Tequisquiapan is a small quaint town that welcomes tourists on the weekends and is quiet during the week. I have lived in Tequis (as it is known) for 3 years but have been visiting it for the past 25 years! It started as a weekend retreat for families who came to enjoy the thermal water springs and has evolved over the years to be named one of Mexico’s “Pueblo Magicos,” a designation given to towns that have a special quality. So today, one can mine for opals, have a hot air balloon ride, rent 4 wheelers for a day in the countryside and visit nearby towns that also have their own unique offerings such as an hacienda converted into an equestrian center, a National Cacti garden, and a monolith in Bernal. During the workshop week we will visit a couple of these sites as part of the daily painting activity.
The town boasts cobbled streets, beautiful sunsets, gardens aflame with the purple and burgundy colors of the jacaranda trees and bougainvillea that climb the walls of the colonial buildings lining the streets. Walk slowly through the central plaza where the Temple of Santa Maria dominates the arched walkways made from locally sourced Cantera stone. Under the arches are shops offering silver, sweet candies, furniture, arts and crafts, restaurants and galleries. There is also a market a couple of blocks off the central plaza where you will find more local crafts including basketry, embroidered fabrics and clothes, carved wood and leather crafts, fire opals from the local mines and, of course, food.
Many people wonder about the safety in Mexico. There are, as we know, regions that are affected by crime. However, Tequis is considered one of the safest towns in Mexico and has had no issues with cartel crime.
Your experience in Tequis will allow you to experience a slice of Mexico that most foreigners do not see. In the time I have lived here I have not seen more than 5 other “expats”. I walk to and shop in the local markets where the shopkeepers greet me, I wander down to the central plaza where I enjoy browsing in the arts and crafts shops, and I can head out in the evening for a lovely dinner in one of the fine restaurants that dot the Plaza. However, Tequis is not isolated. If I want a box store experience, then nearby San Juan del Rio has all the major US franchises. The people in Tequis are friendly and helpful and will strive to make this an unforgettable experience for you.
Finally, it is easy to fly into Tequis and it is not necessary to pass through Mexico City. There are flights on Delta, United and American that leave from the States and arrive in 2 hours to the small international airport in Queretaro…. only 30 minutes from my home!
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