while most people think of beach and sun for a February trip to Mexico, we normally go skiing and look for snow.  so this year with both Chetna and I injured we looked for something off-the-beaten path.

Guanajuato is not completely unknown.  it shows up as the #1 one place “not to miss” in the most recent edition of the Rough Guide to Mexico.  it is a quaint colonial town oozing with history around every corner: the independence struggle started there, Diego Rivera’s house is there, etc.

photo album of Guanajuato

Guanajuato – Feb 2014

still, it is a bit tricky to get there.  we flew to Mexico City (known by most as DF – Distrito Federal) and rented a car and drove 4 hours north.  the roads are reasonably safe and well maintained so there was really no problems.

surprisingly, one of the food highlights of the trips was in our hotel itself, Hotel Antiguo Vapor. we enjoyed a hearty Mexican breakfast most mornings with plenty of fresh fruit and homemade bread and pastries.

in fact we had the chef at the hotel, Jose, give us a few cooking classes. one afternoon we learned to make a proper mole negro (from Oaxaca) along with red and green chile salsa. another morning the girls woke up early (630a) to make bread for the hotel that day.

photo album of cooking lessons

Cooking classes in Mexico – Feb 2014

other food highlights included

  • Casa Valadez, on the main square which had really good steak as well as a good selection of tequila that is served properly with sangrita (a spicy tomato-celery based chaser)
  • a fun mezcaleria on la plaza San Fernando called La inundación de 1905.  Aryana and i sat here for a while sipping and tasting various new varieties.  she was grossed out by the fried grasshoppers that they serve as an accompaniment.  good place for people watching.
  • Los Campos, really fine dining at very reasonable prices.  a canadian/mexican couple has done a really good job with mixing fresh seasonal ingredients and traditional flavors.  we eat here twice during our stay.
  • a fantastic vegetarian ranch lunch after a morning horseback ride with Leisurely Country Horseback Riding near San Miguel de Allende.

aside from good food, Guanajuato has a thriving art culture.  there are lots of small galleries with works of local artist.  El Pinche Grabador was my favorite.  given my fondness for mezcal i brought this one back.



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