• Historic GuanajuatoThe grand Templo La Valenciana
  • Charming GuanajuatoThe traditional Mexican colors of Guanajuato
  • Exciting GuanajuatoThe statue of El Pipila and view point
  • Beautiful GuanajuatoThe stunning Guanajuato Basilica at night

Guanajuato Tunnels, A Tourist Guide

The tunnels of Guanajuato are a series of long channels which were dug to divert the Rio Guanajuato (Guanajuato River) and prevent flooding of the early mining outpost. Today the tunnels have been converted into tunnels suitable for transport and help reduces the issue that plagues many Mexican cities, traffic.

Guanajuato Tunnels Tourist Guide

Father Miguel Hidalgo

Father Miguel Hidalgo, the independence leader

The road tunnels of Guanajuato are extensive and complex with underground junctions and cross roads, few other cities can boast such an elaborate method to both limit and hide traffic. The tunnels generally take traffic which is heading in an eastwards direction while the westward direction is through the city centre. This two levels of roads makes maps of Guanajuato particularly confusing especially as some of the city’s major bus stops are subterranean.All of the tunnels have footpaths but some of the longer enclosed tunnels can be tiresome on the lungs and eyes as polluting lorries and buses pass through. The tunnels are perfectly safe to navigate along and (according to the locals) are even safe for tourist late at night.

Tunnels of Guanajuato

The open Section of the Tunnels of Guanajuato Setubal

Guanajuato Tunnels History

The longest of the tunnels, the Túnel La Galereña, was originally excavated in the early 19th century to divert the Rio Guanajuato that flowed through the heart of the city. The diversion was required as during the wet season, around August, the river commonly swelled and caused significant flooding. The tunnel was blasted out using dynamite using the skills and expertise mastered during the many years of mining operations. The river diversion prevented flooding in Guanajuato since the construction.

 

Guanajuato silver

Guanajuato was founded on the silver mines

A second tunnel was dug during 1960’s which diverted the river much deeper which used improved materials and techniques as the original tunnel showed signs of collapse and subsidence. This combine with the dam further up stream meant that the present day water flow is much smaller and more controlled. The old river tunnels were strengthened, reinforced and converted into a road tunnel to cater for the increased levels of traffic. The tunnels were of a suitable size to allow for cars and medium sized bus and vans but prevented larger transport getting into the city. The first journey was in 1961. Several additional tunnels were excavated during the late 1960’s and 1990’s.