The extraordinary Unesco World Heritage city of Guanajuato was founded in 1559 due to the region's rich silver and gold deposits. Opulent colonial buildings, stunning tree-filled plazas and brightly colored houses are crammed onto the steep slopes of a ravine. Excellent museums, handsome theaters and a fine marketplace punctuate the cobblestone streets. The city's 'main' roads twist around the hillsides and plunge into tunnels, formerly rivers.
The city is best known internationally for its acclaimed annual international arts festival, the Festival Cervantino. Yet this colorful and lively place holds center stage all year long; much of the youthful vibrancy and prolific cultural activities – callejoneadas, films, theater and orchestras – can be attributed to the 20,000 students of the city's own University of Guanajuato.
The city usually boasts fine weather during the day, but beware of cold and windy nights in the winter.