How to get from Leon to Guanajuato

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November 29, 2023
9 min read

Overview of the journey from Leon to Guanajuato

Welcome, fellow travelers! Today, we will be discussing an adventure through the heart of central Mexico as we explore the journey from Leon to Guanajuato. This picturesque route takes us through historic towns, breathtaking landscapes, and iconic landmarks that will leave you in awe.

So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for an unforgettable experience! The journey from Leon to Guanajuato spans approximately 57 kilometers (28 miles) and can be accomplished in various ways.

As we traverse this path, you'll discover charming cobblestone streets lined with colorful colonial buildings and encounter friendly locals eager to share their rich history with open arms.

Distance from the bus station to downtown Guanajuato

Transportation options from Leon to Guanajuato

Taking a Bus to Guanajuato from Leon

So now the big question is which mode of transportation is there to Guanajuato. Don’t worry, I will guide you through your options for picking out the best way to get there. You really have 3 choices available.

First up, there is the trusty bus system. Buses in Mexico are renowned for their efficiency and affordability, making it a popular choice among budget-conscious travelers. Companies like ETN and Primera Plus offer comfortable buses that will shuttle you to Guanajuato in no time. It takes about 2 hours to get there from Leon. With amenities like air conditioning and reclining seats, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenic views along the way. 

Just remember that once you arrive, the central bus station of Guanajuato is located about 20 minutes south of the city and you will need to catch a local bus or taxi to get the rest of the way into the city.

Rent a Car to Guanajuato

On the other hand, if you're someone who values flexibility and independence in their travels, renting a car might be more up your alley (pun intended!). Having your own wheels allows you to set your own pace and explore hidden gems (or pick flowers) along the route at your leisure. 

Plus, with stunning landscapes awaiting at every turn of Sierra de Guanajuato's winding roads, having control over where and when to stop for those Instagram-worthy moments is an undeniable advantage.

Catch a Blablacar to Guanajuato

Don't forget about the option of reserving a spot in BlaBlaCar for your trip to Guanajuato. It’s something like booking an Uber but for longer distances. You can book a seat with a driver that plans to travel from Leon to Guanajuato (direction). 

While not an option in the USA, it is a practical and effective mode of transportation. If you’d like to read more, we’ve put together a guide to Blablacar for you.

This app is great and it provides a multitude of advantages for individuals in search of convenient and budget-friendly travel. Take into account the following factors when utilizing BlaBlaCar for your journey:

Cost Savings: BlaBlaCar rideshares often cost less than traditional modes of transportation like buses or trains. By sharing the cost of fuel and tolls with the driver and other passengers, you can save money on your journey to Aguascalientes. 

Convenience: With BlaBlaCar, you can easily find rides that match your preferred departure time and route. This level of flexibility is particularly useful when planning your visit to Aguascalientes, allowing you to choose a ride that perfectly fits your schedule.

Booking Process: The BlaBlaCar app or website makes it easy to browse available rides, view driver profiles, and book your seat in advance. You'll receive all the necessary details, including pickup location, route, and time.

Picking wildflowers along the way

Through Mountains and Valleys: The Scenic Route

As you traverse from Leon to Guanajuato by either bus or car, be prepared to feast your eyes upon some of nature's most breathtaking wonders along the way - courtesy of Sierra de Guanajuato. 

Imagine driving through lush valleys adorned with vibrant wildflowers that dance with each gust of wind. As you ascend higher into the mountainsides be prepared for some beautiful vistas that seem straight out of a postcard.

If you do decide to go by car, please be sure to download the route on the map app that you are using and make sure it’s running when you have service. Service can be spotty at times when traveling through the Mexican countryside. The last thing you need is no service when trying to gather your directions.

Whether you go by car or a bus ride, one thing is for certain - this scenic journey will leave you inspired to explore more, making the trip from Leon to Guanajuato an adventure worth relishing. So buckle up and get ready to immerse yourself in Mexico's natural beauty as you make your way towards Guanajuato!

Discovering Guanajuato's Charm

Introduction to Guanajuato's UNESCO World Heritage Status and Rich History

Guanajuato, a picturesque city located in the heart of Mexico, holds a prestigious title as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This recognition is well-deserved, as Guanajuato boasts a rich history that dates back to colonial times. Stepping into this enchanting city feels like stepping into a time capsule, where the cobblestone streets and colonial architecture transport you to another era.

You cannot help but be captivated by the grandeur of Teatro Juarez, one of Guanajuato's most iconic landmarks. This architectural masterpiece showcases an exquisite blend of neoclassical and art nouveau styles.

As you enter the theater, your senses are immediately awakened by its opulent interiors adorned with stunning frescoes and intricate details. Attending a performance here is an experience like no other – whether it's an opera, ballet, or concert – as the acoustics are unparalleled and the atmosphere is electric.

Exploring Iconic Landmarks like Teatro Juarez and Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss)

Aside from Teatro Juarez, another must-visit landmark in Guanajuato is Callejon del Beso or Alley of the Kiss. This narrow alleyway holds an intriguing romantic legend that draws countless visitors each year. According to local lore, couples who stand on opposite balconies on either side of this alley can share a passionate kiss while being suspended over it.

The gap between their lips must align perfectly for their love to endure forever. Whether you believe in such tales or not, wandering through this quaint alley evokes feelings of romance and nostalgia.

