Hiking Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato: Route + Directions

If you’re in Guanajuato and you’re looking for a fun, free, adventurous activity with great views of the city, then this is the thing for you! Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato is a cool rock formation on the outskirts of Guanajuato City. Hiking to the top takes just a few hours and you’ll be gifted with incredible city views.

The route is less than 5 miles there and back, through some of Guanajuato’s more scenic countryside. A perfect half-day activity for adventurous travellers, walking enthusiasts and those who love a viewpoint. If this sounds like you, keep reading for the route, directions, downloadable GPX files and my top tips.

Where is Cerro de la Bufa?
Getting to the Trailhead
Route & Directions
Top Tips & Review

What to Bring and Wear
| Review
Overlooking the city of Guanajuato from the top of Cerro de la Bufa

Walk Overview

Total distance: 4.4 miles/7.1 kilometres
Elevation gain: 227 metres
Difficulty: Moderate
Walking time: 2.5 to 3 hours

Start and endpoint: Car Park next to the ISSSTE Clinic Hospital of Guanajuato

Where is Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato?

This epic rock formation is located south of the historic centre of Guanajuato City, the capital of the state of Guanajuato. The city is approximately a 5-hour drive from Mexico City, 90 minutes from San Miguel de Allende and 4 hours from Guadalajara. See the Google Maps pin for the very top of the rock here.

Getting to the walk start point

The Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato trailhead is located on the outskirts of the city, in a dirt car park next to the ISSSTE Clinic Hospital of Guanajuato. You can see the exact location on Google Maps here.

To walk from the historic centre of Guanajuato to the trailhead takes around 30 minutes and includes a steep uphill walk in the city centre. Alternatively, ride the Guanajuato Funicular uphill and then walk along Panorámica Road all the way to the trailhead.

Though taking the funicular may not save you much time as you’ll have to wait for your turn to ride, it does eliminate a good chunk of incline walking. Trust me, you’ll be doing enough of that once you start the route, save it all for later!

Another option is to drive or take a taxi to the trailhead. You can either flag down a taxi in the street or order one from the Uber app. I’d recommend having the location ready on your phone as the driver may not know where it is.

The impressive rock formation of Cerro de la Bufa against the blue Mexican sky

Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato hiking route & directions

The path to the top of Cerro de la Bufa is very easy to follow – for about the first 80% of the route. For the final section, you need to follow arrows painted onto the rocks and look ahead for where the path is heading.

No expert navigation skills are needed, but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of what to expect to keep. Plus, I’m pretty sure these directions will make so much more sense once you’re on the route!

Save this page offline or as a PDF for reference during your walk.

Directions

1. Take the path leading out the back of the car park. When you reach the crossroads of dirt paths, turn to the left and head towards the power station, taking the path to the right of it.

2. Just after the power station, the road will split in two. Take the path on the left and follow it for 1.5 km.

3. The next landmark you’ll reach is the Cave of San Ignacio de Loyola, which is built into the rockface of the cliffs. It’s a nice shaded area to stop for a drink before the next part of the walk.

4. Continue following the path a while further – you’ll notice that there are lamp posts along the side of it now. You’ll come to a part of the path where you’ll probably not be sure where to go. One of the lamp posts will be on a lifted rocky part and there’s an arrow painted on a rock. Here, you need to start climbing up the rocks towards the top!

5. Keep following the arrows as you ascent – the route is relatively clear from the trodden parts and shape of the rocks.

6. You’ll reach a small plateau in the rocks, head left and continue upwards. Some steps have been made in the rock, climb these and you’ll reach the last section of the walk.

7. Continue across the rock – watch out for the gaps! Continue in the direction of the city until you reach the white cross on the cliff edge. Enjoy the view!

Once you’ve taken in the view, enjoyed a rest and snapped your photos, simply retrace your steps down the rocks, along the path, past the cave and all the way back to the car park where you started!

