Querétaro will debut a new tourist route in the Sierra Gorda.

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The state of Querétaro has announced a new tourist project: the Initiatic Path of Santiago. This route includes natural wonders and Franciscan missions that are World Heritage Sites.

The Initiatic Path of Santiago is the state of Querétaro’s new tourist project, which was presented with great enthusiasm during the 2024 Tourist Tianguis held in Acapulco.

But do you know what these types of spiritual routes consist of and what the Queretaro path will be like? Let me explain.

What is an initiatic path?

According to the Spanish School of Transpersonal Development (EDTe), the term “initiatic” comes from the concept of “entering or going within.” An initiatic journey involves exploring a new land and embarking on an inner adventure—of a spiritual nature—that seeks reconnection with the meaning of life through places and experiences encountered along the way.

Spain as inspiration

This new tourist product draws inspiration from the Camino de Santiago, a network of seven routes that pilgrims travel to reach the tomb of the apostle St. James in the Spanish city of  Santiago de Compostela. The origins of this pilgrimage date back to the medieval era, and the routes start from cities such as Porto, Lisbon, Oviedo, Seville, San Sebastián, and Roncesvalles.

The second in America

Querétaro’s Initiatic Path of Santiago will not be the first in America. That distinction belongs to the existing Initiatic Path of Santiago in Paraná, Brazil, which was created in 2022. The Brazilian path covers 100 kilometers, stretching from the city of Campo Mourão to the town of Fênix. It passes through rural areas, ancient missions, and Jesuit settlements dating back to the 16th century.

The Querétaro experience

The Initiatic Path of Santiago in Querétaro is designed as a route focused on spiritual tourism. It will be concentrated within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve in the northern part of the state. Along this route, visitors can appreciate the region’s diverse microclimates (forests, semi-deserts, jungles) and its natural wonders. Additionally, the path will showcase religious, cultural, and historical attractions, including ancient temples, museums, and an archaeological zone. Travelers can explore the route on foot or horseback. This initiative is a collaboration between the State Tourism Secretariat and the International Association for Tourism Cooperation (Asicotur).

The distance covered

The Initiatic Path of Santiago in Querétaro will span 124 kilometers within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. It will pass through four municipalities: the magical towns of Pinal de Amoles and Jalpan de Serra, as well as Landa de Matamoros and Arroyo Seco.

The Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve

This protected natural area covers more than 32% of Querétaro’s territory. Its landscapes range from semi-desert to mountain forests, with elevations ranging from 300 to 3,100 meters above sea level. The reserve is home to a rich biodiversity, with over 5,000 species of plants and animals registered, according to the Conabio.

Natural attractions along the Initiatic Path of Santiago

– Mirador de Cuatro Palos: Offers views of the Cerro de la Media Luna.

– Cañón de la Angostura: Features rock walls up to 50 meters in height.

– Puente de Dios: Known for its springs, pools, and rock formations.

– Cascada Chuveje: A 30-meter-high waterfall with a turquoise pool.

– Presa Jalpan: A Ramsar site due to its international importance

How to Get There?

If you want to visit the Sierra Gorda in Querétaro on your own, the best way is to drive your own car or rent one. Alternatively, you can take a bus. ETN offers several trips from the Central del Norte in Mexico City to Querétaro for $513 pesos per person. From Querétaro, it takes approximately three hours to Jalpan and two hours to Pinal de Amoles. There are departures to both destinations with the Flecha Amarilla bus line, starting at $226 per person.

Source: El Universal