Discover northern and central Mexico’s splendid colonial cities, and explore historic centres filled with ornate churches and mansions, shady squares and courtyards, each with a distinct character. Stay in charming character hotels or luxurious colonial properties to become fully immersed in local culture.
To the north-west of Mexico City lie Querétaro, which played a key role in Mexico’s history, the artists’ town of San Miguel de Allende, and the former silver-mining towns of Guanajuato and Zacatecas. Explore rose-tinted Morelia, with its grand colonial buildings, and the indigenous communities of picturesque lakeside Pátzcuaro. Meanwhile, Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, offers fine museums and galleries, good restaurants and is the heartland of mariachi music and tequila, a contrast to the tranquil and charming city of Colima and the verdant volcanic scenery of its surrounding areas.
Explore Northern Colonial Cities
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Places to Visit
The pleasant small city of Colima is capital of the little state of the same name and the area was home to the pre-Hispanic Chimalhuacan confederation of indigenous tribes. One of the first towns to be founded by the invading Spanish in the 15th century, Colima is surrounded by mountains and lies on a fertile plain, just 30 kilometres from the volcano 'Fuego de Colima'. There are a number of interesting museums, as well as Santa Iglesia cathedral
Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and has the reputation as the country’s most Mexican city. Numerous traditions started here, such as mariachi music, sombreros and tequila. The city offers fine museums and galleries, good restaurants and vibrant nightlife
Guanajuato was founded in 1559 when its silver and gold mines were amongst the richest in the world. This led to an unusual and interesting topography whereby the city clings to the side of a ravine with tunnels acting as streets. Many colonial buildings remain and its narrow cobbled streets resound with a vibrancy and cultural life that is an enticing to the visitor as its exotic setting
Morelia is a lively university town founded in 1541 when families of Spanish nobility were encouraged to move to the area. The historic centre was laid out on a grid pattern with buildings constructed of warm pink stone. The local government has worked hard to maintain its original character and the town still has a very Spanish feel to it. The town has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a charming colonial town on a hillside setting with beautiful buildings and narrow cobbled streets. The town has a thriving artistic community and throughout the year a number of colourful Mexican festivals are held. The entire town has been declared a National Monument by the Mexican government in order to protect it
The former mining town of was founded in 1546 after the discovery of silver.During its height in the 16th and 17th centuries the town rivalled the economic influence of Mexico City. Zacatecas is built in a deep, narrow ravine with winding streets climbing the steep hillsides. The colonial centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and preserves elaborately decorated buildings, old palaces and mansions, cobblestoned streets and colonial fountains
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