Route

Click the link above to download the file for use in a GPS viewer. This way you’ll be able to track where you are on the route using your phone’s GPS – avoiding accidental detours and providing reassurance for less experienced countryside walkers! Once you’ve downloaded the GPX file above, install a GPX viewer app (Google PlayStore or iPhone App Store) and load the GPX file.

Zoe walking along a flat part of the path towards La Bufa with the city of Guanajuato in the background

Top Tips and Review

What you need to hike Cerro de la Bufa Guanajuato

The route to the summit of La Bufa is pretty easy, it’s only the last uphill section that requires scrambling on rocks. As a result, no specialist gear is needed. Nevertheless, you want to be prepared for the activity and the climate.

  • Plenty of water. Guanajuato is hot all year round, with daytime temperatures usually in the mid-twenties Celsius. Bring enough water to get you safely to the top, and more importantly, safely back to where you’re staying.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing. As hot as Guanajuato is, it’s still important to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately. If rain is expected, bring a jacket and consider sturdy shoes as the rock and path can get slippy. Otherwise, dress to keep cool. Trainers are suitable in dry weather.
  • Sun lotion. There’s no shade at the top of the rock formation and a lot of the path is in the sun too. Sun cream up and reapply regularly – bring a hat if you have one too. Here’s some inspiration for the best sun hats suitable for travelling – from someone adamant they don’t suit hats. Your legs will be sore enough tomorrow, don’t add painful skin to that too.
  • Camera & Phone. You’ll definitely be taking plenty of photos at the top as the views are incredible. Set off with a fully charged phone, offline maps (you can download from Google Maps) for navigating the city, and a good idea of where you’re going. Save any important numbers and information offline in case you don’t have internet signal and get into any trouble.
  • Snacks. If you’re walking from Guanajuato centre then the total walking time will be at least 4 hours, and you’ll spend longer out taking in the views and having rest stops. Don’t underestimate the importance of fuelling your body before, during and after exercise. Avoid bringing any snacks that’ll melt (this is hard for me as I LOVE chocolate).
The city of Guanajuato sits behind the white cross at the top of Cerro de la Bufa

Review

I loved everything about this walk – the views, the route, the weather, the lack of people around!

If walking from the centre of Guanajuato, then there’ll be two long uphill sections in your walk. The first is getting out of the city centre and the second is the final climb to the top of La Bufa. The rest of the route is surprisingly flat.

And, once you’re at the top, you’ll quickly forget about the long slog up – it will all be worth it! You can see for miles over Guanajuato and the surrounding area, no photo will do it justice.

The gorgeous year-round weather in Guanajuato makes it even better. Blue skies and comfortable temperatures – not too hot and not too cold. You’ll want to complete the walk in daylight though as if you went for sunset then coming down the rocky part would be very difficult and probably quite dangerous. That part of the route isn’t lit. Check the sunset times in advance and plan to be done before then.

Finally, I hardly saw anyone during the entire walk. In fact, I was at the very top for at least 30 minutes and there was no one else around, I had the whole summit to myself. There are lots of walking routes starting from the car park, including those popular with dog walkers, so don’t be disappointed if there’s already plenty of cars there. For the best chance of peace, quiet and calm at the top, visit on a weekday and outside of public holidays.

If you’re in Guanajuato, this HAS to be on your must-do list. A free, fun, all-day adventure!


If you have any questions or want any more information drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!

The information is correct as of December 2021 but is subject to change in future.


More Mexico Travel Inspiration…

Guanajuato: Guanajuato Funicular: Everything You Need to Know [Travel Guide]

Guanajuato: Mirador de San Miguel de Allende: The City’s Best Viewpoint [Travel Guide]

Puebla: Ride the Teleférico Puebla for Panoramic City Views [Cable Car Guide]

Guerrero: Pozas Azules de Atzala, Taxco (Visitor’s Guide)

Central Oaxaca: San José del Pacifico, Oaxaca (Complete Travel Guide)

Coastal Oaxaca: Playa Bacocho, Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca Beach Guide)

And much more, check out all Mexico Travel Guides here!


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Hiking in Mexico, Cerro de la Bufa, Guanajuato

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