🇲🇽 Querétaro, Mexico 🇲🇽
My first time in Mexico! I started off at the pod hotel in Mexico City, and then took the three hour bus the next morning to Querétaro. What an amazing place! The ornate architecture, wildly blooming vines above doorways and window displays of erotic outfits made for a fascinating few days here in this lovely city.
It was clean, beautiful, safe, picturesque, enchanting and a great place to start off my almost 3 week, nine-city, solo adventure in Mexico.
(Queretaro, Bernal, San Miguel de Allende, CDMX, Puebla, Oaxaca, Merida, Chichen Itza, Valladolid. Working on a post for each one. ❤️)
My favorite part was the aqueduct viewing area, complete with a hot and muggy trek up to said lookout point where you can see the famous aqueduct.
In the city center, there were a million shops and stalls to buy beautiful hats, colorful purses, beaded jewelry, llama and alpaca wool sweaters, adorable Frida Kahlo dolls, sexy-themed keychains with butts and boobs on them, delicious Street food and everything in between.
I stayed at an Airbnb for $16 a night, a bit outside the city center but no more than a five or 10 minute walk (in a very safe neighborhood with a preschool right across the street and grocery store directly behind me. And a fun rooftop view – the very last picture). It was owned by a woman named Maria who had two children, spoke English well, and lived in a secure building. I had a tiny room that was basically a shed on top of her roof, but there was running water, a nice bed, a hot shower, and most importantly, a secure place for me to sleep.
I took two day trips, one to Bernal (an hour away on a local bus), and one to San Miguel de Allende (2 hours away on a regional bus), and often took Ubers or other rideshares. I don’t speak any Spanish, so there was a lot of Google translate and hand gestures, but that was just part of the fun, haha. Also, figuring out the new currency is a challenge when you first arrive, but I took out about US$200 worth, and I didn’t need to get out more until the very end. (I had already paid for my accommodations and flights, though.)
One of my favorite locations was the art museum, which is where I found this super cool statue and beautiful, ornate building, which felt like it was from the 1600s. Wow!!
This was my other favorite part of Querétaro. This m door that has a grouchy face on it was just hanging out on a normal street – and bonus! It was super close to the aqueduct viewpoint.
I went in June after getting fully vaccinated, but Covid precautions were still being widely used. Masks and hand sanitizer everywhere, washing off your shoes before you enter any building, chairs and tables moved further apart than normal, max number of people at the museums and in the churches strictly enforced, as well as seating in the churches with clearly marked spaces for you to sit…or not sit.
I was fascinated by how big of a deal limes and mangoes 🥭 were at the grocery store, the yummy mamays that I’d never tried before, and how delicious all the fruit looked. I’m so jealous! Wish I had that where I live!￼￼￼
(Keep in mind all the prices show a “$,” but that is how they show pesos in Mexico, and 20 pesos = 1usd. Very rarely will you find items for sale in US dollars, unless they are at a major tourist attraction like Chichen Itza, and even then, they will say the amount and “US dollars” right underneath it.)
I loved the wild, brightly colored vibey flowers that had grown over every doorway, the sassy local women with their tight jeans and belly tattoos (not all of course, but some had very cool fashions), adorable small children hanging out with their parents even when their parents were on a date.
This is a picture in one of the parks, where the two young parents are making out, and the mom is basically sitting on the 2 y/o daughter so she doesn’t run away. 🤣 Hilarious.
There are big fountains that local kids play in, much to their parents’ dismay, multiple large colorful churches that offer a free respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, chocolate shops that smell absolutely divine, and cobblestone street pathways surrounded by buildings of every color in the rainbow.
I loved the side street fountains shaped like seashells, the colorful ponchos with Frida Kahlo’s face on them, the beaded jewelry, and small shops that display their vibrant clothing on hangers that go all the way up to the second story. (Seriously impressive haha). There were so many beautiful clothes, available and every color and size, as well as funny characters beckoning you into each specific store front. One store had a green Martian, another one had a little alien, and another guy was sitting on his motorcycle, beckoning people into his friend’s tiny café.
The quinceanera dresses we’re just stunning, and the old colonial architecture made my camera very happy. Every building had multiple terraces with ornately designed gates, large doorways surrounded by colorful potted plants, and were made out of concrete to guard from the heat.
The street art was fascinating, the tiny local buses only slow to a rolling stop for people to get on and off (the doors only close about 50% of the time) and there was a giant stack of meat for Tacos Al Pastor on every corner. I don’t eat a lot of meat, so when I told the owner that, he gave me a massive stack of onions and a little tiny stack of the most delicious chicken I’ve ever had in my life.
Taking food to go here is so interesting, because instead of just piling it on the taco to let it get all soggy and drip all over your bag, they put the salsas and condiments, like cucumbers and limes, in these miniature individual plastic baggies, each of which is knotted tightly and placed in yet another plastic bag or two. Not the most environmentally friendly method, but very interesting for a first timer.
My favorite street display was a women’s clothing store, where a sexy net outfit with the crotch cut out was displayed on a curvaceous manikin, right next to a child-size manikin, wearing a mini mouse T-shirt. In other words, if you buy this net body suit, you might need this child’s outfit soon after. 🤣
There were cowboy boot stores right next to art studios, selling pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Frida Kahlo, and a whole lot of colorful cats.
Local guys that sold keychains and knickknacks on the street rolled up all of their wares in a giant tarp when they were finished, and walked home with the tarp precariously balancing on their head.
I headed to the Museum of Modern Art, which was open to the public, even though they were very cautious about covid. There were fascinating statues of faces blending into other faces, and shiny stars hanging from the ceiling. And major bonus – they even had a working restroom. (Protip: bring TP with you everywhere in Mexico🤣)
Great place to visit, very safe, lots of nice people, not speaking Spanish should not hinder you from visiting, and bring an extra suitcase in order to￼￼￼ bring all of your souvenirs home.￼ (I brought my little, tiny, under the seat, personal item bag, that’s circled in one of the pictures here, perfectly fine for everything I would need for a 3-week trip, but not nearly big enough for all of the souvenirs that I wanted to bring home haha) ￼❤️❤️😍😍✈️🇲🇽