Visit Zacatecas – Where Culture and History Meet Beauty and Excitement
Visit Zacatecas for an authentic Mexican experience.
When people think of Mexican culture and history, most people will think of the pyramids of Teotihuacan just north of Mexico City. They are wonderful and deserve their place.
One of the shining jewels of Mexico is the City of Zacatecas. Zacatecas is truly a confluence of culture, history, beauty, and modern excitement.
When you visit Zacatecas, one of the first landmarks to become visible is the Cerro de la Bufa. Look for a natural rainbow-shaped wave formation. It’s the tallest peak in the city and at night it’s all lit up.
During the day it is worth taking a bus or driving up to visit La Bufa. It’s a treat to enjoy many sites and attractions there.
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 is a hero here. It’s because he 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.
Zacatecas Centro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The UNESCO World Heritage designation is no joke. The truth is, 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, find dancing and live music. In one of the squares, watch the history of the city projected onto the façade of a cathedral. It’s truly spectacular to watch.
Zacatecas also features some very unique aspects. Mexico’s first bullfighting ring is 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 features a world-class university that draws in a diverse cross-section of students.
Find Zacatecas about 75 minutes away from San Miguel de Allende and 3 hours from Guadalajara.
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 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. The high elevation also means that it occasionally snows during the wintertime.
Driving is very easy from the US border. It’s located about two days south of the international border. Most routes pass through some spectacular regions of Mexico. These can include Monterrey, Chihuahua, and Durango, depending on your route. You will need a Passport, Visa, and Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TVIP). Of course, you’ll also need Mexican Insurance because accidents do happen.