Queretaro Travel Guide

Everything you need to know about Queretaro Mexico!

Queretaro travel GUIDE CONTENTS

Location | Getting There | Where to Stay | Things to Do | Tours | Safety Tips | FAQ

Queretaro travel guide

Queretaro Mexico: At a Glance

Beauty and culture abounds in Queretaro, one of the most unique states in Mexico. Though not as well known as some other Mexico travel destinations, those in the know flock to Queretaro state to escape the crowds, stroll the colorful colonial streets in the capital city, a UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and drink wine at small production vineyards.

Queretaro travel guide

Queretaro Mexico: Know before you go

  • ✈️ Airport: Queretaro International Airport (code: QRO)
  • 💰 Currency: Mexican Peso
  • 🗣 Language: Spanish
  • Time Zone: Central Standard Time (GMT-6)
  • 🎫 Mexico Visa: The vast majority of travelers do not need a visa for Queretaro — this includes Americans, Canadians, and most Europeans. Head here to see if you need a Mexico travel visa.
  • 🔌 Electricity Socket: You’ll mostly find Type A (two-prong) and Type B (three-prong) — the same as used in the U.S. For visitors from other countries, you’ll need this universal travel adaptor.

What’s the best time to visit Queretaro Mexico?

Queretaro and all Central Mexico has what is known as the Eternal Spring climate. This means you can expect mild springtime temperatures all year, and it’s never super hot or super cold. The best time to visit Queretaro Mexico is from October to March, during the dry season. The rainy season is from April to September, and it can rain quite a bit.

Located in Bernal, Mexico, the Peña de Bernal is the third largest monolith (free-standing stone) in the world.
Queretaro travel guide

Where is Queretaro Mexico located?

Queretaro state is located in Central Mexico, about three hours northwest of Mexico City. Two of the best things to do in Queretaro are visiting the capital city, Santiago de Queretaro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Peña de Bernal, the third largest monolith on Earth, located in the picturesque pueblo magico (magic town) of Bernal, Mexico.

Queretaro Map

Queretaro travel guide

What’s the best airport for Queretaro Mexico?

Queretaro International Airport (code: QRO) is the best airport to use for Queretaro Mexico travel. It is located in Tequisquiapan, Queretaro, about 45 minutes from Queretaro City in normal traffic. From the airport, you can rent a car and drive to your Queretaro hotel, or take a bus, taxi or Uber.

What’s the best way to get from Mexico City to Queretaro?

Some travelers will start their trip in Mexico City, and then head to Queretaro City from Mexico City. From Mexico City, the easiest and most comfortable way to get to Queretaro is by renting a car in Mexico City and driving there, but you can also take a bus.

Queretaro travel guide

Best places to visit in Queretaro Mexico

The vast majority of visitors stay in Santiago de Queretaro (or just Queretaro City for short). From here, you’re just one hour by rental car from Bernal and Tequisquiapan, home to the Cavas Freixenet Vineyard and the Mexico Wine & Cheese Route. Besides the Valle de Guadalupe, Queretaro state has the second best Mexico wine region.

queretaro travel: colorful homes in queretaro city, mexico

Queretaro City, Queretaro Mexico

Santiago de Queretaro has long been overshadowed by its colorful neighboring towns of San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. However, Queretaro gives them both a run for their money in the beauty department.

Is Queretaro worth visiting? Absolutely! From restaurants, historic sites, and even a beer garden, there’s no end to the amazing things to do in Queretaro City, Mexico. With the Queretaro Airport (code: QRO), you can fly directly there!

Queretaro travel guide

Best things to do in Queretaro Mexico

There is a seemingly endless amount of things to do in Queretaro Mexico, one of the best places to visit in Mexico. The majority of them are in or near Queretaro City, the state’s main tourism hub, but for those who venture off the beaten path, there’s even more to Queretaro! Click on any image below to learn more

Queretaro travel guide

Best Queretaro tours

Tours in Queretaro are a great way to see the main cities and their surrounding areas — and unless you’re planning to rent a car in Queretaro, this is the best way to get around because taxi fees add up quickly! 🚙💨 Note: If you do want to have a car in Queretaro, make sure to check out this guide to Renting a Car in Mexico.

Below, you’ll find the most popular and best tours in Queretaro City and the surrounding areas — including the Las Grutas de Tolantongo Mexico hot springs, local vineyards, and more.

Queretaro travel guide

Is Queretaro safe for travelers?

According to experts, you are statistically quite safe while visiting Queretaro — one of the safest states in Mexico. This is especially true of the best places to visit in Queretaro, including Queretaro, Bernal, Tequisquiapan, and the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. That’s not to say bad things still don’t happen in those parts of Queretaro; they do.

Millions of Americans go to Mexico on vacation every year, so if we play the numbers game, the number of incidents is very small… When I’m asked if Mexico is a safe place to go travel on vacation, my response is yes.

Carlos Barron, FBI Veteran (source: Forbes)

As with traveling anywhere, follow general travel safety like not walking home alone at night, watching your alcohol consumption and staying aware of yourself and surroundings. For an added safety measure, pack these travel safety items, dress in a way so your Mexico outfits blend in with the locals, and buy a Mexico SIM card.

travel insurance for mexico paperwork

What’s the best travel insurance for Mexico?

