Tranquil and elegant, this historic home is located right in the Centro Historico of Guanajuato (two blocks from the lively Jardin de Union and Teatro Juarez) yet tucked away up a quiet pedestrian-only street.
What you will love about staying in Casa Caracol is its perfect location. The city of Guanajuato is situated in a canyon, with the town center at the bottom and the private residences nestled into the mountainsides. The higher up, the better the mountain view, but also the more arduous the hike home. Casa Caracol is situated about one block up from the Plaza San Francisco (which is in the car-free zone), just high enough to have a view, but close enough so one can pop home without working up a sweat.
The central location of Casa Caracol allows the visitor to have the quintessential Guanajuato experience strolling and taking in all of the spontaneous happenings downtown: from joyful mariachis, solemn religious processions, bizarre costumed parades, open-air dancing, frequent craft fairs, mimes and clowns, and plentiful outdoor cafes and restaurants. Living downtown means you can hear the parade drums coming, grab your camera and watch it go by. It means you can enjoy your morning coffee/tea/fruit smoothie and home-made bagel around the corner at the Bagel Cafe, then come back home to freshen up and plan your day.
Renovated by an artist, Casa Caracol is notable for its beauty and romance. The difference is in the details. When you approach Casa Caracol you are first greeted with the outdoor garden - an ivy-covered archway encloses a miniature garden with potted plants and citrus trees. When the flowers are in bloom this archway is a frequent photo op for tourists. (Once an entire mariachi band posed there for their CD cover!)
Behind the giant ancient door and down four small steps is the foyer, with diffused light coming from a domed skylight. Off of this is the cozy bedroom with double bed, and the architectural feature for which Casa Caracol takes its name: the stone 'caracol' (Spanish both for 'snail' and 'spiral staircase') with original stone steps cantilevered magically into the massive walls. Walking up the caracol takes you to the shared rooftop terrace with breathtaking views of the Templo San Francisco. Bring your iPod and enjoy a nap in the hammock (listening to your own tunes on the Klipsch for iPod speakers), or bring your laptop and enjoy wifi service throughout the entire home.
Continuing you come to the sun-flooded kitchen/dining/living area. With a wall of eastern exposure windows, this is the heart of the home, both sunny and peaceful. The kitchen is equipped with modern conveniences: four burner stove/oven, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, toaster oven, blender (for those frothy drinks!), coffee maker, stemware, and pots and pans to cook up and enjoy delicious meals. Off of this main room is the large bedroom with king size bed (that can be converted into two twins but please advise me beforehand if you would like this option) and the bathroom with modern plumbing and unlimited hot water. Casa Caracol is a all on one level, not including the entranceway and rooftop terrace. The price includes all utilities, linens, weekly housekeeping, unlimited purified drinking water, and wifi.
When renovating, we preserved the historic Spanish colonial beauty of this 200+ year old building. Enjoy the romance and natural insulation of 40 centimeter thick adobe walls (cool in the summer, warm in the winter), wood-beamed high ceilings, original built-in wooden cabinetry with antique wavy glass, and hand-carved stone details. We added festive Mexican tiles, traditional fired-clay floors, high thread-count sheets, and goose feather comforters and pillows. The walls are decorated in original art from our private collection.
Let us customize your stay in Guanajuato. Having lived here full-time for 15 years, we are fortunate to know many of the artists, artisans and cultural gems of Guanajuato. For example, we can help you enjoy print-making, stained glass-making, horseback riding, tours of famous local pottery studios, guitar lessons, Mexican cooking or dancing lessons. Experience a sweat lodge with guided shaman, or natural hot springs. We can give you recommendations to the best dark roast coffee, eating out vegetarian, a homeopathic pediatrician, or one of the many often-unpublicized jazz and classical music concerts around town.
Marie is a classical musician who performs weekly with the Guanajuato Symphony. Dean is a professional artist. We have lived here full-time since 1998. When not playing music, painting, or renovating houses, we enjoy hiking, sharing meals with friends, and goofing off with our young son.
We moved here in 1998 and fell in love with the colonial architecture. Casa Caracol is our third historic restoration project, and our only vacation rental, which we manage personally. When we first saw Casa Caracol the roof was falling in! When it became available we couldn´t resist the temptation of restoring it to its original glory.
A magical, romantic place to visit, Guanajuato was recently ranked FIFTH out of the 830 current World Heritage Sites by a panel of 419 National Geographic experts in sustainable tourism, meaning this is one of the best-preserved cultures to visit in the world. What better way to experience it than in an authentically-restored historic home?