Hear about things to do when you travel to Queretaro, Mexico as the Amateur Traveler talks to Ray Blakney about his adopted Mexican home.
Ray says, “If you’re trying to locate it, take a dart, throw it at the map of Mexico. If you hit a bullseye right in the middle of the country, you’ve probably hit Queretaro. We’re about two or three hours north of Mexico City, in the highlands of Mexico. It’s the state just north of Mexico City.”
“I’ve been here for 14 years. I own online companies. I could live anywhere else in the world. It is a great place to live. A few statistics for you. Queretaro is one of the richest cities in Mexico. There’s a Ferrari dealership here and Sam’s Club and all kinds of modern conveniences. It is one of the oldest cities in Mexico and used to be the capital of Mexico. That Constitution was signed here the national anthem was first written and sung here. It is a Mexican wine country, the second after Baja California. The whole downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
“It has the third-largest monolith in the world like Ayers Rock which you can climb up. It’s got waterfalls you can drive to in two hours. You can pass through seven different ecosystems from area desert to pine forest to tropical jungle, so it’s got a lot going for it.”
Queretaro is a center for aeronautics in Mexico so it does have an international airport. Ray suggests you fly in and immediately go down to the historic center of the city with its plazas and nightlife. Queretaro is safer than most U.S. cities. On the second day, Ray directs us to explore the area including an art museum and a calendar museum. The theater in town is where the Mexican national anthem was first performed. Because this was the capital for the French Emperor Maximillian, the city’s squares may look more French than Mexican.
On the third day, we head out to the monolith of Peña de Bernal. Climb part way up for a great view of wine country. Bernal also has a unique UNESCO site on a UNESCO site. A rich family built their hacienda on an unusual hill… which turns out to be a pre-Columbian pyramid.
Next, we visit one of the local wineries like Freixenet which grows French wines, or Orlandi which grows more Italian varietals.
Ray recommends a two-day trip up into the Sierra Gorda mountains. Visit some of the local waterfalls as well as a string of Franciscan Missions that pre-date the California Missions but were also founded by Father Junipero Serra.
Whether you are looking for wine, history, or scenic beauty, Queretaro is a region that more people should explore.
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Casa de la Marquesa
Maximilian I of Mexico
Queretaro Art Museum
Museo del Calendario (Calendar Museum)
Mercado La Cruz Querétaro
Festival Internacional Cervantino
Asomarte (Event Magazine)
Peña de Bernal
El Cerrito (archaeological site)
Virgin of El Pueblito Historical Marker
Orlandi de Querétaro
Puente de Dios
Missions of California
Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro
Hotel Boutique Casa de Campo
Turkey 2022 trip cancelled
Just want to say you have the best travel podcasts out there by far. I am from the UK and have been planning a trip huge American road trip around the east coast ish starting in Boston and going to Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Nashville, Atlanta, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Washington, Delaware, and finishing in New York. Your podcasts have really helped plan for this trip. And the Blue Ridge podcast fully sold me to add this into this trip.
And everyone saying that September/ October is the best time of the year to go so that’s when we are going.
On Travel to Cyprus – Episode 798, Andreas wrote:
Just one point about the abandoned/decrepit buildings: It has less to do with economics, but with an ambiguous legal situation. In 1974, when the island was partitioned, most Greeks left the north of the island (which became Turkish), but the European Court of Human Rights ruled repeatedly that they still maintain property and ownership rights to the houses they left behind, even if North Cypriot law said otherwise.
Tragically, these property disputes were/are among the biggest roadblocks to a peace settlement.
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Photos by Arturo Ochoa on Unsplash