10 must-do things to do in Monterrey: Best Time To Visit 2022
City of 28,000 inhabitants 2 hours by car from San Francisco, Monterey was the capital of California from 1777 to 1849, before giving way to Sacramento. Today it is mainly a city that lives off tourism with its aquarium, its cruises to see the whales. I will tell you about all this just after.
How do I get to Monterey?
During a road trip in the American West, most people come here by car from San Francisco or Los Angeles, taking the famous Highway 1.
Otherwise, there are buses from San Francisco (which I took) and Los Angeles.
And then, if you want authenticity on-site, these buses (see photo just below) are trolleys and only run in the town of Monterey. 🙂
Where to sleep in Monterey?
About sixty hotels are present on Monterey, especially along the bay and on Munras Avenue.
I particularly recommend finding a hotel with parking and then leaving the car for a walk, because everything can do on foot.
Precisely during my express stay in Monterey, I slept at the Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa, a nice hotel with a swimming pool and close to all the things to see and do in the city.
This hotel (see photos below) currently offers a little dated decor but is very comfortable, clean and quiet. I had a great night.
- The Museum of Mexican History
- The Fundidora Park
- Chipinque Ecological Park
- The caves of Garcia
- The Barrio Antiguo
- The Marco Contemporary Art Museum
- La Huasteca Ecological Park
- Try your hand at canyoning in the Matacanes canyon
- The Cola de Caballo waterfall
- Climbing Cerro de la Silla
How to go to Monterrey?
Where to stay in Monterrey?
Are you going to Mexico? Why not take the opportunity to visit Monterrey, the third-largest city in the country? The city and its region offer many activities that we detail here.
The city of Monterrey is a large metropolis located in northeastern Mexico. It constitutes the great economic and commercial center of the north of the country. Monterrey has 1.1 million inhabitants; it is the second most prosperous city in Mexico. Surrounded by mountains, it retains a tranquil atmosphere thanks to the many green spaces adorn the different neighbourhoods. You will taste the excitement of a prominent Mexican city without feeling oppressed and can enjoy its relaxed and warm atmosphere. Typical northern gastronomy, cultural activities, trips to the surrounding national parks are just a glimpse of what to expect when visiting Monterrey.
1. The Museum of Mexican History
The Museo de Historia Mexicana is located near the original site where the city of Monterrey was founded. Indeed, this museum is located in the current city center, on the edge of the pleasant Paseo Santa Lucia, a canal that joins the Parque Fundidora. Visiting Monterrey is an opportunity to take an interest in the complex history of Mexico. You will stroll among the 1,200 rooms of the building, which retrace the country’s evolution from the pre-Hispanic indigenous populations to the present day. The management did not leave out the Colonization and the Mexican Revolution. An exciting visit not to be missed.
2. The Fundidora Park
This park is a call to relaxation right in the center of Monterrey. It is located on the old steelworks site; this immense green space combines art installations, entertainment, and pleasant walks. Stroll from gardens to fountains on tree-lined paths and admire works of contemporary art. The artists reuse objects from the old metallurgy factory. Parts of industrial machines have been converted into elements of street furniture for a spectacular design effect. Many cultural events and festivals take place in the park, and there is also an ice rink and a film library.
3. Chipinque Ecological Park
Visiting Monterrey is to experience a megalopolis integrated into the surrounding nature. The Chipinque Ecological Park, located at altitudes between 730 and 2200 meters, offers a concentrate of the fauna and flora of the region. Steep mountains and dense forests serve as refuges for all kinds of animals, and bird and butterfly watching is particularly popular with enthusiasts. You can choose between different marked hiking trails and create your itinerary according to your desires. Multiple viewpoints dot the route for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
The caves of Garcia
When looking for what to do in Monterrey, the Garcia Caves turn out to be an unusual activity and easy to organize. These geological formations that have spent thousands of years submerged below sea level have marine fossils trapped in the hollow of their walls. Two guided tours are available to you, the short one for a 45-minute ride and the longer one that will take adrenaline-seeking adventurers deep into the bowels of the earth. The path is well laid out in both cases, and the lighting allows you to admire magnificent stalactites and stalagmites. A museum explaining the history of cave formation and a mini zoological park are included in the tour. To get to the entrance to the caves, you will need to take a cable car, thus allowing you to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding nature.
