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baldone Sep 2nd, 2020 08:50 PM

Compilation of mostly Northern Mexico trips
Tula, Tamaulipas
As is our custom, many of our trips start off in San Luis Potosi. Always looking for new routes to/from the border, thus this brief trip report. Didn’t know anything about Tula, until I zoomed in on Google Maps looking for a hotel, as it seemed about the halfway point to Monterrey. I was surprised to see it was a Pueblo Magico, so we opted to stop there for a night. To get there, I took the turnoff off of 57 through Guadalcazar instead of the Matehuala/Tula cuota. I’ve been past the turnoff many times and the name of the town/municipio was intriguing. Seems there’s quite a bit of history there. It was founded as a mining center in the 1600’s and a couple of churches date from that era. Caving is a popular activity there these days, though we just did a drive by. On to Tula: It’s a pleasant town, super clean & quiet. We stayed at the Hotel Casa De Los Rombos, a newly remodeled hotel with a decent restaurant. Arrachera for $100 mxn. Rooms were big and fairly priced at about $40 US. Probably the nicest hotel in town. Right behind the hotel is a good coffee shop for those that prefer an espresso over Nescafe before they hit the road. It appears that some Pueblo Magico funds may have been put to good use as the town has its own little ‘river walk’, built to divert/control excessive rain runoff from flooding the town. The touristy aspect of the walk may be a bit ambitious as nearly all of the locales remain vacant. Maybe they’ll rent out over time. One thing I noted that I don’t recall ever seeing in Mexico was a fire hydrant. Just never recall seeing one anywhere. Maybe because I’m not looking, but it stood out as odd. I’d for sure spend a night there again.
We then drove on towards Monterrey. There was a noticeable police and military presence on the highway between Tula and Cd. Victoria. How long that will continue I think is up in the air, as I read where Tamaulipas hadn’t been paying the military. We were stopped twice at the military checkpoints, but they didn’t ask for any documents. Scenery was impressive.

baldone Sep 10th, 2020 07:03 PM

Iturbide & Linares, Nuevo Leon.
This was a trip from Monterrey back towards San Miguel. The scenery on MEX 85 along the eastern side of the Sierra Madre Oriental is impressive. Lush, green, lots of orange groves and cattle ranches. And the mountains seem to leap from 0 to 100 almost immediately from the coastal plain. From Monterrey we passed through Linares, a Pueblo Mágico. It was a charming enough town, though maybe a bit less than Magical. Now, on this particular trip we didn’t stay there, but on a later one we did. On that later trip, stayed at the Zapata Plaza Hotel, an 1800’s Casona converted to a hotel. Quiet and roomy with secure parking, and about $40 US. Dinner was at La Bodega 220, and it was really good, much better than I expected for a town this size. A few Mexican beers on tap (rare for smaller towns), salads, burgers, steaks, and a large seafood selection. On a prior trip through Linares we simply got some broasted chicken & Cokes from Bodega Aurerra and ate in a park. We then headed for our hotel in Iturbide, Nuevo Leon. More stunning scenery in the canyon. The only traffic we encountered was a forest service truck. Iturbide is an exceptionally clean town, as was our hotel, Posada El Carmen (also had secure parking), and at 1500 meters it was a refreshing change from the heat of Linares & Monterrey. Iturbide it seems serves as a base for outdoorsy type activities such as canyoning, rappelling, hiking etc., and other than that there’s not much going on. Its other and rather macabre claim to fame is it’s near where Banda singer Jenni Rivera’s plane crashed back in ’12. The town for whatever reason decided to commemorate the crash with a bust of her in the plaza. There were few restaurants, save for a couple taquerias and a pizza place that was closed. The place we ate let us bring our own beer as they didn’t have a license, I guess. The locals didn’t seem terribly friendly, maybe because few if any gringos pass through and no one knew what to make of us. We walked around for about an hour before heading back to our hotel. Slept with our window wide open, and there was nary a bug, bell, bus, or firecracker. I didn’t notice any public transportation on the highway as there was so little traffic anyway. But no doubt buses of some sort pass by there. This drive towards Monterrey is our favorite as you go from the dry Altiplano Potosína to the lush Gulf coastal plains in just an hour or so, and it’s not terribly far out of the way from taking the 57/40 cuota.
Quiet night in Iturbide
Our modest hotel in Iturbide
Iturbide's plaza
Brief glimpse of the drive between Linares & Iturbide

