Attractions in Coahuila, Mexico: What to do and where to go
After a hectic business day, unwind with one of the many attraction options in Coahuila. Thanks to the natural richness of its extensive territory, Coahuila offers a great variety of opportunities for ecotourism and adventure tourism.
Each city of the state features a specific array of tourist attractions. The historic city of Saltillo, founded in 1577, offers numerous museums, colonial temples and monuments. The modern city of Torreon boasts beautiful surroundings full of biodiversity. Border cities like Piedras Negras and Acuna feature commercial lifestyles and peaceful atmospheres. The state of Coahuila is also renowned for its hunting tourism, due to the fact that it has a large number of specialized ranches and a great variety of species, such as the white-tailed deer as well as the Bora deer.
In the canyons and caves of Coahuila, go spelunking. In the oases, discover a world of multicolored fish. Go rappelling, climbing, mountain biking or hiking across the paths of the beautiful mountains of the region. In the center of the state, near the city of Monclova, explore the protected area of Cuatro Cienegas, an extraordinary natural reserve with hundreds of species of flora and fauna that do not exist anywhere else in the world.
With so much variety, you will be able to choose among a large number of tourist attractions of all kinds, historic buildings and astonishing natural backdrops where you can take part in ecotourism and adventure tourism. Enjoy Coahuila's magical land!
Among the numerous tourist attractions in Coahuila, the natural reserves and protected areas stand out. There are several of these reserves all along the territory of Coahuila. Many of these areas keep endangered species, and some are well-known worldwide, such as the Cuatro Cienegas Natural Protected Area.
Another outstanding natural area is Los Novillos National Park, located near the US border. This beautiful zone is filled with plenty of flora and fauna. There is also the Mapimi Biosphere Reserve which stands out not only because of its natural beauty but because it is where the famous Zone of Silence is located. The Mapimi Biosphere Reserve was the first zone to be declared a reserve in Mexico. It is a great area to go strolling and observing the variety of wildlife.
San Pedro de las Colonias
San Pedro de las Colonias is a small city located about 37 miles from the city of Torreon. Small and quiet, San Pedro is the site of a rich past full of important events in Mexican history. San Pedro is considered the cradle of the Mexican Revolution, as it was where the memorable battle of April 12th, 1914 took place, when Francisco Villa defeated the federal army commanded by Victoriano Huerta. While in San Pedro, you can visit several attractions like the Museum of the Revolution, which houses an original copy of "La Sucesion Presidencial," the book written by Francisco I. Madero shortly before the beginning of the Revolution. It also exhibits weapons used in the revolution, fossils and different historic pieces.
In San Pedro de las Colonias you can also visit the Temple of San Pedro Apostol, located in front of the Main Square. This beautiful church, the most important in San Pedro, presents the subdued style that is common in most of the city.
Zone of Silence
The so-called Zone of Silence is located right in the point where the states of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila meet. This enigmatic and alluring desert has been under study by several researchers. The area, of about 25 square miles, is an impressive natural attraction for everyone who visits it.
One of the most interesting elements in the Zone of Silence is that it is practically impossible to transmit radio waves in the area, since the zone is endowed with a high concentration of magnetism. When you enter the Zone of Silence, you will be almost totally cut off from the exterior. Within the Zone, probably no radio or cell phone signals will be available and it is said that magnetic compasses stop working there. Instead, you will be able to enjoy a peaceful, inspiring atmosphere full of unique flora and fauna, getting in true contact with nature.
Cuatro Cienegas Valley
Hundreds of endemic and endangered species live in Cuatro Cienegas Valley, located about 50 miles from Monclova. Cuatro Cienegas is considered one of the most enigmatic natural places in the world. According to NASA research, life on earth could have originated here, due to the existence of cyanobacterias (the creators of photosynthesis) in the area.
This valley features more than 200 thermal springs, lagoons and public pools that appear in the middle of the desert as a white-sand oasis. In them, you can find unique species such as the Bisagra turtle, the Blind fish, Dog fish as well as plants, reptiles and mollusks. A few minutes away from the valley you can find the gypsum sand dunes, which give the feel of a lunar landscape.
In some of the springs, such as Las Playitas, swimming and camping are permitted. Others, such as Rio Los Mezquites, are ideal for kayaking. And still others, like Poza Azul, boast of fascinating natural beauty and impressive wildlife richness, but are open to the public only for observation and it is strictly prohibited to swim or enter the area. The Poza de la Becerra is one of the most developed recreational spots, featuring different tourist services. It has hot springs and there are camping services as well as kayak rentals or volleyball.
At Mile 9 of the Cuatro Cienegas-San Pedro Road, near Poza Azul, you will find the Information Center of Cuatro Cienegas, which offers eco-tourist information and specialized tours to the ponds. The Information Center also has a gift shop for buying souvenirs and next to it, there is a sanctuary for endemic turtles and fish.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Temple
The place you should not forget to visit while you are in Piedras Negras is the Our Lady of Guadalupe Temple. This beautiful church, built in 1859 from wood and cement, survived the Cristero War in 1927 as well as an explosion in 1934. With great care and dedication, it was remodeled in 1935, and then, in 1950, its current towers were built to add to its beauty.
Macroplaza at Piedras Negras
The Macroplaza is the Main Square of Piedras Negras, where urban life reaches every corner of the city. It's very close to terrific places to go shopping, dining and to admire the sunsets sitting on a bench and watching your children feeding the pigeons. Go and buy a "yuki" (which means "snow" in Japanese and is flavored shaved ice) and let yourself be pampered by the magic atmosphere of the area. It is undoubtedly one of the best Piedras Negras attractions of the city.
Plaza de las Culturas (The Plaza of Cultures)
This ample square is one of the main sightseeing attractions of Piedras Negras. The beautiful plaza combines the best of magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations of Mexico. Admire reproductions to scale of important pyramids like El Castillo at Chichen Itza, the Pyramid of the 365 Niches and the great Pyramid of the Sun, the latter featuring a hall for up to 100 people on its interior.
In the evenings, a beautiful dancing fountain performs a synchronized ballet with multicolored lights. Another of the attractions of the Plaza is the planetarium, where didactic movies are screened for students and other visitors. The Plaza has also green areas, a playground and different shops. You can even find exhibitions of paintings or 3D photographs.
Museums in Monclova
There are different museums where you can visit to have fun and learn interesting facts when sightseeing in the beautiful city of Monclova. The Coahuila-Texas Museum is located in an 18th century building. This historic building was originally a hospital and later, during the Mexican War of Independence, it was used as a prison for important commanders of the movement, such as Miguel Hidalgo, the founder and main leader on the Mexican side. Nowadays, the museum exhibits several permanent and temporary expositions, besides being the repository for the city archives.
Another important museum you can visit when in Monclova is the Pape Museum-Library, a beautiful, well-known cultural center. This museum houses different temporary expositions as well as some permanent expositions, including the life and works of Mrs. Lou and Mr. Harold Pape, who sponsored the creation of the place. The Pape Museum also has a spacious hall for concerts and plays.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
Despite featuring a subdued facade, this temple built in the early 16th century in Monclova boasts a magnificent baroque style altarpiece plated with 24-karat gold, which was taken to Monclova from Saltillo, the state capital. The temple has a lot of prestige among the locals, who visit it frequently.
Recently opened to the public, the observatory of Monclova is the largest in the state of Coahuila. It features a 16-inch lens and can magnify the brightness of any celestial body up to three thousand times. It is controlled with a high-tech computer system and has a modern video system that projects in real time the images it gets of the sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets. The observatory of Monclova also offers guided tours in case you wish to see it. The Observatory is a must-see attraction.
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