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Monterrey

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Monterrey

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Monterrey is a city in Mexico and the capital of the state of Nuevo León. It's the industrial hub of northern Mexico, second in economic importance only surpassed by populous Mexico City. Although it is mainly an industrial and commercial city (in fact most of the foreign visitors comes for business purposes) a non-business tourist and businessmen in will be surprised with some attractions that the city has to offer.


Get in

Monterrey is an industrial city, flying in or busing in are both good options.

  • Monterrey Aiports:

Mariano Escobedo Airport (IATA: MTY) (ICAO: MMMY), Tel: +52 (81)83-45-44-34. Daily flights to Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and it also has several flights a day that connect it with Guadalajara and Mexico city. A few of the low cost airlines also fly in from different parts of the country. The usual fare to go from the airport to the city and vice versa is about US$25. If you are in the city, any taxi will take you and the fare will be the same from any point of the city to the airport. In the airport you have to locate a special counter inside the terminal where you have to pay for the fare to the city. Once you pay you are given a ticket that has to be shown to the driver in order to be let into a cab.

Del Norte Airport (ICAO: MMAN), Tel: +52 (81) 80-30-90-90. If you are not flying commercial the best way into Monterrey is the Del Norte Airport. Simply put, there is no burocracy involved in entering Monterrey through this airport. There are various FBOs that will be glad to assist you with your every need, and the hospitality of every single employee of the airport and the FBOs give you a very warm welcome to Monterrey. The FBOs can get you in contact with a car rental company or can take you to your hotel. This airport is closer to the city than the Mariano Escobedo Airport.

Get around

Once in Monterrey, the easiest way to get around is by cab (eco-taxis), they are green with white rooftops. They are pretty cheap and plentiful. There is a bus and rail system too but they are best left to the locals. Renting a car is not recommended ... they are quite expensive (usually in the US it's around $30 per day but in Mexico it's more like $50+). Besides, navigating the streets are a bit tricky in the older parts of town, and just like any major metro area, parking is always an issue. Go for the cabs. The Green Cabs called "Ecos" are extremely cheap, the starter fee is around $0.50, and an average trip is around $3-5d, very convenient. Also be cautious of stationary taxis waiting for people outside of a bus station or airport, they may try to take advantage of you and charge you more than the usual fare, if you are verbally given a fare that is not reasonable dont take the taxi.

Monterrey also has a modern subway which covers much of the downtown area and the municipality of Guadalupe.

See

  • Cerro del Obispado - home to a regional history museum and a massive new mast with the mexican flag.
  • Museo de Historia Mexicana
  • Cerro de la Silla
  • Grutas Bustamante
  • Puente Colgante San Pedro
  • Zoologico La Pastora
  • Macroplaza
  • Centro comercial Morelos
  • Safari Parque Estrella
  • Teatro de la Ciudad
  • Museo Arte Contemporaneo (MARCO)
  • Plaza Fiesta San Agustin
  • Galerías Valle Oriente
  • Centro Cultural Alfa - natural history and science museum.
  • Parque España

Do

Sports

  • Fuerza Regia (basketball) [1]
  • Sultanes(baseball) [2]
  • Rayados (football/soccer) [3]
  • Tigres (football/soccer) [4]

Eco-tourism

  • La Huasteca
  • Chipinque Ecological Park[5]
  • Matacanes

Other

  • Parque Plaza Sesamo - theme park [6].

Buy

The shopping scene is very good as well. You'll find many international labels and designer houses in the upper-end malls. Just ask any local what a tourist should do, they'll point to the nearest attraction. Don't hesitate to ask for directions.

Eat

Monterrey is a paradise for spicy food lovers. Worthwhile local delicacies are:

  • cabrito - baby goat barbeque
  • tacos - choose from "trompo", "bistek", "barbacoa", "Pedros", "Chicharron" or "arrachera"
  • machacado
  • atropellado - dry meat with tomato, onion and peppers, really good!
  • taco azul (blue taco) - don't forget to stop by here to enjoy some great morning tacos located in Av. Leones and Rangel Frias, in the heart of cumbres district

Also, you should go out and enjoy the mariachis; you can see them and enjoy great food and local drinks at El Regio or La Valentina.

Consider going to El Rey del Cabrito, Gran Pastor or Gran San Carlos for some of the best cabrito in town.

Drink

The clubbing scene is in Moterrey is very hot. Nightclubs range from the typical "dive bar" to the very expensive, valet-please-park-my-Lamborghini places. Because Monterrey is home to the top colleges in Mexico, thousands of young people from all over Mexico party as early as Wednesday. You will surely find a club that suits your taste. There are 2 major clubbing areas to know about, downtown known as the Barrio Antiguo and the Centrito, in the Colonia del Valle.

  • Barrio Antiguo (Old Town) is probably your best option if you are only in the city for one night. You will find plenty of bars with live music that open until early in the morning. Make sure you visit Bar-Rio Antiguo and Zocalo (its courtyard hosts 4-5 clubs), located on Padre Mier. Keep an eye out for people handing out "No Cover" passes on the street, as well as flyers advertising events, cover fee, and special offers (example: 2x1 on bottles before 12 a.m., girls 50% off cover fee before 11 p.m.) at the different nightclubs.
  • The Centrito has seen a steady decline in its night scene, and there is much left besides the Ocean Drive bar. But you can still go to a club called Havana which is located in Avenida San Pedro or the Privatt.
  • Nirvana Rock Joint outside of Plaza Fiesta San Agustin features 80's, 90's and some recent music. Good selection of beer, liquor, and appetizers. Free breathalyzer test, ask the bouncer for a safe taxi if you can't drive.
  • A night out is not complete until you finish eating "breakfast" at a local taqueria or hot dog stand. Tacos del Julio and Tacos del Güero are two of the most seeked establishments for this purpose.
  • The traffic fine for being caught driving under the influence can reach up to US$2,500 or three days imprisonment. It's not worth the risk.

Stay Safe

According to América Económica magazine, Monterrey has ranked as the safest city in Latin America along with Santiago de Chile. Violent crime against tourists is not common as in other parts of Mexico. It is perfectly safe to walk outside even in the night. However, as in any metropolitan area in the world, it still has some crime issues, mainly related to drug traffic. Also avoid poorer areas that you may spot easily in some hills and the surroundings. Just keep in mind to maintain some minor precautions as you would do in any major city.

Sleep

  • Howard Johnson Plaza Monterrey, Morelos 574 Oriente, Tel: (81)83806000, [7]. Great location near the center of town. Clean, but a tiny bit "worn". Heated/indoor pool. Great buffet breakfast. Paid $570NP for double room (small, but neat) with microwave, cofeemaker, free bottled water, and breakfast included. This was weekday in late December -- normal rate may be higher.

Get out

  • Have a trip to see waterfalls at "Cola de Caballo"
  • Take a trip to Garcia (about 40 min away) and see the caves, there is a cable car that takes you to the entrance. Then you have to pay for a guided tour that lasts for about an hour
  • Take a day trip to Presa de la Boca.



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