Monterrey, Mexico: Surroundings

A good option to start touring the area around Monterrey is the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma brewery and Museo del Vidrio (the Glass Museum). Located west of the city, the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc is the oldest brewery in Mexico. Here visitors will have the chance to sample one of its brands, while checking out Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame and then enjoy a stroll along the St Lucia Riverwalk. Museo del Vidriodates back to the 1900’s when there was a high demand for glass due to mass production of beer bottles for the city’s brewery. The museum has a good variety of artistic glassware.

A vast area surrounding the city, is part of the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, which itself includes a series of parks, each with their own attractions, programs and administration. The name of the park means “Summits of Monterrey” and refers to the sharp mountain peaks that rise above the city. Most of the park is a dedicated refuge for wildlife, while a small part is developed for tourism. Among the numerous outdoor activities the area has to offer, is a canyoneering adventure, where adrenaline junkies have the chance to leap from boulder to boulder and rappel through the thrashing cascade of Chipitín waterfall.

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Southeast of Monterrey, on the road to Chipinque Ecological Park, is the Centro Cultural Alfa. The Center has a planetarium, an OMNIMAX theatre and a museum of science. The modern building also houses a number of souvenir shops and a restaurant.

The Chipinque Ecological Park is about 12 miles from the city center. The parks landscape includes valleys, canyons, mountain peaks covered with woods. The park offers great outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, camping and bird watching. Guided tours take visitors on Chipinque’s natural trails and to scenic viewpoints, overlooking the mountains. Some tours also include a visit to Monterrey’s up-scale suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia, where one of the country’s biggest shopping malls stands. Hotel Chipinque features a great panoramic view of the city, with a rustic bar and restaurant, as well as tennis court, swimming pool and Spa. From here adventurers can start climbing towards the Parks tallest peak, Copete de las Aguilas at 2.260m, or the most frequently climbed peak El “M”.

Passionate alpinists are attracted to the steep, 300m high, walls of Canon de la Huasteca. These canyons used to offer shelter for local Spaniards, during Apache attacks. North of the canyon there is a series of 50 million year old caves, known as Grutas de Garcia, with great natural features.