Attractions of Querétaro

BIOSPHERE RESERVE : La Sierra Gorda

Located north of the state, La Sierra Gorda is regarded as the most important natural reserve in all of Mexico. Its relevance lies in the magnificent diversity found across the 384,000 protected hectares shared by the states of Queretaro, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi. The vast territory is home to an endless natural wealth, including 1,800 species of vascular plants, 131 types of mammals, 360 bird species and 71 types of reptiles, and that is just to name a few. Such an explosion of life occurs across diverse ecosystems within particular climatic areas found throughout the reserve. All major climatic conditions found in Mexico are also found within the limits of La Sierra Gorda, those being arid climate, temperate from the mountains, semi-humid tropical, and humid tropical.

In the case of the state of Queretaro, the reserve spreads through the municipalities of Jalpan de Serra, Arroyo Seco, Landa de Matamoros, Pinal de Amoles, Conca, and Penamiller.

Of course such an amazing territory offers equally diverse recreational possibilities, the most popular of which are hiking, long excursions, boat trips, biking and horse-back riding. Visitors are advised never to forget the impact that human presence and activity can have in such a special place.

SAN SEBASTIAN BERNAL

Magical town in Queretaro, founded around the famous rock known as Peña de Bernal. Structures such as the viceroy architecture displayed in El Castillo, the temple of San Sebastian Martyr, and the Chapel of the Souls, are reminders of European and even Arabic influence in Mexican soil. The Santa Cruz festivities, a local celebration, represents a colorful and enigmatic display of masks made by the participants.

The Peña de Bernal is the third largest monolith in the world, and reaches a height of no less than 350 meters. The rock is actually fitted so it can be explored either through narrow yet comfortable trails, or by rappel climbing, providing the necessary experience and equipment.

SANTIAGO DE QUERETARO

The legendary state capital has actually played an important and relevant role in the history of free and independent Mexico, as it hosted crucial events : cradle of the meetings which conspired against the Spanish rule; witnessed the signing of the Guadalupe-Hidalgo treaty which ended the North American invasion; burial of French emperor Maximilian of Habsburg, executed in the local Cerro de Las Campanas hill; and finally, it was the Mexican capital city during the period of president Venustiano Carranza, when the Political Constitution was promulgated in 1917.

Visitors are not allowed to miss the historic center of this city, listed as Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO, and which features the Plaza de Armas or main square; La Casona de los Cinco Patios, meaning the large house with five courtyards; the former Episcopal Palace, the Cathedral, the temple and former convent of San Francisco, and the Theater of the Republic, where the Mexican national anthem was intoned for the first time.
 

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