The Barrio Antiguo
For a dive into authentic Mexico, take a tour of Barrio Antiguo, the ancient district of Monterrey. Stroll through the narrow streets between the colourful facades of historic buildings. Breathe and take the time to admire the architectural details of the beautifully preserved shows. After dark, sit on the terrace for a drink and an assortment of Mexican dishes. Mingle with the locals and enjoy the warm atmosphere in front of a concert of traditional music.
The Marco Contemporary Art Museum
Designed by the famous Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, the Contemporary Art Museum of Monterrey welcomes you with a dove sculpture, the work of artist Juan Soriano. The museum does not have a permanent collection. Indeed, it hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to different themes, such as cinema with Martin Scorcese, modern painting or contemporary art. Not typical: the museum also offers drawing or painting courses, conferences and art history courses.
La Huasteca Ecological Park
Within the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is a spectacular ecological park. La Huastecais one of the most impressive landscapes in northeastern Mexico. The gigantic gray rock cliffs are sure to make you dizzy as soon as you arrive. As you sink between vertical walls on well-maintained paths, your sense of being tiny will not stop growing. Observe the cacti and plants! They grow directly in the stone above your heads and take on the appearance of hanging gardens. If hiking is not your cup of tea, you can hire a quad to explore the trails that cross the park. Many points of interest dot the nature reserve, such as the Grotto of the Virgin, whose outlines resemble the face of the Virgin Mary. Another exciting site is the Huichol, a ceremonial site wedged between the canyon walls, where tribes came to pray and make offerings to ancient deities.
Try your hand at canyoning in the Matacanes canyon.
The canyon of Matacanes is located not far from Monterrey, in the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park. It takes its name from the porous rock formations found there, called Matacanes in Spanish. The river has dug its bed through the Matacanes. Gear up with a harness, helmet and ropes, and follow the guide! Your day will be full of thrills. You will start with an abseil descent along a waterfall that flows into the void. Admire the beauty of the landscape around you as you let yourself be refreshed by the splashing water as if to welcome you. Once inside the canyon, a succession of jumps and slides will take you from translucent natural pools to rock falls. To end the day, a passage in a cave will finish playing with your adrenaline before returning by car to Monterrey for a well-deserved rest.
The Cola de Caballo waterfall
Near Villa de Santiago, less than an hour by transport is a natural wonder. The Cola de Caballo waterfall, ponytail in French, was named so because of its striking resemblance to the animal’s tail. A footbridge allows you to get as close as possible to the waterfall to see it fall in front of you and then rush under your feet. Notice the lush nature that surrounds the place, a perfect gateway to Cumbres de Monterrey National Park.
Climbing Cerro de la Silla
Visiting Monterrey would not be complete without a panoramic view of the city. The Cerro de la Silla is the mountain that can be seen from Monterrey, close to the city center. It has several peaks, the highest of which, the Pic de la Vierge, culminates at an altitude of 1,820 meters. The ascent requires good physical condition and learning about the paths to take depending on the summit you want to climb. You will undoubtedly come across locals who will encourage you on your climb, the place being trendy. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view of the region as well as the bustle of the city below.
How to go to Monterrey?
Monterrey is located in the state of Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico and has two international airports. From France, you will need to stop to reach Monterrey, generally in the United States (Dallas, Atlanta) or Mexico City. The average flight time is 14 hours with the stopover, which is a long trip. If you have time, cut your strip in half and take a few days to visit the capital. You will then find a flight between Mexico City and Monterrey lasting one hour and a half. Flight comparators like Ulysses are the best way to find the cheapest tickets.
The main airport is General Mariano Escobedo Airport (MTY), located in Apodaca, 24 kilometres from the city center. Bus service available from Terminals A and C will take you to the center in 45 minutes. The cost is around 50 cents. Taxis will take you there in about 30 minutes, and a car rental service is also available within the airport. Bus companies will take you to other major cities in the country directly from the airport.
Where to stay in Monterrey?
When you go to visit Monterrey, you will have plenty of accommodation options. Charming room in the historic district or hotel suitable for work with meeting room, many options are available. To select the criteria that suit you and find the best price, use a hotel comparator. The accommodation in Airbnb also thrives in Monterrey, an excellent way to soak up more of life and the Mexican culture.