QUERETARO

                     The famous Aqeduct in Queretaro built 1726 – 1735 and has 74 arches

Queretaro is a wonderful and beautiful colonial city located in the north central part of the country of Mexico.

Where ever you go in Queretaro, you can see the magnificent water aqueduct built completely of stone ranging from 75 feet in height to nearly 4200 feet in length.  There is a legend about the building of this aqueduct.  It seems that in the 1720’s there was no clean drinking water reaching the area of Santiago de Queretaro and, during this time,  an engineer fell in love with a woman who took her vows as a nun.  Although she could not commit her love to him, she requested him to show his love by building this aqueduct to show his love for her and to save the people of the area.  And, so the engineer proclaimed his love with a dedication of 9 years of building this fantastic, all rock, monument.  It is said that the final arch brought water to the very convent in which the beloved nun lived and this is the story that lives on in the history of Queretaro.

Queretaro is one of the smallest of the 31 states of Mexico.  It is home to various pueblos (towns), of which the most famous are Tequisquiapan and San Sebastian Peña de Bernal and the bustling San Juan del Rio.

Within Queretaro, you will find all major shopping with chains such as Office Depot, Home Depot and Sam’s Club.  There are many wonderful restaurants, dating back 50 or 60 years, and some even more, all maintaining the magnificent architecture, stained glass windows, chandeliers and white linen table cloths still serving the classic dishes that made them famous.  Mixed within the culinary culture and popping up all over the city are restaurants featuring nouvelle cuisine.

Queretaro offers some of the best educational institutions in Mexico as well as top hospitals for any type of major surgery.  Home base for many large businesses is in Queretaro.

The state of Queretaro varies with ecosystems ranging from desert to tropical rainforests especially in the Sierra Gorda mountain range connecting with wetter climates of the south and drier climates of the North.  There are numerous places to tour and explore, however, many are long drives of 2 or more hours.

Santiago de Queretaro is the capital of the state of Queretaro and continues to dominate the state culturally, educationally, and economically.

Queretaro does not attract a huge expat population, but definitely does attract more expats each year, although minimal by comparison to other parts of Mexico.  With that in mind, you should realize that English is not widely spoken here.  If you have a decent amount of knowledge of Spanish, you can truly enjoy all that Queretaro has to offer.  More expats are beginning to live in Juriquilla, a small but beautiful town featuring a lake in its center, strategically located near all major shopping.

You can find affordable living in some of the surrounding towns of Tequisquiapan and San Juan del Rio, but Queretaro and Juriquilla are much more expensive.  Tequisquiapan and San Juan del Rio are at least 40 minutes away from the main part of the city of Queretaro, but Juriquilla is conveniently located for easy access for all that Queretaro has to offer.

TEQUISQUIAPAN

                                         Tequisquiapan main Plaza and Church

Pronounced TAY-KEYS-KEY-OP-AN, this is a magnificent colonial town with winding, cobblestone streets and wonderful little stores and local craft fairs.  The area is rich in wine country and the production of cheese.  Tequisquiapan is truly a very quaint but sleepy town and comes alive on weekends when the wealthy leave the busy cities of Mexico City and Queretaro to relax in the quiet of this little pueblo.  If you like living in seclusion, you’ll love this town.  Very few expats settle in Tequisquiapan and, therefore, little to no English is spoken.

Street in Tequisquiapan with flowing Bougainvillea

JURIQUILLA

Juriquilla (pronounced HURR-E-KEE-YA) is a small but mostly expat populated town in Queretaro.  The homes are beautiful and the big center of attraction is the lake.  It is not cheap to live here, but if you have the money, it’s a wonderful location with the peacefulness of the lake and the excitement and activity of the wonderful city of Queretaro.
Major shopping is only steps away from your door in Juriquilla, including Home Depot, Office Depot, Costco, Walmart and Superama (the Whole Foods of Mexico).

Juriquilla is also the home to Universidad NacionalAutónoma de México (UNAM) which is ranked one of the TOP Universities of 46,635 higher education institutions in the world.

SAN JUAN DEL RIO, EZEQUIELMONTES & PENA DE BERNAL

The areas of San Juan del Rio, Ezequiel Montes and Pena de Bernal are mentioned because they are the other surrounding towns that are most popular with Northern border Mexicans leaving the North for safer ground in the state of Queretaro.  It is estimated that at least 50 families move to these areas every 24 hours from the Northern border towns.

This has resulted in higher attendance in Universities and public schools, an influx of new business and a rapid population growth among Mexicans.  These towns are not particularly inhabited by expats, but great places to visit and tour, the most popular being La Peña de Bernal.
                                La Peña de Bernal

The La Peña de Bernal, a municipality of Ezequiel Montes, is known as the tallest monoliths in the world.  The town itself is known for the craft of weaving wool.  You can find some of the most beautiful woolen rugs, coats, hats and wall hangings in Bernal.

The monolith is believed, by ancient myths, to have magical powers and every March 21st, all people converge at La Peña de Bernal dressed in white to greet the new season of Spring and to gain new health through its story of magical power.

SAN JUAN del RIO

                                                        Plaza de Independcia – San Juan Del Rio

San Juan del Rio is a very quaint little town and offers some good tourism choices, including hotels that maintain their original design and furnishings as well as some wonderful and quaint restaurants.  San Juan del Rio is a very busy town with a large business foundation, including some smaller branches of universities.

San Juan del Rio is affordable and is growing in interest with a small population of retiring expats

Ezequel Montes is more industrialized and caters mostly to the cattle and farm trade.  You can do some shopping in this town and find some small restaurants serving authentic Mexican cuisine, but you won’t find an expat population to speak of.

FAST FACTS

  1. Queretaro is highly elevated, somewhere around 7,000 feet.  People with breathing difficulty may want to consider this if seeking to tour or reside within Queretaro or its surrounding towns.
  2. You will find excellent medical care and state-of-the-art hospitals in Queretaro.
  3. Queretaro has an International Airport with direct flights to the United States, most notably Houston Texas where other connections can be obtained.
  4. There is plenty of public transportation in and around Queretaro.
  5. The highway system connects to Mexico City, Guadalajara and the United States.
  6. The weather is mostly mild, with warm summers and mild winters.  Spring and fall season are beautiful, but it can be cold in the winter evenings needing some sort of heating device. Central air conditioning and central heat are not common in Queretaro.  You can purchase heating devices for each room.  Fans are quite adequate for summer.