town. But what I like most is how close San Luís Potosí is to side trips, places of cultural,
historic and ecological interest.
Real de Catorce, the desert ghost-mining town is three hours north. Xilítla, Edward
James's surrealist garden, is east over the mountains in the Huasteca, where you'll find a
paradise of waterfalls, rivers, scuba diving in mineral springs and lush vegetation. You
can make a day trip to Queretaro, or Zacatecas, or San Miguel de Allende, or Guanajuato
or Dolores Hidalgo.
If you feel you must find a beach, try the hot springs resort at Gogorrón. There is no
beach; there is no sand, but you'll have large pools, thermal baths, green grass and shade
The locals say, “It's the five-hour city,” meaning it's a five-hour drive from San Luís Potosí
to the major commercial and industrial markets: Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monter-
But for me San Luís Potosí is the city of three-hour side trips, where one can enjoy a day
trip and experience a sense of awe, marveling at the extraordinary variety and diversity of
enjoyable places to visit and people to meet.
1. Local Excursions: A twenty-mile drive south of San Luís Potosí will take you back
a century, to haciendas, a rural life, with donkey-drawn alfalfa carts and horse-drawn
vendors of fresh water in barrels, cows and chickens running in the streets and pigs rooting
in shallow streams.
You can soak and delight in the healing waters of the nearby hot springs at Gogorrón.
Haciendas, (Jarral de Berrios, Bledos, Carranco, La Ventilla, Gogorrón) are clustered for
an easy visit and spectacular photography. Some haciendas are neglected and appear aban-
doned. Jarral de Berrios is a fairy tale scene with conical stone structures, columns and
towers. Others are maintained as vacation homes and used as movie sets. All add to a sense
of history and the significance of a once imperial aristocracy.
2. North: Real de Catorce is the well-preserved mining town, which you enter through a
one-way mile-long tunnel at the 9000-foot level in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Here you can join a group on horseback that will bring you to even more remote ghost
towns and views of the Sierras. Or you can walk the cobblestone streets, sit in the plaza,