There are so many wonderful places to explore in the state of Guanajuato.
While you may be most familiar with this Mexican state for its popular cities like San Miguel de Allende or Guanajuato City, there are so many historical and beautiful pueblos worth visiting during your time here.
What is a Pueblo Mágico?
Pueblos Mágicos are towns all over Mexico that have been designated as “Magic Towns” by the federal government.
Towns and communities are awarded this title if they have demonstrated that over time they are able to maintain their original history, architecture, culture, and traditions.
Some of the towns are given the status of magic town because they have played a role in the country’s history like one of the very towns on this list.
If you enjoy traveling to off-the-beaten-path places, these magic towns are a fantastic way to get away from the crowded cities and beach towns that most tourists flock to and instead explore the history, culture, colorful buildings, and cobbled streets of these different Pueblos Mágicos.
How many Pueblos Mágicos are in Guanajuato?
There are currently six pueblos mágicos in Guanajuato.
The list of towns around the country is updated each year, so its possible to be both added to or removed from the initiative.
Map of Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato
Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato
These are the six wonderful Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato that you should add to your Mexico bucket list.
1. Dolores Hidalgo
The town of Dolores Hidalgo, officially called Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia Nacional, became a Pueblo Mágico in 2002, making it the first pueblo magic in Guanajuato.
It isn’t just an important town for the state of Guanajuato, it’s an important town in Mexico’s history.
This town is the birthplace of Mexican independence and most of the things that you will want to explore while you are here are to do with better understanding that history.
Prior to the country’s independence, the town was simply called Dolores. But on September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo stood on the steps of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores church and made an outcry to the local people which is when the “Grito de Dolores” was made famous and marked the beginning of the independence of Mexico.
In addition to the historical sites to explore around the town, you’ll also want to stop into some of the ceramics shops around town. The ceramics industry has been part of this town since Father Hidalgo started it here to give the people an income.
You can also visit some of the local wineries in this region. To start your wine education, make a stop at the Museo del Vino del Guanajuato to learn about the vineyards here as well as to sample a few wines from around the region (museums with wine are the best kind of museums).
Located less than a hour away from Guanajuato City and about 40 minutes from San Miguel de Allende, this is an easy day trip from the bigger cities and should be at the absolute top of your list when it comes to which Guanajuato Pueblos Mágicos to visit.
If you are visiting the state and don’t have a car, you can visit Dolores Hidalgo with a private tour from Guanajuato.
Where to Stay in Dolores Hidalgo
- Hotel Anber: A perfect little posada-style hotel right in the center of Dolores Hidalgo, Hotel Anber has rooms that fit up to four adults. The locations is the best part of the hotel, but the onsite restaurant also serves up pretty great traditional Mexican breakfast as well as good dinner options. Rooms start at $45 USD per night. Book a stay at Hotel Anber here.
- Hotel CasaMia: This is my personal recommendation for where to stay in this famous Guanajuato Pueblo Mágico. It has hacienda vibes, a stunning courtyard, and wonderfully friendly staff. The location is also very central. Book a stay at CasaMia here.
2. Mineral de Pozos
Mineral de Pozos first became a Pueblo Mágico in 2012.
While it has something of a reputation for being a ghost town, that’s part of its appeal. This once-booming miner’s town is now a place worth visiting for its history and old-world charm as a few things that may surprise you.
While you can and should explore the mining history of this town, (you can even go inside several of the now-inactive mines), one of the most interesting things to do in Mineral de Pozos these days is to wander the lavender fields.
Other highlights of a trip to Mineral de Pozos include a soak at the Beer Spa at the La Casona Boutique Hotel and a trip to the Galeria 6 artisan boutique. This shop has clothing and accessories which are made on-site by local women.
For a great tour option from Guanajuato City, check out this day trip option which includes a full-day tour of Mineral de Pozos.
Where to Stay in Mineral de Pozos
- Posada El Refugio: The best budget option in town is El Refugio. Located right in the center of the town, this posada has larger family rooms, budget doubles, and ample parking available. Rooms start at $40 USD per night. Book a stay at El Refugio here.
- Posada Casa del Minero: Casa del Minero is my personal recommendation for where to stay in this Guanajuato pueblo mágico. Rooms are only slightly more expensive than El Refugio at about $55-60 per night, but the hotel itself is so beautiful. Although it’s a new hotel, it has been designed to feel like an old hacienda and the rooms are comfortable and clean. Book a stay at Casa del Minero here.
- Mineral del Cielo: If it’s luxury your looking for, you’ll get it at this boutique hotel located right on the edge of town. The rooms are modern and spotlessly clean. You can opt for a lake view with a balcony and wake up in pure peace and quiet each morning. Rooms start at $130 per night. Book a stay at Mineral del Cielo here.
