Mineral de Pozos
Experience the mystical and spiritual landscape of Pueblo Mágico Mineral de Pozos, with its ancient mines and stone structures, historic ruins, legends and the ghosts of miners. Around every corner, the textures and luster of Pozos will surprise you and fill you with wonder.
The area around Mineral de Pozos was originally populated mainly by indigenous Chichimecas and Huachichiles. The first Europeans to arrive in 1576 were the Jesuits. Gonzalo de Tapia, who arrived around 1589, is one of the most recognized and celebrated of the missionaries, as he documented the local languages and customs. He also negotiated a peace agreement to end the conflict between the Spanish and the local inhabitants. Tapia was murdered in Sinaloa in 1591.
The name Mineral de Pozos is a derivative of the older name "Mineral de San Pedro de los Pozos," and is actually its third name. "Pozos," as the locals call it, was one of the most important mining towns in Guanajuato from the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century when the town maxed out at about 80,000 inhabitants. Silver and gold as well as copper, zink and mercury were mined there before the decline which some believe was triggered by a flood that happened during the Mexican Revolution, others by an accidental rupture that killed approximately 13,000 workers, and others by the decrease in minerals coming out of the mine and the resultant lack of work that followed. After the main mine at Santa Brigida closed in 1965, the population diminished and Pozos became known as a ghost town.
The ruins of its ancient dwellings and mining centers currently represent some of its greatest assets. In the late 1990s artists from the surrounding areas began to settle in Pozos, likely drawn by the light and textures found in the landscape and the ruins. Many attribute the true beginnings of rebirth to the 1987 Toltequidad Festival of pre-hispanic music, art, medicine and ancestral wisdom festival which has taken place off and on since that year. A more focused Pre-Colombian Music Festival ("Mixcoacalli") had its inaugural event in 2001 as well.
Ask around town, follow the arrows on the signs in historic downtown area, or stop in to the Visitors Center at the north end of Pozos on highway 46 for directions and information.
Historical Downtown Center (El Jardin Juarez)
Follow the Art Walk signs to visit gallaries and artists workshops. Manos Creativas, a community doll-making project and El Venado Azul for pre-colombian instruments and art are particularly interesting.
Guided tours of the area and adventure tours to the mines including bicycle, ATV, hiking, camping, or in your car. Visit Mision Bike Tour at the Visitors Center.
18th Century Parish of San Pedro has a spectacular dome and austere interior and period frescos.
Chapel of San Antonio de Padua has a half- finished dome that is spectacular
at sunset (stand on the hill on the west side of town).
Chapel of La Misericordia, the oldest church in the town.
Escuela Modelo is a large installation on the west perifery of the town. In the 19th century this was one of the most important schools in the area. Now it is being transformed into a large cultural and arts center.
Fiestas de Semana Santa (Holy Week)
International Mariachi Festival (April or May)
Festival In Mixcoacalli (April)
Festival de la Toltequidad (July)
Toltequidad Fesitval (September)
International Film Festival of Pozos (November)
International Cervantes Festival
Virgin de Guadalupe, December 12th. This spectacular celebration brings a procession of indigenous dance groups from many tribes into Pozos.
Centro Agroecológico Tellus offers pre-hispanic food such as escamoles (ant larvae), gusanos de maguey (maguey worms) and different kinds of moles.
Santa Brigida Mine was built by the Jesuits and has three iconic pyramidal adobe ovens.
Cinco Señores Mine
San Rafael Mine
You can get a bus from either Guanajuato or San Miguel to San Luis de La Paz and take a taxi from there.
If you are driving, you can head north on highway 57 from Queretaro, and then cut over by taking Carretera Constitucion (west) to San Jose Iturbide and then taking state highway 46 north from there.