Of all the colonial cities in the Bajío, QUERÉTARO is perhaps the most surprising, with a tranquil historical core that boasts magnificent mansions and some of the country’s finest ecclesiastical architecture. Little more than two hours from Mexico City, it’s also a wealthy and booming city of eight hundred thousand people, one of the fastest growing in the republic. Querétaro’s colonial centre is particularly magical at the weekends, when festive crowds and markets throng the streets, and church bells echo across plazas linked by narrow alleys lined with restaurants and bars.

There are points of interest, too, in the surrounding hills of the Sierra Gorda, notably the small towns of Bernal and Tequisquiapan, and the much more distant charms of Edward James’s jungle “sculpture garden” at Xilitla.

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