Priding itself on its passionately independent culture, the City of Mountains stands out from other cities in this still traditional Central American country.
Monterrey, the state capital of Nuevo León, stands out from more traditional Mexican cities. The sprawling city is recognized as a hub for innovative enterprises and cutting-edge educational institutions. Monterrey also has many cultural attractions, revealing the residents’ passion for contemporary art, music and design.
Set against a backdrop of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, Monterrey is a picturesque city. Catch a glimpse of this landscape in the Chipinque ecological park, which is the most accessible part of the mountainous Parque Nacional Cumbres. These mountains are home to a cave system, the Grutas de García, which were formed between 50 to 60 million years ago.
Located close to the U.S. border, Monterrey used to be a major transit center for Americans on their way south. However, despite all its beauty and many friendly locals, Monterrey developed a reputation for drug-related violence. Since 2013 the situation has been improving and extra police officers are patrolling the streets. Stay cautious, especially at night. It is recommended to hire a guide if you want to explore the city.
Stay in the heavily guarded, upmarket San Pedro area and visit its Centro Cultural Alfa. This is an interactive science center with planetarium and gardens. San Pedro is also known for its malls and bars, so go shopping and try tacos.
Explore Parque Fundidora with its skating rink, raceway, theme park and gallery. Its Museum of Steel and old steel mill are all that is left of the former industrial park here. Nearby are the Zona Rosa, the entertainment district, and the Barrio Antiguo (Old Town) with the monumental Basílica de Guadalupe.
Monterrey, in northern Mexico, is well connected to the U.S.A. and the rest of Mexico by air, train and road. Summers can get very hot, so most visitors prefer to come in autumn and spring. Among them are the hikers who set out to climb the four peaks of Cerro de la Silla, the jagged mountain that has become the city’s icon.