It is exciting to travel and get to know new places. With this tourist guide, we propose four routes to discover all the good things that the state of Queretaro Mexico has to offer. You will get to know a little bit of Querétaro's history. Travel through diverse ecosystems and to other times following in the footsteps of ancestors. A journey that will make you discover the state as a true tourist. Design your route and invite your friends to travel along with it, you will have a great time.
The mountain route of Queretaro Mexico
Arroyo Seco, Pinal de Amoles, Landa de Matamoros, Peñamiller, San Joaquín, Jalpan.
A walk through the Sierra Gorda Missions
Two hundred years after the conquest, the Spaniards had not been able to pacify the Chichimecas established in the Sierra Gorda. After many confrontations, they congregated in Jalpan, where Fray Junipero Serra organized the indigenous people to build the first mission. Afterward, they built four more: Tilaco, Tancoyol, Concá, and Landa, in a style, called mestizo baroque and considered Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. The main characteristic of baroque is a large number of ornaments, such as the facades of the missions. These look like stone carvings with corncobs, mermaids, virgins, and angels with plumes.
Following in the footsteps of ancient inhabitants
In sierra, there are several activities to do. Visit the archaeological site of Ranas in San Joaquin, which is a pre-Hispanic fortress city minutes away from the municipal capital. Nearby is the Los Herrera cave, a natural rock formation from thousands of years ago. This is truly an incredible tour. In the municipality of Peñamiller, you can visit the cave paintings attributed to two representative groups of the region: the Serranos and the Chichimecas. Both in different periods of history inhabited this territory and made drawings and engravings representing their way of life.
Close encounter with nature
The Sierra Gorda is ideal for extreme activities or camping in beautiful places. Campo Alegre and Aventura Park, both in San Joaquin, are perfect for this activity. One of the characteristics of this region is the difference in altitude. You can find cold places and very hot places, which leads to a great variety of animal species. Some of them are in danger of extinction. Like the green macaw, which inhabits deep caves called basements, like the Sótano del Barro, in Arroyo Seco.
The sierra has rivers, forests, prairies, and animals such as the jaguar, the spider monkey, or the river crocodile. It is a privilege that the Sierra Gorda is in Queretaro Mexico. It has a great diversity of plant and animal species, places, and landscapes. All of them. That is why it is a Biosphere Reserve and occupies 32% of the state territory.
In the Cerro de la Media Luna, in Pinal de Amoles, the last battle between the Chichimecas-Jonaz and the Spaniards took place. Legend has it that women and children threw themselves into the void because they preferred to die rather than be slaves.
The semi-desert route of Queretaro Mexico
Tolimán, Colón, Cadereyta, El Marqués.
Since pre-Hispanic times the territory of Cadereyta was very important for the ancient inhabitants of the state of Querétaro. A good example of this is Toluquilla. This archaeological zone was very important for having cinnabar, which was an important mineral for the funerary rituals of ancestors. By visiting its ballgames, temples, and chalk themes, you can go back to the time. In a nearby cave, archaeologists found the body of a 2-year-old girl, whom they called Pepita.
During the conquest of Mexico, the Otomi occupied the lands formerly inhabited by the Chichimec groups and settled in regions such as Toliman. They called themselves ñañhú and although during the conquest they adopted the Christian religion, they kept some of their practices. For this reason, they built family chapels to honor their ancestors. Some are up to 200 years old and bear a certain resemblance to the caves of the first Chichimecs. The Otomi consider the latter their ancestors. Read more about these indigenous cultures here.
The semi-desert route has very peculiar attractions, next to great extensions of arid land, there is a real oasis. Like the Tzibanzá Island in the Zimapán Dam, where tourists can go sport fishing. Or the Quinta Schmoll, which in addition to having more than 4,000 species of cacti, is a research center for these plants. If you like animals, visit the Wamerú Zoo to see macaques, jaguars, lions, and other species. You will learn interesting things about the preservation of animal life.
La Cañada, the municipal seat of El Marqués, is the place that gives its name to the state of Querétaro. During pre-Hispanic times, it went by different names: Tlachco, in Nahuatl and Ndamaxey in Otomí, meaning "place of the ball game"; and Queréndaro, which in Purépecha means "place of rocks".
The water route of Queretaro Mexico
Ezequiel Montes, Tequisquiapan, San Juan del Río, Amealco.
