Monday, June 1, 2009

Tequisquiapan, Querétaro

Last weekend we went puebleando-ing (pueblo-hopping) to Tequisquiapan, a small town located in Querétaro state and about 2.5 from Mexico City. Tequis is well-known for its wine and cheese production, and every year, they host the national wine and cheese festival. So, of course, we had to check this out! 

At the turn-off for Tequis is a small town called San Juan Del Rio. San Juan Del Rio doesn't seem to have that much to offer a puebloando-er like myself, but one thing that might be of interest to a tourist, and maybe a Mexican, too, is the slice of America you get while traveling through to get to Tequis. It is so blatantly unnatural that I'm sure it makes everyone kind of go, "Whoa, where are we?!?!" So what is this bit of America in San Juan Del Rio?

I give San Juan Del Rio the distinction of having THE nicest road I've ever seen in Mexico. It's paved beautifully, not a single pothole, fashionable street lamps, modern traffic signals, green grass medians, and flat sidewalks. Even just one of these amenities might draw a notice, so you can imagine how the sight of ALL of these might alter your sensibilities. There are an unusual number of multi-national factories along this stretch of road, so who bribed who to have this road installed is anybody's guess. 

Right about where the nice road ends, Tequis welcomes you with its own nice windy, cobblestone streets. The Zócalo has a magnificent church, and there are cheese shops or artisan stalls on nearly every street. If woven baskets are your thing, this is the place to enhance your collection. Unlike other pueblos, Tequis' Zócalo is blocked off the car traffic, which means the young 'uns aren't driving by at a snail's pace and blasting their reggatón while you're trying to have a peaceful lunch or coffee on the plaza. I like that. A lot.

So we came here for the wine and cheese festival, but I wouldn't recommend it to those actually interested in trying new wines and cheeses. It was so disappointing that I actually don't have that much to write about it except that this festival was an ode to the infamous, low-budget Riunite Lambrusco. It was kind of fun, or more like funny, watching everyone drink Riunite. If you're really interested in trying the area's wine and cheese, there are some wineries and cheese producers that open their facilities to tours. 

The festival was a bust, but the town's a gem, and you're always guaranteed an adventure when you go puebloando-ing. AND, driving conditions/skills are looking brighter, and we managed to only get in like 5 near-death accidents on the highway! 


  1. Alice,
    I went to the Wine & Cheese festival two years ago. What a ripoff! I guess it hasn't changed :)

  2. For what it is, it should be free or at least come with a complimentary glass of wine.

  3. I adore the photo of the old lady smoking. To hell with it all, it seems to say.