Guanajuato

Jun 27th, 2016, 08:25 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Guanajuato

Thanks to MMe Perdu's thread, we're (DH & I) are rethinking our trip to the coast and going inland. The weather is calling for one rainy day after another on the Carib.
We think that it's probably wiser to fly in rather than drive from Merida. Which airport does one fly into when flying in domestically. I see flights into DF but am wondering if there's anything easier that's not too costly. Also, would we be better off not renting a car. I'm assuming that public transport is as good there as it is in Merida.
We're also thinking of hopping over to San Miguel for a day trip. Any suggestions there?
Also would love to find some wonderful villages that have hand made crafts. Any suggestions there?
Would also like to hear any recommends for good walking neighborhoods to stay in in Guanajuato? We generally like to stay in neighborhoods that are close to the main activities/food, etc. All the better if the neighborhood reflects the local color and history.
All information and suggestions are good.
Thanks ahead.
cybor is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 08:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,181
I am watching & learning. I'm especially interested in your neighborhoods question. Especially which streets are...I was going to say quieter, but amend to less noisy (traffic).
MmePerdu is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 11:17 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,819
You fly into Guanajuato BJX airport to be the closest. It services Guanajuato and Leon. Delta even has flights direct there from Atlanta, I believe (somewhere in the US, in any case, as I did it). Now it's a ways from Guanajuato but the taxi fare into the city has a fixed fare so it's not bad at all, probably the equivalent of about US35-40. If you fly into Mexico City, you'd have to take a bus (or another flight, I suppose). Leon is a city with a lot of business, flights into that airport shouldn't be particularly expensive for any reason.

But if you are coming from Merida, there aren't any nonstop flights to BJX from there, anyway. You'd have to fly Aero Mexico or Interjet and probably change in Mexico city.

You wouldn't need a car unless you intend to take drives elsewhere in teh area, then it could be convenient. The city itself has a bus system. The very center is pedestrianized, so traffic isn't allowed.

I was just there as a tourist, not long-term so don't know what neighborhoods you'd stay at as I was only in the center, in fact, I had a hotel right on the Jardin de la Union. As with most cities, the suburbs are not going to necessarily be some quaint neighborhood, and the traffic can be terrible on some roads in/out of the main center (especially from teh airport, it goes through some small streets). The center is great for walking around, small restaurants and shops, ambience, and cultural events. But I don't know of any neighborhoods than in the center so can't advise there. I liked it around Plaza de San Fernando, alos, but that's in the center, the university isn't too far frm there.

I just took a bus tour to neighboring cities like San Miguel and Dolores Hidalgo by booking through the main tourist office, they have ones that start right nearby. Just about 8 people in a small van type tour. Only in Spanish. there may be some bilingual, I don't know as I didn't look for them and there were many more only in Spanish as most tourists there are Mexican.

you've probably got info, this is an example of where I visited http://www.visitmexico.com/en/magica...olores-hidalgo

I did visit some nearby villages for crafts as part of my tour, but I don't like shopping and have visited Mexico quite a few times, so don't really remember names, exactly, as I didn't want to buy anything. It was some women's cooperative as I recall. It may have been Las Trancas, not sure, you'd have to do research on that but then yoiu would want a car for that, I presume.
Christina is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 11:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 962
The closest airport is BJX, between Silao and Leon. We've had a friend that lived in Merida visit often and her flights always routed through MEX. Interjet is a good option.
The resident Gto expert, stew, will chime in soon enough.
As far as craft villages in this area, what comes to mind is the Majolica pottery in Santa Rosa, about 15-20 minutes outside of Gto on the mountain road to Dolores. More an art gallery than a shop, their work is beautiful and far superior to that of Dolores.
http://www.mayolicasantarosa.com/about.php
In San Miguel's Artisan Market there are a number of Nauhtl craftsman selling their wares. There's also vendors that sell Oaxacan rugs.
The leather district in Leon isn't exactly a craft village, but it is a must see. But be advised, there's plenty of knock off goods. My favorite shop is D'Ame, he makes nice bags but I really like his Peliguey jackets. He custom made one for my wife for no extra charge. 103 Taxco.
As far as San Miguel, yeah, I think it's worth a day trip. I live here, so just let me know what you might be looking for and I'll try to help out.
You don't need a car, unless you wanted to visit the tequila distillery in Corralejo near Penjamo. It's the only DO distillery in Gto state.
baldone is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 01:05 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Thanks so far for all your help. The more I read the more I want to go.
I still need to do a little research to see where I can see some of the goods made by the Huichol Indians. I particularly love their bead and yarn paintings. Here are a few pictures of one man's work.
https://www.google.com.mx/search?q=j...w=1222&bih=558
cybor is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 03:25 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
As a guy who spent almost 20 years in the Leather business I found the vast majority of goods is as advertised at the huge Leon Leather market. There is some knock offs but not huge amounts.
GTO has a great Limo company that has very reasonable rates especially if you book off gtolist.com a excellent Ex-Pat site.
I spend up to 4 months a year in Guanajuato so feel free to ask me anything you wish.
Stewbear is offline  
Jun 27th, 2016, 07:27 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Looks like there aren't too many flight options left to BJX from Merida MID. I found a few with stop overs at MEX. The flights are 5.5hrs for around 280. versus 2 hr flights for 165.to MEX.
That said it does sound like it may end up costing that much more for buses/cabs to get to Gto - true? It also seems like it may take around the same amount of time.
In regards to neighborhoods is there a difference between one and another? If anyone has insight or links about the layout of the city I'd love to see it. Also if anyone has a hotel or apartment rental I'd love a recommend.
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
cybor is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 06:43 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
GTO has no real slums so most areas are acceptable. The "Presa" area is my first choice with a number of nie restaurants, coffee houses & about a 20 minute stroll to El Centro & the Jardin. It is were the Governor's mansion is & next door to the Brisa de Presa one of the finest eateries in the area.
Again if you post on gtolist.com you will get some ideas for housing.
Keep in mind with so few Expats in the city all areas will reflect the local feelings.
Stewbear is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 02:44 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Thanks, StewB. Am I looking in the wrong section of gtolist , I can't find anything about lodging. Many of the posts on the forum are quite old.
cybor is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 03:28 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,181
I looked too, had the same reaction. I concluded that one must have to post a request but, given a seeming absence of traffic on the site, wonder how successful that might be. One response might be low odds for finding an agreeable accommodation. Or I could be wrong on all counts and will wait patiently for clarification.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jun 28th, 2016, 04:56 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
I found my housing on this site. Please note that there are two categories. One for general questions, announcements & other information. The other for buying, selling & renting of housing.
FYI I paid 5,000 pesos (about $270 US) for a two bedroom (small) with a Pullman kitchen, a tiny bathroom & a lovely glass enclosed porch.
This included basic cable, decent WiFi & all utilities.I can send you some rental info if you wish.
Stewbear is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 06:09 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
On to another subject. I found a site that offers bicycling and hiking in GTO and SMiguel. The prices seem reasonable for the these tours but am wondering if doing either is simple enough to do without a group.
Are the streets good enough to ride or does one need to get out of the city to preserve ones life. Is it all hills?
cybor is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 06:21 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
Traffic is in a word Horrendous! Through downtown there are but 2 above ground streets that are open to cars/trucks. The main street is a pedestrian only walkway. Most traffic is underground through a maize of tunnels & certainly not meant for bikes. Side streets are mostly steps so biking is not practical. Some such as the main street through the Presa area is possible for bikes but in general not practical.
The tunnels are exciting to ride through but I would not recommend driving them for visitors.
Stewbear is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 08:05 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Thanks. Just as I thought from the minuscule amounts of information that I'm finding. I guess it's good and bad that there's so little information about GTO.
Are you at all familiar with the surrounding less populated areas. I believe that's where most of the hikes and bike rides are.
cybor is offline  
Jun 29th, 2016, 01:35 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,765
http://www.ciudadmuseo-gto.com/todos-los-videos

