A Querétaro road trip: day two

Posted in:

We woke up early on day two, grabbed a cup of the world's worst coffee at our hotel and had a quick look around Jalpan before getting back on the road (catch up on day one here if you missed it).

Jalpan de Serra

Jalpan de Serra is a pretty little town surrounded by mountains and a good base to explore the Sierra Gorda. It's known for two things – its Franciscan mission and its ice cream.

There are five UNESCO protected missions in the Sierra Gorda, and they're all different. Built in the 18th century, the churches incorporated the local indigenous style, giving them their unique facades.

As well as the church, we stopped by the local market and tried the ice cream in one of the shops in the main square.

Jalpan's famous ice cream

The local market

A cowboy hat shop

The Sunday market

Ruta del Sabor

The road through the Sierra Gorda is known as the ruta del sabor (tasting route). There are little wooden restaurants on the side of the highway run by the women from the villages in the mountains.

Now, I know that it might not look like much, but I loved our meal here. It was simple home cooking that was full of flavour – beef a la mexicana, beans, rice and fresh handmade tortillas (and yes, this was technically our breakfast).

A little wooden restaurant

inside the restaurant

Beef a la mexicana for breakfast

Quinta Fernando Schmoll

A last minute addition to our road trip, we dropped by the Quinta Fernando Schmoll cacti collection without knowing much about it. It's one of the largest cacti collections in the world, with plants from all over Latin America. And your ticket (M$40) gets you a little cacti to take home.

Little pots to take home

Me with our new cacti pals


We had a 7 pm deadline to drop off the rental car and we were running out of time when we got to Tequisquiapan. It's a popular getaway spot from Querétaro and Mexico City, with a nice weekend vibe. Known for its artisanal products, it's also on the ruta del queso y vino (cheese and wine route – there are a lot of 'routes' in Querétaro!). The pedestrianised centre is filled with little shops selling products from the local farms and vineyards.

Cute streets in Tequisquiapan

Cheese to take home

Barbacoa Santiago

Our last stop was Barbacoa Santiago in San Juan del Rio. Rumoured to be the best tacos in the world, it was totally packed with big grills full of BBQ lamb out front. Were they the best tacos we've ever had? Well, no. But they're were pretty good. And the leftover BBQ lamb made a great spicy stew the next day.

Barbacoa Santiago

For more on Querétaro, check out my video of our road trip!