Heading north from Mexico City is a region of beautiful colonial towns and cities built on the wealth of silver mines and famous for their stunning architecture, ornate baroque churches and pretty cobbled streets. The central highlands have long held a strategic place in Mexican history. For the Spanish conquistadores, discovering rich deposits of silver allowed them to build opulent towns, many now designated World Heritage sites. Also the scene of Mexican rebellions against the Spanish in the 19th century, the region is often referred to as the Cradle of Independence. Stroll cobbled streets set deep into hillsides and marvel at beautiful colonial buildings and fabulous local arts and crafts – especially silver jewellery and ceramics.
A circular route north of Mexico City takes you on a journey of discovery that visits many of these colonial gems including Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Leon and San Luis Potosi.
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel is so strikingly lovely in its architecture that it has been designated a national monument. Its many beautifully restored colonial mansions house delightful patio restaurants and fine shops. It is also a great university town popular with students of painting, weaving, sculpture and photography making it a haven for artisans and a great place to browse galleries and handicraft stalls.
This is one of Mexico's finest colonial jewels. The town is studded with charming and amazingly well-preserved baroque churches, temples and mansions boasting graceful balconies and ornate facades. The name Queretaro is believed to be Purepecha for 'site of the ball-game' or 'place where there are rocks'. If the second is true, perhaps the rocks the Indians were referring to were opals, amethysts and other precious stones found in rich supply throughout this mountainous region. The town much later also played a vital role in the struggle for independence from the Spanish and the revolution. It was here that Mexico's Constitution was written and signed.
Nestled in a narrow canyon between huge mountains, this town is very picturesque with its quaint plazas, colonial buildings, winding cobblestone streets, hidden alleyways and underground passages. When the Spaniards arrived, they found the mountains were rich in silver and a mining town flourished here that soon became the richest in Mexico, producing more than a third of the world's silver by the 18th century.
Tailor-made holidays in Mexico
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Casa de Sierra Nevada is located in the centre of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an extremely beautiful town. The hotel is part of the Orient Express Group and boasts its own cookery school. The complex of buildings has a total of 15 deluxe and executive buildings and 22 suites. Each room and suite is different at the Casa de Sierra Nevada making each stay individual. If y...
Casa de la Marquesa situated in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Queretaro, is located in a special building dating back to the 18th century. The hotel consists of 3 Imperial and 10 Royal Suites, all of which are unique and influenced by different parts of the world. You can enjoy great food at the Dining Room which serves both International and Mexican food as well as, enjoy drinks...
Villa Maria Cristina is a boutique hotel located around 15 minutes walk from Guanajuato city centre. This elegant hotel has 13 individual and different sized suites with either bath tubs or steam showers. The property is peaceful due to its location and offers guests a Spa, Jacuzzi on the terrace, gymnasium and Bang and Olufsen sound systems. Guests can dine at the restaurant enjoying a stylish am...
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