When people mention Mexico, they jump into stereotypical bordering towns or the beach. To me, Mexico is a beautiful country, and represents so much more. I am not just saying this because I am of Mexican descent, but I just love how much history there is, the culture, the food, the beaches and all of its charming towns.
One of my best friends studied abroad in Queretaro back in college and she would ALWAYS talk about how wonderful that city and state are. So this summer she convinced me to come with her and experience Queretaro for a couple of days and I absolutely LOVED it. We spent a few days in the city of Queretaro and then we took a small day tour to surrounding towns.
Fun Fact: Alex took that same trip before I did and captured some of the AMAZING photos shared today.
We highly recommend you stay in downtown Queretaro and take the “Ruta del Vino y Queso” (The Wine and Cheese Route Tour) that takes you to several breathtaking magical small towns: Tequisquiapan and Peña de Bernal and to try regional cheeses at Finca Vai and sparkling wine from Freixenet vineyard.
Queretaro is both a city and a state, and is one of the smallest states in Mexico. Located three hours north east of Mexico City, Queretaro offers a variety of activities including: viñedos (vineyards) and queserías (cheese factories). The wine production in Querétaro is now the second largest in Mexico after the Baja California region.
Dinning: Eat AUTHENTIC food like a local at the Mercado La Cruz market, if you want to try some different Mexican food from the state of Oaxaca, try Maria y su Bici it is cute and delicious! Looking for something upscale? Go to La Republica, very chic and it even has a tree inside the restaurant.
Booze: If you want something chill, go to Gracias a Dios for some mezcal drinks. For a crazy wild night, stop by Sirilo, it’s an upscale club that plays EDM, but if you like a good hip hop and reggaeton music,then BaMBaata is great (our favorite, we went twice)! Must try: 12 tequila mix shots
Activities: Walk around downtown and visit: Santa Rosa de Viterbo Church, Convento Santa Clara (old monastery), Santa Cruz de los Milagros Church, Plaza de los Fundadores, City Hall, go uphill and look at the wonderful view of the aqueduct and make sure you snap a pic by the Queretaro sign.
Tours: We took the Ruta del Vino y Queso Tour with Concepts Queretaro, they also offer different kinds of tours around town.
Santa Cruz de los Milagros
Exploring the Ruta del Vino y Queso Tour
The tour starts in Tequisquiapan. Located in the southeast of the state of Queretaro in central Mexico. The center of the town is lined in cobblestone, traditional rustic houses with wrought iron fixtures, balconies, and wooden windowsills. This charming colonial town embodies the legacy of its 300-year heritage populated mostly by indigenous people.
Activities: Walk around downtown and visit the cathedral, snap a pic by the Tequis sign, shop at the artisanal shops.
Finca Sala Vivé by Freixenet
During the tour, you will visit the facility and the unique cava at 27 yards deep of the Finca Sala Vivé by Freixenet Mexico. Expert guides will take you through the wonderful process of the grapes turning into wine, which is without a doubt an enriching and stimulating experience for the senses.
The tour will also take you to a historical cheese factory, where you will explore the maturing cellar, experience the entire cheese making process, and sample CHEESE! The Quesos Vai production catalogue plays with varieties and sources: from the traditional Panela, Oaxaca and Ranchero cheeses, to the Italian Provolone, Lebanese Schanclish, Swiss Reblochon and French Sainte Maure, in additional to other delicacies like curd cheese, creams and jocoque.
Peña de Bernal
The last stop of the tour is Peña de Bernal. It is known for its tall monolith, which is one of the tallest in the world. The porphyritic monolith was most likely formed about 8.7 million years ago. Many people perform a pilgrimage to the small chapel located at the highest point accessible through hiking.
I hope you enjoyed these picturesque towns in Queretaro, maybe you can add this to your travel bucket list!
Photos by: Alejandro Montoya