Between colored houses, wrought iron windows, bougainvilleas, and blue skies, the monument rises that indicates that one is in the navel of the country.
The shape of Mexico is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic on the planet. A space decorated by two peninsulas at its northwest and southeast ends, in which there are different types of oceans, a multitude of ecosystems and large mountain ranges. There is so much to see that before starting to explore the vastness of the country it is worth asking what do I see first? When in doubt, a good idea is to start at the midpoint.
To be exact, in a small town in Querétaro called Tequisquiapan.
The first thing to note about this destination is that many consider it to be central Mexico, more for its history than for its geography. If we wanted to know where the center of Mexico is, the INEGI says that if we take a map, frame the territory and cross it, the intersection of the lines that marks the middle falls in the surroundings of Villa de Cos, in Zacatecas, a town It has an important railroad past, since the routes that connect the capital with Ciudad Juárez (formerly called Paso del Norte) have passed since 1884.
A monument to mark the center of the country
So why Tequisquiapan take the title? In fact, in this town in Queretaro, you can see a monument built expressly that baptizes it as the center of the country. This enormous sculpture, called the Geographical Center of the Mexican Republic, was ordered to be placed in 1916 by Venustiano Carranza, who frequented Tequisquiapan for its tranquility, its bright colors and, above all, its hot springs.
The monument receiving maintenance. Photo: Ted McGrath / Flickr
The author of this work is uncertain. To get to it you have to walk just three blocks from the central square and it will be distinguished from a distance since it is three rectangular columns that rise to the sky and meet at the top. Once closer one can look out to see the base, which is made of a convex stone surface on which is the Mexican territory. From above, at the junction of the columns, falls a pendulum in the form of a top that marks the center of the country (the one that was considered after the time of the Revolution).
Photo: Places in Mexico.
What to do a weekend in Tequisquiapan?
This monument is three blocks from Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, an esplanade with a circular fountain, flower beds, and framed by arches and colonial architecture. It is here that the Church of Santa María de la Asunción rises, a neoclassical temple that shines with a pink color that was built in 1847.
It is always a good idea to stroll and walk the cobblestone streets that start from there and where there will always be a café, a craft store – the baskets are particularly beautiful -, markets or small hotels to visit. To eat, it is best to try the traditional goat barbecue and milk sweets, as well as the cheeses and wines produced in the Queretaro region.
Church of Santa María de la Asunción.
In the surroundings of Tequisquiapan – whose name in Nahuatl aptly means a place of waters and tequesquites – there are several sources of hot springs that originate in the Tequisquiapan River. To enjoy them one can go either to one of the four spas that exist or book one of the many spas that are in the town.
To get to Tequisquiapan
This town is also considered one of the gates to the Sierra Gorda, it is located one hour by road from Querétaro and about two hours from the capital. It can be easily reached by car or bus, as there are some that leave from the Terminal del Norte in Mexico City.
Photo: Jorge Luis Vega
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