Acámbaro: A Hidden Gem of Mexico's Guanajuato State

Acámbaro: Experience the best of both worlds as this Mexican city seamlessly combines modernity with preserved colonial architecture. Immerse yourself in its rich history, visit the museum, and savor the renowned Acámbaro bread.

Acámbaro: A Hidden Gem of Mexico's Guanajuato State
Explore the colonial architecture of Acámbaro, Mexico. Credit: Turismo Acámbaro GTO

Welcome to Acámbaro, one of the oldest cities in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Nestled at an altitude of 1,884 meters above sea level, this city offers a unique blend of modernization and preserved colonial architecture, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a taste of history and culture. But that's not all—Acámbaro is also renowned for its mouthwatering bread, a local specialty that will leave your taste buds craving for more. So hop on board and let's explore what this city has to offer.

How to Get There and Get Around

Getting to Acámbaro is convenient, thanks to regular second-class bus services from major cities like Morelia, Guadalajara, Leon, and Mexico City. If you're already in the vicinity, you can easily reach Acámbaro from Salvatierra via federal highway 51 or from Zinapécuaro via federal highway 120. Once you arrive, there are local bus services and cab options available to help you get around and explore the city at your own pace.

Why Visit Acámbaro?

Acámbaro's allure lies in its rich history and architectural wonders. As one of the first cities founded in Guanajuato, it boasts a diverse mix of architectural styles, with excellent examples from the Viceregal era. You'll be captivated by the eclectic blend of old and new, as Acámbaro has undergone modernization in recent years while preserving its historical charm. And let's not forget the famous bread—baked to perfection and best enjoyed right here in Acámbaro. This lively city offers all the necessary amenities and services to cater to the needs of travelers, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit.

A Glimpse into the Past

History buffs will be intrigued by Acámbaro's pivotal role in the Mexican War of Independence. On October 7, 1810, Mrs. María Catalina Gómez de Larrondo and her rebel allies ambushed a Spanish army convoy carrying gold and silver meant to pay the royalist troops in Valladolid. This audacious act led the insurgent army, under the leadership of Hidalgo, to divert its course to Acámbaro. On October 23, they entered the city, and the following day, Hidalgo was proclaimed Generalissimo of the Americas. Ignacio Allende became Captain General, and other key figures were appointed to important positions within the army. Exploring the city's museum, you can delve deeper into the story of this significant event, along with its connection to the broader theme of independence.

Must-See Sights and Activities

During your visit to Acámbaro, several attractions deserve your attention. Start by exploring the city's museum, which houses archaeological treasures and offers insights into the Chupícuaro culture. The museum also features a dedicated room focusing on the theme of independence. Another historical gem is the house where Hidalgo stayed overnight, which has now been transformed into a bank.

For a spiritual experience, visit the 17th-century San Francisco Temple, where Hidalgo and his comrades were invested in their positions. Don't miss the Hidalgo garden, where the troops were reviewed before embarking on their march to Mexico City. Other noteworthy sites include the Taurine and Moorish fountains, the Lerma River bridge, the aqueduct, and various religious buildings.

After a day of exploration, take some time to relax and recharge. The central garden offers a serene oasis with shaded spots perfect for unwinding. You'll also find charming cafes and inviting terraces at Portal Sámano, where you can savor a cup of coffee or enjoy a delightful meal.

While Acámbaro may not boast grand promenades, the Sámano Portal provides a pleasant atmosphere for strolls. Engage with the local culture by purchasing handmade clay and wood crafts, as well as traditional huaraches made from fiber and maguey pita. And of course, don't forget to indulge in the highlight of Acámbaro's culinary scene—the famous Acámbaro bread. Its tantalizing aroma and exquisite taste will leave a lasting impression on your palate.

Essential Services and Information

Acámbaro offers a range of services to ensure a smooth and comfortable visit. Parking facilities are available in the city center, and there are also street parking options. However, buses do not have designated parking spaces, so prior arrangements need to be made for drop-offs at the bus terminal. Restrooms can be found at the Municipal Palace, and there are fee-based facilities scattered throughout the downtown area, including restaurants and gas stations. When it comes to accommodation, there are hotels of tourist quality located mainly in the downtown area. You'll also find all the necessary amenities for travelers, such as markets, gas stations, car repair services, telephony, banks, and internet access.

While Acámbaro may not have a dedicated tourism module, the museum serves as a valuable resource for obtaining information and maps to help you make the most of your visit. Keep in mind that the museum's interpretation services are limited to explanatory cards, so it's advisable to gather information beforehand or seek assistance from the friendly locals who are always eager to share their knowledge.