Querétaro, officially Free and Sovereign State of Querétaro, is one of 31 states that, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 18 municipalities. Its capital city is Santiago de Querétaro.
It is located in North-Central Mexico, in a region known as Bajío. It is bordered by the states of San Luis Potosí to the north, Guanajuato to the west, Hidalgo to the east, México to the southeast and Michoacán to the southwest.
The state is one of the smallest in Mexico, but it is also one of the most heterogeneous geographically, with ecosystems varying from deserts to tropical rainforest, especially in the Sierra Gorda, which is filled with microecosystems. The area of the state was located on the northern edge of Mesoamerica, with both the P’urhépecha and Aztec empires having influence in the extreme south, but neither really dominated it. The area, especially the Sierra Gorda, had a number of small city-states, but by the time the Spanish arrived, these had all been abandoned, with only small agricultural villages and seminomadic peoples inhabiting the area. Spanish conquest was focused on the establishment of the Santiago de Querétaro, which still dominates the state culturally, economically and educationally.
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