3. Jalpa de Cánovas
Located about 100 km or 60 miles from Guanajuato, the town of Jalpa de Cánovas is easiest to reach with the city of Leon as your base. You can stay in a great hotel in downtown León and then head to Jalpa de Cánovas for a fun day trip.
This historical little pueblo joined the list of Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato in 2012.
The best thing to do here is to take a wander around the streets and enjoy the architecture, much of which dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Visit the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Templo de la Misericordia, the Hacienda la Cañada de Negros, and the Santa Eduviges Dam.
Salvatierra didn’t become a Pueblo Mágico in 2012, but it did become the first area in the entire state of Guanajuato to be officially recognized as a city.
The main reasons to visit Salvatierra are to explore the historical haciendas and the other stunning architecture around the town. It is truly one of the most beautiful pueblos mágicos in all of Mexico in my humble opinion.
A few spots not to miss include El Puente de Batanes, a 200-meter stone bridge, Convento de las Capuchinas Nunnery, Templo del Carmen Church, Ex-Hacienda de San José del Carmen, Hidalgo Market, El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Luz Church, and El Sabinal Eco-Park.
After a day of exploring, you’ll need to refuel. The most famous snack in this town are the largas, which are essential very big quesadillas that are filled with all different types of meat and vegetables of your choice.
If you need a sweet pick-me-up, grab a prestiño. This is a little sweet bread that is originally made right here in Salvatierra. The main flavors of the bread are cinnamon and piloncillo or raw sugar cane.
Where to stay in Salvatierra
- Hotel Posadas Ocampo By Rotamundos: Despite being a wonderful place to explore, there aren’t a ton of hotel options available to prebook in Salvatierra. This is a lovely local posada right in the center of town with free parking and comfortable private rooms that start at $30 per night. Book a stay at Hotel Posadas Ocampo here.
Along with most of the others listed above, Yuriria became a Magic Town in 2012. But this town feels very different from the other Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato.
It still has stunning architecture and great history, but it’s the natural beauty and adventure activities that I loved most about Yuriria.
The centerpiece of the town is the manmade lagoon. At the time that it was made, it was the first of its kind anywhere in Latin America. You can go fishing here with the locals or simply stroll around its expansive edges.
There are also two nature reserves around Yuriria, Lago Cráter and La Laguna. You can simply stroll along the paths and enjoy the natural beauty around you or you can bring your binoculars to look for the different species of migrating birds that pass through these reserves.
If you want to do some shopping in Yuriria, look out for the tule weavings. Tule is a wetland grass that grows well in this region and is used to make everything from tapestries to baskets.
When you get hungry, you’ll find things in Yuriria that I have never seen at other restaurants in Guanajuato. They have frog legs, mole made with charales, or dried and salted fish from the lagoon, and atole made with chickpeas (it’s usually made with corn).
Where to stay in Yuriria
- Hotel Casa Garatusa: This is a great budget-friendly option. Just on the edge of town, rooms are under $50 USD per night and there is a courtyard pool and garden area to relax in. Book a stay at Hotel Casa Garatusa here.
- Hotel Tiberiades: Another very affordable option at only $50 USD per night, this hotel has comfortable rooms, if not a bit dated, but a huge pool and garden area for cooling off. Book a stay at Hotel Tiberiades here.
- Hotel Candelero: The most expensive place in town at a whopping $65 per night, this hotel is one of the most modern in Yuriria with a huge outdoor pool, clean and comfortable rooms, and ample free parking available. Book a stay at Hotel Candlero here.
The most recent addition to the list of Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato, Comonfort became a magic town in 2018.
The main reasons that the town gained this status is for its dedication to preserving the local Otomí cuisine and the Chichimeca Gamares folk dance.
It’s also the home of my absolute favorite Mexican kitchen utensil, the molcajete. The molcajete in Mexico is like a mortar and pestle but made with volcanic rock. If you are looking for one made by local artisans, this is the town to visit. Just be sure to cure the molcajete before you use it!
The other reason to make a stop in Comonfort is for their ceremonial tortillas. They do something with the tortillas here that I have never seen elsewhere.
They have patterns and designs on them which they make using wooden seals and Mexican honeysuckle as “ink.” Traditionally, decorating the tortillas was done as an offering of gratitude for a plentiful harvest.
Being only an hour from Guanajuato and with not a ton of activities to do in Comonfort, I recommend simply coming here as a day trip and using Guanajuato City as your base for the night.
If you are doing a road trip and want to stay near Comonfort, this posada is a good option that has a delicious Mexican breakfast each morning.
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This article was sponsored by the Guanajuato State Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.