MmePerdu Sep 10th, 2020 11:04 PM

I had a look on google maps to see just where Iturbide is and in the photos that came up with the map only one was of a hotel, yours baldone. Is it the only one? The hotel website has photos that show a hotel & town about as tidy as it gets. And a sprinkling of snow.

baldone Sep 11th, 2020 05:03 PM

You know, I couldn't recall if there was another hotel until I also went to Google Maps. Turns out that right next door to Posda El Carmen is the Hotel Iturbide. It's the orangey/yellow building next to our hotel in my pic. I suppose if I was more sophisticated I'd have described the color as 'ochre'.

MmePerdu Sep 11th, 2020 09:12 PM

No, definitely more orangey/yellow. And color is my specialty. Did you notice that both hotels are in a building that appears to be one that's been divided? And I'd guess used to be 1 hotel. I'll bet there's a story there.

baldone Sep 12th, 2020 05:33 PM

Yeah, I noticed that too. When we checked in I at first was confused as to which entrance I wanted. Their website simply says it was a house back when the town was called Hacienda San Pedro instead of Iturbide. I saw a YouTube clip where a drone flew over the plaza and the hotel building and you can clearly see it was one structure at one time.

baldone Sep 22nd, 2020 08:23 AM

Santiago, Nuevo Leon.
Another trip took us through Santiago, another Pueblo Magico just south of Monterrey. We’d passed by there a number of times over the years and finally decided to spend a night. This time we were eventually headed towards San Miguel from San Antonio, TX. Traffic was horrible in Monterrey, worse than usual. It took us an hour to cross the city. But once we arrived at Santiago, we were pleasantly surprised. It’s a handsome city, clean and colonial, with views of the Presa Rodrigo Gomez from a few vantage points. Busy on the weekends. Our hotel was Las Palomas, which was quite nice, and a bit of a splurge, which we indulge in every 3rd or 4th night or so while on the road. They have a nice looking restaurant, which was closed as we arrived late because of the traffic. But knowing we’d be late, we ate at the Costco food court about a half hour up the road. ¡Que rico! But the hotel bar was still open so we could have a couple adult beverages in their courtyard. We had some time the next morning to explore the town and have a nice breakfast in the garden of La Casa De La Abuela. Then a little shopping before heading to the falls of Cola De Caballo. I planned on the falls for a couple of reasons. First, it was close to the highway. Second, the falls were on Hwy 20 that goes through the Cañón San Isidro, which eventually exits the mountains near Saltillo. As you near Saltillo, there are quite a few peach orchards. It’s an absolutely stunning drive, one which I attempted to do a couple years earlier starting from Saltillo, but got hopelessly lost. Which I’ll detail later. Anyway, the falls are OK, not spectacular, but still worth the stop. Very popular with weekend crowds from Monterrey as you might imagine. The link below from Dangerous Roads website describes the drive really well. And true enough, as the site says, pictures from a phone don’t do the scenery justice. But I included one anyway.
OK, the first time I attempted to drive the canyon was from Saltillo. We were in a crappy hotel with no internet in our room so I wasn’t able to download a map to my GPS. I had, at the time, an old Windows phone with no GPS capabilities. I’d studied the Guía Roji map pretty well and figured I had the route well in mind. But I took a wrong turn and watched the blacktop change to gravel, then to rocky dirt, then we found ourselves crossing the thankfully mostly dry riverbed of the Rio Pilon several times which we followed to Rayones, where we finally found blacktop again. The highway from Rayones to Montemorelos had some of the most stunning scenery I’ve encountered in Mexico, as did the rest of the Rio Pilon valley. Turns out it’s a popular area for off-roaders/4-wheelers from Monterrey. My wife figured out I was lost about halfway through the canyon, and was pretty pissed, mostly cuz I didn’t bother to tell her. But I knew that as long as I could follow the river, I’d come out of the mountains near Hwy 85. Either there or at the Gulf of Mexico. The link below from the Dangerous Roads website gives an excellent description of the route. I’m not sure I’d recommend following the entire route, but the blacktop section from 85 near Montemorelos to Rayones would be an excellent day drive from Monterrey. It reminded me of Peru’s mountains around Machu Picchu, misty, lush and green, with sheer drop offs. Minus the ruins of course.
The unintended detour took us an extra 2 hours, which meant we had to spend the night in Laredo instead of San Antonio. So I had to forfeit my reservation in San Antonio. I also was driving fast to make up time and thus got pulled over by the municipal police outside of Nuevo Laredo. I tried to argue that I wasn’t going any faster than anyone else, but he showed me the video with my speed. He also showed me the ticket with a $1500 mxn multa. I said I didn’t have that much cash and I asked if there was an ATM at the presidencia. He gave me a big shrug of the shoulders and asked how much I did have. Needless to say, it turned out to be a memorable, albeit expensive detour.
Cola De Caballo falls
Cola De Caballo the real thing
Looking east from the canyon San Isidro

