Why Querétaro?

Known as the “Pearl of the Bajío”, the magnificent city of Santiago de Querétaro is a highly attractive place for both Mexicans and visitors from abroad.

It combines an impressive history with a modern pace and lifestyle, in a state that is always at the forefront.

The state is unique for its outstanding combination of history, culture and nature with the cosmopolitan characteristics of a city that boasts a modern infrastructure.

  • Geographical location. Situated in the centre of the country, 222 km northwest of Mexico City.
  • Climate. Querétaro has an average annual temperature of 20° C.
  • Gastronomy. Queretan cuisine uses the region’s ingredients, utensils and techniques, combining them with Spanish influences. Recommended are the traditional barbecued Cadereyta de Montes, stuffed maize gorditas de Colón, the sugary charamuscas de El Marqués, and the local Santiago de Querétaro variety of enchilada.
  • Craft products. A distinctive feature of Queretan crafts is their detail. The fineness of line, the quality of the material and the choice of colour makes each piece a work of art. Queretan artisans transmit the ancestral history of their culture through embroidery, textiles, cheeses, traditional desserts, leather, basketwork, ceramics and stones such as opals.
  • World Heritage. Due to the unique historical and cultural legacy of Querétaro, UNESCO has declared a number of World Heritage Sites here: Santiago de Querétaro’s Monumental Area, the Franciscan Missions of the Sierra Gorda and the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro route. Furthermore, the Sites of Living Memory and Traditions of the Otomí-Chichimecas of Tolimán are Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Queretaro Mexico

Tourist Attractions

  • Old Quarter of Santiago de Querétaro. Santiago de Querétaro is a city that is proud of its New Spanish past, Baroque buildings and impressive 18th-century aqueduct. In 1996 the old quarter joined the list of World Heritage Sites.
  • Magical towns. Querétaro has four official ‘Pueblos Mágicos’: Bernal, the site of La Peña, the world’s third largest monolith, and home of the delicious gorditas de maíz quebrado (stuffed flatbreads); Cadereyta, with two cactus plantations and a beautiful main square; Jalpan, in the heart of the Sierra Gorda mountains, with its historical Franciscan Mission; and Tequisquiapan, a picturesque town where you can take a trip in hot-air balloon and visit the opal mines or its cheese and wine museum.
  • Archaeological Sites. There are four archaeological sites in Querétaro state: El Cerrito, in Corregidora; Ranas, in San Joaquín; Toluquilla, in Cadereyta; and Tancama, in Jalpan de Serra. Each one is unique and offers glimpses of the richness of the culture of the Chichimeca and Otomí peoples before the arrival of the Spanish. There it is possible to appreciate ball game courts and ceremonial centres with altars and the structures of their plazas and stepped structures.
  • Querétaro by night. At night, the city of Santiago de Querétaro lights up, taking on a singularly enjoyable atmosphere. In the Old Town, historical mansions open the doors of their courtyards and terraces, bringing some unique settings to life, places to spend a little time and listen to excellent music. There are also independent theatres to make the evenings a cultural occasion, or, if you prefer, there are tours that tell local history through tales and legends.
  • Routes in Querétaro.
    • The Haciendas Route. The haciendas are witnesses to the history of a place. If their walls could speak they would tell unimaginable stories, secrets from long ago. In Querétaro, the hacienda farmhouses reveal the riches of this part of the country, particularly in the south of the state along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, now declared UNESCO World Heritage. Today, most of these impressive buildings have been converted into luxury hotels or venues for special events.
    • Cheese and Wine Route. The state of Querétaro is part of Mexico’s second most important winemaking area. Wine tourism, which is becoming ever more popular, offers a way to find out about winemaking in a delightful way: by travelling. Furthermore, with its cheeses, the state offers a wonderful counterpart to its wines. The state and its Pueblos Mágicos is the ideal setting for tasting local produce. This is certainly one of the country’s most attractive routes.
    • The Semi-desert Route. The semi-desert of Querétaro is an invitation to find out about what sets this state apart: its ancient and immaterial customs. This area, located between the Cerro del Frontón and the Cerro del Zamorano hills and the spectacular Peña de Bernal, has been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. This means that what its inhabitants hold dear is the living memory and traditions of its peoples, something worthy of being admired and preserved.
    • The Sierra Gorda Route. The Sierra Gorda mountains form a very diverse area, and for this reason they have been declared a Biosphere Reserve. Visiting them is a window onto changing landscapes and ecosystems, making it the perfect place for alternative tourism. It is a region that is not just rich in nature, but also in culture: here there are no less than five Franciscan Missions, whose buildings are witnesses to the cultural fusion of Spaniards and indigenous people in the 18th century, giving rise to a unique form of synthetic Baroque.
    • Religious Route. Querétaro has an important religious legacy, one that is still living. It preserves the enigma of belief and the beauty of culture. With its impressive religious buildings, feasts and festivals, customs, food and drink and crafts, Querétaro combines history with a fascinating religious syncretism that has protected its traditions and rituals, offering these interesting elements that make up the unique Religious Route for you to discover.
Queretaro arcos

Not to be missed:

  • The church of San Francisco
  • The city cathedral
  • La Casa de la Corregidora
  • Zenea Gardens
  • The church and convent of Santa Cruz
  • The Casa de la Zacatecana museum
Hay Festival Querétaro 2016