Guanajuato


The pope plans to visit Guanajuato, Mexico next week on his way to Cuba. He must have had an excellent travel planner because these are two of Latin America's most interesting destinations.


Guanajuato is one of the most unusual small cities in Mexico. Here's a bit about what I wrote about it for The Seattle Times


Stacked along the hillsides and tucked into cobbled alleyways too narrow for cars, the houses look like blocks painted by a child who had a hard time deciding among hot pink, orange and bright purple.

Strolling musicians serenade couples lounging at sidewalk cafes ringing shady plazas. Dogs bark. Church bells ring. The air smells of grilled meats and cappuccino.
Spain, Italy, France? It would be easy to mistake this university town in the mountains of Central Mexico for a medieval city in Europe.
Substitute the easy-on-the-wallet peso for the pricey euro, and nearly year-round springlike weather, and you've got a bargain travel destination where the U.S. dollar still buys more.

This isn't beach-and-margaritas Mexico. The ocean's an eight-hour drive away. There are tourists here but, unlike nearby San Miguel de Allende, a town popular with expat Americans, Guanajuato attracts mostly students and Mexican travelers who come to enjoy the mountain air, browse the museums and art galleries and get lost exploring a maze of pedestrian passageways.
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