Guanajuato, the capital city of the state of the same name, is a beautifully preserved Colonial city nestled in Mexico's highlands. The town is a picturesque maze of narrow cobblestone alleyways, underground passageways, picturesque plazas and well-preserved Colonial buildings, (where opposing balconies are so close as to allow people to touch hands over the street!). Along with its rich history and culture, there are world-class meeting venues in Guanajuato that can host memorable conventions, conferences, incentive trips and cultural events.
Guanajuato is located 230 miles northwest of Mexico City and is easily accessible by land, or by air via the Guanajuato International Airport (BJX), located 15 miles away. The Del Bajio international airport has direct flights to and from Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Montreal as well as several national destinations. Major bus companies, including Estrella Blanca, Flecha Amarilla, Primera Plus and ETN service the city's bus station, located 15 minutes from downtown.
The city's largest meeting space is the Guanajuato Convention Center, which offers 19,660 square feet of events space, the largest room capable of hosting events of up to 2,000 participants. The convention center also has banquet services for up to 1,400 people, 300 parking spaces and a cafeteria.
Hotel venues in Guanajuato account for 2,000 rooms in 45 meetings-friendly properties. The 193-room Hotel Mision Guanajuato has 6 event rooms that can accommodate anywhere between 10 and 1,000 people. The hotel includes a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool and a tennis court, as well as 6,456 square feet of event space, 5,918 square feet of exhibition space and 100 parking spaces.
Meeting planners interested in Guanajuato should also consider meeting space in nearby Leon, with its state-of-the-art, Poliforum Leon Convention Center.
Due to the large quantities of gold and silver found in the nearby mountains, Guanajuato began as a small mining outpost in the 16th century and grew to become Mexico's wealthiest city two centuries later. The city is considered the cultural capital of Mexico's Bajio region, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Although Guanajuato does not have a traditional Colonial plaza, the Jardin de la Union and the Plaza de La Paz, among others, are favorite gathering spots, and give visitors the chance to observe the city's exquisite Colonial architecture (such as the Teatro Juarez and the San Diego Church). The city has a number of museums; the most popular being the mummy museum, which houses a collection of well-preserved corpses. Given Guanajuato's location at in the middle of a canyon, the surrounding area holds vestiges of its mining past, including haciendas and old mines.