San Miguel de Allende and even Guanajuato City may be the first places in Guanajuato that pop to mind when you think of this tiny state in the highlands of central Mexico, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
For such a small place, Guanajuato is filled with amazing activities and sites to see, so much that I’ve been visiting the state several times in the past few months and I still keep discovering new things to do in Guanajuato!
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✨ What are the best things to do in Guanajuato?
Checking out San Miguel (or “San Mike” as locals commonly call it), is very well worth your while because it’s absolutely stunning, but I wanted to recommend a few more things to do in Guanajuato that also deserve a place on your itinerary.
I guarantee there will be at least a few things to do in Guanajuato on the list you haven’t heard of yet!
⚠️ What things to do in Guanajuato are safe?
Even though Guanajuato has gained a bad reputation in terms of safety in recent years, there are still many safe places in the state. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, and just about all of the things to do in Guanajuato listed on this post are considered safe.
Most of the areas currently deemed unsafe are located on the southern side of the state, and you won’t really have a lot of reasons to go there.
I’ve traveled Guanajuato many times and never had any issues whatsoever, and that’s considering I have only visited the state either as a solo female traveler or with girl friends.
???? Things to do in Guanajuato you may have never heard about
Explore the hidden gem that is the San Felipe region
At first glance, San Felipe looks like any small town in central Mexico, but after visiting, I highly regard the region as one of the most incredible places Guanajuato has to offer.
All around it, you’ll find a plethora of activities, some of which I highly consider the best things to do in Guanajuato for those who prefer discovering local spots.
Think vineyards, actual castles, food as local as it can get, and cheese farms. I absolutely loved how natural and family-owned everything around San Felipe is – it’s almost like taking a step back in time when mass production was not a thing yet.
There are also several cheese farms and mezcalerias scattered around San Felipe – this was very surprising to me because I always thought Oaxaca was where all mezcal was made!
As if that weren’t enough, San Felipe is the gateway to a much lesser-visited part of Sierra de Lobos. If you want to get lost in nature for a while, hiking and camping are king here and the landscapes you’ll get to see are simply incredible. Make sure not to miss out on checking out Las Musas and Los Panales within the sierra!
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Visit a haunted hacienda at Jarral de Berrios
Not far from downtown San Felipe, you’ll find a wondrous ex-hacienda sitting right in the center of Jaral de Berrios, a tiny town once ruled by a monarch family.
Even though the Berrios family owned dozens of estates all over Mexico, the one sitting at Jaral de Berrios was their most impressive. The hacienda was incredibly important for the town back in the day, with mezcal and gun powder being two of its primary productions.
Today, the San Diego de Jaral de Berrio Hacienda is pretty much left in ruins, but it still managed to retain enough for you to walk through it and glimpse back in time to when the place was alive and thriving. You can still appreciate some of the upholstery on the walls, as well as paintings and symbology plastered all over the building.
Ex haciendas and abandoned buildings never come without their share of ghost stories, of course, and this one is no exception. There are plenty of legends about the hacienda, with plenty of people (including those in charge of restoring it) claiming to have seen ghosts within the premises.
Have a staycation at Casa las Nubes
Tucked away inside the Santa Rosa Sierra, Casa Las Nubes is Guanajuato’s newest Airbnb for those looking to have a staycation away from everything.
The house is simply spectacular and guarantees privacy in every single way. They only have two rooms in the middle of the mountains, one which is meant for romantic couple staycations while the other has two rooms and can host several people if a getaway with friends is what you’re after.
Casa Las Nubes is only about 30 minutes away from Guanajuato City, making it pretty easy to access while still guaranteeing that “in the middle of nature” atmosphere.
Bring your own food and drinks as there are no restaurants in the area but they provide everything you need to cook your food (equipped kitchen and barbeque!).
Explore the wine country
While many don’t know it, there are many wine regions in Mexico and Guanajuato is one of them.
As part of what is commonly called the “Bajio de Mexico”, Guanajuato has a long-winded history of viticulture. Harvests have taken place here ever since Mexico was still a Spanish colony, but due to restrictions from the monarchy, they didn’t really resume until only a few decades ago.
Ever since then, dozens of vineyards have sprawled all over the northern side of Guanajuato, especially near San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo.
A few wineries you can’t miss out on visiting include Cuna de Tierra (the oldest in Guanajuato), Bodega Dos Buhos, San Miguel, San Lucas, and Tierra de Luz.
Most of the biggest vineyards in Guanajuato are located between Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende. These cities are less than an hour apart from each other, which makes going on a tasting-hopping adventure an easy day outing.
If you want to explore lesser-known estates, there are other regions in Guanajuato that also have vineyards. My top recommendations are Pájaro Azul near San Felipe (where Guanamé wine is produced) and Viñedo El Lobo further south.
Pin this guide on the best things to do in Guanajuato for later!
See the place where modern-day Mexico was born
Even though it’s not as popular for international travelers, visiting Dolores Hidalgo is not only one of the most important things to do in Guanajuato, but also entire Mexico.
The city is pure eye candy when it comes to architecture. Most of the buildings here are splashed in yellow and orange hues and I highly consider Dolores Hidalgo one of the most photogenic towns in Mexico!
This, however, is not the only reason you need to visit Dolores Hidalgo.
Back in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, a revolutionary leader, began plotting Mexico’s independence right in this town. On the early morning of September 16th, he rang the bells of the town’s main church (pictured above) to call the people to begin the war.
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Visit the ghost town of Mineral de Pozos
Mineral de Pozos, or just “Pozos” as Guanajuato locals commonly call it, was a thriving mining town during the 19th and 20th centuries.
A mix of a decline in prices of gold and silver as well as conflicts that arose during the Mexican Revolution caused most of its inhabitants to abandon Mineral de Pozos, leaving it with only a couple of hundred residents by the time the 70s crept in.
These days, Mineral de Pozos still feels pretty deserted, but tourism has brought back people who flock here in order to check out its incredibly well-preserved colonial buildings and mines.
Aside from strolling its cobblestone streets and feeling as though you traveled back in time, Mineral de Pozos has plenty to offer visitors.
One of the most interesting things to do in this Guanajuato pueblo magico is to check out a few of the mine ruins that lie on its outskirts. One of the most popular ones is Santa Brigada, which features three gigantic furnaces that are the icons of Mineral de Pozos.
Another one worth checking out is Cinco Señores – it’s also one of the most famous ones but I still found it completely empty when I visited!
Travel the strawberry route
You may not know it, but Irapuato is commonly recognized as the strawberry capital of the world.
Strawberries were brought to the city back in the 19th century from France. They grew so well in the area that production never really stopped and locals are pretty proud of their excellent cultivation efforts.
Today, there’s a really fun route where visitors can check out starberry farms and get to see everything ranging from harvesting to the variety of products created out of them.
You can drive the strawberry route on your own, but in my opinion, the best way to do this route is by hopping on the Fresibus (Stawberry Bus).
The route takes about four hours and includes visits to several starberry fields with lots of educational value (you’ll also get to harvest your own!) as well as a delicious breakfast where every single dish is made out of strawberries!
✈️ Ready for the best things to do in Guanajuato? If you need more information about Guanajuato, I’d be happy to update this post – just leave your questions below!
Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela came back to her motherland after a short stint of living in Germany. She is responsible for all our Mexico City content where she shares all the insider and local tips about the capital!