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Real de Catorce is a city in San Luis Potosí.

This old ghost town is very popular with tourists from Texas especially the Austin area. Many of the old Haciendas are being restored to former glory. The surrounding high desert area is becoming a popular area for horseback riding. Overall, Real de Catorce is benefiting from the renaissance that is sweeping across many of the forgotten colonial gems of the northern deserts.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is San Luis Potosí (SLP IATA). From the airport the "Central de autobuses" is a 15-20 minute drive. A bus ride from San Luis Potosí to Matehuala took 2.5 hours and was $265MXN (~US$ 15) as of 2017. Buses leave from Matehuala to Real de Catorce at 7:45, 9:45, 11:45, 13:45, 17:45.

By car[edit]

In order to get to Real de Catorce you have to go through a very narrow 11 km tunnel. At the high tourist seasons (Oct. and Apr.) you will have to leave your car outside the tunnel and take a horse and carriage in to the pueblito.

A driver offered direct service for $9 MXN per km. From San Luis Potosí it is about ~250 km which would be around $2,250 MXN (~US$ 125) which may make sense for groups.

Get around[edit]

Map of Real de Catorce

Once in Real de Catorce you get around by walking mostly. Cars are not allowed to drive in the city. To get to one of the far away tourist destinations you travel by horse, donkey or mule.


  • Quemado hill (Cerro el Quemado).
  • The graveyard
  • Purisima Concepcion Church
  • Ogarrio Tunnel
  • Palenque
  • Coin House
  • Old Silver Mines


Walking, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding, camping, peyote with a shaman.


Home made crafts... made with minerals found in caves


  • Gorditas from street vendors
  • Many Italian restaurants



Houses can be rented in the surrounding small ghost towns (without electricity or running water) for about US$100 monthly, its a popular option for artists and craftsmen.

  • El Ángel Y El Corazón, Iturbide No. 3 (Zona Centro), +52 488 8875062, . Check-out: noon.
  • Hoteles Teléfono.
  • Hostal Alcazaba, +52 488 1010244, .
  • Mesón Del Refugio, +52 488 8875068, .
  • Hotel el Real, morelos # 20 (one block from main plaza), +52 1800-836-6006. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: noon. 28 rooms, divided in two houses, Hotel el Real 1 and Hotel el Real 2. Best social club in town , featuring weddings, birthday parties, live music. US$ 55 and up.
  • wild camping, quemado hill and cemetery. Wild or freedom camping is possible in Real. The most popular and safest option is the local cemetery. Expect to share the area with other travelling hippies. Camping atop quemado hill is also possible and will provide epic views of the sunset, starry night skies, and beautiful morning sunrise. free.


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