San Joaquín (Querétaro) is a town in the state of Queretaro. The town is in the Serra Gorda mountains in the huasteca region, and is known for its outdoor recreation. It is designated by the Mexican tourism ministry as a Pueblo Magico in recognition of its charm and tourism infrastructure.
San Joaquín is an historic mining town dating back 15 centuries. Pre-hispanic native cultures mined cinnabar to use it as a source of red pigments (particularly for use in funerals). In the 18th century, the Spanish mined cinnabar to extract mercury for metallurgical processes.
The climate in San Joaquin is mostly semi-dry and fairly hot with an average annual temperature of 28°C.
By car, San Joaquín is 2 hours, 15 minutes from the city of Querétaro or 3 hours from San Miguel de Allende.
From Queretaro, Flecha Amarilla has buses departing every 4 hours for San Joaquin. The fare is M$160 and the ride takes 3 hours.
Walking and taxi are the best options for getting around in San Joaquin.
- Zona Arquelogica Ranas - open daily 09ː00 - 18ː00, admission M45. Fairly small site of local historical importance, and one of the few Mesoamerican sites that demonstrate an economic reliance on mineral extraction. Ranas was at its height during the Classic period (600 to 1000 AD). Not really worth going out of your way to see, but the site is well excavated and restored though poorly documented with limited signage.
- Zona Arquelogica Toluquilla - Hilltop archaeological site closely related to Ranas and its mission to extract and export cinnabar, also well excavated.
- Cascadas Maravillas - Popular scenic waterfalls just outside town. The main spout drops from a height of 60 meters while a second drops from a height of 15 meters. The falls forms a crystal clear pool and a a shower downspout spraying from a height of about 5 meters.
- Grutas los Herrera - Carr. Visarra-San Joaquin KM 29, open daily 10ː00 - 17ː00, admission fee. Enter an underground cavern world of amazing geologic formations as you descend 370 meters below the surface.
- Casa de Artesanias and Museo de Mineras - downstairs are the cultural exhibits about local crafts and the origins of huapango, upstairs is the minerals museum with exhibits about mining
Huapango is a traditional dance, along with its accompanying music. It is usually performed on a wooden platform and is known for its staccato tapping dance steps that integrate with the music, almost sounding like a percussion instrument accompanying the traditional string trio (trio huasteco).
- National Huapango Dance Competition, 1st weekend in April
- Biggest Picnic in Latin America, 3rd week in August.
- Campo Alegre National Park - One of the smaller parks in the Mexico national parks system but a pleasant place for picnicing (grills and palapas are provided), camping cabins, rock climbing, mountain biking, and observing nature.
- 1 El Otatal, Corregidora, Centro, ☏ +52 4271140694. 8ː00 - 22ː00. Cheap, casual food like burgers and fries. Second floor dining room with good views for people watching.
- 2 Rosticeria la Huapangera, Corregidora 8, Centro, ☏ +52 4411075221. 07ː00 - 17ː00. Casual, cheap restaurant featuring roast chicken.
- 1 Hotel Meson Dona Lupe, Andador Damián Carmona 19, Centro, ☏ +52 4412935240. Check-in: 15ː00, check-out: 12ː00. Clean, simple rooms that are large and comfortable. Secured parking area.
- 2 Hotel Rosita, Av. Insurgentes 18, Centro. Check-in: 15ː00, check-out: 12ː00. You'll spot this place a mile away...look for the bright fuchsia pink building. Older property with a lot of scratches and dents, but very low rates.
- 3 Florida Inn, Francisco Zarco 5, La Laguna, ☏ +52 4412935364. Check-in: 15ː00, check-out: 12ː00. Comfortable hotel as you are coming into town. Low prices.