Daniel_Williams Sep 25th, 2020 06:46 AM

Wow baldone!

I thought I knew of most of the interesting spots in Northeast Mexico but you found some I'd never even heard of before! I'd only heard of the Tula archaeological site closer to Mexico City (which I'm sorry to say I've never seen ), I'd never even heard or read about a Tula in the Matehuala area. I miss good arrachera, so I was envious reading you had some while there. (As you may remember, I loved Chucho el Roto in Queretaro for their arrachera!) Tula sounds lovely. Iturbide I'd heard of before but have never been; I like the look of the architecture!

The Cola de Caballo has been on my radar as well, but I had never visited during my numerous visits to the Monterrey area, so I appreciated your take on that. I find the Monterrey area has so much to offer! I agree that the scenery in the area around Monterrey and Saltillo is absolutely stunning, some of the most gorgeous, striking scenery I've seen in North America and I've seen some incredible spots in the USA, Canada, Mexico and Central America so I don't say that lightly .

I'm sorry to read about your delays getting to San Antonio, although I like Laredo and keep saying one day I'll stay at La Posada.

Thanks for this great trip report on a region that gets few trip reports!

baldone Sep 27th, 2020 06:00 PM

I agree that Monterrey (and surrounds) hardly gets a sniff from many visitors to Mexico, most preferring to stick to the 'gringo trails' and coastal areas. But that's OK. I've been meaning to do some of these reports for some time, and now with covid19 it seems as good a time as any. Plus it's somewhat cathartic for me to reminisce and go through some pics since even overnight/day trips are limited these days, and there's not much on the horizon either.
I was looking at the pic I took in Tula of the fire hydrant and realized it must not be an infraction in Mexico to park in front of one, lol. Not that masonry structures are too susceptible to fires in the first place.
Monterrey next.

