Monterrey, Mexico: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

Located in a valley, 540m above sea level, at the foothills of the Sierra Madre Oriental, Monterrey is the third largest city in Mexico, after Mexico City and Guadalajara. The impressive Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Hill), symbolic to the city, lies to its west. A modern, leading industrial city, with a high level of education, Monterrey is an important business center and the second wealthiest city in the country.

Monterrey is very accessible and transit within the city is fairly easy. The best lodging options are found in Zona Rosa and Barrio Antigua areas.

Before its European foundation in the 16th century, the area was inhabited by a handful of indigenous semi-nomadic tribes. During the colonial years, Monterrey remained a small city, its growth being halted due to attacks by the Chichimeca people. After the Mexican War of Independence, the city rose as an important economic center for the newly formed nation. The earliest large scale battle of the American-Mexican War also took place here, with U.S. eventually occupying the city, after a few unsuccessful attempts. It was the construction of the railroad, in the following decades, that lead to Monterrey’s industrial boom.

These days, the city is recovering from Mexico’s drug war, which stained the Monterrey’s reputation in 2011, like it has many other cities in the country. Most of Monterrey’s main cultural attractions lie in its very accessible historic core. The boutiques, restaurants, bars and large malls offer all sorts of entertainment, while the jagged mountains at its outskirts are a great place for outdoor adventurers.