Керетаро, Мексика

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Iyna Bort Caruso

Baroque architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries gives the central Mexican city of Queretaro its distinctive character. A steady stream of cultural offerings, an inviting climate and a well-developed infrastructure give it its dynamic quality of life.

Santiago de Queretaro, as it’s officially known, is less than three hours from Mexico City making it a popular getaway for residents of the capital. It is also enjoying a rising profile beyond the country’s borders.

A massive 74-arch stone aqueduct built in the 1700s to bring water to the city from regional springs is the symbol of this well-preserved inland city. Queretaro’s downtown is filled with tree-lined plazas pedestrian alleys and restored villas. The collection of historic buildings that forms the Monuments Zone has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Queretaro is the setting for some of the country’s most important events, even finding itself the capital of the country at two different times. It is where the struggle for Mexican independence from Spain first began in 1810.  Thirty-eight years later, the treaty ending the Mexican-American War was signed here, and in 1917 Queretaro was where the Mexican constitution was signed.

Despite its charms and attractions, Queretaro is not a city over-run with tourists, allowing residents, both local and international, a true authentic colonial Mexican experience. At the same time, it is a place that does not shy away from modernity.  Queretaro is fueled by a fast-growing and high tech economy, particularly the aerospace manufacturing sector, and the Queretaro luxury real estate market has impressive examples of contemporary architecture.

The city is also a launching pad for ecotourism activities. The region is situated between two mountain ranges. Desert lands, ravines and tropical rainforests are within reach. Those seeking more leisurely pursuits find it at the area’s golf courses, volcanic hot springs and burgeoning wine country.