Traveling from Mexico City to Guanajuato? I’m a local from Guanajuato and here I’m sharing with you all the various options.
Guanajuato, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts a topography that seems to defy gravity, with structures intertwining, creating a living labyrinth of tunnels and alleys full of mystery and legends. Tucked away in the embrace of Mexico’s Sierra de Guanajuato mountains, this city sprawls across a network of narrow valleys and steep hillsides, creating a unique topography that adds to its undeniable charm.
Born and raised in Guanajuato, I love my city with all my heart and I highly recommend a visit whether it’s your first or hundredth time in the country. At just a 4-hour drive or 1-hour flight from Mexico City, Guanajuato is relatively easy to get to. Here’s my guide on how to get from Mexico City to Guanajuato.
Table of Contents
- How Far from Mexico City to Guanajuato?
- Mexico City to Guanajuato Transportations
- 1. Mexico City to Guanajuato Bus
- 2. Mexico City to Guanajuato Flight
- 3. Mexico City to Guanajuato by Private Transfer
- 4. Mexico City to Guanajuato by Car Rental
- Guanajuato Travel Guide
Where is Guanajuato?
Positioned approximately 230 miles (370km) northwest of Mexico City, the city is strategically positioned in the heart of the country. Guanajuato is known for being the cradle of Mexico’s independence and is a city and a state full of historic places and landmarks.
Guanajuato state offers a wide array of diverse activities that range from archeological sites to old silver mines such as the one in Mineral de Pozos, and beautiful magical towns like San Miguel de Allende. You can easily plan a Guanajuato road trip and hit all these spots on one epic journey.
How Far from Mexico City to Guanajuato?
The distance from Mexico City to Guanajuato is around 212 miles (341 km) by road. It’s close enough to drive, take the bus, or book an airport shuttle, but there are also plenty of flights to Guanajuato from Mexico City. They are reasonably cheap, with regular daily departures.
Driving Distance from Mexico City to Guanajuato
- From Mexico City Airport to Guanajuato – 222 miles (358 km); 4.1 hours driving.
- From Mexico City historic center to Guanajuato – 223 miles (359km); 4.3 hours driving
- From Mexico City touristic Coyoacán to Guanajuato – 225 miles (362 km); 4.5 hours driving
Mexico City to Guanajuato Transportations
The most popular way to get from Mexico City to Guanajuato is by bus, as there are plenty of buses available and they leave regularly. They’re also very comfortable, punctual and reliable. That said, there’s also an airport in Guanajuato that’s within easy reach from the city center and flights between Mexico City and Guanajuato are affordable.
In general, there are four different ways of getting from Mexico City to Guanajuato. I am from Guanajuato and have traveled the route many times, here I’ll share the details and step-by-step instructions on each transport mode.
1. Mexico City to Guanajuato Bus
Two bus companies serve the route from Mexico City to Guanajuato: ETN and Primera Plus, both have great reputations in the country. Both ETN and Primera buses depart from the Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte. Also recognized as Central de Autobuses Guanajuato, this terminal is conveniently located just minutes away from the city center.
With multiple daily departures and comfortable seating, these buses will get you to Guanajuato in approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes. Book your seat on their respective websites.
Mexico City to Guanajuato Daily Bus Schedule
- 6:30 am
- 8:00 am
- 12:00 pm
- 3:30 pm
- 11:45 pm
Mexico City to Guanajuato Bus Fare and Duration
The cost goes around 500 and 900 MXN (US$28 to $51) each way. I’ve used ETN and Primera many times and it’s super comfortable and safe. Their seats are wide, and perfect for a good sleep, and if you’re traveling alone and don’t want to share the seat with a stranger, there are single seats too. Plus, they have individual screens with movies and TV shows for long trips.
Is the Bus Safe?
Yes! The ETN and Primera buses are safe and punctual. They always arrive on time. You should book your tickets online so you don’t have to worry about finding available seats the moment you’re at the terminal.
2. Mexico City to Guanajuato Flight
For a quicker but pricier option, you can take a short flight from the Mexico City to Guanajuato Del Bajío International Airport. As an international airport, Guanajuato Airport serves many major cities in the US such as Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
However, only a few airlines fly direct from Mexico City to Guanajuato. If you need to fly through Monterrey or Cancun, your total flight time 4-5 hours each way. The flights are also not cheap; expect to pay around US$200 to 300 round-trip. Search for flights here.
The airport is about a 45-minute drive from Guanajuato city center. If you fly to Guanajuato airport, you can book a transfer to take you straight to your hotel. A round-trip transfer costs around US$94.
Which Airlines Fly from Mexico City to Guanajuato?
Aeroméxico is the national airline of Mexico. They offer direct flights (1h45m) from Mexico City to Guanajuato, with departures every day with tickets. Search for flights here.
Volaris and Viva Aerobus also offer flights from Mexico City to Guanajuato, and they tend to be cheaper than the Aeromexico flights but they are not direct. These are budget airlines, so prepare for possible delays and cancellations.
3. Mexico City to Guanajuato by Private Transfer
Using a private transfer from Mexico City to Guanajuato is another option if you want a fast and comfortable option. There are many options offering vehicles for 3, 9, or even more passengers, and is the best choice if you’re traveling with a group. A private transfer is not the cheapest option (expect to pay at least US$250 each way) but it’s convenient and fuss-free.