baldone Oct 5th, 2020 01:36 PM

Monterrey, NL
We’ve been to Monterrey a number of times. Monterrey may be situated in one of the most scenic spots in all of Mexico, (at least for big cities), in spite of the smog which is much less noticeable once you’re in the city center. Our favorite hotel is the classic Gran Hotel Ancira, (now a Gamma property) and downtown is usually surprisingly easy to drive to, following hwy 85 from Nuevo Laredo straight to the city center, if you’re coming from the border. We’ve also stayed in the San Pedro Garza zone. Impression of Monterrey is BIG! Big streets, big monuments, big parks, big buildings. After a steady diet of usually visiting more popular colonial cities, the small Barrio Antiguo juxtaposed against a more modern metro area somehow works. The Barrio consists of a few square blocks of colonial style buildings that survived urban renewal. Barrio Antiguo has a good number of bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s quite popular with the locals on the weekends. Our favorite eating spot in the Barrio is Me Muero De Hambre. They’ve got pizza and a view on the rooftop and tacos al pastor on the sidewalk. Plus 2 other food vendors indoors. Our other go-to place in centro is Sierra Madre Brewing Company. It’s more of a sports bar/pub type place, and they’re a small, local microbrewery chain in Monterrey. If you’ve not noticed from reading some of my other reports, I’m a craft beer fan, which is in short supply in San Miguel, at least on tap. And most Mexican mass produced beers are rather insipid, despite Corona’s ad campaigns, so I try to take advantage of local brews while on the road. In the Macroplaza, instead of the ubiquitous shoe-shine stands as you’d see elsewhere in Mexico, there were a number of masseuses. My wife took advantage of an hour massage, a nice treat after being on the road. The masseuse we chose happened to be blind. Thus, we figured he’d have exceptionally capable hands, lol. On our last visit we had planned for massages for both of us. The day we arrived (in early December) it was a pleasant 80 F/27 C, but the next day temps dropped drastically to around 40 F/4 C so the massages were out. A site well worth visiting nearby are the Grutas De Garcia. Daniel Williams had a nice report on them, so I don’t have much to add. Other than they’re a nice refreshing getaway on a hot day. Plus they’re somewhat unique in that you take a teleferico some 80 meters up the mountain to access the caves, rather than descend below ground. There’s a snack bar just outside the exit from the Grutas where you can have a snack (or an insipid Mexican beer, lol) and enjoy the cool breeze coming out of the caves.
All in all, I’ve found Monterrey to be a pleasant surprise that’s off the radar of most tourists. I think that anyone who enjoys traveling Mexico should include the city someday. It’s not a colonial gem like Zacatecas or Oaxaca (just to name 2 examples), but it for sure is an important part of Mexican society and culture.
Gran Hotel Ancira and it's wrap around staircase
Street scene from Barrio Antiguo
View from the terraza at Me Muero
View from the Grutas

Fra_Diavolo Oct 6th, 2020 05:13 AM

Thanks for the report. A friend of mine who lives in SLP visited Monterrey a few years ago and was also pleasantly surprised.

Daniel_Williams Oct 6th, 2020 10:25 AM

Monterrey always holds a place in my heart as it was there that my love affair with Mexico began back in December of 2003. It began almost by accident. My cousin who lived in Houston, Texas had been asking me to come for forever. I decided to take him up on his offer and since I had about a week around New Years, I thought, hey, I'm not far and have never been to Mexico before. I like checking out big cities and saw that Monterrey was not far from the border, so I decided "let's check it out!" I had received some discouragement from certain quarters but once I had made up my mind, I was not to be dissuaded. I felt I was so close that I should at least try. I thought: if I absolutely hate it, I can always go back to my cousin's!

The trip ended up being just magical and my view and understanding of North America was forever altered as a consequence. I could not stop musing on my own previous ignorance and totally off preconceived notions of Mexico. And found myself smitten! Funny, you got me looking at the pictures from that trip, where I also went to a certain Ristoran Las Palomas in Santiago, indeed, not the Chilean capital but the northern Mexican Pueblo Magico in Nuevo Leon you wrote about earlier, where I can still remember a simply divine coffee called Cafe de la Joya in a restaurant that had a Spanish colonial charm that left me enamoured.

Over the past 17 years, I've tried to convince friends to check out the city, but so far have only managed to get one Spanish teacher friend to visit. As for me, I wrote a trip report and there was a Fodor's poster back in 2004 named 'Dude' who told me, "I am really glad you made it down to Monterrey. I would encourage you to do some more traveling in Mexico. I like Monterrey, but you will will really be amazed as you begin to visit some of the colonial cities and destinations further south. I think you will find Mexico fascinating to explore." Dude's words resonated with me and I have thought of them many times over the past decades and how they inspired me to explore Mexico more. Thanks Dude, wherever you are!

