After our long stay in Guanajuato, we were happy to hit the road the again. Our first stop was the city of Santiago de Querétaro. The town has a beautiful old city and long viaduct that used to transport water into the city. The city is also home to a great brewery our friends Tyler and Megan (@justwanderinthrough) told us about. They had great beer and great food, and we were able to sleep in the parking lot that night. This meant Ben could sample their stronger beers without concern.
The following morning we headed out to some Pueblo Magicos nearby. First was Bernal, a cute village located by a giant monolith. It is the third largest monolith in the world – though we still don’t really know what constitutes a monolith vs a rock. We hiked a ways up the trail under the monolith to a viewpoint to enjoy the views. We then headed off to the small town of Tequisquipan and enjoyed another pretty old town.
The next couple of days we spent at a beautiful hot spring. Grutas Tolantongo are absolutely magical. We slept aside a warm turquoise river, swam in a cave that had hot water streaming from the roof and relaxed in hillside thermal pools overlooking the beautiful valley below. And by pure coincidence, we ran into two other Swiss couples the first night there.
After two relaxing nights at the Grutas, we took the scenic gravel road to National Park El Chico. We visited a couple of mining villages located around 3000m, Real del Monte and Mineral del Chico. We camped in the park two nights went on some short hikes there. The air was wonderfully clear – the last clear air we would breath before heading into the State of Mexico and Mexico City in the following days.