Stationed just beyond the small mountain town of Garcia, about 30 kilometers outside of Monterrey, Parque Grustas de Garcia in Cumbres de Monterrey National Park is a popular destination among travelers to northern Mexico. The picturesque caves house 16 different chambers, including el salon de la luz, where natural light cascades down through the rock ceiling onto the cave floor below. Several other natural rock formations, like El Nacimiento (the Nativity) and La Torre China (the Chinese Tower) make for unique photo ops reminiscent of haunted deserts well below the surface of this spectacular park.
Entrance to the caves is located near Cerro del Fraile. It is accessible via the aerial tramway as well as a challenging walking path.
Address: Carretera a Villa de García S/N, Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico
The scenic skyline of Cerro de la Silla (aka Saddle Mountain) in the rugged foothills of Cumbres de Monterrey is one of the main draws to this national park, but Cola de Caballo—also known as Horse Tail waterfall—in another popular stop in this urban escape just outside Monterrey. Located in the town of Villa de Santiago in Nueva Leon, Cola de Caballo looks like the horse tail it’s named for and cascades some 130 feet into a crystal clear swimming hole that has become a favorite among travelers.
Cola de Caballo is located 17 miles northeast of Catemaco. It is accessible by car via a paved road and following the exit to Rio Cuetzalapan Valley. Because some of the route is unpaved it’s best to avoid after heavy rains. Private hiking guides are available for hire for about 100 pesos and can lead travelers safely through steep terrain and uneven paths.
Address: Cola de Caballo, Villa de Santiago, Monterrey, Mexico
Build in the early 1980s, this popular town square is a hub for commerce and the fourth-largest plaza of its kind in the world. Impressive monuments line the pedestrian zone, including Faro del Comercio, which shoots green laser lights into the city sky each night.
Visitors to the plaza can wander the halls of the Palacio de Gobierno, where local government offices are located, or explore the Biblioteca Fray Servando Teresa de Mier—the city’s iconic public library. Visitors can escape the noise of the city in nearby Jardin Hundido—located at the center of Macroplaza—where quiet fountains and well-kept gardens provide a true urban oasis.
The Macroplaza is accessible via Monterrey Metro’s Zaragoza station near the Fuente de Neptuno.
Address: 5 de Mayo, Zaragoza, Zuazua y Constitución, Centro, Monterrey 64000, Mexico