TRAVEL / MEXICO
October , 2011
REAL DE CATORCE + DIARY
First and foremost what is most astonishing about this magical small village is that you must take a journey across a dark tunnel to get there! The tunnel of Ogarrio (which is quite long) will uncover the colorful and old city of Real de Catorce. This is almost like discovering a long lost land.
The village is located in the mountain range of Catorce and has the most amazing landscape views we have ever seen. Real de Catorce looks as if you were tele-transported to a different time, the houses are colorful and old and remain with their original historical architecture. It is so well preserved it actually doesn't have but two restaurants available in the whole town, doesn't get any more old-school than that! One of the restaurants where we had lunch was at Mesón de la Abundancia, which is actually a hotel with a restaurant. The food wasn't extraordinary to be totally honest, but given the limited options, you learn to compromise. There is not much to do here, except to be swept away by its old charm and architecture. We would recommend to just stay for one or two days, to photograph the town and get a sense of history. Definitely a place for photography lovers or writers looking for peaceful settings.
Templo de la Purísima Concepción-
One of the main attractions, if not the most important one, is the church in the middle of the town (Templo de la Purísima Concepción) one of the most beautiful churches we've seen in Mexico, and you can really feel the peace and faith of the villagers as they pray once a day everyday. In the main square you can ask around for activities to do here and they will point you in the direction: Another popular attraction is the coin museum, (La Casa de la Moneda) what once was a coin factory now remains as a cultural center gallery where old coins from different time periods are displayed.
Ghost Town tour-
The origin of the name Ghost Town, came from the time silver lost its value and so the miners were forced to flee the town in search of new jobs, leaving Real de Catorce with only 200 habitants.
There is a tour offered called the ride to Ghost Town (Pueblo Fantasma) it is around 100 pesos and you ride a horse up to the very top of the mountain. This is originally a spiritual pilgrimage for the Huichol indigenous community. They walk for at least 40 days to get there and back. This is done with the purpose of achieving spiritual transformation, with fasting being also involved in the process. This mountain called "EL Quemado" or "Wirikuta" is said to be the place where their God (the Sun) was born, who guides them and protects them. It is very beautiful to experience this ride and see where this ritual takes place; also you get to admire the amazing view of the entire city on one side and the desert on the other. Peyote is abundant in this area amongst other peculiar flora, and it is also why a lot of people are curious to get to this location, it takes about 30 years for Peyote to grow to take its actual size, which is only about the size of a ping-pong ball.
To book a hotel in San Luis Potosi click here: HOTEL
To book a flight to SLP and drive to Real de Catorce click here: FLIGHTS
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