada.

There is a vast choice of restaurants from the more lavish…
… to the more modest but just as delicious!
The doors in San Miguel are all different. At first, doors served as protection and declaration of status but overtime they have become a cultural symbol.
You could spend weeks walking around town admiring them.
I got a dried flower headband from a street vendor, a local tradition!
Doors and door knockers are a big deal in San Miguel, books have been written about them and countless photos have been taken.

And to make our visit even more memorable, we had our own private tour guide. My friend Louise moved to San Miguel about 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Thanks to Facebook we had reconnected just before we started our journey. I had not seen her in close to 20 years but it felt like we had seen each other the week before.

She is just that kind of a person! On our first night in San Miguel, Louise invited us to her beautiful apartment in one of the historic buildings with thick stone walls. We had cocktails on her incredible rooftop terrace overlooking the famous Parroquia de San Miguel Archangel and blooming Jacaranda trees, followed by homemade Chiles Relllenos and lots of wine!

Louise and I caught up while Joe was lounging and watching Tennis on TV with his new friend Coco.  Throughout the week, Louise took us along a few of her social outings around town,  introduced us to some great restaurants, let us use her washer and dryer, found a technician to repair Joe’s cell phone screen and cooked us a great pasta dinner.  

Thank you Louise for your hospitality, your are still the hostess with the mostest and a wonderful friend!

My friend Louise’s amazing rooftop terrace. Rooftop terraces are another staple of San Miguel.
The Parroquia at Sunset from Louise’s terrace.

Jacaranda trees in bloom!
More rooftops from the neighborhood.
Cheers to Louise!
Joe and Coco chilling and watching the Miami Open Tennis finals!
Easter Brunch with Louise and friends! What a meal!
We stayed at the San Miguel tennis club and RV Park. 12 sites with full hookups located just a few minute walk to the main Plaza “Jardin”. The second from us was a German couple who had been there for 8 years! We were there for 7 nights and met wonderful people from all over the world. Mexicans, Swiss, Germans, Canadians, Americans, Dutch even a couple from  Lichtenstein.
I love SMA

Next, Mexico City and around … stay tuned!

16 thoughts on “Mexico, Guanajuato

  1. Bonjour a vous deux ! C’est la pause syndicale le fumoir va très bien donc c’est le temps de vous lire et d’admirer toutes ces belles images ca nous rappelle de beaux souvenirs de Guanajuato et San Miguel et qu’elle belle surprise de revoir Louise !! Pour moi Josée tu es la plus belle avec ta couronne de jolie fleurs. Continuer de nous faire partager votre belle aventure.
    Tendrement de la famille Eyer
    Bisous xx

  2. I think of you both so often! Thank you so much for the work of this online diary. It is so much fun to read and the photos and history are marvelous. Just saw the Lawren Harris show in Toronto and was back in SF for a couple of weeks. Boulder and then St. John’s NL in October. The loons and baby mergansers are beginning to gather. But the trees are still green and I swam this afternoon. Love to you both!

    1. Hello Rozanne,
      Great to hear from you! Keeping up the blog is quite a task mainly because of poor internet connection but I enjoy it and maybe one day we’ll have printed! Next time you go to SF please tell Paula that we still talk about the awesome time we spent there, thanks to you and her. Fall is coming, it’s always so pretty in Blue Sea! Hugs and kisses! J&J

  3. Dear Josee & Joe,
    It was my pleasure to see you again & spend some precious time with you both. Hope to see you again someday & to introduce you to my better half…
    Safe travels & much love 😘

    1. Thanks Andrée for following our life on the road! We still love it after 16 months! Total freedom!
      Happy belated birthday! Wishing you much love and happiness 💞❤️
      Hugs and kisses from Guatemala

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