A never-ending historic quarter
The Querétaro Aqueduct, built in the 17th century, is nearly nine kilometres long and is one of the symbols of a city that safeguards some of the most valuable gems of colonial architecture. In 1996, its historic quarter was declared a World Heritage Site.
Today, the frozen ex-volcano is a mystic centre, registered on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage due to its relationship with the indigenous Otomí-Chichimeca people. Every spring equinox it welcomes pilgrims who climb the steep rock to caress its aura and ‘charge with energy’. It is also a challenge for rock climbers who scale sharp edges that resemble witches noses. But still, Bernal, which in Arabic means ‘a rock in the middle of nowhere’, remains a relatively unknown Mexican gem that has so far gone unnoticed by mass tourism.
To get there you need to pass through Querétaro, a quaint colonial town of mustard and copper houses, and venture into Sierra Gorda. On the edge, about 50km from the capital of the state, lies San Sebastián Bernal, the town that grew at the foot of the lava monolith.