Un pueblo fantasma
When you think of ghost towns, you normally think of sleepy little hamlets, ruins and tumbleweed. So it's intriguing to hear about Mineral de Pozos, a ghost town in Guanajuato, Mexico, that's getting a whole new lease of life.
A colonial mining town rich in gold and silver, Pozos saw its peak around 1890. From a population of 70,000, it collapsed into ruin after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 caused the mines to close and flood. By the 1950s, its population had sunk to 200 or less.
In 1982, it was designated a National Historical Treasure, and its population has since risen to about 2,000. They're mostly farmers and herders, but Pozos is also finding favor as an artist colony, a little like nearby tourist hotspot San Miguel de Allende.
Visitors to the town can explore ruined haciendas and underground mine tunnels. If they want to spend the night, there are three hotels to choose from: Casa Mexicana, Casa Montana, and La Posada de las Minas (pictured below).
The Posada is a combination of old stone and the vivid colors Mexico is so well-known for. There are six guest rooms, each decorated in its own style, from Mexican folk art to elegant Victorian. It also boasts two rental apartments.
All very nice, but what about the ghosts? Says David Winslow, co-owner of the Posada, 'According to many locals and visitors as well (including my sister-in-law), there are still plenty of ghosts around.'
Ironically, it's also a great place to find peace and tranquility. 'Typically, it's pretty quiet during the weeks,' he adds, 'but on weekends things can be pretty lively. A good place for artists, photographers, writers, people who don't want a lot of distractions.' Except for the odd friendly spirit. RM
Images of La Posada de las Minas by David Winslow