This is a question I get a lot as a Mexico travel writer and Mexico expat. To determine which Mexico travel insurance is best for you, consider factors like the policy’s total cost, your deductible, the coverage you need, your medical benefits, etc. 🏆 In general, I only ever recommend three companies to purchase Mexico travel insurance from:

  • World Nomads — For general travelers and adventure travelers.
  • SafetyWing — For general travelers and digital nomads in Mexico.
  • Travel Insurance Master — Mexico travel insurance search tool, for those who want to compare policies.

Click on any of the links above to get a FREE quote on a policy

Queretaro travel guide

Queretaro Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drink the water in Mexico?

No — Unfiltered Mexico tap water is not safe for human consumption. However, you will need to keep drinking water and to stay extra hydrated, as Mexico is quite close to the Equator. In fact, dehydration is one of the most common ways people get sick in Mexico. So what can you do?

  1. If you’re renting a home with a kitchen, you can boil the water before drinking it.
  2. You can keep buying bottled water — Though this gets expensive, and is horrible for the planet!
  3. Use the Water-To-Go Filterable Bottle. This refillable bottle not only keeps you hydrated, but also filters your water so you don’t get sick in Mexico, and is good for the planet ♻️ Get 15% OFF with code SOLO15!
water bottles

The Water-To-Go Bottle has a built-in, three-stage filtration system that removes 99.9999% of all water-borne contaminants. These include bacteria, microplastics, viruses, heavy metals, chemicals and more. I personally own one, as you can drink Mexico water from any source (even the tap), and be completely safe. Get 15% OFF with code SOLO15!

Is Queretaro expensive?

No — Queretaro is one of the best Mexico budget travel destinations. While it’s still off the beaten path for international travelers, Queretaro travel is very popular with Mexicans travelers. This means the state has great infrastructure to host visitors, but your money will stretch much further in Queretaro than neighboring San Miguel de Allende.

What’s the Queretaro weather like?

Queretaro state, located in Central Mexico, has what is called the Eternal Spring climate. This means you can expect mild springtime temperatures all year, and it’s never super hot or super cold. The Queretaro rainy season lasts from about April to September, and it can rain quite a bit, so try to visit from October to March, during the dry season.

Queretaro weather

Is Queretaro worth visiting?

Yes — Queretaro is a unique Mexico destination that many types of travelers will love. Nature enthusiasts love climbing the Peña de Bernal and visiting the Sierra Gorda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the areas surrounding Queretaro, you can visit all the wineries and cheese caves on the Mexico Wine & Cheese Route.

How many days do I need in Queretaro Mexico?

With four full days, you could enjoy Queretaro City and its neighboring cities of Bernal and Tequisquiapan. If you want to venture off the beaten path into the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve to see the Franciscan Missions and enjoy the gorgeous nature, add three days to the trip, for a total of seven full days.

🗣 Mexico Language

Mexico Fun Fact: There’s actually no official language of Mexico!

Spanish is the most widely-spoken, so some mistakenly say Spanish is the official language of Mexico. However, the government actually recognizes 68 national languages, including the Nahuatl Aztec language, and the Maya language.

💰 Mexico Currency

Mexican Peso — Exchange rates vary, but have hovered around $18-21 pesos to $1USD for about the last decade. You will find some places that take U.S. dollars, but usually at an unfavorable rate, so stick to using pesos in Mexico.

☀️ Mexico Weather

Mexico is a big country — the 7th largest on Earth, in fact! It’s hard to generalize the weather in Mexico, because it will vary greatly by where you’re traveling.

In general, temperatures are mostly mild everywhere all year long, though summers on the coast are hot and humid, and winters in Central and Northern Mexico are on the colder side. Throughout the whole country, the rainy season runs from (about) April through September.

✈️ Mexico Busy Season & Slow Season

• Mexico Busy Season: The busy season in Mexico runs October to March, as this is the dry season and you’ll get the best weather. December is the busiest month for tourism in Mexico.

Mexico Slow Season: If you don’t mind some rain, you’ll often find the best travel deal during the Mexico slow season of April to September. Do keep in mind that June 1-November 1 is Hurricane Season, and Mexico beaches are all susceptible.

Mexico Shoulder Season: The shoulder season is that magical time when prices are still low and the weather is good. The Mexico shoulder season is from about mid-October to November and January to early-April.

🧳 Download your FREE Mexico Packing Checklist!

Check out this Ultimate Packing List for Mexico — so you know what to pack and what NOT to pack for Mexico! This article offers advice on packing for Mexico cities, and packing for a Mexico beach vacation.

Beyond what Mexico outfits and clothing you’ll want to bring, here are a few extra things to consider:

• Filterable Water Bottle: Mexico is close to the Equator, so you’ll need to stay extra hydrated. In fact, dehydration is one of the most common ways people get sick in Mexico.

A filterable, refillable water bottle not only keeps you hydrated, but also filters your water so you don’t get sick in Mexico.

