And again about Mexican “magic” villages. Today is a village with the difficult to pronounce name Tequisquiapan, located in central Mexico in the southeast of the state of Queretaro, not far from the state capital Queretaro and from Mexico City.
It is a colonial town with 300 years of history (founded in 1551) and a population of 55 thousand people, also known as a balneological resort due to the presence of various mineral springs and mild climate. Tequisquapan is among the top balneological resorts in Mexico. Many wealthy residents of the capital have houses in Tequisciapan, where they come to relax for the weekend.
In Tequisciapan, as in Bernal, we came from Queretaro for a day. Despite its small size, there is a lot to see and do in the city, but it is usually in the historic center that life boils.
Iglesia Santa María de la Asunción
The first thing that catches your eye in the center is the Iglesia Santa María de la Asunción, also called the heart of the city. This very beautiful pink building, built in the neoclassical style in the XX century belongs to the diocese of Queretaro. The church gets its name from the name of the village. The fact is that previously Tequisciapan was named after the Assumption of Saint Mary.
To be completely accurate, the full name of the village was Santa María de la Asunción y las Aguas Calientes. The city’s most colorful festivals celebrated with a flourish near the church are the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in August and Holy Week in March-April every year, during which an Easter fire is lit on the outside wall of the church.
Plaza Miguel Hidalgo
The church is located in the central square, which is named after the famous Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican War of Independence, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, or simply Miguel Hidalgo. The square is very green and looks like a small, cozy grove with fountains. In March, the annual bullfighting fair (Feria del Toro de Lidia) is held on the square. On the square – a crowd of tourists, you can hear the Spanish, German, Chinese, English.
As in all Mexican cities, in the square we admired sketches of the birth of Christ.
Tourist red streetcar
Then we took a ride on a tourist red streetcar, which brought a lot of positive emotions. The cost of a streetcar ticket for an adult is 30 pesos; for a child, 17 pesos. Please note that the tourist streetcar does not operate on Mondays and Tuesdays. On other days from 11.00 to 17.00.
Museum of Cheese and Wine
We went to see the “Museum of Cheese and Wine”. In fact, as it often happens in tourist places, to “museum” attached store, where you will be strongly persuaded to buy local products. Although at the market you can buy the same thing much cheaper and taste it. At the traditional market, where we also looked, there is nothing but cheese, and wine, and souvenirs, and textiles, and it is decorated very colorfully.
In general, Tekiskiapan is part of the wine and cheese route. Vineyards here began to be cultivated back in 1960. Wine production has reached such a scale that grapes, along with the Church of the Assumption of St. Mary and the sun is depicted on the coat of arms of the city. Every year in May, Tequiscapan hosts a national cheese and wine fair (Feria Nacional del Queso y el Vino) that showcases the best cheeses and wines of Southern Ceretero.
And we went to wander the quiet streets (surprisingly, there weren’t too many tourists) of the city. We saw a beautiful black dog in the back of a car, faithfully following its owner as he went out to the store, then we passed the famous eco-hotel El Reloj (“The Clock”) with more than 80 years of history (it opened back in 1915). The official website of the hotel: www.relox.com.mx. The hotel is very popular with the Mexicans themselves, so it is advisable to book well in advance.
Parque la Pila
Then we visited the stunningly beautiful green Parque la Pila. The park is where the annual cheese and wine fair is held. The name of the park can be translated as “shell” or “pool.” The park was laid out in 1567 by the Spaniards who discovered underground springs here and called the place “the great pool.” The name stuck. Park la Pyla is open to visitors every day from 7.00 to 19.00. There you can also go for a ride on a horse.
So gradually the day came to an end. We also saw my favorite chain of Mexican pharmacies “Similar (same) pharmacies” whose advertising slogan is “Same thing, but cheaper.
If we had spent more time here, we would have definitely done these things:
- have fun in the water parks, of which there are many (Fantasía Acuática, Termas del Rey, El Oasis and others)
- relaxing in the Temazcal prehispánico TONATIU IQUZAYAMPA thermal water spa
- floated in the bright blue sky over Tequixtyapan in a big balloon (this is the excursion offered here)
That’s it! If you’ve been to this wonderful city, please write your opinion about it.