Guanajuato Travel Guide

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Guanajuato Museums

Safe Mexico Travel Tips For the Super Paranoid

Part 3: Visiting Small Towns like Guanajuato

Mexico is a great place to visit. With pristine beaches, majestic canyons, desert landscapes, ancient archeological ruins, charming colonial cities, scrumptious local cuisine, and a fascinating people, Mexico is sure to appeal to the nature enthusiast, the art and history fanatic, the food lover, and anyone else bitten by the travel bug. Despite compelling reasons to visit and its convenient location just below the border, many Americans put-off plans for visiting Mexico for security concerns. Mexico's reputation has been damaged by negative publicity from sensationalized news about drug-related criminality.

Like every other country (including the USA and Canada,) Mexico does have its share of crimes and violence. But what is not correctly reported is that these drug-related incidents are isolated to a few areas close to the border, like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. These crimes are attacks between drug organizations, and do not target visitors. In fact, ninety-five percent of Mexico is as safe as ninety-five percent of the US or Canada. Each year, Mexico is host to over 20 million visitors, and the number of visitors who are victims of crimes is statistically insignificant. David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute of the University of San Diego, likens the chances of getting kidnapped or killed while traveling in Mexico to the odds of being struck by lightning. Nevertheless, like any travel destination around the world, there are petty criminals in Mexico that will take advantage of unsuspecting visitors.

In general, the more crowded tourist areas attract more petty criminals. For a safe yet enjoyable trip to Mexico, you should visit less crowded destinations such as the quaint colonial cities located in the central heartland. Visiting these off-the-beaten-track locations allows the visitor to experience authentic Mexico at its heart. One of the most romantic colonial cities in Mexico is Guanajuato. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Guanajuato boasts of one of the best-preserved colonial architecture areas in Mexico. Starting as a silver mining camp, this city was transformed into a majestic residence of aristocrats during the Spanish occupation. With grand cathedrals, baroque buildings, sprawling haciendas, stately mansions, colorful houses, elegant courtyards, underground tunnels, pedestrian alleyways, and cobblestone streets, Guanajuato is very reminiscent of old Europe. With picturesque scenery, aromatic scents from street cafes, and energetic music from mariachi bands, Guanajuato is truly a feast for the senses. It is also a university town, so Guanajuato has a large population of students and artists who give the city a uniquely youthful character.

A trip to Guanajuato will be an unforgettable and pleasurable experience. While this city is generally safe, some planning, prudent behavior, and a dose of common sense will keep you healthy and safe throughout your stay. Below are some tips that all visitors are encouraged to heed while staying in a small city like Guanajuato:

Whenever you are traveling, safety must be a top priority. While relaxing on vacation, many people tend to overindulge and become negligent. To be safe, you must be able to learn to unwind while being alert and careful at the same time.

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