What to do in Queretaro when you have little time!
If you are interested in architectural or religious art, you must certainly visit the churches, as many of them are museums, and even offer guided tours. Some of these places are: The Mausoleum, the Convent of the Cross, the Convents of Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, San Francisco and San Augustine. Regarding Museums we have: The Atrium House, the Museum of Art, the City Museum, the Cerro de las Campanas (which is where Maximiliano was executed) or The Casa del Faldón. If you schedule your time wisely, you could even be able to visit more than four sites in a single day.
In Querétaro it is also possible to see several representations of historical events, or about the most famous characters from the region such as Chucho el Roto or La Carambada. These "Nights of Legends" are presented by actors and musicians who perform for us about such adventures. Theatrical performances are held during the weekends in both, the mesons and at the Regional Museum. Just as with the churches, all these places mentioned above are to be admired for their architectural style and amongst them the most important are: The Casa de la Marquesa, The Casa de la Corregidora, and the Teatro de la República.
Another option is to simply walk through downtown, since around the area of the Miguel Hidalgo Plaza are dozens of shops and stalls, where you can buy beautiful regional crafts. The main gardens to see are: The Plaza de Armas (Weapons Plaza), the Zenea Garden, the Constitution Plaza (here there is a show of dancing fountains!) and the Alameda. The distance between them is short and it is possible to walk this distance. Another ideal route is the Cemetery of the Illustrious Queretans.
The Downtown area also features restaurants, bars, and cafes, ranging from small fast food restaurants to very fancy gourmet places. Of course, I must say that the "carnitas" deserve special mention for being a very delicious treat offered in this area. On the other hand it is important to consider that the food is a little bit more expensive in downtown than in the surrounding areas, so if you have a big family or you are not willing to spend much, you can walk a bit outside the downtown area and find good options to dine.
Another place to visit is the Cimaquatic World Park which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, and that is an area of water attractions and recreational activities. It is ideal to visit with the family since the cost is extremely affordable, being the most expensive ticket $20 pesos (just under $ 2 dlls.!). Here you will find wading pools, swimming pools, boats, places to climb, and more.
On the other hand, if your thing is not to visit the historical sites, ecotourism in the area near the capital is widely practiced and well known. For example, there are areas like the San Pedro Ecotouristic Camp in which camping, hiking and some water sports are practiced.
One other option is The Cabalgata Queretana, which is a four-day horse-riding journey that starts at the heart of the Sierra Gorda, within the municipality of Jalpan de Serra, all the way to the city of Queretaro. The main objective is to relive amongst the participants the experience that our ancestors had during the colonial times and during their fight against the Second Mexican Empire. This nonprofit event is open to those who love horses and nature; participants can take the full tour, or join the caravan at any stage. The Cavalcade of Queretaro takes place between the 19th and the 23rd of July each year.
Tequisquiapan is a small, picturesque village just 58 kilometers southeast of Santiago de Queretaro, founded more than four centuries ago. It is now a mainly touristic place and for many years one of the favorite destinations of people residing in the area around Querétaro. Tequisquiapan offers good hotels and a wide selection of restaurants (where regional food dominates), attractive water parks and a number of interesting activities for the whole family. One of them are the hot springs, where you will also find swimming and wading pools, as well as slides, which will surely make you forget the hustle of daily life.
So next time you want to spend a pleasant, instructive, and fun weekend at a very affordable price, consider visiting Queretaro. You will certainly not regret it!