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Candela is a small town in eastern Coahuila, near the border with Nuevo Leon. It's known for its Mexican Revolution history as a stronghold of Venustiano Carranza's army of constitutionalists, as well as its natural scenery and semi-desert climate with rivers, parks, mountains, and caves. The town is one of Mexico's designated Pueblos Magicos.


Candela is a Pueblo Magico

Eco travelers find quite a bit to interest them in Candela, especially the rivers and thermal pools along the Rio Candela. Bats come out in the early evening and there are at least four bat caves where you can watch the evening emergence at sunset. These bat-watching spots include: Parque las Lajas, Cartujanos Plateau, Grutas del Carrizal and El Huizachal.

Get in[edit]

Map of Candela (Mexico)

The best way to get to Candela is by car. There are no first-class bus lines that go through Candela. It's possible that a local bus company goes there (most likely from Monclova), but the town is remote.

From Monclova, it's a 95 km trip on a good 2-lane highway. Take Coahuila state highway COAH-30 east out of Monclova and continue to Candela.

From Monterrey, it's a 155 km trip. Take Nuevo Leon state highway NL-1 north for 142 km, then turn west on Nuevo Leon state highway NL-80. It will become COAH-30 at the state line, continue 17 km past the state line into the town of Candela.

Get around[edit]

You'll want your own car. Local taxis may be available but ride-hail services are non-existent.


  • 1 La Parroquia de San Carlos Borromeo. The town's main church dates from the late 17th century. It's a relatively humble parish church built in a neoclassical style and without a lot of ornamentation.
  • Estacion de Candela (Candela Station) (on state highway COA-30, 17 km east of town on the border with Nuevo Leon). Historic train station built in 1919 at the end of the Mexican Revolution under orders of Venustiano Carranza. Cool medieval fortress like architecture, the station has been abandoned out in the middle of nowhere for decades. Note: Do not rely on Google maps to get here: their location pin is wrong.


  • Las Lajas Ecological Park, about 5 km south of town on MEX-30 you'll see a park access road for Las Lajas and Los Carricitos. Pay your park admission as you enter (M$50 per person). There are several things to do in this area:
* swim in the milky blue river waters of Las Lajitas, Los Carricitos, or Ojo Caliente
* picnic in one of the pavilions, with grills and tables
* climb the rocks at El Frenton
* hike the trails through semi-desert brushlands and hills
* nature watch, particularly the bats emerging from their caves at sunset (look on park maps for Cueva de los Murcielagos)
  • Grutas del Carrizal. Wild cave where a colony of bats live. If you go, bring appropriate equipment and have experience caving. Not a canned commercial cave tour.


  • Feast of San Carlos Borromeo, 1–7 August. Horses, dances, games and rodeo.
  • Feast of the Mexican Revolution, 20 November. Celebracion Civica.


The regional food of Northern Mexico is common in Candela, particularly cabrito, roasted young kid goat. There are several informal street food stands selling tacos, burgers, and roast chicken. They often keep sporadic hours and some may be open only certain days of the week.

  • 1 Restaurante Candela, Av. Benito Juarez 49, +52 866 115 7158. M-Sa 09:00 - 21:30, Su 09:00 - 19:00. The only real full-service restaurant in town serves traditional Mexican dishes. Locals recommend the enchiladas rojas and the taquitos.



  • 1 La Casa de la Abuela, Pablo Sidar, +52 866 207 5820. Friendly, family run hotel with clean, comfortable rooms built around a central courtyard with a large, modern swimming pool. On-site bar and restaurant. Can provide guests with contacts for local eco tour guides.

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