But Guanajuato has more than just these two landmarks; it overflows with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Take a stroll through the colorful streets and stumble upon charming plazas, quaint cafes, and hidden courtyards.

Explore the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the city, remnants of its mining past, which now serve as unique pathways for pedestrians. Every corner you turn in Guanajuato reveals a new enchanting sight – a picturesque church, an art gallery showcasing local talent, or a vibrant market bursting with traditional crafts and delicacies.

In Guanajuato, history comes alive through its magnificent architecture and intriguing stories that echo through its streets. An exploration of this UNESCO World Heritage site promises an unforgettable journey into the heart and soul of Mexican culture.

Local transportation in Guanajuato

Explore with options

Guanajuato, with its charming narrow streets and enchanting alleys, is best explored on foot. Walking through the city allows you to fully immerse yourself in its vibrant atmosphere. As you meander through the cobblestone streets, you'll stumble upon colorful colonial buildings adorned with beautiful ornate facades.

The pedestrian-friendly layout of Guanajuato's historic center makes it easy to navigate on foot and ensures that you won't miss any of its architectural wonders or bustling plazas. If walking isn't your cup of tea or if you want to cover more ground, Guanajuato offers an efficient and inexpensive public transportation system.

Local buses run regularly throughout the city, offering convenient routes to various neighborhoods and attractions. Hop on a bus like a true local, sit back, relax, and enjoy the lively atmosphere as you make your way from one part of the city to another.

Pedestrian-friendly layout 

Guanajuato's historic center is a haven for pedestrians. The absence of cars in most parts allows you to leisurely stroll through the enchanting streets without worrying about traffic or a lot of noise pollution.

This unique characteristic creates a tranquil ambiance that invites exploration at your own pace. I loved being able to walk about downtown without the need to look out for cars. You can stroll at your own pace and take in all the scenery.

Streets of San Miguel de Allende at night

Excursions from Guanajuato

Day trips to nearby attractions

Guanajuato, with its rich history and cultural heritage, serves as the perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas. If you're looking to add more adventure to your trip, consider taking a day trip to nearby attractions such as San Miguel de Allende or Dolores Hidalgo. San Miguel de Allende is a charming colonial town located just an hour and a half away from Guanajuato.

With its cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and stunning architecture, this town has become a haven for artists and creatives seeking inspiration. It’s constantly voted as one of the best cities in the world. Spend your day meandering through the picturesque alleys, visiting art galleries, or savoring traditional Mexican cuisine in one of the cozy restaurants.

Don't miss out on exploring Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the iconic pink church that has become a symbol of the town's beauty. 

Dolores Hidalgo

Another fantastic option for a day trip is Dolores Hidalgo, a small town famous for its pivotal role in Mexico's independence movement.

Known as the "Cradle of Independence," this historic town is where Father Miguel Hidalgo made his famous cry for freedom in 1810. Immerse yourself in history by visiting El Grito Museum and Casa Hidalgo, where you can learn more about Mexico's struggle for independence.

Additionally, Dolores Hidalgo is renowned for its ceramics and Talavera pottery production. Take some time to explore the local shops and perhaps even try your hand at painting your own ceramic piece as a unique souvenir of your trip.

Transportation options for these excursions

When it comes to planning your excursions from Guanajuato to destinations like San Miguel de Allende or Dolores Hidalgo, you have a few transportation options to get there. One convenient way to reach these towns is by taking a local bus.

Guanajuato has a well-connected bus station where you can catch comfortable and affordable rides. Buses typically run at regular intervals throughout the day, providing flexibility for your day trip plans.

Remember to check the schedule in advance and arrive at the bus station on time to secure your seat. The main bus station is about 20 minutes south of the city, so you will need to take a taxi to get there. 

Renting a car is another viable option. There are several car rental agencies available in Guanajuato, allowing you to explore at your own pace and make impromptu stops along the way. 

Tips for an Enjoyable Trip

Comfortable Footwear for Walking on Cobblestone Streets

While the cobblestones add to the unique beauty of these destinations, they can be a bit tricky to navigate if you're not wearing the right footwear. So, here's a valuable tip: pack your most comfortable pair of walking shoes!

Sneakers or low-heeled shoes with slip-resistant soles are ideal choices. Avoid high heels or flimsy sandals that may cause discomfort or make it difficult to maintain your balance on uneven surfaces.


Summarizing the Journey

The journey from Leon to Guanajuato offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Starting in Leon, you can immerse yourself in the city's rich colonial heritage by visiting landmarks like the Basilica Cathedral and Expiatory Temple.

The transportation options from Leon to Guanajuato, whether by bus or car, provide an opportunity to soak in the picturesque landscapes of Sierra de Guanajuato. Once you arrive in Guanajuato, you'll be captivated by its UNESCO World Heritage status and colonial charm.

Exploring iconic landmarks such as Teatro Juarez and Callejon del Beso (Alley of the Kiss) will transport you back in time to a bygone era. Getting around Guanajuato is a breeze with its pedestrian-friendly layout, perfect for leisurely strolls through its vibrant streets.

So pack your bags with comfortable shoes for walking on cobblestone streets and get ready for an unforgettable trip filled with warm hospitality and breathtaking sights. Safe travels!


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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