Guanajuato is the capital of the state that bears its name and is one of Mexico´s most well preserved colonial cities. Rich in both history and culture, Guanajuato became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1988 and is well known for its museums, university, colonial architecture and the hospitality of it´s people. The city also has a tradition of hosting musical, theatrical and dance events such as the Cerventino Festival. Since its inception in 1972, this festival has become the most important artistic and cultural event in both Mexico and Latin America, in addition to , one of four major events of its kind in the world.
One of the most important institutions of higher learning in Mexico is the University of Guanajuato in the city of Guanajuato. It was founded in 1792 by the society of Jesuits and authorized by King Felipe the 5th of Spain. After a series of transformations it eventually became a state university and was finally named the University of Guanajuato in 1945. Today the university has over 30,000 students and 153 academic programs; including 13 doctorates, 39 master´s programs as well as 65 Bachelor´s degrees and does more scientific research than any other institute of higher learning in the state.
Guanajuato is home to several unique museums a few of which are the former home of famous artist Diego Rivera which has been converted into a museum, a museum of mummies, the Cerventino museum and the Alhondiga Museum. During the Mexican war of Independance in 1810, the Alhondiga was converted to a fortress from what had been a warehouse for storing grain by Spanish loyalist who locked themselves inside to fight the Mexican rebels led by Father Hildago. The rebels won the battle when a miner known as El Pipilla crawled to the fortress with a large flat stone on his back for protection and burned down its wooden door. Before the war was over, however, the Spanish recaptured the Alhondiga along with 4 of its revolutionary heroes including Father Hildago, beheaded all four and mounted their heads on stakes at all four corners of the Alhondiga.
Mazatland is one of Mexico´s oldest resort towns on the pacific coast about 750 miles south of the border from Nogales, Arizona. It became on international destination for tourism in the 1950´s and still retains some of that old world charm, affordability and cheap tacos that are hard to find in places like Cancun and Cabo San Lucas.
One of the main attractions in Mazatland, besides the beaches and deep sea fishing, is the centro historic area just inside of Olas Atlas Beach. Here tourist will find sidewalk cafes, the refurbished Angela Peralta theater, art galleries, and the art museum of Mazatland; as well as a 19th century cathedral called the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Other attractions include the beachfront boulevard which runs along the coast for over 10 miles and has a number of interesting seafront sculptures such as the Pacifico monument which pays tribute to the brewery founded here in 1900 by three German immigrants. In addition, tourist will see cliff divers and local fisherman that sell their catch along this beachside road.
Needless to say, there are beaches which offer something for everyone in this resort town known as ¨the Pearl of the Pacific¨. At the south end of Mazatland there is Stone Island which is actually a peninsula with miles of undeveloped beaches that can be explored by atv or horseback. Meanwhile, at the north end of town there is the golden zone where all the new high rise hotels, mega resorts, nightclubs, and restaurants meet the beaches.
Ensenada is a large and growing city of over 350,000 people on the Pacific Coast about one hour´s drive from San Diego, CA. It is the largest seaport in Baja California where most imports and exports are shipped both to and from the United States, Canada and mainland Mexico. In addition to shipping, Ensenada also has a first class cruise ship facility with 3 state of the art cruise ship berths, retails shops, restaurants and crafts markets. Many of these cruise ships come from L.A. and San Diego bringing daytrippers who are gone by night.
One of the main attractions to Ensenada are the local wineries on ruta del vino in Valle Guadelupe where over 90 percent of of Mexican wines are produced in this region. The best wines produced in this region are red varietals made from zinfindel, merlot, pinot noir, petit syrah and cabernet sauvigon. Two of the largest and most prominent of wineries shown here are LA Chetto and Santo Tomas.
There are many special events in the Ensenada area such as the annual Newport to Ensenada yacht race, the annual bicycle road race from Rosarito to Ensenada, the Mardi Gras carnival, and the Estero Beach Volleyball tournament. However, the most popular and well known events in the Ensenada area are the Baja 500 off road race in June and the Baja 1000 off road race in mid November. These events feature separate categories for a variety of motorcycles, trucks, and cars. The most sophisticated of these off road vechicles are the trophy trucks which can cost several hundred thousand dollars to build and have up to 800 horsepower.
Los Cabos is located at the southern most tip of Baja California Sur where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez. The Cabos area is anchored by San Jose Del Cabo to the east and Cabo San Lucas to the west with about 30 miles of beach, golf courses, hotels and condominiums in between. There are recreational opportunities here to plealse just about everyone including golf, big game fishing, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, atv adventure tours, and kayaking, As well as, luxury spas and upscale nightclubs that stay open to dawn.
Cabo San Lucas is known to be a contemporary high end resort with a lot of vitality and a world class marina that features over 380 slips which can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet, along with high quality services and amenities only found at luxury yachting marina´s. San Jose Del Cabo, on the other hand, is more of a traditional mexican village that consist of historical sites such as the renovated Jesuit mission named Iglesia San Jose, an estuary with a variety of colorful birds and wildlife, in addition to, a botanical garden featuring desert flora called Cacti-Mundo.