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Planners looking for an adventurous yet cultured destination might be intrigued by both the state of Zacatecas and its capital city of the same name. Categorized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, the stunning Colonial city, located in the Northern semi-deserts of Mexico, is built nearly vertically. Colonized in 1548, it became a pivotal region for Mexico's historical silver rush, and for Catholic missionaries. As a result, there is a fascinating architectural assortment of 17th- and 18th-century churches and monasteries, now mostly turned into museums. In many cases, these can be used as special events venues in Zacatecas.
The Zacatecas International Airport, located in the state capital, provides direct flights to Mexico City, Tijuana, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and Houston. Once arriving at the airport, downtown Zacatecas is just a 20-minute taxi ride away.
There are several meeting venues in Zacatecas, including the recently opened Zacatecas Conventions Palace, which has 26 halls and outdoor event spaces that range from 984 to 19,685 square feet, accommodating up to 5,000 people. The Zacatecas Fair and Exposition Center also has 12 halls, which can accommodate 50 to 4,000 people.
For accommodation, there are several 5 Star hotels in Zacatecas fit for large groups, including the Hotel Spa Hacienda del Bosque, which offers 80 suites and an event space for up to 1,200 guests, and the 113-room Hotel Emporio Zacatecas, with event space for 150 attendees. The city offers a range of excellent restaurants, such as can be found in the charming Quinta Real restaurant-hotel, built around a bullring and surrounded by flowers. In the evening, the Eden mine opens as the world's only nightclub inside a mine.
Due to its steep topography, Zacatecas' tiny winding streets are best explored by foot – although there is a cable car that climbs to the top of the city's landmark mountain, Cerro La Bufa, for incredible views over the city. Aside from the city's sights, visitors to the region can explore a number of silver and gold mines by train, as well as the historically significant monasteries such as Monasterio de Guadalupe. Back in town, tourists are welcome to join the local walking party (Callejonada) around the streets of Zacatecas with music and free Mezcal (a form of Tequila), served from kegs transported on the back of a donkey.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Zacatecas International Airport (ZCL)
Approximate taxi fare: 567.46 MXN
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