The city of Queretaro is an excellent point to begin your colonial Mexico visit. A commercial center of over half a million inhabitants, it lies at the junction of two major interstate highways, routes 57 and 45. Located only two and a half hours from Mexico City (220 km), Queretaro has become a satellite of sorts for the capital. Several large manufacturing plants have relocated on the city’s outskirts, and thousands of businessmen commute between the two cities. Its economy consists of agriculture, livestock-raising and manufacturing. It is also a major center for amethyst, opal and topaz cutting. Its mines produce mercury, zinc and lead.
The city has preserved its historic downtown and taken steps to beautify many areas. The Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996. The property was inscribed on the basis of two if its cultural criteria and considering that the site is of outstanding universal value and an exceptional example of a colonial town whose layout symbolizes its multiethnic population. It is
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