The history of Monterrey is closely linked with the overall history of Mexico. Founded as a Spanish settlement in 1579, Monterrey grew slowly, owing to Indian resistance, periodic floods, and a lack of mineral wealth. By 1775 it had only a few hundred residents, but in the 19th century the city mushroomed into a major population center. During the Mexican-American War it was captured by U.S. troops, many of whom ravaged the city before order was restored.
Large-scale foreign investment was attracted after 1882, when Monterrey was linked by rail with Laredo, Texas. And by the turn of the century, thousands of workers were producing iron, brass, steel, wagons, woolen textiles, beer, and flour. In spite of a devastating flood in 1909, the city continued to develop rapidly, particularly after the Inter-American Highway was begun in 1930.
Today, Monterrey is the heart of one of the country’s largest urban agglomerations. With a mixture of services and manufacturing, it is also the key to Nuevo Leon’s status as the third largest state economy in the country, after the Federal District and the state of Mexico.
However, canyoneering – consistently listed as one of the best things to do in Monterrey – takes up another life in this part of the world. Hacienda Cola De Caballo and the Matacanes Canyon, which have been bookmarked by many, are arguably the pinnacle of canyoneering in the country.