The Water-To-Go Bottle has a built-in, three-stage filtration system that removes 99.9999% of all water-borne contaminants. These include bacteria, microplastics, viruses, heavy metals and chemicals.

• Mexico SIM Card: Want to be able to use your phone in Mexico?! Of course you do! Pick up a TELCEL Mexico SIM card before your trip, and swap it out on the plane while you’re waiting to exit, so you have phone and data service the second you arrive in Mexico!

• Anti-Hangover Meds: Planning to party hardy?! Make sure you’re not wasting any of your precious travel time with a hangover. Liquid I.V. has about 70,000 reviews on Amazon, and is considered the best defense against a hangover.

• Sun Hat: No matter if you’re headed to the beach or a city, you’ll want to wear a hat to shield yourself from the strong Mexican sun. This cute sun hat is the perfect stylish and practical accessory for your Mexico vacation.

 Sunscreen: As you’ll want to reapply a few times throughout the day, a light, Mineral-Based Sunscreen is ideal. Headed to the beach? Do your part to practice responsible tourism in Mexico by only using an eco-friendly Reef Safe Sunscreen while swimming. You can even ditch the sunscreen altogether and opt for a Long Sleeve Swimsuit instead.

 Bug Repellent: Mosquitoes are common throughout Mexico — especially on the beaches! REPEL Insect Repellent is an eco-friendly brand that’s DEET-free and plant based, with a pleasant lemon and eucalyptus scent. Don’t want to use a spray? Pick up some Mosquito Repellent Bracelets.

The vast majority of travelers do not need a visa for Mexico — this includes Americans, Canadians, and most Europeans. Head here to see if you need a Mexico travel visa.

🎫 What is the mexico FMM?

When you go through Customs & Immigration to enter the country, you’ll receive your Forma Migratoria Multiple, or FMM Tourist Card (sometimes listed as FMT). If you’re coming by plane or cruise ship, there is no charge; for those driving across the border, the FMM costs about $30USD.

In most circumstances, all visitors get a 180-day (six month) visa — so you can legally stay up to six months!

🚨 Have your FMM on you at all times

Keep in mind that though it’s called an FMM card, it’s actually just a small piece of paper. Keep your FMM on you at all times in your wallet, as this proves your legal status in Mexico. It’s rare, but if an officer stops you, they can ask to see your FMM.

🎫 Don’t lose your FMM!

You need to have your FMM on you at all times, as proof of your legal status in the country. Be sure to keep track of your FMM, as you’ll have to give it back to an Immigration officer at the airport, cruise port, or land crossing when you’re leaving the country.

If you lose your FMM, there is a $600 peso ($30USD) cost to replace it, and some paperwork you’ll need to fill out before you can leave the country. If you’re flying home, plan to arrive at the airport about one hour earlier than you normally would to do the paperwork and pay the fine.

As this question doesn’t have a yes/no answer (I wish it did!), I do my best to answer it in depth in this article, Is Mexico Safe: 25 Mexico Travel Tips You Need. However, for the most part, Mexico is actually statistically quite safe for all travelers — including solo travelers! Check my Solo Female Mexico Travel page for more info.

Mexico solo travel guides

Mexico is a big country, and it has plenty of amazing solo female travel destinations — like the ones featured in this article, Mexico Solo Travel: 20 Safe Destinations for Female Travelers. In it, you’ll get recommendations of places to visit in Mexico, from solo travelers who have actually been to them.

🎧 solo travel podcasts

• Ep. 34 | Planning your first Mexico solo trip
• Ep. 40 | Tips for safe solo travel in Mexico
• Ep. 53 | 30 Solo female travel tips, Pt. 1

To answer the question, Is it safe to drive in Mexico?YES, it’s considered safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico. As the country is quite large, road trips are a great way to see a lot in a little time, and especially popular in the Yucatan Peninsula and Baja California Peninsula.

The one caveat to Mexico driving safety is that you’ll be in a foreign country, unfamiliar with their laws and customs. Head here for a complete guide to Renting A Car in Mexico: Everything You Need to Know, where you’ll also get 10 useful Mexico driving tips!

🚙💨 Looking for the best Mexico car rental company? Discover Cars works with both local Mexican companies and international companies to get you the best rates. Not only do I recommend them — I also use them!

Find Your Rental Car

As a general rule, you’ll want to know at least a few words of Spanish when visiting anywhere in Mexico. This is both a sign of respect, and will also help you have a better, smoother trip.

If you stick to the more touristic places in Mexico, you should be fine with basic Spanish. For those planning to venture off the beaten path, be advised most people in pueblos (small towns) speak little to no English.

Here are some options:

  • Brush up on your Spanish: Use a language-learning program like Rocket Spanish, so you’re confident, and conversational, before your trip.
  • Download the Google Translate App: For this to work at all times, you’ll need a Mexico SIM card with data — as the app won’t work when you’re off-WiFi.
  • Travel with a Mexico phrasebook: This Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook is an Amazon best seller, and a great non-digital language assistant!
  • Save the infographic below as an image on your phone. This way, you have access to these common words, phrases and questions even when you’re off-WiFi.
List of useful spanish words and phrases