Overview

Northwest of Mexico City lie ranges of gnarled, humpy but starkly beautiful hills. Here, and in the bountiful valleys of the Bajío, Spanish colonists built fortunes from the mining of precious metals, especially silver. Prosperous towns sprang up which share a heritage of baroque churches, leafy squares and pastel-washed houses. Each has its own character: the university town Guanajuato, 2,000m, built in a narrow gorge, is a centre for music, theatre and dance, while the homely yet international little town of San Miguel de Allende, 1,900m, is a magnet for artists. Morelia, 1,920m, shows off some of the grandest monumental colonial architecture, and Querétaro, 1,820m, is renowned for its impressive colonial aqueduct.

Just an hour's drive south of Mexico City is Puebla, 2,135m, a large city with an imposing colonial core reflecting its importance as a trading post during the era of the Spanish Empire. It's a great base for visits to the indigenous towns of Cholula and Tlaxcala.

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Where to go when - our guide to Colonial and silver towns

San Miguel de Allende

The weather in Colonial and silver towns is wide and varied

These former silver mining towns are set among starkly beautiful hills, which share a heritage of baroque churches, leafy squares and pastel-washed houses. The area enjoys a pleasant sunny climate year round, with the most rain falling between June and September. There are many celebrations throughout the year, including Independence Day in September and the two-week Festival Internacional Cervantes in October.

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    Millie Davies - Travel Expert

    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

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    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

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    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

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    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

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