Queretaro, Mexico: A Beautiful Land of Great Heart

The indisputable protagonist of Mexican history, Querétaro is home to a diverse collection of civilizations that are represented by the city's architecture, which ranges in color from the verdant green of its highlands to the flaming orange of its colonial structures.

Queretaro, Mexico: A Beautiful Land of Great Heart
View of the Peña de Bernal in San Sebastián Bernal, Querétaro. Credit: Sectur

Centrally placed in Mexico, at a major intersection, the state of Querétaro is a lovely and generous place. When you talk about Querétaro, you're talking about a territory that's as colorful as it is proud, a place that's as genuine as it is affluent and as exceptional as it is diversified.

Querétaro is the indisputable protagonist of Mexican history, bringing together a diverse mix of civilizations with the green of its highlands and the flaming orange of its colonial architecture.

Queretaro, Mexico, is one of the most picturesque places in all of Mexico, and exploring it is like uncovering more than four centuries of history in the aqueduct, temples, palaces, and colonial residences that dot the landscape.

Queretaro has emerged as a progressive state where modern amenities complement the historic charm of its urban centers. The Historic Center of Santiago de Queretaro and the five missionary temples of the Sierra Gorda are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so give in to the allure of this beautiful country.

With a Biosphere Reserve, the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro, an undeniable distinction that possessed a concentration of exquisite natural resources, and a Magical Town, a nod bestowed to Bernal.

Traveler's agenda


The state of Querétaro has an average temperature of 20° Celsius, equal to 68° Fahrenheit. Rainfall occurs from June to August. The Sierra Gorda has extreme temperatures.

Where to stay

The city of Queretaro offers a variety of lodging options, from big chain hotels to chic boutique hotels located in historic homes from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Both San Juan del Rio and Tequisquiapan are notable for the historic haciendas that have been transformed into charming, intimate homes. There are several possibilities in the Sierra Gorda, ranging from an old hacienda in Concá to ecotourism retreats in San Joaquin, Pinal de Amoles, and Jalpan de Serra.

Querétaro at the center of history

In Mexican history, Querétaro has played an important role. The state has played a significant role in seeing and taking part in some of Mexico's most significant events from its indigenous origins more than 1,500 years ago.

Before the conquest by the Spanish in 1531 and the establishment of Santiago de Querétaro as the capital, the Chichimecas and Otomes lived in the valleys and mountains of Querétaro. Its favorable location between Mexico City and the mines of Zacatecas and the fact that it was a necessary route to the Bajo, New Spain's north and northwest, led to its designation as the third city of the Viceroyalty.

Querétaro was home to the most exquisite colonial structures throughout the novo-Hispanic period, many of which are still standing today. The Santa Clara Temple, Santa Rosa de Viterbo, and the old monastery of San Agustin—regarded as having the most magnificent cloister in America—are a few of the most significant specimens of this era's architecture that can be seen in the nation's capital.

Querétaro, Mexico's vice-royal treasure

With its buildings adorned in the finest baroque style and majestic aqueduct, which was erected in the eighteenth century and serves as the city's symbol, Santiago de Querétaro is a city proud of its colonial heritage.

The Historic Center, designated as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1996, preserves magnificent colonial structures, quiet walks, sunny squares, and gardens where you can watch Queretaro residents come and go throughout the day.

Bicentennial of Independence

Under the cover of Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, the Corregidora of Querétaro, conspiracies for the libertarian movement for Mexico's Independence were plotted in Santiago de Querétaro during the beginning of the 19th century.

The Reform

The Mexican Republic's temporary capital was Queretaro in 1848. The body of Maximilian of Habsburg and his key conservative generals were assassinated at Queretaro in 1867 on the orders of Don Benito Juarez, the genuine ruler of Mexico, years later, during the French intervention and before the fabrication of a transitory empire.

Centennial of the Revolution

Queretaro was delighted to host the Constituent Congress in 1917 when the revolutionary movement of 1910 came together and issued the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, which continues to govern Mexico today.

But it is not only the capital city that has colonial buildings of great beauty. The buildings built by the Franciscan missionaries in the Sierra Gorda are also worthy of admiration: the mission temples of Jalpan, Tilaco, Tancoyol, Landa, and Concá are true works of art and splendor of the mestizo baroque. These five temples are considered Cultural Patrimony of Humanity since 2003.

Tequisquiapan is an exquisite sample of the Mexican province that preserves its colonial image with its narrow streets and small squares full of flowers.

There are several different museums in Queretaro, some of which are housed in stunning viceregal buildings and provide an excellent overview of Mexico's history and cultural evolution through the years.

La Aurora Workshop in the Magical Town of Bernal, Queretaro.
La Aurora Workshop in the Magical Town of Bernal, Queretaro. Credit: Sectur

Querétaro, a green jewel in central Mexico

From the middle plains to the Sierra Gorda, going through a range of forms, plateaus, valleys, canyons, ravines, and crags, Querétaro has a significant variety of scenery. The diversity of state's biodiversity is extensive and diverse; it includes semi-desert, temperate climates, forests, tropical, and subtropical climates.

When you travel to the state of Queretaro, you can expect to witness a clear sky, lovely waterfalls, and ongoing natural challenges. Be prepared to be moved by all the beauty. Because of its great landscape and its inclusion in the Biosphere Reserve, Mexico's Sierra Gorda is one of the country's protected places. Given its geographic position, topographical characteristics, and intense rainfall, this reserve holds the top spot in terms of ecological variety.

Your trip to Queretaro's natural beauty will be enriched by the significance of its natural resources, the kindness of people who share a love of peace, and the delight of meeting and conversing with visitors.

