Discover The Viceregal Past of Querétaro, Mexico

What does the state of Queretaro have to offer for a weekend getaway? The answer is so wide that we will try to summarize it in a few words in this article.

Discover The Viceregal Past of Querétaro, Mexico
Queretaro, Mexico. Photo by Ignacio M. / Unsplash

The Art, Cheese, and Wine Route is a journey for the palate. 30 vineyards or wineries, 11 artisan cheese factories, the cultural richness of 4 of our 6 Magical Towns: Tequisquiapan, Cadereyta, Amealco, and Bernal, delicious gastronomy, and the attractions of 10 of our 11 municipalities. Sierra Gorda is a natural paradise full of forests, waterfalls, caves, and bodies of water; ideal for ecotourism activities, adventure tourism, cultural and religious tourism, and relaxation tourism.

In colonial times, Querétaro was called "Garganta de tierra adentro" (inland gorge) due to its position in the context of the territory that was about to be discovered. The unknown land to the north took on a different dimension with the discovery of silver and gold deposits in Zacatecas (1546) and Guanajuato (1554), resulting in the founding of many towns and the establishment of the Camino Real in Zacatecas, which became known as the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (Royal Road to the Inland).

Querétaro, as a Republic of Indigenous People, was founded around 1531, together with the town of San Juan del Río, and both were designed to provide supplies and sustenance for the miners; also to pacify the indigenous Belicosos, building presidios and missions to convert and subdue the warlike Chichimecas.

When reaching the rank of City in 1655, the Very Noble and Loyal City of Santiago de Queretaro, became the epicenter of development in the Bajío, acquiring notoriety for the great wealth derived from the work of the laborers, ranchers and landowners settled in the territory of Queretaro.

Almost 500 years after its founding, Querétaro and its territory as a state preserve a large part of the original infrastructure; the urban traces in its beautiful cities and towns, its deep-rooted customs, its perennial religiosity, and gastronomy, have given a very particular character to this beautiful state, and the ideal infrastructure to be visited by tourists who wish to reconnect with the fertile history of Querétaro.

What does the state of Queretaro have to offer for a weekend getaway?

To begin with, the cities of Querétaro and San Juan del Río preserve a great part of their viceregal past; in them, you can visit temples, former convents, museums; a historical tour, baroque art or legends are not to be missed, and the gastronomy is guaranteed with the offer of original dishes, high-end dishes, and regional food.

Following the route of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, we will find a large number of Haciendas, some of which have been restored and converted into prestigious hotels and restaurants; others continue their productive vocation, but can also be visited to taste their delicious products.

The Art, Cheese, and Wine Route is an innovative form of wine tourism in the center of the country. In the valleys comprising the municipalities of Ezequiel Montes, Colón, San Juan del Río, El Marqués, and Cadereyta, grape and cheese producers have settled in the area and have dedicated themselves to wine and cheese production, which has brought with it a large number of visitors eager to taste a good wine, paired with excellent cheeses made from sheep, goat and cow milk, thus constituting a pleasant surprise for the palate of any diner.

The state of Querétaro has six towns that have achieved the denomination of "magical towns" due to their beauty and good conservation over time. San Sebastián de Bernal, La Villa de Cadereyta, Amealco, Jalpan, San Joaquín, and Tequisquiapan, are a conglomerate of traditional towns, in which you can find a great cultural offer; with their original layout intact, their beautiful cobblestone streets that evoke the ancestral passage of pedestrians; Its inhabitants, some of whom are part of the original peoples, make handicrafts and preserve their pious rites, reflected in their pilgrimages and colorful celebrations. From the valleys to the high mountains, these villages open their doors to be visited and enjoyed at a slow pace.

Finally, the Sierra Gorda forms an intricate and unique enclave in the country, where nature remains unfading; given its difficult access, it preserves an exemplary Biosphere Reserve for its magnificent state, and in addition, the legacy of the great pre-Hispanic and colonial past; the archaeological zones of Ranas, Toluquilla, and Tancama, show us the ancestral richness of its ancient inhabitants in the limits of Mesoamerica. The five Missions of Sierra Gorda tell us about the spiritual conquest undertaken by the tireless Franciscan friars, who bequeathed us this architectural wonder of Baroque times; the missions of Bucareli and Soriano, and the family chapels of the Otomí in Tolimán, tell us about that glorious past full of faith, which still resounds in the hidden corners of our marvelous state.