Just north of Mexico City, by the State of Mexico and Hidalgo, you’ll find Querétaro state. Being only a couple hours drive from Mexico City, it’s an ideal destination for a weekend getaway from the big city. Known for its vineyards, quaint Pueblo Magicos like Bernal and Tequisquiapan, and impressive geology such as La Peña de Bernal, the world’s third tallest monolith, Queretaro State has a variety of unique and cool experiences waiting to be discovered.
At only a couple of hours from Mexico City, Tequisquiapan is a quaint Pueblo Magico with a pretty city center, charming colonial buildings, and vibrant bougainvillea. Stroll the pedestrian streets, take a seat in the city center, or enjoy a glass of local wine at a wine bar.
Hike the World’s Third Tallest Monolith
La Peña de Bernal is an impressive monolith that towers of the town of Bernal. It can be seen from some 40 kilometers away and is the world’s third tallest. People believe that it possesses powerful, positive energies, and it attracts thousands of visitors every year for its alleged healing properties. Although you need to be a skilled rock climber to make it to the top, you can hike a good portion on foot to experience this monstrous geological wonder.
Escape to the Countryside
If you want to take a break from city life, there are plenty of cozy AirBnbs available a few minutes drive from towns like Tequisquiapan. Stay the night in a rustic room on wide-open farmland or find a place with mountain views.
Eat Street Food
No matter where you go in Mexico, always try the street food! Each state has a distinct cuisine, and it can even vary from city to city within the state. Try the classic Mexican street corn, esquites, or go for a gordita (corn masa stuffed with meat or veggies).
Mine for Mexican Fire Opals
Queretaro is one of the few places in the world where you can find Fire Opals. Their colors range from a fiery red to light yellows and oranges. If you’re lucky, you might find one with that famous opal iridescence. I wrote a separate blog post going into detail about these beautiful stones and how you can go mining for them yourself!
Drink Local Wine
In Mexico, Queretaro is known for its wine and cheese. There are plenty of wine bars serving local wine. Visit a wine bar one evening to try a local bottle or two and maybe even taste the local cheese. If you want more of a night in, choose a bottle from the cellar and take it back with you to enjoy in the comfort of your own space.
Eat Pan de Queso in Bernal
Bernal is well-known for its warm and sweet pan de queso. You can smell the pastries baking at every turn, even before finding the bakery. Follow your nose and try one of the many flavors such as chocolate, cajeta (goat’s milk caramel), and zarzamora (blackberry.)