Are you traveling to Guanajuato at some point soon, or thinking about visiting on a day trip from San Miguel de Allende? Well it’s not so easy to find tours in English, but I’ve got you covered on that. Read on for Guanajuato Mexico tours that you can pick from, all reasonably priced thanks to a strong dollar and a weak peso right now.
Guanajuato City may be hard to say and not so easy to find on a map, but it’s no mystery to Mexicans. This is a popular city to visit for them. It’s where the first battle for independence took place and hey, there’s a museum full of mummies! So there are usually lots of tourists around snapping photos.
You won’t hear a lot of English spoken in my adopted home town though, including in restaurants and bars. For me that was part of the appeal in moving here, but it also keeps prices low since there aren’t all that many foreigners throwing money around indiscriminately. This is a college town too, so bars tend to price what their selling for broke university kids. Who’s up for a bucket of $1 beers?
Street Food Tours in Guanajuato City
When I moved here the second time, I got tired of visitors asking me where to sign up for a good walking tour or food tour. There just plain weren’t any Guanajuato tours in English. So I took things into my own hands and launched a Guanajuato street food tour.
A few people signed up, then a few more, then I started running one or two a week. It was nice to get out of the home office and meet new people, but eventually I hired a guide to help. Then another. Then two more. I’ve bowed out of guiding the tours myself now since I moved away for a while and I’m on the road a good bit, but I’ve got four terrific guides who are bilingual. As I write this, we’re about to break 100 reviews on Tripadvisor!
The idea was simple and we’ve stuck with it. We start at one end of the historic center and walk to the other, with a trip up to the Pipila statue overlook in a funicular and back down by alleyway steps with houses along them. We eat, we talk about history, we eat some more, and we walk a lot.
Along the way people learn about Guanajuato’s centuries of history, the food regular people eat here, and a bit about Mexican culture. What we eat can vary, but we stop at the places we know are good from experience. We usually try some combination of baked goods, fresh juice, gorditas, tamales, sopes, and carnitas or tacos al pastor. We usually finish up with some ice cream. See more details here on this Mexican street food tour.
Want to get a real feel for what it’s like? When my blogger friends Gianni and Ivanka were in town (on a rare rainy day), they condensed more than three hours into about 15 minutes for you.
“But Tim, we want to go out at night,” I kept hearing, so we added a night tour. It was driven by some parallel reasons. Often visitors are afraid to eat at street food stalls because they’re not sure which ones are safe (most are), what to order, how to order, and what’s going to actually end up on their plate. We ease them through it and then they can go confidently out on their own.
With the bars, there are some of the same fears. Frankly most of the bars look kind of dodgy in this college town, so it can be a little intimidating to just waltz into one at random. Also, you can’t really even belly up to the bar most places in Mexico. You sit at a table and order.
So we go out for a few hours and do a rundown of Mexican drinks in different bars: pulque, mezcal, tequila, a michelada, and maybe a Mexican beer too for good measure. We try the whole spectrum, included in the price.
Some people have sensitive stomachs, or they’re watching what they eat, or have a lot of food issues or allergies. One couple I took out in the early days cut the tour off early by saying, “We don’t really like Mexican food.” Well okay then!
So my original first guide and I started Guanajuato Walking Tours for people who just wanted to explore the city and get a deep dive into the history. This is a very pedestrian-focused city where most of the traffic goes through tunnels, so it’s easy to walk nearly everywhere you need to go. See info on that here: GTO Walking Tours.
There’s one more version to choose from. We also do a premium tour that is about four hours instead of three and it includes admission to a couple notable museums. Not the mummy one—that’s too far away—but several others that are small enough to manage in a short time but are memorable. You can to choose which ones to pop into.
Other Guanajuato Mexico Tours
I was the pioneer here starting all this up, but Airbnb has democratized the tour process a bit and made it easier. So now there a lot more Guanajuato Mexico tours that are not just in Spanish. We still run the best walking tours for sure, but now you can also sign up for a pottery class, a cooking class, or a mountain bike ride, for instance. Follow this Airbnb Experiences link to see what else is out there.
One last thing to remember: Guanajuato is the name of this city, but it’s also the name of the state, the same state that San Miguel de Allende and Leon are in. So if you tell a Mexican you’re coming here, you might have to repeat yourself. “I’m going to Guanajuato Guanajuato.” Or “la ciudad de Guanajuato.”
No matter how you say it, you’re in for a treat if you take a Guanajuato Mexico tour!