Welcome to Northeast Mexico
The northeast gets almost totally shunned by tourists these days, which is a mistake. Close to the US, the foreign visitors are mostly North Americans heading south but the appealing towns and cities here make convenient journey-breakers, and when you do stop, you’ll be very glad you did. Colonial centers such as Saltillo, modern, culturally vibrant megalopolises like Monterrey, and the idyllic wine mecca of Parras... Read More
Top experiences in Northeast Mexico
Northeast Mexico activities
Monterrey Hot Air Balloon Ride
Rise early to start your hot-air balloon experience with hotel pickup from Monterrey, and then travel for about 40 minutes by minivan out of the city toward Allende. Stop at the launch field, and hop out of your minivan to watch your balloon inflate. After a safety briefing, step inside the balloon’s basket and take to the skies with your professional pilot. Flying between 1,000 and 5,000 feet (300 and 1,520 meters) above the ground, depending on the wind, see the magnificent sights in the state of Nuevo León. Have your camera ready to capture bird’s-eye views of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the mountain range that runs along the eastern side of Mexico. As you watch the sun rise over the pine and oak forests of the Sierra Madre Oriental, listen to your pilot talking about landscape markers mapped out beneath you. On a clear day, you may see a peak that looks like a saddle; that’s Cerro de la Silla, or Saddle Hill, a well-known landmark associated with Monterrey. You also could see Las Cruces river and Tía Liberata mountain, and you might even catch the flash of a puma or mule deer darting into the woods. Your ride in the clouds lasts 35 to 40 minutes depending on weather conditions. Touch back down to the ground and enjoy some sparkling wine (provided) to complete your memorable morning before your minivan ride back to Monterrey.
Shared Arrival Transfer: General Mariano Escobedo International Airport to Monterrey Hotels
When you arrive at Monterrey’s General Mariano Escobedo International Airport, meet your professional driver, who will show you to your air-conditioned transfer vehicle and drive you in comfort to your hotel. The airport is about 17 miles (27 km) from central Monterrey. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.
Private Arrival Transfer: General Mariano Escobedo International Airport to Monterrey Hotels
When you arrive at General Mariano Escobedo International Airport, your private driver will take you directly to your Monterrey hotel in air-conditioned comfort. The airport is approximately 17 miles (27 km) from central Monterrey. When making a booking, please provide all flight arrival details and full address of your accommodation. Your transfer will be confirmed instantly, and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.Price is per person, based on 9 adults per car/vehicle.
Monterrey Beer Tour
After hotel pickup, your beer-themed tour of Monterrey starts at the Glass Museum (Museo del Vidrio), dedicated to the history of glassmaking in Monterrey, which began in the early 1900s when the mass production of beer bottles for the city’s beer industry brought about the need for more glass. With your guide, take a 1.5-hour tour of the museum, housed in an old glass factory, to see its collection of beautiful glass pieces and displays that depict glassmaking in Monterrey and the rest of Mexico. Then head several blocks over to Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, Mexico’s oldest brewery, established in 1890. Explore the brewery on a 1.5-hour tour to learn about its history — from its first premium beer, Carta Blanca, to its current production of well-known Mexican brands like Dos Equis and Tecate. Visit the brewery’s beer garden to sample one of the brews, and check out the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame (Salón de la Fama), located on the grounds of the brewery, which once owned the city’s baseball team.Next, travel back down toward the city center to the St Lucia Riverwalk (Paseo St Lucia), a spacious pedestrian pathway that runs along the manmade St Lucia River, linking Macroplaza and Fundidora Park. One of the city’s top attractions, it boasts 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of green spaces, restaurants, museums, fountains, bridges and lovely views of the hill overlooking the city. Spend an hour walking with your guide, and then head to La Divina, a cozy local restaurant where you can enjoy Mexican lunch dishes like tacos or steak (lunch is at your own expense; restaurant subject to change). Your first beer is on the house!After lunch, your tour ends with hotel drop-off.
Cola de Caballo Waterfall and Villa de Santiago Day Trip from Monterrey
After pickup in Monterrey, head with your guide by comfortable van to Cola de Caballo, about 1 hour south of the city on the edge of Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, just outside Villa de Santiago. Meaning Horse Tail in English, the 82-foot (25-meter) Cola de Caballo waterfall is one of the most popular natural attractions in the Monterrey area. Find out why as you admire the falls from all angles by climbing up the steps that provide different viewpoints, some of which are so close to the falls that you’ll feel the spray of the water. To get to the waterfall, you can either walk with your guide along the 1-mile (1.6-km) path from the entrance, or travel by horseback or horse-pulled cart (own expense). You have an hour to spend at the waterfall, where you can enjoy being surrounded by lush vegetation and browse the handicraft stalls for souvenirs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go bungee jumping! A snack bar is available if you get hungry. (Bungee jumping and snacks at your own expense.)Next, head into Villa de Santiago, a designated Pueblo Mágico, or Magic Town, a program developed by Mexico’s tourism board to recognize towns that offer an authentic Mexican cultural experience or hold an important place in Mexico’s history. Santiago is also home to La Boca Dam, the nickname for Presa Rodrigo Gomez, a manmade lake that locals love for kayaking, boating and other water sports. Head here for lunch at Playa Dorada, a floating restaurant on the lake that offers views of the surrounding mountains (own expense; restaurant subject to change). Or you may choose to eat lunch at one of the other waterfront restaurants instead, and then meet back up with your guide for your Santiago city tour.Your tour takes in Santiago’s main churches, squares, fountains and other colonial sights. See Plaza Ocampo, Santiago Apostol Church, Palacio Municipal and other historical attractions that line the charming streets. After your city tour, head back to Monterrey, where your day trip ends.
Chipinque Ecological Park Day Trip from Monterrey
Your tour starts with pickup in Monterrey for the 20-minute drive just south of town to Chipinque Ecological Park (Parque Ecológico Chipinque). Part of the greater Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, Chipinque is a favorite local getaway spot, where Monterrey residents escape for hiking, biking and bird watching. Spend about three hours in the park with your knowledgeable guide, who will tell you about the native vegetation and wildlife and show you the best lookout points to admire the views of the Sierra Madre Oriental, the mountain range that runs through Cumbres de Monterrey National Park. If you wish, you can visit some of the park’s attractions like the butterfly house, or just relax in one of the scenic picnic areas with a snack purchased from the small general store (any entrance fees, snacks and activities are at your own expense). Then leave the park for your next destination, the neighboring town of San Pedro Garza Garcia, an affluent suburb of Monterrey. When you arrive, head to La Mejico, a local restaurant where you can buy lunch (restaurant subject to change). Then enjoy a city tour that takes you past top landmarks. Cross the Puente de la Unidad, a striking, cable-stayed bridge that connects San Pedro to Monterrey, and travel down Calzada del Valle, a wide, tree-lined boulevard home to exclusive designer shops and upscale apartment buildings. You’ll also stop by churches, the main plaza and the Huasteca climbing area.Finally, end your tour of San Pedro at Plaza Fiesta San Agustin, one of the largest shopping malls in Mexico. Shop at the 100+ stores, or visit one of the restaurants for a snack or a drink (own expense). Your tour then ends with return to Monterrey.