The panoramic road runs along the hillsides surrounding Guanajuato and is one of the city’s most important road construction projects in the twentieth century. The road gives access to numerous alleyways leading down into the city as well as number of roads open to traffic at various points along its route, which itself offers spectacular views of the valley below with its colorful houses and monuments to the mining industry and important local figures.
A great place to start your trip is at the city reservoir, La Presa de la Olla, from where you can look down at the mansions lining the avenue of Paseo de la Presa as it leads up into the hills and splits off into the carretera Panorámica.
You should make sure have your camera at the ready at every point of the journey, as every turn in the road holds new scenery and a new snapshot opportunity.
Along this stretch we come to the Pípila observation point, which offers us one of the most beautiful views of the Historic Center. From here you can look down on important buildings like the Mercado Hidalgo, la Alhóndiga de Granaditas, el Teatro Juárez, the city basilica and the Jardín Unión. This is the classic picture postcard view of Guanajuato that has circled the globe and that anyone can snap!
There are alleys leading up here from the Plaza de los Ángeles and the church of San Francisco. On the Panorámica, you can either do a complete circuit of the city or take a detour down one of the roads leading down into the city. There are also a number of places for sports enthusiasts.
From this part of the Panorámica, we can take the road down to the City High School or go down the Calzada de Guadalupe to the University or carry on to the Cata mine and the imposing industrial structures of the Rayas mine, or climb up to the Mellado church.
From Cata, we can go on to San Javier and from there down to Carrizo and eventually into the barrio of Tepetapa.
Little by little, the Panorámica has been populated, creating a whole new set of houses and alleyways that are actually visible all the way from the downtown area. From the Panorámica, you begin to get a much better idea of the apparently messy layout of Guanajuato, the viceregal city par excellence, that grew from the cliffs along the ravine.