Guanajuato; Mexico’s Most Colorful City

June 12, 2017

Guanajuato, Mexico

Our short Guanajuato adventure stared with a 2.5 hr bus ride from San Luis Potosí to Guanajuato. Leaving at 7 a.m. and arriving close to 10 a.m. with a few stops along the way. I love taking the buses here in Mexico because they are safe, cheap (around $20-25 USD), and air conditioned! It is easy way to travel if you don’t have a car or don’t want to worry about driving, since many of the towns close to San Luis Potosí have really limited parking.


We booked a tour right off of the bus for 150 pesos each, we were under the impression that this included the entrance fees, but were mistaken. My Spanish isn’t that great so my friend Gina booked it for us. The tour included visiting a few museums in the area, a local sweet store, a mine, and the Pípila. I believe this tour is intended for Mexican tourists, as the entire tour was in Spanish. So if you don’t speak Spanish well, I wouldn’t reccomend it. 


We attempted to book an Uber driver from the bus station, but could only see one car on the entire map of the city and after about 10 minutes searching for a ride uber informed us that were not any uber drivers available at the time so as my friend Gina would say “We will just have to take our chances”. I know, super comforting.


The ride from the bus station to the town is about 15 minutes, which isn’t bad and around 100 pesos so like $5 USD.


Cab Drive in Guanajuato, Mexico

Once arriving we met the Air BnB guy at the top of the hill next to the Pipila and he showed us the way to the Air BnB, which was down a small pedestrian street. Of course, I booked an Air BnB that was at the top of the hill and only accessible by walking up a million steps. (all for the views) Guanajuato has a pretty decent elevation (6586 ft) at least compared to other Mexican cities and some people do get altitude sickness. 



Our air bnb host has his listing as “flexible check-in time” which is appealing when you book and don’t consider that flexible means flexible for all guests, including the one that stayed before you. So the previous guests didn’t check out yet, our host even showed us the room to confirm. Yep, empty beer bottles, water on the bathroom floor and suitcases. So he let us keep our bags in the apartment below until they were ready to check out, which made me a tad nervous.. to say the least. I prayed to the travel Gods that my things would be safe and we walked off to explore the city.


The only plans on our agenda were to meet my friend Saya that I met through instagram (she made a guest appearance on the blog in our Expat series too). We walked down the gazillion stairs, stopping every few steps to take in the sea of rainbow colored houses. 
Guanajuato, Mexico

We visited the alleyway of the kiss (El Callejon del Beso) when we realized it was conveniently located on our downhill walk. It originates from a Mexican Romeo and Juliet like story where two young Mexicans fell in love, kissing across the balconies and both end up dead. Kind of a morbid spot to be a top tourist photo op. It’s also kind of lame, since you just wait in line, with a whole bunch of people trying to take cuts. Why stress out when you can just take a picture in another claustrophobic alleyway without some strangers breathing down your neck and staring at you why you try to awkwardly pose between two buildings.
 Alleyway of the Kiss, Guanajuato, Mexico

This is my friend Gina posing under the Alleway of the Kiss. Not pictured: the long line of people staring at you and wishing you would hurry up.

We meandered around the tight alleyways oohing and awwing at the brightly colored buildings stopping occasionally to attemp an instagram worthy pose in front of a few buildings, which just ends up terribly awkward, props to all those female travel bloggers out there with their picture perfect Instagram photos that are in all reality are awkard as hell. I think you guys would much rather look at pretty buildings and flowers than my weird self anyways. You are welcome.


Shortly after we met up with Saya and her husband Beto in the cutest little city center and had some delicious crepes. She mentioned that she liked this city center so much because it was more hidden and didn’t have as many tourists, which is why I will keep the name a secret (or I forgot it… you will never know). Saya gave us some reccomendations of places to see and spots to eat and she also warned me about the Spanish Inquisition Museum.  
 Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico

After we had crepes we walked around for the rest of the afternoon, checking out the small plazas and amazing shops. I may or may have not come back with a lot of goodies. #Iloveallthingsmexico

Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico

vw bug

Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico

A few days before I booked a drink and taco night tour put on by Tim Leffel, a travel writer who lives in Guanjuato. This tour is a nice alternative to the other touristy tours in the city and you get shown around the city by someone who knows the best spots for mezcal, pulque, and micheladas. We were greeted by our host Ashely who runs the tours for Tim Leffel  and we were stoked to find out it would be just the three of us hanging out all night. 

Our first stop was for pulque at Fante bar, a pulqueria. We drank our fair share, trying both the regular pulque and my favorite, the mango pulque. 

