Coahuila State is located in the middle of the northern border of Mexico and shares a border to its north with Texas in the United States, a stretch that runs 512 km (318 miles) along the course of the Rio Grande.
The state’s diverse topography of mountains, canyons, and valleys, makes it a great tourist area for those interested in adventure sports, and its charming towns offer visitors a wonderful taste of Mexican heritage with their ancient baroque-style architecture, handcrafted goods, and sweet hospitality.
Saltillo is the capital of the state of Coahuila and its many tourist attractions have made it one of the best places to visit in north Mexico. The heritage of Saltillo is reflected in its absolutely stunning architecture constructed of pink quarry and limestone, such as the Saltillo Cathedral, one of the most beautiful baroque-style buildings in the country, the San Francisco Temple, and so many more. Visitors here should not miss the Juarez Market, a picturesque shopping center where you can get wonderful handcrafted souvenirs, such as shawls, hats, small rugs, wool blankets, leather items, pottery, and jewelry.
Progreso is a great place for the big game hunter. Local and international tourists await the hunting season opener to take up hunting bunkers and, well, hunt for wild boar, deer, mountain lions, and wild turkey. Local services provide all the things a hunter might require, including transportation, food, and of course, the bunker.
Arteaga is situated 17 km east of Saltillo in a valley surrounded by mountains. The town has some really fantastic nearby attractions, such as El Castillo de Arena (The Castle of Sand) and Monterreal Forests, the only ski resort in Mexico – rent a cabin and hit the slopes!
The archeological ruins at General Cepeda are an interesting site, as is the museum at Rincon Colorado with its exhibits of turtle, mollusk and shark fossils, as well as remains that are believed to belong to families of the hadrosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex dinosaurs.
The area’s collection of peaks, valleys and canyons of the Sierra Madre Oriental offers unlimited possibilities for camping, rappelling, hiking, sighting mysterious petroglyphs, and many other exciting eco-tourism activities.
Candela gets its name from an overhanging rock in the mountains, which from the road into town looks like a giant candle. In Candela, visitors enjoy places like the Gruta de Candela with its huge caves and subterranean rivers, and the thermal springs of Los Carricitos, among many other attractions.
For a road tour, check out the “Desert Route”. Candela is the starting point of the Desert Route, which includes a tour of the main tourist spots in the Central Desert and in the municipalities of Monclova, Frontera, San Buenaventura and Cuatro Cienegas.
Cuatro Cienegas is located 80 km west of Monclova City and has many multi-faceted tourist attractions. Here one can take a sand dune tour, relax in thermal spas, explore fabulous architecture and museums, swim, camp, and take in many other fun and exciting activities. Then there are the mountain ranges of Sierra de San Marcos and Sierra La Fragua with their rivers and lagoons where you can camp, swim, fish, rock climb, hike, and engage in other great adventure sports.
The bustling city of Acuña, located just across the Rio Grande from its sister city Del Rio, Texas, is mostly known for two things: its fantastic nightlife with restaurants and bars that stay open all hours of the night; and the possibly tamer attractions at the nearby Los Novillos National Park with its beautiful scenery and natural thermal springs. The park is also home to the "Presa de la Amistad", the Friendship Dam and Reservoir, constructed in a joint effort by Mexico and the United State. Here you will find a multitude of services including campsites, food vendors, and boat rentals for fishing.
The city of Hidalgo, set along the shores of the Rio Grande, is famous for its rodeo seasons, hunting ranches and ranch festivals, but it is particularly well-known for the extraordinarily huge event called the “Cabalgata Grande”, which began with the governors of several Mexican states coming together to show their unity by riding 49 km (30.5) miles from Hidalgo to Nuevo Loredo in the state of Tamaulipas. Also known by the phrase “United in Our Traditions”, the number of participants in this spectacular event has grown to the tens of thousands.
Among the city of Matamoros’ main attractions is its Main Plaza where the “Benito Juarez” monument is surrounded by gardens. What’s unique about this monument is that in its pedestal lie the remains of Juan de la Cruz Borrego and Marino Ortiz, who were entrusted with protecting the National Archives. Both were tortured and assassinated for not confessing the site of its undisclosed location; and the Tobacco Cave, which was once a hideout for tobacco smugglers, but is now a monument honoring the memory of those martyrs who zealously protected the National Archives during the battles of 1864.
Boquillas del Carmen is an all-around natural wonder located near the border with Texas, along the Rio Grande. This is a magnificent area for kayaking where you have views of stunning rock formations, spectacular valleys, and high rock walls.
Monclova is a very traditional Mexican town, complete with the requisite Main Square to welcome its visitors and 17th and 18th century buildings, such as the St. Francis of Assisi Church and the Museum La Purisima. Other great attractions in Monclova are: Xochipilli Parks I and II, fantastic recreational facilities surrounded by lakes, rivers, fountains, and waterfalls; and the La Cueva del Diablo (the Devil's Cave) for views of ancient rock paintings.
Definitely do not miss Monclova’s Meteorological Observatory, which has a capability of magnifying a star's brightness up to 3,000 times. A sophisticated, computer controlled video system projects live images of the sun, the moon, and the planets. A truly incredible experience!
Melchor Muzquiz is a beautiful and traditional mining city located 130 km north of Monclova and is surrounded by spectacular mountain landscapes. Things to do here include water activities at the La Cascada Park and a trip to Carmen’s Woods, an area of impressive canyons and mountain ranges, making it an ideal place for hiking, mountain climbing, and other adventure sport activities.
Parras de la Fuente (Grapevines of the Fountain) is one of the most colorful towns in Coahuila with the traditional clock plaza and beautiful ancient architecture that make these towns so charming. Parras is also noted for its legendary wine museums and wineries.
Piedras Negras sits across the Rio Grande from its sister city Eagle Pass, Texas, and is famous for its big game hunting ranches. There are also several nice non-hunting attractions to take in, such as the 18th century ruins of the San Bernardo Mission, the Handcrafts Museum, and the Zaragoza Market, where you can get souvenirs of the state’s original arts and crafts, including vases, leather goods, crystal, and ceramic pieces.
The city of Torreon is an industrial town, which amazingly has a lot to offer anyone visiting there. Of its many attractions you’ll find several museums including a wax museum and a train museum; a spectacular religious complex called the Cristo de las Noas, the Venustiano Carranza Forest, and several parks with beautiful rivers where you can camp, fish and swim.
Sierra Mojada, located 195 km (121 miles) from Torreon, is an ideal site for mountain climbing and rappelling. Here you can also visit iron and silver mines.
The town of Villa Union’s best tourist attraction is the nearby scenic La Luz Park, a perfect place for camping, and swimming in its pretty springs.
Zarazoga, surrounded by lush cactus fields and abundant rivers, including the Rios Escondido, San Antonio and San Rodrigo, which traverse the town, it’s an ideal place for fishing and fishing tournaments, such as the one held at the La Fragua Dam, as well as other water sports. Zarazoga is also known for its hunting ranches and ancient haciendas.