What can I do in Monterrey?

Old Jul 23rd, 2002, 06:11 PM
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What can I do in Monterrey?

My husband has a conference in Monterrey the end of August and I am considering going with him. Is there anything interesting to do there while he is working? I don't have a problem sightseeing or exploring by myself. Is Monterrey near enough to someplace on the coast to spend a few days when his conference is over? Any suggestions on nice beaches? We are middle aged, so a quiet place with a nice beach and little night life is fine. If we take a side trip is it better to drive or hire a driver to get there?
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 07:03 AM
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Get a tour book that has some info. on Monterrey- there is quite a bit to do in town. One the down side is it might be really hot when you go. To get out of the heat you can go to Saltillo which is a little more than an hour outside of town and quite a bit higher up. If you go to Saltillo you might find a way to Parras de la Fuente which is an Oasis in the Coahuillan desert a couple of hours west of Saltillo. It has the oldest winery in the new world. There is also a church, Santa Madera, built on top of a volcanic plug that is quite interesting. Re: the beach you can head east but it is a way. It might be easiest to go to South Padre in the U.S. as opposed to Tamalupias in Mexico. About driving, Monterrey is a little challenging, outside of town is not bad. For more detail get a travel book with a big section on northern Mexico and enjoy. Last thing- Tampanco restaurant by the Cathedral in Saltillo is one of the best restaurants in Mexico IMHO.
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 08:08 AM
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I'm from MOnterrey, but currently out of Mexico. In Monterrey downtown you should definitively to the so-called Barrio Antiguo ("Old Neighborhood") on Thursday night. Lot of places which combine good (if not captivating) cuisine with old fashioned colonial buildings. It you're looking for good live music, drinks and some noise, try the Bar Rio night club. For something more relaxed but avant garde, try the Cachaguas --great martinis and appetizers. Or the Cadaques, a nice place for some really cool (some say afrodisiac) cocktails and delicious appetizers.

My favorite spot is Cafe El Infinito. Great coffe, cozy setting, good wine and great for relaxing and chatting. On Sunday nights, one block away from the Infinito, you want to visit the El Patio del Infinito. Very, very nice place for a drink and relax. Don't miss it.

Also in the Barrio Antiguo there are quite a few small bazars: Real de Catorce, La Catedral, La Valentina. etc.

If you're spending the weekend, you shuold seriously consider going to Real the Catorce, which is about 3.5 hours from Monterrey. It's a ghost town, very austere, and yet so interesting an unique in Mexico that you'll see Germans, Swiss, French, Spaniards and Italians living there. Real de Catorce is a place where you can forget about TV, phones, cellular, and all that modern-life crap. For lodging, try the the Meson de la Abundancia. Don't miss it. You will return to Real if you go there.

Old Jul 24th, 2002, 11:38 AM
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well I AM from monterrey too and i'll be absolutely truthful
although im a natural of the place and so is my family for many generations before me and i love it there
i have found that if you dont have at least a few aquaintances in town it can be a real hassle and a nightmare to be there
there really isnt a whole lot to do specailly during the day since its terribly hot
at night you can go to the "barrio antiguo" like daniel says but i dont thing is such a great scene asides from the old houses which in truth are real beautiful but the barrio antiguo is only a few blocks long so it probably wouldnt take more than a couple of hours to explore the whole thing
about "REAL DE CATORCE" i've been there and its pretty and all although the whole town isnt much bigger than the barrio antiguo there isnt much to see or do except for hiking [and that is counting that you can handle that kind of heat] also you should know that all the germans, swiss, and other foreginers living there are living there because of PEYOTE all the turism that REAL DE CATORCE has is because of PEYOTE in case you dont know its a fruit that serves also as a drug if you eat it ...some people hallucinate and you need someone who knows about it to find it and eat it or you run the risk of eating a poisonus one
anyway in all cases i would go with dunya's suggestions ...saltillo is very beautiful and has a lot to offer too and TAMAULIPAS is also great and offers some very nice almost virgen beaches

ps. in case you do decide to join your husband you MUST go by the OBISPADO [ a very beatuiful cathedral/convent that is no longer in use except for museum like use] the ALFA museum, and enjoy
your stay
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for all the tips on Monterrey. It may be an adventure! By the way, as a babyboomer who came of age in the 70's, I have heard of Peyote.
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 02:37 PM
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Hey, c'mon I'm a frequent tourist to Real de Catorce, neither nor the many friends who have been there, eat, drink or smoke peyote.

As for the heat in Monterrey... that's true.
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 03:13 PM
Jean Valjean
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Actually, this year Monterrey has had one of the most benign summers in recent history.

There are quite a few things to do in Monterrey, like the MARCO, or museum of contemporary art. It is a beautiful building, and right now it has an excellent exhibit of Mexican masters.

The Obispado is nice for a quick visit, so is the Cathedral and the whole area known as Macroplaza, or just La Macro. It is supposed to be the largest square in the world.

Nearby, you'll find Horsetail Falls. Nice place up in the mountain. If you are into hiking, near horsetail falls you'll find Matacanes. An intense experience to say the least; hiking, diving, going down rivers, etc.

For food, you can't go wrong with Pangea. That has to be one of the best restaurants in Mexico. Its cuisine is not typical, but it is excellent.

As for regional food, you may hear about "El rey del Cabrito". By all means AVOID IT. It is the world central of kitsch and bad taste. The food is not bad, but the place is horrendous. For regional food, try going to the San Carlos or the Mirador. The latter is excellent. For superb Mexican food, go to La Catarina. They do both traditional Mexican dishes and "new" Mexican cooking. It is owned by the same people who own the Pangea, and their list of Tequilas is just amazing.


PS: Of all the travel boards in all the world, you ask a question about a non-popular city and three locals have answers for you... what are the odds in that?
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 03:47 PM
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I totally agree about Rey del Cabrito: do not go there. It's as corny a place as it can be --what we call naco.
So bad for the baby goat they serve ..it's great,but it's also delicious at the Regio.
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 02:19 PM
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well i dont agree with y'all EL REY DEL CABRITO may not be the most classy place in the world but the food is worth going there ...and besides i dont know that there are too many "NACOS" that can afford to dine there
is just that the people that go there are simple and unpretentious they go to eat and have a good time no to be all frigid and stiff

as a very carnivorous person, i must say that i LOVE the food

besides EL REY DEL CABRITO could in all senses be considered something like a pub

MARCO isnt all that great, its a good museum but i wouldnt travel from the US to Monterrey to see it
Old Jul 25th, 2002, 02:22 PM
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ps. LA MACRO though is FULL of nacos

i didnt know that you were a babyboomer so i had no way to know if you knew or not about peyote
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 11:53 AM
Jean Valjean
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Well, xxx, just a couple of things:

The food at El Rey del Cabrito is nothing special. There are many other places (like the two I mentioned) where you can get MUCH better food for about the same price in a MUCH nicer environment. Other places like this are El Tio (very nice)and even El Gran Pastor.

Being "naco" has nothing to do with money. You may have none without being naco, or you may have a lot and be a complete naco.

Marco may not be a destination in itself, but the building is quite beautiful, and the collection showing right now is extremely good and very much worth visiting.

I forgot to mention the Museo de Historia Mexicana. Its exhibit may also be called "Mexican History for Dummies", and it is very educational and entertaining. The fountain outside the museum, and the little riverwalk that runs by it is very nice.
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 02:14 PM
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fuck you
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