Taking a dip in the water
This route is very appropriate for a dip. You will visit Tequisquiapan, "place of water and tequezquite" and Amealco "place where water springs from the rocks". How about a splash? Start your tour in one of the many aquatic parks in Tequisquiapan. You must visit the Centenario dam where you can observe migratory birds that arrive year after year to spend the winter in this place. In Ezequiel Montes are the Freixenet Cellars, where there is no water but wine! In this place, you can learn all about its manufacturing process.
Seeing is believing
In Mexico, people manifest their beliefs in many ways. As a sample, the Museum of Death in San Juan del Río represents the forms in which Mexicans honor the dead. For example, inscribed, in vessels, or with funeral offerings that reflect the different visions of the people before death. Another important tradition of this route is the Danza de las Pastoras (Dance of the Shepherdesses), originally from the municipality of Amealco. Otomí women of all ages perform it, dressed in colorful ribbons and a characteristic cane, alluding to their work as caretakers of herds.
And finally, Bernal. You've probably heard of the Peña in San Sebastián Bernal, which is the third-largest monolith in the world. And one of the favorite places for those who are looking to charge their energy during the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere. Come to Bernal on March 21 and celebrate its arrival.
Approximately 65 million years ago, where Peña de Bernal is today, there was a volcano. When it collapsed, its lava solidified. This means that the Peña is like a big nail of which we can only see the head.
The colonial route of Queretaro Mexico
Huimilpan, Pedro Escobedo, Corregidora, Querétaro.
Santiago de Querétaro
Walking through the streets of Santiago de Querétaro is like taking a look at the history of Mexico. In various stages, it was the scene of events that helped shape the Mexican nation. Start your tour at the hill of Sangremal, the scene of the battle that preceded the founding of the city. The founding of the convent of the Holy Cross of Miracles and the first Apostolic College for the Propagation of the Faith in America. The Franciscan missionaries prepared to evangelize the entire continent.
Nearby is the Aqueduct, built by the Marquis de la Villa del Villar del Aguila to bring water to the city. With 74 arches and 1,231 m long, it is the symbol of Querétaro. Down the hill of Sangremal is the Plaza de Armas. This is where you can visit the Casa de la Corregidora, a meeting place of heroes of the Mexican Independence. To the west of the city is Cerro de las Campanas, where Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg and two of his generals was shot. Visit the chapel built right on the site of the firing squad.
Walking through the streets, you will discover amazing baroque buildings. Do you remember what baroque style is? Well, throughout the Historic Center you will find many examples of this and other architectural styles. As night falls, the memory of ancient legends will take over the city. Don Bartolo and his supposed pact with the devil; the woman from Zacatecas and her mysterious murder. Or the exiled and expelled alderman in the Casa del Faldón, looking nostalgically at the city.
A peculiar ceremonial center
The route continues in the municipal capital of Corregidora. Find the sanctuary of the Virgin of Pueblito, whose devotion goes back more than 360 years with various festivities still held around. For example, the Paseo del Buey and the representation of Moors and Christians, pondering the struggle between good and evil. The ceremonial sense of this region is minutes away. That is one of the most important archaeological remains of the valley of Querétaro: the ceremonial center El Cerrito. It consists of a great pyramidal base, surrounded by plazas and diverse constructions. And in its time of greatest splendor, it was the political and administrative capital of the region.
The great cornfields
Huimilpan is in the southwest of the state, which in Nahuatl means "place of great cornfields". It is full with archaeological remains and forms an important part of the cultural richness of the Queretaro Mexico. On the slopes of the Cimatario is the Mundo Cimacuático park. This is where you can enjoy a fun boat ride and organize a barbecue with your friends. All while taking a dip in its pools and slides. In the Cimatario National Park, you can learn more about the flora and fauna of this region of the state.
Carvers of dreams
During colonial times, the great haciendas of Pedro Escobedo were vital for the development of the state due to their agricultural activity. Today, in this municipality, quarry carving stands out. You can see how the skilled artisans of the community of Escolásticas build architectural dreams from large blocks of the pink quarry. This material is one of the most representative of the state of Queretaro.
If you look from afar towards El Pueblito, you will distinguish the silhouette of the pyramidal base, similar to a hill, known as "El Cerrito".
In conclusion, now you know about all these places. It is time to share ideas with your family and friends. Invite them to travel to Queretaro Mexico and enjoy the trip. The first task is to get to know the place, so come on and visit Querétaro.