Because of its location (northern Mexico), Monterrey is not exactly a hotspot for international tourism, but if you are looking to enjoy a modern Mexican city with some incredible natural wonders just minutes away from downtown, Monterrey is a great place to check out!
What to Do
♦ Cola del Caballo Waterfall-- The Cola del Caballo is actually a man made waterfall, but it is still beautiful nonetheless! There is a nice, short walk to reach the actual falls, as well as places to eat at the site and also a complete kids carnival area too.
♦ Visit the Magic Town of Villa de Santiago-- Northern Mexico is not exactly known for its colonial cities like central Mexico, but once you visit the Pueblo Mágico of Villa de Santiago you will never think of Northern Mexico the same! This is a charming Pueblo Mágico located just outside of Monterrey and it absolutely worth a visit!
♦ La Huasteca and Chipinque--Just minutes away from downtown Monterrey you are engulfed in some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes! The locals will likely be cycling and running through the trails at both of these parks- we suggest you save the calories and book a tour instead!
♦ Visit Parque Fundidora-- This modern park at the site of an old steel factory is SO impressive! Complete with a theme park, museums, a natatorium, bike rentals, and so much more! You can plan to spend a half day wandering around the park. They even have bike rentals and also an ice skating rink too!
♦ Take a Ride down the Paseo Santa Lucía--Think the San Antonio Riverwalk, except way better! This is a great way to get to Parque Fundidora from the downtown area. The tickets were $70 pesos (about $3.60 USD) per ticket and the views of the area surrounding town were SO great. Trip takes about 30-40 minutes.
♦ Visit the Mirador del Obispado-- This lookout spot has some incredible, 360 degree views of Monterrey and the mountains in the distance! See if you can spot where the trendy drink Topo Chico is made while you’re up there!
Note: We booked all of our tours in Monterrey through Paseos de Monterrey and we highly recommend using their services! Our tours began on time and the guide was super friendly and great!
Where to Stay
Monterrey might be the only city in Mexico in which we don’t recommend staying downtown! (Shocking, I know!) We have visited Monterrey two times; the first time we stayed in the heart of downtown near the Macro Plaza and to be quite frank, we didn’t feel super safe walking around this part of Monterrey. However, during our second stay we stayed in the nearby suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia and felt more than safe. We stayed at the the MS Milenium and it is one of the nicest, non resort, hotels we have stayed at in all of Mexico. Though, this is definitely reflected in the price point.
Click HERE to book the Hotel MS Millenium.
What to Eat
♦ El Rey del Cabrito-- Visiting El Rey del Cabrito is obligatory if you go to Monterrey! Unless of course you are vegan...then definitely don’t go there! "Cabrito" or roasted baby goat is a regional speciality in Monterrey and El Rey is well, the King of Cabrito! Address: Constitución 2219, Centro, Monterrey
♦ Tacos Orinoco-- This local hotspot serves up some of the best tacos al pastor you will find in all of Mexico! There's just something magical inside these babies-trust us! This is also in a cool, sort of grungy area with lots of dive bars/restaurants. Address: Río Orinoco 101, Del Valle, Monterrey
♦ Helados Sultana-- We asked you guys on Instagram where to eat during our time in Monterrey and several people recommended this ice cream place! And you know us--we can't refuse a good ice cream. Helados Sultana is SO. DELICIOUS. The serving sizes are nothing short of massive so don't dare choosing anything other than the small! There are locations all throughout Monterrey--look for the lime green!
♦ La Mexicana-- This place has some awesome tacos de canasta (steamed tacos typically served out of a basket). It is super decorated inside and is just a fun place to grab lunch. The place can get packed around lunch time, but the line is well worth it. Have a few for us! Address: Vicente Guerrero 244, Centro, Monterrey
Although Monterrey is truly unlike any city throughout Mexico in terms of colonial beauty, there are still so many great options (lots outdoors!) to see in and around Monterrey! If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and enjoy your time in Monterrey!
Until next time, Have Less. Do More. Be More.