Fourteen kilometres north of Pachuca, draped across pine-clad hills, sits REAL DEL MONTE (aka Mineral del Monte), a once very wealthy silver-mining town, and, at over 2700m, a nice retreat from Mexico City. It’s a quietly appealing place where you can wander around the well-tended streets, and carefully explore mining relics in the surrounding hills. The town’s architecture is largely Spanish colonial, but is given an odd twist by the almost exclusive use of red corrugated-iron roofing, and the existence of Cornish-style cottages with their double-pitched rooflines.

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