Pencil drawing of Dolores Hidalgo Parish.

Not too long ago, I talked about Guanajuato City. You might remember I mentioned both the state and capital share the same name. Well, there is another location in the state worth mentioning besides Guanajuato City: Dolores Hidalgo.

We could say Dolores Hidalgo is where it all began. It was the place where Father Miguel Hidalgo declared Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810. That alone makes it so fascinating to me! I’m pretty sure you will find it intriguing as well. Let’s jump right in!

Location

Dolores Hidalgo is a small town in the northern part of the state, in central Mexico.

 

The 6 closest major airports ordered by distance are:

  1. Guanajuato International Airport (121 km)
  2. Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (133 km)
  3. San Luis Potosí International Airport (159 km)
  4. International Airport of Aguascalientes (240 km)
  5. Mexico City International Airport (316 km)
  6. Guadalajara International Airport (348 km)

As you can see, the 3 most viable options are Guanajuato, Querétaro, and San Luis Potosí. However, no matter where you fly to, you will have to complete the trip either by car or bus.

Points of Interest

Even though Dolores Hidalgo is a small town, it has many interesting places to visit. Having been named “The Cradle of Independence”, there are many historical points of interest worth visiting.

Museo de la Independencia Nacional. You will find several paintings, frescoes, sculptures and art pieces from the Independence Period. A must visit if you want to understand more about Mexican history.

Man dressed in white, carrying a huge stone on his back and a torch in his hand.

Casa de Miguel Hidalgo. This is the home Father Miguel Hidalgo lived in from 1804 to 1810. There are historical documents, paintings, old furniture and house objects from that period.

Casa de las Visitas. Old mansion from 1786. It was bought by the government to host important figures visiting the town, hence the name.

Facade of a gray building hosting the Casa de las visitas.

Casa de Mariano Abasolo. It was the home of Mariano Abasolo, one of the most important figures of the War of Independence. Inside you can find murals and a replica of the church bell used in 1810.

Yellow building with several arches on the first floor.

Jardín Principal. The town main square. No visit is complete without setting foot on a town/city main square. Admire the sculptures, the architecture and try to imagine scenes from a past long gone. This is the heart of Dolores Hidalgo.

Town main square with a green kiosk in the center and several people around.

Miguel Hidalgo Monument. There is an impressive monument of the Father of Independence right in the center of the main square. Don’t forget to take a picture!

Gray statue of Father Miguel Hidalgo holding a banner in his left hand and raising his right hand in the air.

Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. This is the town’s main church. It holds an important place in Mexican history since it is here where Father Miguel Hidalgo called everyone to rebel against the Spanish government. If you have the opportunity to visit in September, by all means, do it.

Yellow church with two towers on the sides and a clock in the center.

José Alfredo Jiménez Mausoleum. This mausoleum is located inside the town cemetery and was built in 1998 to commemorate the 25th death anniversary of one of Mexico’s greatest ranchera singers. It’s a huge multicolor sombrero with the legend “La vida no vale nada” (Life is worth nothing). There’s music playing all the time. It’s quite an experience.

Mausoleum shaped like a sombrero and a multicolor road in front.

At this point, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed if history is not your thing. However, if you want more you can visit the Hijo del Árbol de la Noche Triste, the Flag Monument, the Heroes Monument, the Templo de la Tercera Orden and the Templo del Señor de El Llanito.

You can also visit a few haciendas. A hacienda was a Spanish large estate or plantation with a dwelling house. They were very common in the Colonization Period. You can still visit some in the area like Hacienda de la Erre, Hacienda de Trancas, and Hacienda Rincón de Abasolo.

Gastronomy

Whenever I travel, I always try to eat at least one dish from the region. This makes any travel experience more enjoyable in my opinion.

Dolores Hidalgo boasts rich, varied gastronomy. Among some of its dishes, we can mention chiles rellenos, tortas de carnitas (pig skin), orejas de cerdo en escabeche (marinated pig ears) and gorditas made with piloncillo (powdered brown sugar) and corn.

