It is Querétaro a beautiful city where 74 archs of the Acueduct rise, erected by the iniciative of the Marqués de la Villa del Villar del Aguila in 1726; a city where tourism will always be welcome, becoming without a doubt, one of the most enriching destinations of México.
Plaza de Armas was a market in the early eighteenth century. In 1886 it was transformed in to a public square. In the center of the square there is a statue in honor of the Marquez de la Villa del Villar del Aguila who built the archs acueduct, just to provide water for his Love`s house. This square is located in front of the government palace. On it, the tourism office of the economic development secretary organizes an open air show named Saturdays of Queretaro where artists dance, sing and give free performances for people of the city and visitors.
La Casa de la Marquesa is a classic mansion featuring handpainted murals, is a colonial jewel with great architectural value. Is comprised of 2 houses; La Casa de la Marquesa that dates back to the 18th century and La Casa Real, built in the 1900s. Bothof these colonial treasures are separated by a small street in the heart of downtown Santiagao Queretaro. Originally founded in 1531 and today listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritages Sites.
- Check my photos, and consider that this photos don't make justice to the real beauty of the place. It's a lot better that it could look.
In a hurry? Just 1 day in town? Take the vintage touristic bus!! (daily except Mondays)
A 2 story bus with guides in Spanish and English. It goes to the most important places. Cost: about 3 dollars. Duration: 2 hours. Info: (442) 238 50 00 Ext. 5212
If visiting Queretaro's downtown without a proper guide it is advisable to take the "Tranvia" tour which is pretty cheap and will guide you through the main seightseeing places within the downtown.
The downtown has been considered as Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO and this tour is the best way to be immersed inside the magic of the city, visiting the main buildings, monuments, squares and gardens.
The aqueduct is an engineering marvel, built between 1726 and 1738 to bring fresh drinking water to the city. There are 74 big sandstone arches, with a canal that ran across the top. The tallest one, toward the hills, is 69 ft. high, and the others are just enough lower for gravity to carry the water along.
You can get a good view from the hill where the Corregidora's mausoleum is.
Convento de la Santa Cruz is a 17th Century monastery, built on the hill where the Spanish defeated the Chichimeca Indians in 1531. Construction started in 1610 and finished 150 years later. The aquifer was built by then, and they ran clay pipes from it to the monastery.
Santa Cruz was where the friars, including Junipero Serra, stayed to rest and gather supplies before building the missions in California. There is an unusual thorn tree growing in the courtyard. The thorns are in the shape of a cross. Supposedly, a friar planted his walking stick here in 1697, and the thorn tree miraculously grew from it.
In 1867 Maximilian used the monastery as his headquarters, and then one room in it became his prison. (Everywhere I went in Querétaro, it seemed, “Max was here.”)
Tours are available in English.
La casa de la Marquesa is a beautiful place to visit, and if you have the money; stay there, today is an Hotel and Restaurant. The people working there's is really nice, when they catch us picking inside the hotel they kindly invite us to visit it and take pictures, I ask permission to go upstair, because they have the stairs blocked for guest only, they accept kindly and I could go and tour around the hotel taking pictures. I can say the place is beautiful and the people in there is very friendly, if I could have stay there' I will, no question!
The room cost was 1,800 pesos night, I didn't took pictures of the room because they where cleaning it at the time, but I took a look and it's really worth it. Sooo beautiful, you'll feel like royalty there. A must for a romantic getaway.
This monument located at the entrance of Queretaro, this is the statue of Conin,the chief of Jilotepec, also known as Fernando de Tapia. He was a native Mexican of the Otomi people, who helped the Spanish conquer territories in the central part of Mexico during the 16th century.
In 1531, he helped to found the city of Santiago de Queretaro and was the first governor of the city. He became a noble to the Spanish crown.
tepoznieves (The best Ice Cream)
When walking around the historic center of Queretaro and if the weather is as hot aswhen I was there, this is a "Must" place to go for Ice cream, not the typical iceCream , Tepoznieves is a very natural and interesting choice, they have not so common flavors as well as the common ones, you can find all kind of flavors as Strawberry, Lemon, Mango, Lettuce, Tomato, Tequila and rose petals.
My favorites: Tequila and Rose Petals IceCream. If you haven't experience those, you have to try it.
The Plaza de la Corregidora has a monument to the woman (the magistrate’s wife) who risked her neck to warn the resistance army about Spanish military plans. Her husband had her locked in her room at the time, but she managed to pass a note through a keyhole. Her statue was erected for the centennial celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain.
Restaurants with outside seating ring the plaza. They all have live music, and each musician is playing something different.
Jardín Guerrero is a paved city block with a large fountain in the center, ringed by trees and wrought iron benches. The trees are close together with their foliage touching, and they trim the top and bottom branches in a straight line. The effect is like looking at a big solid hedge that is 8 or 9 feet off the ground.
A peaceful, shady place to relax for a while.
Jardín Zenea is one of the main plazas, built in 1874, and it is really beautiful. There are lawns, masses of flowers, ornate benches and a nice bandstand. The trees in this plaza are trimmed into more of a mushroom shape instead of squares, and the fountain has a statue of the Greek goddess Hebe.
There is live music several evenings each week. On Sundays an orchestra plays dance music for a mostly older crowd, and the whole square is filled with dancers. The Templo of San Francisco, a big pink church, is across the street.
Plaza de Armas (Independence Square) is older—it was built in the 18th Century, and is surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings. Its fountain has a large statue in the center, and a dog at each corner on the base. The water comes out of the dogs’ mouths.
The Casa de la Corregidor (Governor’s Palace) is across the street. It is now the seat of state government (the city of Querétaro is the capital of the state of Querétaro.) There was always a guard in the doorway, but one day I asked if it was open to the public. Limited areas were, and I was able to go into a stunningly beautiful courtyard. What an office environment that would be!
The giant Santa Clara church, just a block from Jardín Guerrero, has a miniature plaza in front of it—a paved area with a few more trees trimmed into square shapes, some benches, and an elaborate marble fountain. The interior of the church is supposed to be incredible (no square inch left undecorated) but the doors were locked unless a service was starting, and I didn’t get in. It was built in 1633.
The arch of "El Acueducto" is the icon of Queretaro, with 74 archs, build between 1726 & 1738 under order of Marquez de la Villa del Villar del Aguila, unser a petition made my the religious Sor Marcela due to finish the water problems of contamination and lack of water.