Casa Jade is our new addition to Shades of Jade in Guanajuato Mexico!
We fell head over heals in love with Guanajuato City the first time we visited in 2016. After our 3rd visit in 2019 we decided to purchase a house and create Casa Jade, our Mexican extension to Shades of Jade. A brief description is hard to do but here’s an attempt: ‘A charming city , where you feel welcomed and safe with quaint cafes and galleries, live music and history everywhere and cobble stone streets that never follow a grid system.’ We hope you get a chance to visit and explore this amazing city!
Frist of all: no, there are no beaches; Casa Jade is in central Mexico at an elevation of over 2,000 meters above sea level- equivalent to Whistler Summit. It’s a 1 hour flight northwest of Mexico City, and about an hour drive west of San Miguel de Allende.
The city is full of stairs (warning – exercise alert!) and pedestrian only paths. Much of the vehicle traffic is diverted to underground tunnels. The charming cobble stone streets that wrap around the town are a beautiful way to explore. The town is in a valley with the centro being at the base, and the residential area sweeping up from there. Walking through town you’ll find flower stalls, food vendors, artist stands, street performers, live mariachi bands, troubadour musical tours (callejoneadas) and so much more. Taxis cannot access every part of this city so bring your walking shoes and be ready to beat your best steps count yet!
Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with rich history and culture, a population of just over 150,000. The people are extremely friendly and welcoming. Not all speak English, the locals love it if you try to speak Spanish, unlike some tourist towns where they simply reply in English. People from all over the world come here to learn Spanish at the many language schools around town. There is an incredible University in the heart of the city to over 30,000 students, hosting many events including the famous Festival Internacional Cervantino of performing arts.
Narrow streets filled with colour and cafes -you could be in Europe. One famous alley is the Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss). Located on the slopes of the Cerro del Gallo hill in a neighborhood that dates back to the 18th century, it is only 168 cm wide with balconies that nearly touch each other. The churches and theatres are jaw dropping gorgeous. The detail inside and out of the Teatro Juarez is out of this world magnificent.
Mines of silver started by the Spanish in the 1500s were so rich that the city was one of the most influential during the colonial period. One of the mines, La Valenciana, accounted for two-thirds of the world's silver production in it’s time. You can even take a tour of the mine and see the stunning church built beside it.
There is so much history here. Even for those of us who aren’t history buffs (like myself) you can’t help but be incredibly impressed by it all. For example- the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence started here at the Alhondiga de Granaditas which is quite an amazing place to visit. You can also hike up to the statue of Pipila; the unlikely miner who became a hero and see the vast views of the city from above. You can also walk through Diego Rivera’s childhood house, see some of his originals as well as other artists on display.
Oh I haven’t even mentioned the restaurants or the galleries yet! SO much to see, do and explore!