MmePerdu Oct 6th, 2020 12:05 PM

I agree, Daniel, but I didn't even have a preconceived notion of Mexico, so close to me in California & Arizona but I'd only visited areas close to the border, mostly Sonora from my border home in Bisbee. I still don't have a real picture of the country after spending several months now in Oaxaca & Chiapas, & feeling a bit overwhelmed, wanting to get going again exploring & the magnitude of the possibilities.

baldone Oct 11th, 2020 05:45 PM

La Azufrosa, Coah.
La Azufrosa is home to the hot springs resort of Las Termas de San Joaquin. It’s nearly equidistant from Monterrey, Saltillo & Monclova, with the latter about 20 minutes farther. About an hour and a half from either Saltillo or Monterrey. The springs are quite isolated, so they’re probably best visited by renting a car if you’re not driving your own. You could easily enough combine Grutas Garcia with La Azufrosa, as the Grutas are semi on the way from Monterrey. There are 2 other termales nearby but San Joaquin's are far more luxurious.
San Joaquin’s termales are open to the public, so you do not have to be a guest to enter. But I do recommend at least a night. We spent 2, arriving from San Luis Potosí, some 6 hours and change away. That way we could arrive late afternoon, enjoy dinner, and spend the entire next day relaxing and enjoying the hot springs. In addition to the hot springs, there’s an indoor pool of ’agua dulce’. So some time in the hot water followed by a dip in the pool is quite refreshing. The water was as hot as I've experienced anywhere in Mexico, and comparable to the hot springs we enjoyed in the Cañón De Colca in Perú, which were outdoors. There is also a spa on site where both wife and I enjoyed massages.
Included with the tariff are breakfast and dinner buffets. I’m unsure these days how that arrangement is affected by covid19. But when we were there, the buffet was quite varied and actually pretty good. Although I’m not usually a big buffet fan in Mexico. But because of how isolated San Joaquin is, certain buffet items may be in short supply, but the chefs seemed to have done a pretty good job of accommodating. Likewise with bar selections. But overall, we were quite pleased with the food and drink fare.
The rooms themselves were quite large. No in room refrigerators or coffee makers, as you’re encouraged to take all beverages in the dining area. Somehow we managed to sneak in a cooler however, lol. The rooms did appear a bit dated, maybe vintage late 80’s, early 90’s. Comfortable & quiet nonetheless.
The setting is high desert, and far from any metro areas. Which made for some spectacular sunsets as well as star-laden skies completely absent of light pollution.
In all, a good day trip from any of the 3 aforementioned cities, or a nice respite during a long road trip.
Roman baths of San Joaquin
These 3 pools were hot, hotter and hottest
Overlooking the grounds of the resort

