Below you will find specific and common information on how travel to Guanajuato, types of accommodations, getting around town, currency and communications. Please make sure you are familiar with what you need to enter Mexico from the Mexican Customs Office.
Quick Note: There are basically two options for location of accommodations: in the colonial center of town, or outside of town in the surrounding hills. They both have advantages. Many of the larger hotels are outside El Centro. Some have pools, other have views, and some are located in old haciendas or mansions. Most of the "in-town" hotels are smaller and adapt to thier historical buildings making for a unique experience.
From the airport, taxis ($20 range) are available to Guanajuato. Most major rental car companies have airport counters.
|| By Air
Guanajuato does not have an international airport. Flights arrive at Bajío International Airport (MID) in León daily. The airport is
25 miles (40 kms.) northwest of the city. The airport is modern and has several shops, restaurants, bars, and rental car agencies.
Guanajuato can be reached by driving from Mexico City (5 hours) on Hwy. 57 to Queretaro, then Hwy. 45 to Guanajuato.
If you do drive your vehicle to Guanajuato, you must have Mexican auto
insurance, it's the law. Please look under the Travel &
Lodging directory for a list of companies.
The first and second class bus terminal can be found 3 Km. west of "El Centro" which also happens to be the name of the bus that will take you downtown. To return to the bus station, take the bus marked "Central de Autobuses" from Plaza de la Paz. Bus fare is minimal. You can also take a taxi either way. Price is in the 20 peso range.
The Peso presently values between 9-9.5 Pesos to 1 US dollar. Banks
generally have the best exchange rates & open at 9am (M-F), make
sure you check what hours they do money exchanges. Lines may be
longer at banks, but rates are probably a little better than exchange houses.
Money exchange houses or Casa de Cambios are found in Merida and will exchange money throughout the day and into the early evening. Check with your hotel also as they may exchange money. Both are probably more convenient than the bank.
Some of the larger establishments will readily accept US currency. The issue in that case will be the exchange rate that they offer; it is advisable to ask first in order to avoid any disappointments. Many businesses will not be able to make change for anything higher than a $20 U.S. dollars so it is a good idea to carry small bills with you, or pesos. Most businesses outside of Merida will not accept foreign currency.
Credit Cards are accepted by most of the hotels, with
some or no surcharge, but not all of them. ATM's are found throughout town and can be used to secure funds, although it will be in Pesos. This is one of the easier ways to travel, although there will be a small fee attached to your withdrawal. While you are planning your trip, make sure that you carry - or have access to, enough cash or traveler's checks.
Time & Pace
Guanajuato is in the Central Time Zone and does observe daylight savings
time. Businesses are open throughout the day. Since Guanajuato doesn't really have slow season (except in the hottest months of July-August), the traditional siesta isn't usually observed except in some of the small towns outside the capital. Siesta or the mid-day break is a
tradition that reflects not only the necessity of avoiding heat-related
fatigue, but is also a traditional time to spend with family, eat the meal of the day and recharge the batteries so to speak.
You can call (direct dialing) and fax to anywhere in the world from
Guanajuato, using the facilities at your hotel or at Larga Distancia office. You can purchase prepaid phone cards throughout town. Internet access is available throughout Guanajuato's center in "cyber cafes", some hotels may offer the service.