sierra gorda mexico

The Cuatro Palos viewpoint is ideal for watching the sunrise or the sunset. (Photo: Getty Images)


The Deep Green of the Sierra Gorda, Just a Few Hours from the City of Querétaro

Even the most experienced travelers will be amazed by the Sierra Gorda’s forests, waterfalls, summits and hundreds of ecotourism activities to enjoy amidst the greenery, just a few hours from the city of Querétaro.

A Gentle Start

Immerse yourself gradually, as this protected region offers experiences for all levels. You can start off with some water biking or kayaking at the Jalpan Dam, where you can spot countless birds such as herons, cormorants and pelicans that inhabit this Biosphere Reserve.

Here you can recharge your batteries and fill your lungs with all the oxygen you need for the rest of your trip; you will also appreciate how much the locals care about the environment, offering the best to their visitors.

Enchanting Clouds

Continue on towards Pinal de Amoles, a municipality where you’ll feel the temperature drop. You’ll soon discover that one of its charms is its mist; when you travel along the road and you see it covering your path, you’ll know that you’ve reached the highest part of the state.

This spot is known as the Puerta al Cielo (Heaven’s Gate), where an optical illusion will make the clouds look as if they are at ground level, obscuring the rest of the road and leaving before you a stunning view of the open sky.

If you enjoyed this experience you must visit the Mirador Cuatro Palos, ideal for camping and also for watching the sun rise or set. This viewpoint is at an altitude of 8,946 feet and can be reached by steps that are relatively easy to climb.

Your efforts will be rewarded by the phenomenon known as a sea of mist. Its name is so evocative that no description is needed, but you do need to see it with your own eyes.

Fun in the Water

Make sure you leave enough time for the beautiful bodies of water in this part of the country. You can start at the Escanela River and stroll along its bank without a care in the world. After a mile you’ll reach a spectacular pool with waterfalls that take on a turquoise hue with the rays of the sun. Take a dip there to cool down and you can then say that you’ve swum at Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge).

Your route can continue towards El Chuveje waterfall. To get to it, you need to walk through a leafy wood where you’ll see butterflies and birds fluttering around. Minutes before you reach the waterfall, the sound it emits will tell you that you’re about to come to a huge waterfall.

Although you know it’s coming, it will surprise you and you may even be tempted to go for a swim.

Nature in All Its Splendor

If you’re ready for more adventure by now, go quad biking, departing from San Joaquín, a village where you take the wheel of your own 4×4 vehicle to cruise the curves of the sierra. The trip lasts around three hours, during which, as well as crossing the mountainside, you will descend by road until you reach the bottom of the mountains and can make out the Extoraz River.

sierra gorda mexico
El Jabalí is the ideal place for switching off from the world and enjoying nature. (Photo: Fernanda Carrasco Espino)

Once you’ve crossed it, switch off the engine of your quad bike to fully immerse yourself in the peaceful sounds of this wonderful spot. You’ll hear the running of the water, the wind rustling through the trees, the cows mooing, the coyotes far away in the mountains and numerous birds.

You’ll end up at the ecotourism campsite El Jabalí, which serves simple, delicious and natural food; to give you an example, all of the fruit you try will be from the trees around you. El Jabalí is the ideal place for switching off from the world and enjoying nature.

Away in the Mountains

The most remote point on this route is Concá, where you can visit the Franciscan mission, built in 1751.

sierra gorda mexico
In Concá you can visit a Franciscan mission built in 1751. (Photo: Getty Images)

Another local attraction is the ancient tree, an age-old ahuehuete at the roots of which is a spring. Sit beside it and watch the small fish swimming in its calm waters. There are also crystal-clear pools in the surrounding area for swimming and escaping from the mountain heat.

The Sierra Gorda offers various activities to keep you entertained for up to a week, but you can make your own plans to suit your needs. Here you’ll rediscover your idea of nature and take home some amazing photos and memories.