The best things to do in Zacatecas

Zacatecas is a historic city in Mexico known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, rich mining history, and stunning natural landscapes. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a unique cultural experience, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Zacatecas. Here are some of the top things to do in this vibrant city.

Explore the colonial architecture

One of the most striking things about Zacatecas is its well-preserved colonial architecture. The city center is home to numerous 17th and 18th century buildings, including the Cathedral of Zacatecas, the Templo de la Tercera Orden, and the Palacio de Gobierno. Take a stroll through the city center and admire the ornate facades, intricate carvings, and beautiful tilework of these historic buildings.

Visit the mine of El Edén

Zacatecas is well known for its mining history, particularly the extraction of silver. One of the best places to learn about this history is at the mine of El Edén. This mine is one of the most important in the country, having produced millions of ounces of silver over the centuries. Visitors can take a guided tour of the mine, which includes a visit to the underground tunnels and a museum displaying mining artifacts.

Hike in the Cerro de la Bufa

For outdoor enthusiasts, a hike to the summit of Cerro de la Bufa is a must-do activity. This mountain, which looms over the city, offers incredible views of Zacatecas and the surrounding countryside. The hike to the summit is moderate in difficulty and takes about two hours round-trip. Along the way, you’ll pass by a statue of Cristo Rey and a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Take a scenic drive

The area around Zacatecas is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in Mexico. Take a scenic drive to the nearby towns of Jerez and Villa Garcia and admire the picturesque countryside and charming colonial architecture. Be sure to stop at the Mirador de la Bufa, which offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Experience the culture

Zacatecas is a city with a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can experience this heritage by visiting the Zacatecas Regional Museum, which houses a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and colonial-era paintings, or by attending a traditional dance performance at the Teatro Calderon. Additionally, the city has an active art scene, with several galleries and museums showcasing local and regional artists.

Relax in the hot springs

The natural hot springs of Zacatecas are the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. The hot springs of La Tetera are located just outside of the city and offer a variety of pools with different temperatures. Take a soak in the warm water and admire the stunning mountain views.

Attend a bullfight

Another popular activity in Zacatecas is attending a bullfight. The city’s bullring, the Plaza de Toros, is one of the most important in Mexico and hosts regular bullfight events throughout the year. Visitors can purchase tickets to watch the bullfight and experience the excitement and drama of this traditional Spanish sport.

Visit the Alcala Fortress

For history buffs, a visit to the Alcala Fortress is a must. This fortress was built in the 17th century to protect the city from pirate attacks and later served as a prison. Visitors can take a guided tour of the fortress and learn about its history and the role it played in defending the city. The fortress offers a great view of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Shopping at Mercado de Artesanías

For those interested in local handicrafts, a visit to the Mercado de Artesanías is a must. This market is located in the city center and offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican crafts, including pottery, textiles, and jewelry. Visitors can find unique souvenirs and gifts to take home.

Dine on traditional Mexican cuisine

No visit to Zacatecas would be complete without trying the local cuisine. The city is known for its traditional Mexican dishes, including tamales, pozole, and tasajo. Visitors can find delicious food at the local markets, street vendors, and traditional restaurants. Be sure to try the local specialty, “asado negro,” which is a slow-cooked beef dish.

In conclusion, Zacatecas is a city that offers a wealth of activities and experiences for visitors. From exploring the colonial architecture and hiking in the Cerro de la Bufa, to attending a bullfight and sampling traditional Mexican cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and historic city. With its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture, Zacatecas is a destination that should not be missed.