Querétaro, México. What to do?

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Queretaro is perfect for a weekend getaway.

I have to say, at the beginning, I had a little bit of doubt about going to Queretaro because I thought it was a city not as touristic as, let´s say, Mexico City or Puebla or Cancun. Those cities are used to having a lot of tourist from all around the globe, but in the case of Queretaro, I thought that maybe it will be just a place to get relax for the weekend, but I was wrong.

That is the problem, assuming that a place is not worth going for a vacation. But this time, I have to say that it is a place that I would love to go back, why? Simple! There are a lot of things to do there, maybe not for more than a week but for a weekend I believe it is the perfect place.

For those who are visiting Mexico’s City, Queretaro is 2 hours away. There are plenty buses that can take you to the city, and there are a lot of outgoings from all the bus stations around Mexico’s city, even from the airport.

Now let’s talk about distance:

  • If you are in Mexico´s city, Queretaro is 225km (139miles) away, 2h 53m.
  • If you are in Puebla, Queretaro is 330km (205miles) away, 4h.
  • If you are in Guadalajara, Queretaro is 348km (216miles) away, 4h.

Those are possible spots from where you can depart to Queretaro without any troubles, but of course, if it’s easier for you to catch a flight it will be better.

Let’s start talking about what I did and what can you do while being in Queretaro:

Queretaro’s Downtown

First, we arrived at our first hotel, The Mirage Hotel, it is near Queretaro´s downtown.
It is a good, nice hotel, although I thought it was a little bit old, our room was so big, comfortable beds, TV, big bathroom and a big table on which I could keep doing my work.

Next stop, Downtown. For me, it was easier because I had my car and the hotel is very near to everything, but Queretaro is a very small city from my point of view and moving it’s very easy, also there´s always the option of taking an Uber or a taxi from anywhere and it is cheap.

Alameda

Downtown is very comfortable for walking, so my advice will be the next one: The first stop could be the “Alameda”, it is a very big park, 3 or 4 blocks away from downtown, it is very beautiful and it´s worth the time. Just a small walk around and then you can go downtown without any troubles; you might even get some shopping time because of all the stores around. Take the street “Corregidora”, Downtown is 3 blocks away from the Alameda, and you´ll see the beautiful parks, the architecture and a lot of movement.
Walk everywhere, get to know every possible place as you can, or until you get hungry, but don´t worry, I didn’t had much time so I walk just a little bit to know where to come back next day, but if you get hungry I have to suggest the restaurant “San Miguelito” (address: Calle 5 de Mayo #39) It is a very Mexican style place and you’ll love it for the thematic of the restaurant and also, it is not so expensive. Later if you are feeling like going out for drinks, the street “5 de mayo” is full of bars and nice places where to get something to drink, for example, there’s this place called “Maria y su Bici” (Calle 5 de Mayo #91) where you could drink Mezcal from Oaxaca and some extra snacks .
Explore all the street 5 de mayo and the local places around, everything will be delicious and not expensive at all.

Breakfast

Most people take breakfast in their hotels so if you have the chance, do it. Some hotels even make small presentations explaining Mexico’s history and Queretaro’s history, but if you feel a little bit more adventurous for breakfast I’ll suggest going to the Market “de la Luz”.
It is an actual market so don´t expect anything glamorous but expect real Mexican food. WARNING: If a Mexican assures you that the food it is not SPICY, it will be. Or maybe you are a strong stomach kind of person but anyway, I already warned you. Food will be spicy, greasy and with a lot of cheese and lemon, but it is one of the most delicious meals you’ll ever taste in your life.
The typical dish of Queretaro are the “Enchiladas Queretanas” and they are not spicy so if you don´t eat any chile, ask for those.

Viewpoint Los Arcos

This place is great because you can perfectly see the construction called the Aqueduct and part of the mountains that surround the city.
Take your time to appreciate and don’t forget to use sunscreen and a hat because the sun is very heavy in Mexico. Next to the viewpoint, there’s a big place which is the Monument to Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, ask for a tourist guide and let the history take over.

Queretaro

Next stop will be the “Cerro de las Campanas” or in English the hill of the bells, another historical place to be in Queretaro and a small park to walk around. Take a taxi because it is not so near from the viewpoint Los Arcos, but it’s a place to take some great pictures of nature and of yourself, side by side with a huge monument of Benito Juarez. Again, I have to suggest asking for a tourist guide because you won’t understand the importance of the place until someone explains it to you. The place has a price of 5$ pesos, and most of the tourist guides accept whatever you want to give them.

At this point of my journey, I had to go back to my hotel and moved to the next one which is called, “Plaza Camelinas Hotel”. This one it’s not so close to the downtown but still, I thought the place was amazing, the room was shorter in comparison with the other one, but the entire Hotel has a new modern concept which I loved.
I was hungry already so a went back downtown and I looked for a cheap place to eat because the next idea is to get to know all around.

