Real de Catorce

Travel guide to Real de Catorce

Real de Catorce is a high mountain town at an elevation of 2.728m (8,950ft) above the sea level, located in the heart of the Catorce mountain range, in the state of San Luis Potosi, on the north of Mexico.

There are 2 routes to reach the town. The usual route is from the east side. It’s a 17-mile (27km) cobblestone road, leaving from the Highway 62. To reach the town there’s a dimply-lit tunnel called Túnel Ogarrio. It’s 2,300 meters long. The drive is definitely worth it. A drive not to be missed! There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory, fully charged batteries and an empty memory card!  The tunnel stretches nearly a mile and a half under the rock. The tunnel is only one-lane wide (with travelers in and out having to wait their turn), and there is a phone at the mouth of the tunnel where you can call to determine whether there is any traffic headed out of the city (through the tunnel). But don't bother, the phone doesn't work anymore. 

The other route is from the west side. It’s a steep road down the valley. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse.  The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). This road tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. Only the suicidal, the insane, or the paid-to-do-this should ever drive down. This route was the only one that existed before the Ogarrio Tunnel was built, once making Real de Catorce practically inaccessible. This is a terrible mountain road. Extremely narrow, only 4x4. Speed limit is 10km/h. Taking this narrow road you'll have the opportunity to look down cliffs and will surely feel vertigo at some point.
Road suggested by: Eblem Torres


NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.