Vacations, Travel and Tourism to Tequisquiapan
Tequisquiapan (better known as "Tequis") is a small village in the southern part of the state of Queretaro. It is an ideal place to rest, to spend a few energizing days in the company of your family, friends or spouse, as well as the perfect site to get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily work day. Walk around and explore the tranquil cobblestone streets, remarkable colonial Mexican architecture, the lush vegetation and landscapes, along with the hospitality and courteous attention of the people of Tequis. This charming town is a very popular destination, especially among the people in the central region of Mexico.
The town of Tequisquiapan is located 36 miles from the city of Queretaro. It has almost five hundred years of history and was founded on Chichimeca and Otomi lands in a relatively flat area of small valleys in central Mexico. You can feel the provincial magic of Tequisquiapan in its clear blue sky, its tranquility, its colonial town charm, all with its temperate climate which can average 64F/18C.
Due to the temperate climate, a wide variety of trees grow here such as the Capulin, the Peruvian Pepper, Manglillo, mesquite, and Bilberry Cactus in the mountain area, while in the low lands there are Sabino, ash, white willows, walnut trees, in addition to peach, fig, pomegranate, lemon, apricot, avocado, and guava. This nice variety of trees and bushes also creates beautiful, eye-catching wooden handcrafts.
Vineyards are of particular interest in the Tequisquiapan area, since it is one of the few areas where grapes can grow in Mexico. It is said that in the 60s, thousands of grapevines were planted in 198 acres of land to generate copious harvests for a prestigious foreign company. During this decade, several French grape strains such as ungi blanc (used to make brandy, cabernet sauvignon and granache to make different types of wines) were planted in the region.
The subterranean geography of Tequisquiapan is also special because of the underground rivers that give life to hundreds of wells, creating an area for water spring parks. It is worth mentioning that the Chichimeca lands are known for the healing attributes of the springs, knowledge of which goes back centuries. In the past, people would take baths in temascales (small structures made of stones similar to a brick oven), which were constructed right where the spring was.
Due to the geographic characteristics, the opal deposits in the region are the best known in the country. Beautiful opals of different textures, shapes, sizes, and colors have been found in mines such as La Carbonera, La Esperanza, El Iris, and El Rendon.
Tequisquiapan is a Nahuatl word that means "place of tequesquite" (a type of mineral salt). The entire territory is impregnated with this mineral, which is visible on the ground in many places.
In 1551, under the name of Santa Maria de la Asuncion y de las Aguas Calientes, Tequisquiapan was originally founded on lands occupied by Otomi and Chichimeca indigenous people. The first settlers chose this territory for the fertility of the lowlands and the hot spring waters, the exuberant vegetation, as well as the great variety of fruit trees, making it the ideal place for settlement.
Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the territory was evangelized peacefully by missionaries with help from the Otomi caciques. In this manner, the founding of Tequisquiapan took place easily with help from the Otomi people, while the Chichimeca surrendered gradually. On the other hand, in other areas near Tequisquiapan, the Chichimeca resistance lasted for another 200 years. A historic event marked by the Battle of Cerro de la Media Luna of the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro ended Chichimeca rule.
When the conflicts ended, different haciendas and ranches had intense economic development. Nonetheless, the distribution of the assets (mainly at the hands of the conquistadores) and the exploitation of the indigenous people resulted in a series of insurgencies during the Mexican Independence War.
Afterwards, there is no record, historic or otherwise, until 1920, when there was a change in power of the State. The political center was moved from the city of Queretaro and transferred temporarily to Tequisquiapan.
Today, the town depends heavily on the money that tourism brings year after year to this attractive destination in the southern part of the state.
Very near Tequisquiapan, you will find the charming towns of Villa de San Sebastian Bernal (known simply as Bernal) and San Juan del Rio. Bernal is located 23 miles north of Tequis. This Pueblo Magico (Magic Town), aside from offering a few hotels, also has marvelous landscapes that will leave you speechless, the third tallest monolith in the planet, colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, as well as an excellent selection of handcrafts.
Just 20 minutes away, south of Tequisquiapan, you can find the picturesque town of San Juan del Rio.After the state capital, it is the second most important city in the state of Queretaro. It has a nice selection of hotels, bar, and restaurants for all types of travelers and tastes. What's more, San Juan del Rio has numerous colonial constructions such as luxurious haciendas, elaborate churches, lavish casonas (colonial homes), and attractive plazas.
When visiting Tequisquiapan, do not forget to visit these two traditional towns in Queretaro, legacy of colonial Mexico.
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