Here is a list of all possibilities to do Downtown:

  • Casa de Corregidora
  • Fuente de Neptuno
  • Fuente de marqués
  • Casa de Ecala
  • Plaza de Armas
  • Palacio de Gobierno
  • Templo de San Francisco
  • Catedral

Querétaro

Whatever you choose, it is all nearby and you can go walking while watching all the architecture, eating an ice cream from all the different places around, and enjoying the good weather.

Whatever you choose, it is all nearby and you can go walking while watching all the architecture, eating an ice cream from all the different places around, and enjoying the good weather.

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Tour Bus

If you feel like sitting down but you still want to see more, there is a small bus parked in the street Corregidora, or ask for directions, but it will give you a full tour around while you get some rest on the bus. It cost around $90 pesos.
Another useful tip is to buy hats, they are very cheap and good looking actually, so go and have a shopping spree because it will be absolutely worth it.

Hacienda Jurica

Our next stop is far away from where we have been but if you want to appreciate a real big Hacienda from Mexico then you should go to the Hacienda Jurica. It is 25 min away from Downtown by car, I went there around 6 pm and I barely had sunlight to admire the beautiful place but I was there and that was the point, I took great pictures and had dinner. The Hacienda is actually a remodel Hotel, with 4.5 stars of 5 given by Google. Check their web page and see for yourself how beautiful it is. There is a big restaurant with a buffet of Mexican and international food. Don´t forget to make a reservation just in case and look around. If you want to get some extra rest from the trip I would absolutely suggest staying at the Hotel, only because the place is gorgeous.

If you still have energy and want to go out you have two options: Go back downtown to another bar at street 5 de Mayo, or go for a small walk around downtown too, but looking for the hot spots, I mean, places with energy and music. Sometimes if you are lucky, people get together on the streets, some of them playing music, and others just dancing. Those are the most fun parts of the journey, bonding with the locals and getting to know people. Enjoy the night and be safe. WARNING: If you rent a car, or you have a car, beware with the drinking, not all the time but occasionally there are police roadblocks around the city just waiting for an opportunity to take your money, so be smarter. If you drink don’t drive.

At the next day, we had breakfast at our hotel, “Plaza Camelinas Hotel” and it was so much fun, the breakfast hotel had an inside room and an outside terrace, of course, we were outside, and as a told you before, some hotels had plays, and this was one of them, we had a Hilarious performance about Queretaro’s history but explaining it with fun and jokes. It was so funny, and even better if you are eating an omelet and fresh coffee. It was amazing.

Our trip was almost finishing and I didn’t know what to do next.

There are a lot of great places where to go outside the city.
Here is a list of possibilities:

  • Gigantes de Tula, Hidalgo.
  • Tequisquiapan, Queretaro.
  • Peña de Bernal, Queretaro.

The first one is in another state, Hidalgo. They are called the Giants of Tula. A big pyramid with enormous statues on the top which are the actual giants. The place is full of ancestral history and desert. Do not forget your hat and a bottle of water because the place it’s warmer than Qerétaro.
The second one is in the state of Queretaro, outside of the city, it is called Tequisquiapan. For the wine lovers, there are travels exclusively for this place to get to know the Vineyards and the Haciendas from around. The full name of the travel is the route of wine and cheese.
The last option is again in the state of Queretaro but this option is more for hiking. Bernal’s Rock is the biggest third monolith of the world. It is located in the town Bernal, and it is a warm place to make some exercise while appreciating nature. Worth for the pictures and the view.

The Giants of Tula

Giants of Tula

I chose to see the Giants. The place is an almost desert but not as hot as it should be, I am guessing that it was at 32 °c ( 89°f). Do not forget your hats and sunscreen because the sun is completely ruthless, the only thing that it is missing is a long sleeve shirt. You have to walk a kilometer (0.6 miles) to get to the bottom of the pyramid and then up to the top, I think it is like climbing a 2 stories building so it is not so tall. The magic in this place are the Giants on top of the pyramid, they are 4.6meters tall. There is also a whole city down of the culture “Toltecas”.

The whole mini trip to the Giants takes like 2 hours, 3 maximum. Also, the town of Tula is a very small place that doesn’t have big restaurants, it will be better if you take snacks for the trip and then go back to Querétaro for the proper meal.

Querétaro is a great place for a quick escape from reality, I assure you that it will be better than the expected and you will learn from historical places while visiting gorgeous spots around the state and city.
So do not think it twice, plan your getaway to Queretaro before it is too late.
Be safe, and have so much fun in Querétaro, México.

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