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The regal city of Querétaro is known for its beautiful colonial architecture and its significance as the place where the conspiracy for independence from Spain germinated. Querétaro Centro Histórico contains a large area designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the nearby Cerro de las Campanas where Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg was executed.

The city has become a beautiful place to visit, mainly because of the beauty of the historic center. A walk at night in its narrow streets and alleys is a beautiful experience that makes people remember the long struggle for the Mexican independence that began here, as well as the ancient legends that have spread generation after generation by its very proud inhabitants.
Downtown Queretaro - Mexico
Queretaro Courtyard - Mexico

Querétaro, formally Santiago de Querétaro, was founded on July 25, 1531. On this date Spanish Conquistador Hernán Pérez Bocanegra y Córdoba arrived with Otomí Indian Conín, the chief of Jilotepec, to found the town of Querétaro. He is said to have won without resorting to arms after seeing a vision of the Cross and Saint James the Great ("Santiago"), after whom the city was named.

Queretaro Church - Mexico Queretaro Facade - Mexico

In 1656 the city was re-named "The Noble and Loyal City of Santiago of Querétaro", by Viceroy the Duke of Alburquerque. The title was confirmed in 1712 by King Philip V of Spain. In 1726 an aqueduct was constructed, which furnished the city's water until the 20th century.

Queretaro Aqueduct - Mexico Queretaro Archway - Mexico

Corregidora Sculpture Queretaro - Mexico On September 13, 1810, Epigmenio González was taken prisoner after starting an insurrection against the oppressive Corregidor Don Miguel Domínguez and for conspiring against the Viceregal government in cooperation with Doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, wife of the corregidor, which is represented in the monument to the right. This is considered to be one of the earliest actions of the Mexican independence movement.

In 1847 Querétaro was made capital of the Republic during the United States of America's invasion in the Mexican-American War. On May 30 1848, the two nations exchanged their ratifications of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in Querétaro, whereby Mexico ceded to the United States its territories in today US states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

In 1867, during the French intervention in Mexico, the city was the last capital of Emperor Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire. The Liberal Republicans defeated the Imperial Conservative forces here, and on June 19 Maximilian was executed with his Generals Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía on the Hill of Bells "Cerro de las Campanas". It became the de facto capital of the Republic for the third time on February 5, 1917, as the Proclamation of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States was established by President Venustiano Carranza at the Constitutional Congress in the city's Teatro de la República.

Queretaro Church - Mexico

Since the 1980s, the city has changed from a medium-sized city to become one of the wealthiest and cleanest cities of Mexico. In the mid 1990s the city was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. Today, Querétaro is a wealthy city in Latin America in terms of PPP GDP, similar to that of some European countries. Querétaro in some 2007 rankings is considered the second best place in Mexico to do business, after Monterrey and the fifth best in Latin America. The city is known for its high quality of life, having one of the highest per capita incomes of Mexico and Latin America.

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