It’s well worth basing yourself in Zacatecas to explore the immediate surroundings, not least the Centro Platero de Zacatecas, where the local tradition of silver-working reaches its highest expression. Those with no interest in buying should definitely continue to Guadalupe – virtually a suburb of Zacatecas – to see the Convento de Guadalupe, a rich, sumptuously decorated monastery, rare in that it has survived the centuries more or less unscathed, and for that reason one of the most important such buildings in Mexico. Further out, the ruins of the great desert fortress town Chicomoztoc are by contrast quite unadorned, but enormously impressive nonetheless. You’ll need to allow the best part of a day for either Chicomoztoc, or the picturesque town of Jerez, a pleasant day out of town anytime but essential for the cowboy festival on Easter Saturday. You can venture out to any of these places independently, though several travel agents in Zacatecas offer tours.