After our pulque we headed to a mezcal bar where we tried out quite a few different types of mezcal, including a coffee and a cranberry mezcal.

 Note: you don’t take shots of mezcal, like you do tequila, even though they serve them in shot glasses and they come from the same plant. Explanation coming. 

We quickly learned that Guanajuato has quite a few expats, but they are much younger than the expat crowed in areas like San Miguel de Allende. Ashley is also an expat from the USA (she has the most wonderful Southern accent) and during our tour we were able to meet quite a few people from the expat community. After the mezcal bar, we headed to another spot where we had some micheladas and then to a late night taco joint. I’m not going to lie, those may have been the best tacos I’ve ever had, then again it became a little fuzzy around that time… I blame the pulque. If you are ever visiting Guanajuato I would highly reccomend booking a tour with Ashely, it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had on a tour before. Even though Gina and I have had pulque, mezcal, and micheladas, it was still a great time to just hang out with someone that knows all the best spots and the city very well. 

 Drink and Taco Tour

The next morning we woke up and went in search of coffee and food. Saya had told us that there was this amazing place called Besame that was up by the Pípila. She told us that they don’t have a sign and don’t even have a menu, but can make you whatever you would like. We looked it up on google maps and it said it was just a few houses down from our air bnb. We walked back and forth past the location on the map and past our air bnb, but couldn’t find this elusive restaurant. We gave up and found coffee elsewhere. Once we returned we asked our Air BnB host for the wifi network and password and what did he tell us the name of the wifi network was… BESAME. We soon realized that the rooftop of the air bnb we were staying at was acutally the restaurant Besame, but was closed today because of the holiday. 

View from the rooftop of our Air BnB


We ran down the hill to try and make it to our tour on time. We were supposed to meet at the Posada Hotel at 10:30 a.m. and we were late, which we thought was okay, because this is Mexico after all. Well our tour group was nowhere in site, which turns out there are two Posado hotels in the same area and we conveniently picked the wrong one. Thankfully Gina called and they told us they would pick us up and being last acutally granted us the front seat in the tour van.



The tour was supposed to be only 3 hours, but it took much longer than that (reminder… this is Mexico). We visited a few museums including the Spanish Inquistion Museum (disturbing), the house of laments (a serial killer’s home turned into haunted house – disturbing), the mines (hot and kind of lame), and the pipila. [more on this coming later]


Guanajuato, Mexico Guanajuato, Mexico
Spanish Inquisition Museum spanish inquisition museum bugambilias
Guanjuato, Mexico Guanjuato, Mexico Guanjuato, Mexico Pipíla, Guanjuato, Mexico

After our l..o..n..g tour we were running a bit behind on time and had to hurry and pack our things and get something to eat since we didn’t eat anything on our 4 1/2 hour tour. We took the funicular down to the main plaza and we decided to eat at the closest spot and it wasn’t spectacualr. 
(Note: Don’t eat pasta in Mexico, it is almost always awful.) After we ate our lunch we quickly hurried to get a taxi so that we could get to our bus on time. We did.

We loved our time in Guanajuato, we were just so sad that it had to be so short. Excited to go back in the near future and log in some more avenutres in Mexico’s most colorful city. 

View of Guanajuato
More about Eemma Iseman

    1. You should visit SMA too! Best place in Mexico for living. Guanajuato is nice too 🙂

      1. Hi Alex! Thanks for reading! I do love SMA! However, it is quite pricy in terms of living here in Mexico. We’ve been once and I would love to go back to visit soon.

    1. I completely disagree with the pasta comment. There are some fabulous Italian restaurants in Guadaljara and Mexico City.

      1. Thanks for commenting Velma! I have found some decent pasta in San Luis Potosí as well, but I have had so much bad pasta here I would just rather eat the local cuisine. However, the pasta monster does rage every now and then! I would your recommendations for pasta in Mexico City and Guadalajara! Would love to check them out when I visit!

    1. Please add me to your mailing list. You are right about the first year of being an expat. It can be frustrating navigating the ways things are done here. Everything take a couple of tries and takes a long time.

    1. This morning my Spanish teacher was telling me this is his favorite place in Mexico to visit! I hate to say but before we moved here I did not realize how many gorgeous places there are to see in Mexico …. now my to-visit list is constantly growing like crazy! So many places to see, so little time! (What a wonderful problem to have! 🙂 ) Love your posts, thanks for sharing!
      Ashley recently posted…Parking Tickets in Tulum & Playa del CarmenMy Profile

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