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Zacatecas – Where Culture and History intersect with Beauty and Excitement
Story and Photos by Jim Foreman
When people think of Mexican culture and history, most people will think of the Guadalajara Centro or the pyramids of Teotihuacan just north of Mexico City. These places are lovely and deserve their place.
One of the shining jewels of Mexico is the City and the State of Zacatecas. Zacatecas is truly a confluence of where culture and history intersect with beauty and modern excitement.
When approaching Zacatecas, one of the first landmarks to become visible is the Cerro de la Bufa. It’s a natural rainbow shaped wave formation that tops the tallest peak in the city. At night it is lit up.
During the day it is worth taking a bus or driving up to visit La Bufa as you will be able to enjoy many sites and attractions there.Cerro de la Bufa
At La Bufa one can overlook the panorama of the city When doing so, a photo with a larger than life Pancho Villa is a must do, as well. Pancho Villa played an important role in liberating Zacatecas from the Spanish during the Mexican Revolution.
In addition to Mr. Villa, there is a monastery and a cable car (Teleférico). At the base of the Cerro de la Bufa is the historic centro which includes an insightful Mining tour showcasing the rich abundance of silver that made Zacatecas into the city it is. The centro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s not difficult to see why.
Surprisingly walkable and very safe, the centro is a wonderful place to simply start walking. At night the environment becomes more festive with a charming nightlife and playful traditions.
One of those traditions is the callejoneadas or alleyway parties. These can happen at any time. Loud traveling musicians will romp through the small streets and alleys dancing and having a great time. Along the way, there will be people holding big bottles of rot-gut mescal or a beer derived punch called Heribertas. At many of the squares or plazas in the centro, there will usually be dancing and often food being served up. In one of the squares, the history of the city is projected onto the façade of a cathedral. It’s truly spectacular to watch.Quinta Real Hotel surrounding Mexico’s First Bullfighting Ring and the Roman styled Aqueduct.
Zacatecas also features some very unique aspects. Mexico’s first bullfighting ring was built in Zacatecas. Perfectly preserved, the ring is now encompassed by the elegant and stately Quinta Real Hotel. The bullring itself is used for public and private events including weddings and celebrations. Running alongside the Quinta Real Hotel is the original Roman style arched aqueduct.
Fine dining and exciting nightlife can be found throughout the city. Zacatecas has a significant European feel to it, and many authentic world flavors can be found right here for your epicurean pleasure.
Zacatecas also features a world-class university which draws in a diverse cross-section of students.
Zacatecas is only 75 minutes away from San Miguel de Allende and 3 hours from Guadalajara.Wonderful evening in the Centro Historico
Zacatecas deserves at least an overnight visit and preferably a weekend to enjoy the many wonders of this small but vibrant and critically important city.
Zacatecas is in the northern central region of Mexico situated below Durango. One of the first things visitors will notice in Zacatecas is that it’s at a high elevation. The city sits at just over 8,000 feet (2440m). This means that even the hottest Mexico days remain comfortable and enjoyable. High elevation also means that it occasionally snows in Zacatecas during the wintertime.
Driving to Zacatecas is very easy from the US border. It’s located about two days south and passes through some spectacular regions of Mexico depending on your route. You will need your Passport, Visa, and Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TVIP). Read any current Mexican Insurance review, buy appropriate coverage and you are on your way. It’s really all quite simple and easy to manage and it’s all well worth the experience.
Top Rated Mexican Insurance Review 7 Best Mexican Insurance Quotes To Save Time, Frustration, And Money. Important News and Information – Mexican Insurance ReviewHistory of Zacatecas projected onto a facade. A band in one of the town’s centro plazas. Statue of Pancho Villa at the top of La Cerra de la Bufa Roman styled Aqueduct running through Zacatecas Group of cub scouts walking through the centro historico. A photographer uses the centro as a backdrop for his model Mexico’s first Bullring The Teleferico running over the historic centro.