Cultural expression in Querétaro

One of the assets that the people of Querétaro now and yesterday value most is maintaining tradition. Amealco and Tolimán, the communities with the state's greatest indigenous populations, continue to preserve the Otomí heritage.


The huapango, a type of dance with roots in Spanish tradition brought to Mexico in the 16th century, is the music most associated with Queretaro. According to the history of Mexican songs, the huapango is a celebration of motion, color, and upbeat music.


Fine works in the broadest range of materials serve as a testament to the state's craftsmanship. The embroidery created in Tolimán and Amealco, as well as the quarry sculptures created in El Marqués, Huimilpan, and Pedro Escobedo, are among the most exquisite. Similar to Tequisquiapan, San Juan del Rio is renowned for its abundance of colorful opals, which are used to create stunning works of goldsmithing.

Famous for their intricate wool works created on rustic looms traditionally are Ezequiel Montes and Colón. Both Tequisquiapan and Cadereyta are well recognized for their exquisite rod crafting. Beautiful clay pottery may be found all around the state.

Querétaro and its cuisine

The history of food in Querétaro is rich. It combines the old Mexican customs with the European influences that came in the 16th century to create a mestizo cuisine that is known for its many different dishes.

The cuisine of Queretaro is broken down per area. The nopal cactus, which gives rise to innumerable recipes, is the raw material in the semi-desert. The unusual indigenous cuisine of this region of the state includes insects as well.

A wide variety of foods are available at the Sierra Gorda that combine mestizo and indigenous cuisines, tastes, and customs. Cheeses, distinctively flavorful dried meats, atole de teja made of sunflower seeds, and, of course, the renowned and enormous zacahuil, a tamale made with a pig, chicken, or turkey meats and simmered with a variety of dried chiles, can all be found here.

The central valleys have culinary customs that date back to the time of the historic haciendas and ranches. These pig farms helped make Queretaro famous for its delicious carnitas and chicharrones (pork rinds).

The wide range of cheeses produced in the area, the lamb barbeque, and of course the well-known and lovable Queretaro enchiladas, which are a treat for any visitor to the state, deserve special attention.

Queretaro also offers a wide variety of world cuisine in numerous restaurants in the capital city and the main cities of the state: Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Argentinean, or Thai food can be enjoyed accompanied by a good glass of wine from the region.

It's no secret that Querétaro has a long and storied tradition of producing fine wines.
It's no secret that Querétaro has a long and storied tradition of producing fine wines. Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi / Unsplash

And while we're on the subject of wines, Querétaro has a rich history of winemaking. The valley between San Juan del Rio and Ezequiel Montes used to be a place where grapes and fine wine were grown. A few minutes from Bernal and Tequisquiapan, adjacent to the capital city, Cavas Freixenet, Viñedos La Redonda, and Rancho Los Azteca maintain this heritage today.

Querétaro during the holidays

Throughout the entire year, Querétaro wears colorful and festive attire. Numerous popular celebrations are distinguished by the use of music, masks, fireworks, native dances, and a strong syncretism that combines the sacred and profane.

In addition, Queretaro has colorful and joyful fairs and events that will encourage visitors to stay the whole length of their stay and learn more about the customs and traditions that the locals are so proud of. Here are a few of them.

Spring Equinox

On March 21, the Magical Town of Bernal decks itself out to welcome hundreds of tourists drawn to the mystique and energy that flow from the enormous rock. Pre-Hispanic rituals, music, and cultural activities are part of celebrations heralding the coming of spring in the municipality of Corregidora at the pyramid of El Cerrito.

National Huapango Contest

The National Huasteco Huapango Dance Contest has been held in the municipality of San Joaquin for many consecutive years. It is currently recognized as one of the three most important cultural events in the country, where couples representing all the states that make up the Huasteca region participate.

National Cheese and Wine Fair

To celebrate their fair at the end of May and the beginning of June, the municipality of Tequisquiapan gets dressed up. Wines and cheeses are available for tasting during the event, and the most recognized sommeliers from Mexico and even other countries compete in the wine competition.

Grape Harvest Festival

For the harvest celebrations, which mark the arrival of the first harvest of the grapes that will be used in the creation of their wines, Cavas Freixenet and Viñedos La Redonda open their doors in July and August.

September Festivities

The celebrations of independence are especially significant in Queretaro since it is widely recognized that the Corregidora was crucial to the libertarian movement of 1810. The Independence Cavalcade leaves from Querétaro to commemorate the letter written by Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domnguez and follows the fabled road of Independence through Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende, and Dolores Hidalgo.

Queretaro International Fair

The first day of December sees the holding of this fair, which is historically the most significant in the state. The agricultural, cattle, and service industries, which are the state of Queretaro's most significant production sectors, are all interwoven into one event.

Querétaro means business

The state of Queretaro is a hub for transportation between the northern, central, and southern regions of Mexico, and it is home to thriving industrial, agricultural, and animal sectors. Its strategic placement has resulted in the establishment of tens of manufacturing complexes in Queretaro, where metal-mechanical, chemical, food and beverage, and auto-parts manufacturing all play important roles. Because of its economic prominence, the state has expanded into the aerospace sector, making it a frontrunner in the modernization of Mexico's manufacturing sector.

Querétaro is a natural destination for business tourism due to its convenient location in the heart of the Puebla-Silao corridor, where more than a third of the country's population resides, and its provision of a sufficient range of services to satisfy the requirements of both domestic and foreign corporations and their executives.

As a city, Queretaro also boasts a superb hotel infrastructure, making it an excellent choice for hosting conferences, seminars, and other sorts of business gatherings. Multiple events take place in Santiago de Queretaro and San Juan del Rio due to the attractiveness of the cities' Historic Centers and the hotels built in formerly great haciendas. Things move forward smoothly and in an unhurried manner at these unconventional conventions.