I had no idea I was going to Monterrey, Mexico! I was in Houston for work and with very little planning I decided to travel somewhere, on standby obviously. Quito, Ecuador was my first choice but as departure time was approaching, the weather in Quito was taking an ugly turn as it was expected to rain all weekend long. We, my best friend and I, considered several other destinations but ultimately decided on Monterrey but there was ONE problem: We weren’t booked or checked-in to the Monterrey flight and it was scheduled to depart in 6 minutes.
We ran to the gate. The gate agent was a little confused when we proposed to get on the flight with a couple of minutes left for boarding. Luckily the gate agent is as standby traveler herself, so it didn’t take much convincing to get her to check us in for the flight. Few minutes later we were in the air heading to our close by destination on a small regional jet.
We arrived at the Airbnb around 9pm and we were immediately greeted by the host family. The family was very welcoming, this is true of everyone we met on the trip, and weren’t bothered by the language barrier. Using a combination of English words and hand gestures they showed us how to get to a couple of nearby restaurants. The food in Monterrey is nothing short of delicious. We ate more tacos than humanly possible and it was worth it. The desserts were equally good. I didn’t pass on any opportunity to eat flan or paletas.
Monterrey is surrounded by beautiful mountains and they offer great hikes and even better views of the city. We went on a couple of hikes at an ecological park called Chipinque. The hikes were perfect for a Saturday morning as they were challenging yet very doable. Once we got to the top, we couldn’t help but spend a couple of hours staring at the city in the bottom of the valley. The views were stunning. Eventually we drove down and made our way towards the city center.
Monterrey city center is absolutely well designed. The architecture is beautiful with plenty of the things to do. Monterrey offers a great selection of museums and public art. We explored some of the public spaces in the city center and took a break by a beautiful fountain before we made our way to the shopping district. There we bought souvenir and ate another delicious meal.
All in all, Monterrey offers a great mix of beautiful scenery and city hustle and bustle. The people are extremely helpful and nice. Uber is an adequate transportation method and prices are generally affordable. Given that Monterrey is a short flight from most US destinations, it is definitely doable on a weekend trip. There is little to no reason why Monterrey isn’t a great weekend destination.
Ease of getting to from the US: ★★★★
Weekend Score: ★★★★★