Jalpan de Serra Vacations

Uncover the historic and rustic charm of Jalpan de Serra, a “magical town” with old Franciscan missions, nature trails and a scenic river.

Jalpan de Serra has been designated one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns), for its natural beauty and cultural riches. This charming town in the state of Querétaro, is located 215 miles (345 kilometers) north of Mexico City. It is part of the Sierra Gorda, an ecological region full of mountains, canyons, caves and waterfalls. Immerse yourself in the stunning rural beauty of this UNESCO site as you amble along the town’s cobblestone paths. Enjoy local food, such as acamayas (freshwater prawns) and sweet pumpkin seed treats.

The town itself is home to Franciscan mission churches, such as one dedicated to the apostle James in the town’s main square. Visit these missions to appreciate a baroque style unique to this region created 250 years ago. The Tancama, an interesting Huasteco ceremonial center, is 6.5 miles (10.5 kilometers) southeast of the town. 

Spend a few hours at the Sierra Gorda History Museum in the Plaza de Armas near the town center. The museum’s 16th-century building is one of the oldest in the area and once served as a military fort. Explore the seven halls with exhibitions covering local history. See old relics and ruins from the pre-historic era up to the present day. Barter over snacks, such as gorditas (fried, stuffed corncakes), tacos and juicy fruit, in the markets outside the museum.

After admiring aspects of the city’s historical culture, take a look at Jalpan de Serra’s natural wonders. The area’s temperate climate makes outdoor exploring enjoyable year-round. Trek through 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of forests and mountains to reach El Chuveje Waterfall, which consists of two descents and a calm natural pool. Stroll along the Riverwalk, a 0.75-mile (1-kilometer) natural tunnel of trees next to the Jalpan River. 

To reach Jalpan de Serra, fly into Querétaro Intercontinental Airport, which is about 110 miles (178 kilometers) southwest. Drive or take a bus along the mountainous roads to reach the town. Some hire a local guide to arrange a custom sightseeing tour.

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