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Parroquia Santa Maria

Amealco (also known as Amealco de Bonfil) is a town in the Bajio region of Mexico in Querétaro state. Known for its colonial era charm, its Otomi traditions, and its rustic natural ambience with mountains, rivers, and waterfalls. Amealco is one of Mexico's designated Pueblos Mágicos.



Amealco is an historic Otomi indigenous community and the greater municipal area (county) includes 34 villages populated by Otomi, many speaking their traditional language. The Spanish established Amealco as a city in 1538. Logging became an important industry for the town during the 19th century when thousands of hectares of neaarby forest were cut down to supply wood to Mexico City and for export to France and the United States.

Amealco is best known for the Maria dolls made by local Otomi women. These rag dolls are typically handmade and sold in mercados and artesania shops throughout Mexico, but especially in the state of Querétaro.

Get in

Map of Amealco

Getting to Amealco takes 1 hr 15 min by car or bus.

By car


Drive south from Querétaro on highway QRO 400 for about 65 km until you reach federal highway MEX 120. Turn right and continue about 10 km and you'll be in Amealco.

By bus


Transportes Amealcenses operates several daily buses from the Querétaro bus station. Tickets start at M$50 (Jan 2024).

  • 1 Terminal de Autobuses, MEX 120 (at the curve (intersection of Av.Constituyentes and MEX-120)). Small outdated bus station with minimal services.

Get around



Patio in the Hacienda la Muralla
  • Parroquia Santa Maria — neoclassical church built in the late 19th century
  • Museo de la Muñeca Artesanal (Museum of Artesanal Dolls) — small museum that tells the story of Amealco's most iconic folk craft, colorful rag dolls with black hair and colorful ribbons
  • Hacienda la Muralla
  • Hacienda Galindo



Amealco is set in a mountainous region with nearby forests and streams. It is a popular destination for outdoor activities including:

  • Camping
  • Mountain biking
  • Hiking
  • Ecotourism
  • off-road ATV trails
  • 1 Cerro de los Gallos, Vicente Guerrero 724. Mixed use recreational park includes a dog park, zip lines, basketball court, playground, picnic areas with grills, suspension bridge, climbing wall and more.


Otomi woman making Maria dolls in Amealco

Amealco is home to a large indigenous Otomi population, many of whom practice traditional folkcraft traditions including clay ceramics, weaving and embroidery, and making rag dolls known as Marias. The Maria dolls are particularly significant as an icon of Amealco's Otomi community. Artesania shops and local markets sell blouses, Maria dolls, and other crafts.

  • 1 Mercado Municipal, Domicilio Conocido SN, Centro. Daily 09:00 - 18:00.



Be aware that many restaurants and street food vendors are only open a few days per week, often just on weekends. There are always a few restaurants open though and most hotels include on-site restaurants serving three meals per day. The Mercado Municipal includes a wide variety of vendors selling some of the most authentic regional cuisine.

  • 1 Los Cipreses Amealco, San Juan del Rio - Coroneo No. 433, Las Delicias, +52 448 122 7319. Th-Su 07:00 - 18:00, closed M-W. Light traditional Mexican food, huaraches, sopes, and especially the quesadillas (specialty of the house). Coffee is fresh brewed (not Nescafe). Homemade breads. M$100.
  • 2 La Terraza Amealco, La Mora 83, San Martin, Centro, +52 442 317 0266. Sa-Su 10:00 - 18:30, closed M-F. Terrace dining area serving homemade traditional Mexican cuisine. Cozy, comfortable, clean atmosphere. Good service. Open only on weekends. (Also rents rooms).
  • 3 La Casa de la Abuela, Hidalgo 568, Centro, +52 427 167 2720. M-F 08:30-16:30, closed Sa-Su. Traditional Mexican cuisine in a casual, comfortable atmosphere. Thursday is pozole day with several choices including the traditional red, white, and green pozoles. The chilaquiles with steak is a nice change from the usual chicken found in most restaurants.


  • 1 Pulqueria Don Federico, Hidalgo 280, Centro, +52 442 721 4210. Daily 09:00 - 18:00. Traditional pulqueria serving cured and uncured pulques. Friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Sometimes closes early if the pulque sells out early.


  • 1 Hotel Escuela, Calle IV Centenario 45, Centro, +52 448 278 0661. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Budget hotel with dated rooms and facilities, but central downtown location. No parking area. On-site restaurant.
  • 2 El Mirador, 16 de Septiembre 95, Centro, +52 448 448 3620. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional downtown hotel with clean, comfortable rooms. Small on-site parking lot. Rooftop terrace provides nice views of the town. M$800.
  • 3 Hotel Casa Valentina, Heroico Colegio Militar 121, Centro, +52 448 278 0329. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean, comfortable rooms. Small on-site parking area. Food service available. Accepts credit cards (extra charge).



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This city travel guide to Amealco is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.