In 2016 the sea service conference will be held in the city of QuerÃ©taro, in the Mexican state of QuerÃ©taro. QuerÃ©taro is a colonial city, located at the junction of two major interstate highways, routes 57 and 45, and only at two and a half hours from Mexico City (220 km), and less than an hour from San Miguel de Allende (81 Km), also a colonial town. San Miguel de Allende and the neighboring Sanctuary of Jesus de Atotonilco were recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as World Heritage of Humanity sites in 2008, citing the town's religious and civil architecture as a demonstration of the evolution of different trends and styles, from Baroque to late 19th century Neo-Gothic. The city has preserved its historic downtown.
UNESCO named the Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro a World Heritage site in 1996. The property was inscribed on the basis of two if its cultural criteria and considering that the site is of outstanding universal value and an exceptional example of a colonial town whose layout symbolizes its multiethnic population. It is also endowed with a wealth of outstanding buildings, notably from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Queretaro holds several treasures, and a friendly sense of civic pride prevails. The historic city center is filled with lovely colonial mansions, immaculate pedestrian walkways (andadores) and quaint plazas little changed since colonial days. Franciscan monks founded the city in 1531. It is both literally and figuratively an important crossroads of Mexican history.