Some great info here
Also again at gtolist their are a number of older posts on hiking & hiking groups
Stewbear is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 12:19 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 962
Cybor, I don't know what exactly you had in mind for a bike tour, (some hiking too) in San Miguel, but these guys are pretty popular:
http://www.bici-burro.com/index.html
Some of their bikes routes are easy enough to do on your own, the challenge will be to get to them without their van service. For example, if you drill down on google maps to see where the train tracks cross Calzada de La Estacion, there is a road to San Miguel Viejo that takes you out to the presa that is popular. Nice little restaurant out that way too, La Temporada. The other place that you could easily do on your own is the road in canyon below the dam that goes out to La Huerta. It would be easy enough for a taxi with a truck bed to haul you out there, but getting one for the return trip might be a challenge.
Riding in town is not a good idea unless you do it early in the morning, like before 7.
baldone is offline  
Jul 1st, 2016, 06:46 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
Stewb, Thank you. Will take a look.

Baldone, That particular company was the one that inspired me to think about bike riding. I emailed them to get their prices. Most are around 85 - 100. US. The rides sound great. I believe that they're all out of SMig. I'm going to email them again to see if they have anything in Gto.

So, I think we may fly into Guadalajara to visit a friend in Lake Chapala for a few days. I also want to see if we can find the places around that area where the Huichols make their crafts.
We'll then bus to Gto for maybe 4 - 5n.
Thinking of going to SMig for a day trip - I have a friend who has a currently rented out place there whom we hope to go back and visit in Dec. brrrr - hopefully it's not too cold there then.

Would love to hear about any other side trips from Gto.

We'll fly out of BJX.
Hopefully there's still flights and some rooms left. We'd love to go in a couple weeks if we can pull it together.
cybor is offline  
Jul 1st, 2016, 10:56 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,819
As far as craft villages in this area, what comes to mind is the Majolica pottery in Santa Rosa, about 15-20 minutes outside of Gto on the mountain road to Dolores.>>

That's probably where my day bus tour stopped, now that you mention it.

As for the cost difference between going to MEX and BJX, I imagine it's a little cheaper to go to MEX and take the bus, and then a taxi, but not a whole lot, and you'll need a taxi to get to the North bus station in the DF from the airport.

Mexican buses aren't that expensive but I think the extra cost to go to BJX would be less than $115. But you are also paying by your time as the bus takes 5 hrs and you need to get to that station in Mexico City. Those buses cost around 600 pesos or US$32. I'm sure the 2 taxi fares won't amount to about $80, but will be at least $50. I know the taxi from the BJX airport is only about US$35-45. So then you have the taxi from MEX to the norte bus station.
Christina is offline  
Jul 1st, 2016, 02:30 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 962
End of November and much of December can be the coldest time of year to visit San Miguel, and Gto's weather is pretty much the same. The worst is when it rains for 2-3 days in a row. I've seen snow on the Picachos and temps in the low 20's. It's not the norm by any means, however.
Authorized taxis from BJX to Gto centro are $440 mxn.
baldone is offline  
Jul 1st, 2016, 09:31 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,145
440 mxp is quite doable for a taxi.
So back to plan A. We're still going to Gto maybe 4 or 5n
and SMiguel for 2 -3n. We want to take a few bicycle rides outside of SMiguel.
Unfortunately, the plane fares are going up while I try to gather info. We're hoping to go in few weeks.
Now to find lodging.
cybor is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:24 AM.