baldone Oct 25th, 2020 01:42 PM

Parras De La Fuente Coah. & Durango Dgo.
Parras is another Pueblo Magico in Northern Mexico. We drove from Santiago, NL via the San Isidro canyon (mentioned earlier) and didn’t stop in Saltillo during this drive. The drive between Saltillo and Parras was high desert and quite desolate. Parras’ claim to fame is it’s home to the oldest winery in the Americas, now known as Casa Madero. Wine was first produced there in 1597. We did a tour; it was OK, nothing amazing. No tastings, you had to buy something to enjoy later. But the grounds and the buildings are interesting. It’s a popular stop for folks from the region including Torreon, Saltillo & Monterrey, so the tours are not exactly intimate. The Hacienda San Lorenzo on site only offers lodging to those that have reserved the hacienda for events and thus is only open for private groups. What was surprising to me, was how much spring water there was in the area despite being in the middle of the desert. Hence the name Parras De La ‘Fuente’. Fuente of course being Spanish for fountain or spring. There were several walnut groves as well in the area. Plus a Dickies denim factory, lol.
We stayed 2 nights at the Antigua Hacienda Perote, a bit out of town and not too convenient to walking to town. The hacienda too has its own wines, but at the time of our visit only a very few were available. Part of the original hacienda still was intact. Our room was spacious and quiet. The hotel is popular for events such as weddings and the like, as well as with weekenders from Monterrey. The restaurant fare was extremely limited, however. At least during our visit. The pool was an oasis. One night we had dinner at La Casona in town. It was very good. As you can imagine, It’s setting is in an old Casona. We were the only gringos in town, it seemed.
Parras, the town, has an old west feel to it. It’s not terribly big, some 45,000 people. We were there on a weekend and there was foklorio dance event put on by the Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, which was entertaining. Plus there was a classic muscle car show. Of course, plenty of vendors selling local crafts, sweets & other stuff. We stocked up on walnut cream liqueurs and walnut candies. There weren’t many retail wine sellers in town, which I thought was odd. I’d for sure go back but probably take the free road from Saltillo instead of the cuota next time.
Next stop was Durango. Durango was a city I’d wanted to visit for some time. I’m not sure what called my attention, but I finally got to visit. I must say it was somewhat anticlimactic. I’m not sure why. Some cities/places just have that ‘feel’ or vibe that immediately grabs you. Durango didn’t, at least for me on this visit. Durango was plenty clean, and you can see where efforts had been made to attract more tourists. Specifically, the Calle Constitution corredor is an example. It appeared to be a mostly recent improvement with cafés, bars and restaurants, but it lacked the character of similar tourist andadores elsewhere in Mexico. That said, perhaps my impression was influenced by a negative experience at our hotel, El Gobernador. I try not to be a complainer, but we specifically chose this hotel because it had a pool, which I figured would prove relaxing after a long, hot drive from Parras. But there was a teeny-bopper fashion show going on that had closed the pool area to guests. They finally opened the pool about sundown, and called our room to let us know. Then after about 30 minutes they closed the pool again to drain and clean it. Oh well. The hotel did have an excellent restaurant, however. The hotel boasts of a bit of history as it is on the site of an old prison of which some exterior walls are still in use. Second night we had dinner at Esquilon, which was excellent and very reasonable. Highly recommended. We wanted to take the teleférico, but it didn’t run on Mondays, which was our 2nd day. Likewise museums were closed. So that was our fault for scheduling a visit on a Sunday/Monday I guess.
One highlight of our visit was being introduced to sotol, a spirit produced from the Desert Spoon plant, oddly enough from the asparagus family. It's unique to Northern Mexico, specifically the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua & Durango. It’s rarely known in the rest of Mexico, or the US for that matter, what with Tequila and Mezcal being far more popular and available. Sotol, according to my uneducated palate, falls somewhere between the two. Some fruity notes, and not as smoky as a typical mezcal. It has its own denominación de origen, not unlike tequila, that of only the 3 states I mentioned. We then headed to Zacatecas, bypassing the industrial city of Torreon. What stood out after getting past Torreon, was how much water was flowing in the Rio Nazas. It was incredible to see so much water in the middle of the desert.
Ye Olde Winepress
Souvenir bottle of sotol. Long since gone, lol

