Vibrant colors, authentic food, rich history and a tunnel system that rivals the catacombs of France, Guanajuato, Mexico is giving travelers a south-of-the-border sensory experience like no other.
The LGBTQ+ community is pretty apprehensive when it comes to traveling outside of their comfort zone whether it be in their own city or somewhere outside their state. So when it comes to international travel, that fear can be stifling. However, with the right attitude and sense of adventure, travelers can find an abundance of gay-friendly destinations; they just have to know where to look.
Located almost in the middle of Mexico --- about 250 miles northwest of Mexico City --- Guanajuato has become a destination known for its magical charm and hypnotic color-blocked rolling landscape. With over 500 years of history, the culture has had time to simmer in its eclectic juices, becoming one of the most visited states in the country.
Guanajuato is also a polished gem in the "Pueblos Magicos" initiative created by Mexico's Ministry of Tourism. Literally translated as "Magic Towns," there are 132 in Mexico; Guanajuato contains six.
With all of its beauty hiding in plain sight, you will have to delve into many of its cities to experience the sounds, flavors and vibrant artworks that make up so many of its energetic nuances.
For LGBTQ+ people the state's proclamation, “Somas Capital Incluyente,” is a comforting sign. It translates to: “We are the inclusive capital.” And by the looks of it, the sentiment is pretty accurate.
Guanajuato's Secretary of Tourism listed all six of their "Pueblos Magicos" with a brief description of what each town has to offer:
Dolores Hidalgo: This “Pueblo Magico” is nothing less than the home of Mexican Independence, it was the place where the priest Don Miguel Hidalgo called out the independence movement “Grito de Dolores” on September 16th, 1810.
Mineral de Pozos: A village like no other. First, because it is desert, a magical place, and they even call it the Ghost Town, but not because it is empty, but because it is full of legends and stories that make it a mystical and exciting destination.
Yuriria: The name of this Magical Town comes from Lake Yuririapúndaro or Lake of Blood. Its wealth and tourist attraction is mainly the amount of churches, parishes and convents in the city and the architecture and covers of the constructions are super colorful.
Salvatierra: This Magical Town has a religious past that shows in the present, well-drawn and clean style. The “haciendas” and the churches are what this is all about, and there are some that have been well-preserved over time in a way that makes it seem like a trip back in time.
Jalpa de Canovas: This “Pueblo Mágico” has a reputation for being a fertile land and a great producer of grains. It is well known also for the beautiful church of the “Señor de la Misericordia” made of red bricks, an aqueduct and the hulls of enormous “haciendas."
Comonfort: One of the “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magic Towns) of Guanajuato, this is the one that entered the list more recently and is known for its gastronomy, as well as for having beautiful parishes to visit, two archaeological zones, vineyards, the School of Arts, formerly a railroad station.
If you are an LGBTQ+ traveler who wants to go back in time to places where narrow allies contain balconies that almost kiss each other above your head. Or the smell of fresh tortillas riding the gentle breeze through cobblestoned courtyards, the diverse Guanajuato might be an adventure worth taking.
For more information on the state of Guanajuato, click HERE.