Learn About Queretaro's Rich History for Less

Posted November 17, 2009 by Kate Hamman

Mexico-Queretaro-DEF With a nearly untouched colonial center, Santiago de Queretaro in Mexico takes you back in time. And you can discover its rich past for just a few pesos, by taking a trolley ride through town. Then hop off to sample some of the city's best ice cream, before heading back to your affordable room in an old convent.

Explore Queretaro trolley tour: The historic colonial center of Queretaro is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, with wonderfully preserved Baroque monuments and buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th century. For a small fee, you can ride a trolley through the downtown area, passing some of the city's architecturally significant landmarks, gardens, and fountains. Though most of the commentary is in Spanish, you'll still get a good impression of what sets this city apart.

La Mariposa: While La Mariposa serves a range of traditional Mexican fare, the real star is its mantecada, in which ice cream is blended with cream, egg, and cinnamon, and then topped with crystallized fruit and raisins. Many also come for the city's popular Enchiladas Queréteranos, which consist of tortillas filled with shredded chicken, potatoes, and carrots. Ice cream cones start at about 13 pesos (about $1.00 U.S.; check XE.com for current exchange rates).

Hotel Quinta Santiago: Set in a converted convent, the Hotel Quinta Santiago is the perfect place to find peace and relaxation. Learn all about the building's history, which dates back to 1735, while you wander the grounds and its two colonial patios. And the hotel's close proximity to the downtown makes it easy to explore the sights. The 30 rooms come equipped with purified water, Internet, and television, and start at $147.35 per night.

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(Photo: Bryan Busovicki/iStockPhoto.com)

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