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By Andrew Day

On my recent Mexico vacation, I decided to check out some smaller cities that are known for their history and charm and wouldn’t be overrun with swarms of tourists.

Guanajuato and Morelia — about two hours northwest of Mexico City — were perfect.

I liked Guanajuato most for its extraordinary location in a picturesque
valley with mountains on all sides. Colorful buildings, ornate colonial
churches and narrow streets wound their way up the mountainsides. It reminded
me of a couple of my favorite places in South America — Valparaiso, Chile, and
Ouro Preto, Brazil –- both in appearance, and as places that had historically
vital industry and were at one point incredibly wealthy.

Both Guanajuato and Morelia are lively university towns, with plenty of cafes and good
restaurants. The atmosphere is very relaxed and comfortable -– parents strolled
with their children, chatty students ran around in their cliques, and folkloric
musicians played for tips in the central plazas.
I had the blind luck of visiting during the Cervantino Festival in Guanajuato and
the annual film festival in Morelia.

Getting around by bus is easy, and the buses are clean and comfortable. It helps to speak some Spanish, as much less English is spoken in these smaller towns.

Here are a few photos:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Related Orbitz resources:

Andrew Day, Associate Creative Director at Orbitz, lives by the motto "Go
places and eat things." He has traveled extensively and is planning a six-week
backpacking trip around India this winter.

Tagged: Mexico, Photo essay

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