San Juan del Rio, Mexico
San Juan del Río (1980 m (6498 ft); population 100,000), a centre of wickerwork and wooden furniture-making, lies 55km/34mi south-east on the MEX 57D.
Jesus of the Porter Lodge
Once a hospital this temple became a temple due to the image of Jesus that the sick and imprisoned patient Evaristo Olvera had drawn on a wall and which would constantly reappear when erased. After the building became a temple, Evarsito Olvera was given freedom.
Temple and Exconvent of Santa Domingo
Construction began in the 17th c. but was not completed until early in the 18th c. The building features a baroque façade and a neoclassic interior. A black Christ hangs above the main altar.The exconvent currently houses the Executive Office of the town.
Lodge of Beatified Third Sisters
Constructed in 1670 to help young and poor girls get educated, this lodge originally named Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Niñas Educandas. In 1683 the lodge was restructured and reorganized.
Santa Veracruz Museum
Opened in 1981 the museum is housed at the local cemetery. Murals are still present within the chapel. The main room of the museum houses archeological pieces from the region.
Bridge of the History
Built in the 18th c. this stone bridge stands above the San Juan River and was designed by Pedro de Arrieta.
The current structure was built around the early 18th c. replaced the original which was built in the 17th c. and then demolished.
De la Llave Exproperty
Open to tourists this area belongs to the National Defense. However some areas are for army personnel only.
The market in San Juan offers a variety of objects, including ceramics, pottery, etc., from all over Querétaro.
Sacred Heart Temple
This temple dates from the 18th c. It was built over a previously ruined temple, San Juan Bautista.
This temple from the 19th c. feature two towers, one with a bell the other with a clock.
Temple and Hospital
The convent and hospital were founded in 1661 and now house the Institutio de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Institute) of the Autonomous University of Querétaro.
Ancient Railroad Station
One of the original rail stations linking to Querétaro and Tequiquiapan.
The semi-precious stone, opal, is extracted from mines in San Juan.
Square of the Founders
A monument honoring the city's founders stands in the square.
A turning in Ezequiel Montes, 17km/10.5mi north of Tequisquiapan, leads to Bernal. The inhabitants of this town, situated at the foot of a spectacularly rocky hill shaped like a hat, are renowned for the production of heavy woollen sarapes.
Cadereyta de Montes, Mexico
The MEX 120 continues from Tequisquiapan to Cadereyta de Montes (2070 m (6794 ft); population 30,000). This former mining town contains the large cactus farm "Quinta Federico Schmoll", which sends its products all over the world.A good but winding road leads off to the right 33km/21mi north of Cadereyta to San Joaquín (2550 m (8396 ft)) 24km/15mi away. The archaeological sites of Toluquilla and Las Ranas are open to visitors. The partially-restored Las Ranas ("The Frogs") can also be reached by car. Little is known of the builders of this late-Classic (AD 700-1000) site. They were probably influenced by the cultures of the Toltecs and that of Xochichalco, and possibly also by the Huastecs. Las Ranas consists of four levels, of which the two upper ones each have five buildings. The sloping and steep faces and the rounded-off steps, which suggests the Tablud-Tablero style, are striking.
The MEX 120 leads from the turning to San Joaquín through the magnificent scenery of the Sierra Gorda to Jalpan (770 m (2527 ft); population 25,000), approximately 95km/59mi distant. This small town is situated in an area of sugar-cane and coffee production.
It is worth visiting the Indian-style Baroque church, which is dedicated to St Jacob and was built between 1751 and 1758. In the lower part of the façade the imperial double eagle is combined with the eagle of the Aztecs, which is eating a snake.The legendary Franciscan Father Junipero Serra was responsible for the construction of the church. He was commissioned with the conversion of the Indians in the area and later founded several missions in California, which developed into San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara in the present-day USA. Serra and his brothers founded four more missions in the vicinity of Jalpan, whose churches are worth viewing for their striking Baroque façades: Concá (38km/24mi), Landa (22km/14mi), Tilaco (49km/31mi) and Tancoyol (60km/37mi).
Xilitla, in the State of San Luis Potosí, is situated some 84km/52mi from Jalpan. From here it is another 4km/2.5mi along the road to Ciudad Valles where a path turns off to the left across fields to Rancho Conchita. Edward James' jungle castle, never completed, can be visited here. This eccentric English millionaire and art collector, who died in 1984, built his bizarre refuge in a luxuriant tropical setting. Since his death the castle has remained uninhabited and has become dilapidated; the jungle is steadily regaining the upper hand and vegetation is slowly enveloping the building.
Casa del Inglés o Las Pozas
This unfinished sculpture garden is located east of Jalpan. Building of the gardens began in 1960. The owner, Edward James, a Scottish poet was friends with many famous artists of the period including Picasso, Dali, and Magritte.
Map of Queretaro Attractions