Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Sat October 22 2016

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  • Art Kramer | October 22, 2016 2:00 PM ET

    Mineral de Pozos: Guanajuato’s Ghost Town Reborn

    Mineral de Pozos: Guanajuato’s Ghost Town Reborn

    Photo courtesy of the Guanajuato Tourism Board

    Mineral de Pozos, located in Guanajuato, Mexico is an excellent option for visitors to engage in a magical environment and to travel through time. This mysterious, even ghostly, atmosphere surrounding its mines makes Mineral de Pozos a town that is not only magical but also strangely charming: In every mine in every ruin, in the streets, plazas, hotels and art galleries, Pozos inspires charm.

    During the nineteenth century, Mineral de Pozos was a rich and dynamic metropolis, founded to exploit the rich gold and silver mining nearby. The area contained about 50,000 inhabitants and had a strong trading network. There were 17 gold and silver mining haciendas and up to 1,000 men worked in each one every day. “Pozos” produced the most silver in Mexico and in the world.

    After the Revolution and a disastrous flood, Pozos became a place of ghostly mines, ruins, cracked walls and wind instead of people moving through the streets. Forgotten and abandoned for many years, this city is now a great little destination for anyone looking for rest, peace and exclusivity.

    A place that has interested and seduced hundreds of photographers and artists, this town has even served as the location of different movies. Back in the ‘60s, filmmaker Carlos Velo chose this forgotten place as the setting for his film “Pedro Paramo,” an adaptation of the famous novel written by Juan Rulfo. He did not have to invest in the setting: everything was there already, naturally playing its role of desolation. That film, starring John Gavin and Ignacio Lopez Tarso, highlighted Mineral de Pozos, which gradually earned its reputation as a “ghost town.”

    READ MORE: In Between Oceans, Guanajuato Remains Mexico's Cultural Destination

    This city was eventually declared a Historic Heritage of Mexico site and a few years ago it was recognized as a Magic Town in Guanajuato. Both designations have marked the rebirth of this place. First to be renovated was its streets, dressed in white and ochre.

    Spa services, tours of the mines, workshops on pre-Hispanic musical instruments, craft shops — vibrant cultural activities — and the first boutique hotels begin the define Mineral de Pozos’ style: a perfect place to indulge, to become disconnected from everyday life and lose yourself in a clean landscape with the echoes of the mariachi, blues and pre-Hispanic rhythms.

    If you are taking your family, the children will have lots of fun playing among the stone labyrinths in the haciendas.

    We must warn you: a place so photogenic and serene as Mineral de Pozos can fill you with the irresistible desire to remain here and enjoy the serenity of its vistas. So if you enjoy taking pictures, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the photo-friendly wall of the haciendas contrasting with the cacti and agaves.

    To get to Mineral de Pozos from Guanajuato, take Highway 110 to Dolores Hidalgo, reach San Luis de la Paz and take the detour to Jiquilapan. From Mexico City, take the highway to San Luis Potosi, and after having gone through Queretaro, take the detour to San Luis de la Paz and follow the signs to Mineral de Pozos. It is a semi-arid area, with heat during the day and cold at night so don’t forget to bring warm clothes.

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Art Kramer Guanajuato Explorer

Art is a veteran travel writer.
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