Lonely Planet Writer

Couples flock to Mexico's Alley of the Kiss for lovers' luck

A town in Mexico has become a popular pilgrimage site for lovers since a legendary story says that kissing in one of its alleyways brings good luck.

Callejon del Beso in Guanajuato, Mexico
Callejon del Beso in Guanajuato, Mexico Image by Bradley Olin

Every year the town of Guanajuato sees droves of couples visit its charming higgledy piggledy alleyways, after the legend of tragic lovers Carlos and Ana made this the place to go for good luck and love. The couples come to visit Callejon del Beso, or the Alley of the Kiss, in Plaza de Los Ángeles.

The tiny alleyway is so narrow that two balconies on either side almost touch. Legend has it that star-crossed lovers Carlos and Ana would meet in secret at this balcony and kiss. Ana was rich and Carlos was only a poor miner. The lovers met like this until one day they were discovered by Ana’s father who said he’d kill his daughter if he caught them embraced again. The very next day Carlos and Ana met again at their balconies, and as they pulled away from their embrace, Ana’s father put a dagger into his daughter’s side. Legend has it that Carlos reached across the balcony to save his lover, but fell and broke his neck on the third step of the alleyway.

Overview of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church, Guanajuato
Overview of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church, Guanajuato Image by Justin Foulkes

That step is now painted red, and it is here that travellers come and queue to have their moment on the famous red step. Kissing here is said to bring 15 years of good luck, so people come in their droves.

It helps too, that Guanajuato features opulent Colonial architecture and cobbled alleyways that make it a Unesco World Heritage site and an idyllic place for a pilgrimage for love.

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