baldone Dec 11th, 2020 01:57 PM

Zacatecas, Zac.
Next stop, Zacatecas. We’ve been there 3 times now. 1st time was during a music festival, which unknowingly to us was going on at the time of our visit, before Semana Santa. No wonder we could only get reservations at the City Express a ways from centro. But it was quiet, comfortable and reasonable. Quite a nice hotel for a budget chain. Plus good coffee in the lobby. Which is often a rarity in Mexico. Centro was pretty packed for that visit, and traffic was horrible. So we ended up eating at the mall near our hotel, but that was okay. But we saw enough to make it a must for another stay. So, for our 2nd visit we stayed at Hotel Santa Rita, right in centro. The hotel has a great location, right on the main drag through the centro histórico, Avenida Hidalgo. The building has a colonial style façade, but the interior is modern which meant it lacked some character that you’d normally expect from such a property. The restaurant is in the basement, so no view, but breakfast was included and made to order. Our room faced Hidalgo and had a nice view of the Cathedral from the small balcon. But that meant it also tended to be noisy until about midnight. Starbucks on first floor, and across the street is the González Ortega Market, which was once a typical market, but now has restaurants and some silver shops. On that particular visit, the teleférico was undergoing maintenance. On our next visit, we stayed at the Quinta Real, an absolutely outstanding property. On a road trip, we typically try to stay in a few moderate or budget type places, then go more upscale after 3-4 nights. Quinta Real was for sure more upscale, but even then, only around $110 US for a jacuzzi suite. The hotel is built around an old bull fighting arena, for sure a better use, Mexican culture notwithstanding. The former livestock stalls now are occupied by offices and the bar area. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth a stop for a couple drinks just to check out the hotel. Plus the acueducto runs right in front of the hotel. An easy enough walk from the center of town.
As far as restaurants, on our first 2 visits wifey had some dietary restrictions, so we pretty much stuck to pastas, pizza, salads and Subway. Nothing spicy. A couple that stood out were Lucky Luciano’s and Casa Iacono. Another place we really wanted to love was Milk, which supposedly is a brewpub. Which if anyone has read any of my trip reports, you know I’m a craft beer fan. But on 3 different visits on 2 different trips, they had none of their in house beers available. Only national labels. Which was a letdown. I’ll give them another chance on the next visit. Charming place however, and some pleasant outdoor seating by the little plaza/andador. Pub food which looked good. But we just ordered snacks since none of their beers were available. One local delicacy we didn’t try (because of wife’s aforementioned dietary restrictions) were the tacos envenenados. Which means ‘poisoned tacos’ when translated literally. One classic recipe has papas, beans and chilis de árbol and some sort of meat in a corn tortilla then deep fried. No doubt there are any number of other options. I read that the adjective ‘poisoned’ came not from the contents necessarily, but rather that since they were deep fried, the tacos were easily taken into the mines for later consumption where the miners ate them with contaminated hands. Thus they got sick. Don’t know how true that is.
In all, Zacatecas, while somewhat out of the way, is well worth the effort to visit, especially so if you’re a fan of Mexico’s colonial era cities. I’d describe the city visually as ‘Guanajuato-ish’, similar topography, not as colorful, but it’s architecture is more impressive. You’ll see few foreign tourists if that’s important to you. Nice variety of hotels and restaurants. A good number of museums, although these days we don’t visit too many any more. It sits at some 8,000 ft (2400 meters) asl, has a high desert climate which means cool, if not cold, winters, and pleasant cool-ish summers as well. It’s one city that the wife and I would consider if we were to ever relocate again. And if traffic in San Miguel continues to get worse, lol.
Cathedral at dusk
Plaza De Armas
Quinta Real, formerly Plaza De Toros
Acueducto in front of Quinta Real
View from balcón at Santa Rita
A face like this was worthy of a handful of pesos!

baldone Dec 11th, 2020 06:41 PM
'Poisoned' tacos

Fra_Diavolo Dec 12th, 2020 07:29 AM

Nice report. Haven't made it to Zacatecas yet, but it's been on the list a long time. It's a favorite city of a friend of mIne who lives in SLP. He calls it "a poor man's Guanajuato" -- tongue in cheek?

MmePerdu Dec 12th, 2020 12:32 PM

Another intriguing possibility. I'm still trying to decide whether to try new places or to stick to the relaxing path in towns I already know & love. Zacatecas looks like a contender. Where I lived on the border for years has a part of town called Zacatecas Canyon so that just adds to the attraction. Thanks, baldone.

baldone Dec 13th, 2020 06:46 PM

Fra, maybe your friend wants to keep it a secret, lol.
Mme, that's certainly a dilemma. We too enjoy the 'comfort zone' of places we've already visited and enjoyed. But then I start to drill down on Google maps or peruse Mexico Desconocido, and think, hey, that looks interesting. Sometimes I'm disappointed, other times I just get lost!

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