We are American expatriates living in a town that not many Americans frequent–yet. Guanajuato, Guanajuato (I am not stuttering. It is the city of Guanajuato in the state of Guanajuato) is not your typical American tourist hangout. There are no beaches, there are no fantasy theme parks for the kids, and there are no eco-tours to see the whales. However, if you want a different experience, one that is a little like stepping back into time, and seeing what the “original” Mexico is really like, the city of Guanajuato is just what the doctor ordered.
We make a habit of stopping the “new” gringos who do find their way to Guanajuato and striking up a conversation. I must admit that we have pragmatic motives in doing so. My wife and I are writers and get some of the best material from “newbies” to Guanajuato. Many who have been to Europe comment how Guanajuato reminds them of Spain or Northern Italy. Indeed this is so. You would think that somehow a city from Spain or Italy had been magically transported to Central Mexico.
One morning while taking our breakfast in a local eatery, we met a newbie to Guanajuato. We asked her what she thought a middle-aged, middle-class traveler, like herself, would want to know about Guanajuato. Her response was that she had trouble finding accommodations that appealed to a middle-aged, middle-class person on a moderate budget. Her problem was the available guidebook information appealed to those who would want to spend $150.00-$250.00 USD a night or the backpackers who would be content in a dormitory-style hostel. There was no middle ground information for someone on a moderate budget who did not want to “bunk” with a bunch of young people.
This made perfect sense to us. The truth is she was right. It is hard in Guanajuato to find accommodations that appeal, in both price and ambience, to the middle-aged, moderate-budget traveler. Therefore, with that in mind, here is a list of accommodations my wife and I recommend that just might suit the tastes of the middle-aged, moderate-budget traveler.
(I hope this will encourage you to come see us in Guanajuato. Who knows, we may stop you on the street to see how you like our adopted Mexican home!)
1. Hotel La Casa de Dulcinea, Positos #44, Zona Centro, telephone: 473-732-2406
There are only nine rooms. There is no restaurant or phones in the rooms. There are small rooms with two double beds. Bathrooms (shower only) are inside the rooms and are small. For two people during the “low season”, the cost is $450.00 PESOS. During the high season: $680.00 PESOS.
2. Casa Carcamanes, Plazuela Carcamanes No. 8, Guanajuato, Mexico, telephone: 473-732-5172
There are rooms with baths, shared kitchen, and you can arrange to use the washing machine. Price is $150.00 PESOS per night. They also have apartments for rent. E-mail them for apartment rates at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. La Casa Azul, Calle Carcamanes #57, Colonial Centro, Guanajuato, Mexico. 473-731-2288
Each room has a TV, a dorm-sized refrigerator, shared kitchen and dining room. There is a rooftop terrace for guest use as well as two shared living rooms. You can arrange to have your laundry done for a moderate price. All this costs a mere $150.00 PESOS per night.
**WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PLACE AS THE WAY TO GO!**
4. El Zopilote Mojado, Propietaria: Ana Gleason, Plaza Mexímora 51 & 53, Centro, Guanajuato, Mexico, telephone: 473-732-5311. Web site: www.elzopilotemojado.com
There are two rooms with shared bathroom and one room with its own bath. There is a rooftop terrace with tables and BBQ grill for guest’s use. There is also a small living room. Price: $500.00 PESOS per room, $750.00 PESOS for 2 rooms. Breakfast is an additional $40 pesos per person.
Remember that the prices quoted are in PESOS. To find out the current exchange rates, go to www.xe.com/ucc/.
Also, keep in mind the high and low seasons. This is so subjective that it is best to call or e-mail for their rates. During the month of October, all hotels, regardless of the price, will be booked. This is because of the world-renowned International Cervantino Festival. Be sure to call and book as early as possible regardless of when you plan on coming to Guanajuato. Though still largely “The Undiscovered Country” for American tourists, it is very popular with Mexicans and Europeans.
To find out more on traveling in Mexico go to our web site at, www.zyworld.com/theolog/amazon2/gto.htm and click on the “travel” button on the upper left-hand side of the page.