There are also dishes that come from the otomí culture which include preparations with squirrels, rabbits, and rats. When we talk rats, we talk about the brown kind, those who live in the woods, not the sewage type. I just wanted to clarify. 🙂
Hand holding a wooden stick with reddish purple Italian ice.

Another thing Dolores Hidalgo is famous for is its nieves (I think it translates as Italian ice). They have the normal kind like lime, but they also have exotic flavors which include tequila, chicharrón, shrimp, cheese, avocado, beer, mole, etc. Give them a try!

Recommendations

Mid-September is one of the busiest seasons in town. The Grito is celebrated on the 15th, well, technically midnight of the 16th, to commemorate the night Father Hidalgo summoned all villagers to take their arms and fight for their independence. Every city and town in Mexico celebrates on the same day, but nowhere is better than where it all began: Dolores Hidalgo. Try to visit during these days at least once.

You can make it a one-day trip from Guanajuato City, although I would advise against it. I rather recommend spending at least a whole day in town. It’s a small town, but there is so much to see.

There are tours from Guanajuato City if you’re not driving or don’t want to bother with public transportation. Just keep in mind the pros and cons of hiring a tour. We talked about that subject in another post.

San Miguel de Allende is very close to Dolores Hidalgo. In fact, you could make a circuit which includes Guanajuato City, Dolores Hidalgo, and San Miguel de Allende. I will talk about circuits in more detail in a future post.

Dolores Hidalgo is also famous for its pottery. Make sure to buy something from the market or directly from its makers.

Conclusion

Who would have thought such a small town has so much to offer and holds such an important place in history? Well, Dolores Hidalgo is such an example.

Roam its streets and soak in the architecture. Listen to what every old building and statue has to say. You will be amazed.

As always, I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to leave them below along with any comments telling me about your impressions or experiences. See you soon!

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6 Replies to “Dolores Hidalgo – Mexico’s Birthplace”

  1. A wonderful review. The rich history of Dolores Hidalgo is what makes this must stop in Mexico so appealing. I think if you want to experience the history of Mexico you really need to add this to an itinerary if you visit Mexico. I love being able to visit museums and old mansions. Galveston< Texas has a similar feel with the old mansions.  

    1. Hi, Lee,

      Yes, it’s a must visit in Mexico. Personally, I’m a history buff and I love visiting museums, old mansions and the like. I understand there are people who are not into this, but I think any trip must include some history. Well, that’s me.

      I agree with you regarding Galveston. I’ve been there a few times since I live in Houston. It’s a totally different feel there.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hola! Mexico es lo maximo. I have been learning a bit of Spanish while I plan my trip to Mexico. And with your post, I’ve learnt a bit about Mexico’s history and about Miguel HIdalgo. I’m planning my trip for September this year so I’ll be sure to visit Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores. Thanks for the suggestion.

    1. Hola, Ann!

      Happy to hear you’re learning Spanish. It will really help you for your upcoming trip.

      Make sure to book your hotel ahead of time since September is one of the busiest times in town.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Thanks for dropping by.

  3. I’ve been reading about Mexico since I was a child through the encyclopedia set that my mother has bought for us. I used to imagine how beautiful the country is especially the countryside through the descriptions and the pictures provided. Finally, it will be no longer through those printed pieces of literature alone as I’m going to travel to Mexico this year.

    May I ask, since you mentioned that Mid September is the busiest season, I’d like to know if the airfare price increases too in direct proportion to increased celebrations?

    1. Hi, Gomer,

      Glad to hear you’ll experience the real thing soon! I’m sure you’ll love it. Whether you’re into history, art, adventure, peacefulness, party life, whatever you like, you will always find something to do.

      Answering your question, I do see a considerable increase in prices for the season. I just checked Google Flights to have an idea and using Houston as point of origin, prices for the round trip increase from around $270 to $330. We’re talking about 20%.

      Whether you visit in September or some other season, I recommend you set up several alerts to track the best price. You can try Google Flights, Kayak, SkyScanner, Expedia, CheapOair, Hopper, among others. For international flights, experts recommend buying tickets at least 90 days in advance.

      Let me know if I can be of further help.

      Thanks for commenting.

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