This private transfer will pick you up wherever you wish in Mexico City at your chosen time by a qualified local English-speaking driver. Along the way, you can choose to stop for 2 hours at sightseeing stops listed below. The sightseeing time may be split for multiple places of your choice – it is only up to you!
Here are some places you can choose from:
- Tepotzotlán | recommended time – 120 min
- Tequisquiapan | recommended time – 120 min
- Querétaro | recommended time – 120 min
- Dolores Hidalgo| recommended time – 120 min
- San Miguel de Allende | recommended time – 120 min
4. Mexico City to Guanajuato by Car Rental
Renting a car is a great option if you plan to do a Guanajuato road trip and drive all around the state. The Guanajuato state is packed with so many gorgeous sights and it’s worth doing a road trip here. Check my Guanajuato itinerary for ideas.
I always book all my car rentals on DiscoverCars, as they’ve consistently given me the best rates and customer service. Plus, it’s easy to book online and there’s free cancellation. You can get a small car at Mexico City International Airport for 1,885 MXN (US$108) for a 3-day rental; note that there will be extra charges for insurance. Book your car here.
Is it Safe to Drive to Guanajuato?
Yes, the highway is well-maintained and it offers amazing views of green mountain landscapes, wide fields, and colorful picturesque little towns. I have driven this road many times, and never had any issue.
The drive is relatively easy, especially if you’ve driven abroad before. That said, there can be a lot of traffic in Mexico City and going into Guanajuato. You’ll need to be patient.
Driving Tips in Mexico
- In Mexico, you drive on the right side of the road.
- Always keep your driving license, car rental papers, and proof of insurance handy.
- The main road hazards are reckless drivers; they tend to go very fast, changing lanes as and when they like without signaling. Be wary of these drivers and keep calm!
- There are plenty of speed bumps along the Federal Highway, especially when you get close to Guanajuato. When you see the signpost “TOPE“, slow down and prepare for the bumps.
- Avoid driving at night as you won’t be able to see the speed bumps and drivers go even faster than usual.
Guanajuato Travel Guide
How to Get around Guanajuato
Guanajuato is a big city and you’ll need transport to get around and visit different attractions. We mostly walked everywhere in town and used our rental car only to get outside the city. If you’re staying in the historical center, you could get by without a car as most of the places to visit in Guanajuato are located in the city center.
Is there Uber in Guanajuato?
Uber is active in Guanajuato, Mexico and available throught the city 24/7 with great clean and safe cars. It’s really affordable to take Uber around Guanajuato — it doesn’t usually cost more than US$10 to go from one end of the city to the other. As Guanajuato is a popular tourist destination, there are many Uber drivers available all day long.
Best Time to Visit Guanajuato
Thanks to its location in the central highlands of Mexico, Guanajuato is blessed with a pleasant spring-like climate all year round. In general, any time of the year is great to visit as Guanajuato’s climate doesn’t vary too much throughout the year, with average high temperatures hovering between 73°F (23°C) and 88°F (31°C) no matter the season.
But I would recommend visiting Guanajuato between November and April when there’s less rainfall than in the summer months. We visited in March and the weather was glorious and not too cold/warm. It was always sunny, but the high altitude meant a very dry climate.
One of the most popular times to visit Guanajuato is in October when the Festival Internacional Cervantino takes place. Cervantino is a tribute to the Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, his influence is still felt all over the city. Time your trip to visit during one of the biggest Mexican celebrations and you’ll experience plenty of music, dance, and poetry throughout the city.
Where to Stay in Guanajuato
There are plenty of accommodation options in Guanajuato to suit all budgets, from spacious Airbnb to luxury boutique hotels. We recommend staying in the historic center (within a few blocks from el Jardin) so you can easily walk everywhere.
Luxury: Hotel Mision Casa Colorada
One of the best hotels in Guanajuato, Casa Colorada is a heritage hotel housed in a historical building perched on the hills overlooking the historical center. It may need some updates, but the views from the room are outstanding (with ceiling-to-floor windows) and the entire ambiance is surreal. Check rates here.
Mid Range: 1850 Hotel Boutique
Set in the center of Guanajuato, the 1850 Hotel Boutique is housed in a charming, neoclassical building, dating from the 1850s. The striking, modern rooms feature French, classic, and contemporary designs. The sky bar is one of the best rooftop bars in town! Check rates here.
Budget: Hotel La Paz
Located in the heart of the historic center, this budget hotel overlooks the iconic Basilica de Guanajuato. Rooms are affordable and simple but with spectacular views and a fantastic location. Check rates here.
Is it Worth Visiting Guanajuato?
Guanajuato is one of best offbeat places to visit in Mexico – it’s popular mainly amongst Mexican travelers, and it has retained a strong sense of grittiness and authenticity. If you’re interested in seeing the real Mexico, I highly recommend adding Guanajuato to your Mexico road trip itinerary.
I hope you’ve found this guide on how to get to Guanajuato useful. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions on Guanajuato travel. For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:
- 10-Day Guanajuato Itinerary
- Unique Thing to Do in Guanajuato State
- 5-Day Mexico City Itinerary
- 30 Things to Do in Oaxaca
- 30 Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende
- How to Get to San Miguel de Allende
- Visiting Grutas Tolantongo Hot Springs
- 30 Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!