Exploring Monclova Coahuila: Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions
Monclova is a city of mining origins in the northern state of Coahuila, which stood out, at a certain moment of the coahuilense history, by its natural deposits of coal.
This northern city is known as the capital of steel, with the largest steel production in all of Latin America.
If you are in Monclova, you have a variety of activities at your fingertips; you can stroll through its museums and parks, enjoy its gastronomy, or its lively nightlife.
It is also the starting point of the Desert Route.
Where is Monclova Coahuila?
Monclova is situated about 230 km southwest of the border with Texas, USA.
Getting to Monclova by plane, the closest international airport is Monterrey International Airport, which is approximately 190 km from Monclova. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus.
If you are driving from the United States, you can take I-35 south to Laredo, and then cross the border into Mexico at the Laredo/Nuevo Laredo border crossing.
From there, take Federal Highway Mex-85 to Monclova, which is approximately a 3.5-hour drive.
Alternatively, you can also take a bus from major cities in Mexico, such as Mexico City, Monterrey, or Saltillo, to Monclova.
7 Best things to do and see in Monclova Coahuila
1. Visit the Coahuila and Texas Museum
The Coahuila and Texas Museum has gone through several transformations and different functions.
This museum currently holds all of Mexico’s Northern history.
Its rooms exhibit regional history, especially the history shared by the states of Coahuila and Texas.
In this museum, you can discover a lot about both states, from the geological eras to the processes of colonization, independence, and separation of both states.
2. El Polvorín Museum of Weapons and Historical Data
The Museum El Polvorín is located in downtown Monclova, and it was built at the end of the XVIII century to function as a fort and store of gunpowder for the Spaniards.
This is how the museum got its name: polvorin (gunpowder).
Its rooms contain archaeological pieces such as human skulls and lithic artifacts, alternating with Mesoamerican handicrafts.
In another of the rooms, the history of the last centuries of Monclova is exhibited, where the walnut trunk to which Miguel Hidalgo was tied after his capture in 1811 stands out.
3. Explore Monclova’s Main Square
The Fountain of the main square was built in 1980 in what previously was known as the Plaza Miguel Hidalgo (named this way in reference to the route followed by the insurgents during their transfer after being apprehended and brought to Monclova).
In the beginning, it was requested that the statue of Miguel Hidalgo be the central figure of the square, but this never happened, and the central monument ended up being that of the herons.
4. Pape Museum
A museum with temporary exhibitions that has hosted more than a hundred pieces by national and international artists.
The place consists of exhibition halls, an extensive library with more than 130 thousand volumes, and the Mini Pape Cultural Center for children.
In the Mini Pape Cultural Center, various workshops and courses on languages and art are offered to all the local children.
5. Visit the Xochipilli Park in Monclova Coahuila
Xochipilli Park is considered an oasis in the middle of the desert.
It offers its visitors one of the best experiences of nature appreciation, and it has incredible biodiversity in both plant and animal species within its facilities.
A beautiful landscape design is one of the things that make it one of the most visited places by local, national, and foreign tourists.
6. Fun at the Monclova Coahuila Stadium
The Monclova Stadium is a baseball park, home of the “Acereros de Monclova” (the Monclova steelers), a professional team of the Mexican Baseball League.
It is one of the stadiums where league games are played. The first game played there was in 1975, between the miners of Coahuila and the Alijadores of Tampico.
This stadium was the setting for the Mexican Baseball League All-Star Game in 1997.
Great players such as Donald Cañedo, Alfonso Rosario, Joel Serna, among many others, have played here.
7. Visit the Santiago Apostle Parish
The Santiago Apostle Parish was built around the XVII century.
It’s been maintained over the years and witnessed many events in the history of Coahuila and Monclova.
The parish is located in the center of the city, and it stands out for its beautiful architecture of colonial style, mixing neoclassical, gothic, and late baroque styles.
It is believed that it was used as a trench in the Mexican Revolutionary War due to its shot bells, exhibited in the “Wall of Bells” at the city’s entrance.
Visit Candela, Coahuila (near Monclova)
Candela is one of the most magical towns in the region, with great history and culture, it was an essential stage for the viceroyalty and the revolution of the Northeast.
When visiting, you will not only soak in its history and culture, but you will also enjoy nature in its beautiful landscapes with rivers, mountains, and areas where you will discover caves.
One of the best activities to do or places to visit is the hot springs where you can relax and forget about your daily routine.
It is located only 70 km from Monclova and is a must-visit if you travel through the area, you will surely love it.
Admire Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila
Cuatro Cienegas is another Magical Town in Coahuila, located to the northwest of Monclova and with incredible desert landscapes.
The unique thing is its great springs of waters that form the swamps that give the name to the town.
Once upon a time, millions of years ago, there was a great ocean in this place from which emerged the giant marine rocks that now form the extension of the mountain ranges.
This is why there are accumulations of white sand, among which are the blue pools and rivers of warm waters.
Try Monclova’s food (where to eat)
As an excellent northern city, meat and chili peppers are the main elements of its typical dishes, such as Cabrito, kid meat seasoned with salt, spices, and guajillo or pasilla chili sauce, which is cooked on the embers.
The traditional carne asada; and the delicious empanadas, thin bread filled with a meat stew or a sweet preparation, besides the traditional Mexican dishes, such as tamales, enchiladas, and mole.
The best place to enjoy these delicacies is at Los Corrales restaurant, on Harold R. Pape Boulevard, one of the most visited places with an incomparable flavor.
If you prefer to enjoy a good steak, you will find La Casa del Sirloin on the same boulevard – only for meat lovers.