Real de Catorce trip planner

Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free

Itinerary Planner
+ Add destination
2 adults
- +
- +
- +

Real de Catorce

(4.1/5 based on 320+ reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing
Real de Catorce, often shortened to Real, is a village in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí and the seat of the municipality of Catorce. It is located 160mi north of the city of San Luis Potosí, and currently has a full-time population of under 1,000 residents. This 'ghost-town' in the high and dry expanses of northern San Luis Potosí state was once a thriving silver mining settlement. Real de Catorce has long been a pilgrimage site for both local Catholics and Huichol shamanists, and is now being discovered by international tourists drawn by the desert ambience and reputed spiritual energy.GeographyThe village of Real de Catorce sits on the side of a mountain at more than 2,743 meters . It is located in the Sierra de Catorce range, one of the highest plateaus in Mexico, where summits may extend over 10000ft. These mountains lie in the arid Mexican plateau, cut off from trade winds of the Gulf of Mexico by the high peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental.The main road to Real de Catorce leaves Highway 62 between Matehuala and San Tiburcio. This is roughly to the east of Real, near the town of Cedral. From the main highway there is a 17mi cobblestone road which rises into the sierra, then the 1.5mi long Ogarrio Tunnel which only accepts vehicles one way .HistoryReal de Catorce is named for 14 Spanish soldiers killed here in an ambush by Chichimeca warriors. Other sources tells that in the beginning the name was "Real de Álamos de la Purísima Concepción de los Catorce" . Although a town had been there for many years, silver was discovered in the local mountains in 1772 and a few years later in 1779 the village was officially founded. The parish church was built between 1790 and 1817. Real de Catorce's heyday was in the late 19th century, when it had a population of 15,000, with some of Mexico's richest silver mines and a mint, as well as a bullring and shops selling European luxury goods. It was almost completely abandoned when the price of silver plummeted after 1900; only a few people remained in this ghost town, eking out a living from mine tailings and an annual influx of pilgrims to a reputedly miraculous image of St. Francis in the parish church. Today, its main income comes from tourism.
To arrange what you want to do in Real de Catorce, use our Mexico trip itinerary builder.
Create a full itinerary — for free!

Plan your trip to Real de Catorce

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.
We'll find the best hotel deals
from all the top travel sites.

Best price guaranteed.
Powered by

Where to stay

Browse hundreds of hotels and read guest reviews on the world's leading online travel agency website.
Checking In:
Checking Out:

Extend your holiday

Visit top cities in San Luis Potosi
Adventure, nature
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Historic sites, parks, museums
Visit for: 4 daysStart a plan »
Visit for: 1 dayStart a plan »
Visit for: 1 dayStart a plan »

Inspirock Trip Planner in the News