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Cities Zacatecas (Zacatecas)

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This beautiful colonial city built over the hills full of gold and silver somewhat resembles Guanajuato or perhaps even San Miguel Allende. The center of Zacatecas is packed with historical buildings, churches and “callejónes” … tiny streets that mostly serve only to pedestrians. Its calm, romantic atmosphere and low prices invite visitors. Rightfully Zacatecas belongs on the list of the world heritage of UNESCO.
What here: You can easily spend half day browsing the historical center, check out the cathedral from pink stone, Plaza de las Armas, walk the street Genaro Codina all the way the a small and oldest Zacateca´s park Juaréz.

One of the main attractions is the mine El Edén. There is still enough gold and silver, but the mine was closed for safety reasons, its tunnels stretch all the way below Zacatecas. The tour takes about an hour, costs 80 pesos and is very interesting (even though it is not as adventurous as in Bolivia where we had to pass through really tiny holes while the walls were shaking from a nearby dynamite explosion). Here you get nice, safe and well lit tunnels. There ´s a small very interesting museum with precious stones, souvenir shops and a nightclub! Yes a nightclub about 300 meters deep under the earth (opens only Thursday – Sunday). For many years indigenous people, including kids, were forced to work hard and die in these mines. It is sais that daily 1 to 3 persons had died.
Edén has two entrances, it is a good idea to enter for the west one (behind IMSS hospital) and get out through the other one right next to a cable car Teleférico.

About fifty meters from the east entrance to the mine El Edén is a cable car station (Swiss made, don´t worry) that takes you over the valley where the city spreads to a small hill called Cerro de la Bufa. Here you get some amazing views of Zacatecas, simple snacks and a museum of the battle fought here by the famous Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Teleférico opens daily from 10 am to 6 pm, during the weekend even in the night. One ride costs 40 pesos.

About half an hour from Zacatecas you can visit the ruins La Quemada.

Where to stay:
Hostal Villa Colonial. Small cozy hostel is located only about one block from the cathedral. You can count with two kitchens, roof terrace with beautiful views, internet (great signal!) and friendly staff. There are some dorms but its way better deal to get a private room. They are very economic and some have great views (try number 11). Ernesto, the owner, sometimes makes trips to the ruins La Quemada (100 pesos per person plus entrance fee).
Price: Dorms 100 pesos, private room shared bathroom 200 pesos, private room with owm bathroom 250 – 350 pesos. Street Primero de Mayo 201, centro. Tel: (492) 9221980, www.hostalvillacolonial.com
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Should you look for something nicer, try Hotel Reyna Soledad (colonial patios, rustic furniture, spacious rooms for very reasonable price). Even nicer is Hotel Emporio Zacatecas. Business people will probably appreciate a sophisticated and luxuriously reconstructed Hotel Santa Rita (get a suite because the normal rooms don´t have views). All of these hotels are very centric located.

Now if you are in the mood to empty your pocket (up to 12 000 pesos per night!) and spend a romantic night like in fairy tail, you can do so in Quinta Real Zacatecas, beautiful hotel built over a former bullring (somewhat further from center).

How to get here: About every hour buses leave from Mexico City, Terminal Norte. The journey takes about 8 hours (night buses make 6). The cost is 515 pesos. The small modern bus terminal in Zacatecas is far from center. You can either take a cab (about 40 pesos) or get on the city bus (5,50 pesos) number 8 that stops in front of the terminal and goes to the center.
More buses come from Aguascalientes (115 pesos), Sant Luis Potosí or Guanajuato.

You can also take a plane with http://www.volaris.com.mx