stroll through La Gran Plaza in the heart of Mexico’s third-largest city offers a study in contrasts. The historic colonial archi-
tecture of the Palacio de Gobierno is juxtaposed against a backdrop of glass-and-steel towers reach- ing toward the sky. Across the aqua waters of the Paseo Santa Lucia canal, tourists are ferried to the old steel foundry at the urban sustainable park, Parque Fundidora, which also houses a world- class convention and exposition center. The “City of Mountains” hums with $30 billion in foreign investment that has flooded in over the past decade, leading the Financial Times last year to name Mon- terrey as the “Third Best City for the Future.” With 12,000 rooms and more than 100 hotel properties, this city of 4.6 million people is also one of Mexico’s top convention destinations. Most major international hotel brands fly their flags here, including InterContinental, Wyndham, Hilton, Sheraton, and Crowne Plaza. The city has played host to major world events, such as the UN International Conference on Financing for Devel- opment in 2002, the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2007, and the 11th International Congress of Mathematics Education in 2008.
Streetscape The charming cobblestone streets of Barrio Antiguo are a welcome respite from the hustle of modern Monterrey. Three blocks from most of the city’s major hotels, this historic district offers shops, antiques, cafés, and a weekend artisans’ market. After the sun sets, revelers pour into the district for its trendy bars and dance clubs.
With 200,000 square feet of exhibition space and 85,000 square feet of meeting
space, Cintermex is one of Mexico’s largest convention centers. It’s environmentally friendly as well, maintaining an ISO 9002 certification, with a comprehensive recycling policy, energy-eficient lighting, and food- donation programs. The center hosts more than 600 events a year and is a short 25-minute drive from the Mariano Escobedo airport, which has connections to more than 30 domestic and international destinations.