Pinal de Amoles: Where Thrills and Tranquility Meet in Queretaro
Pinal de Amoles, located in the Mexican state of Querétaro, is a hidden gem often overlooked by tourists.
This charming town offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture.
From hiking in the Sierra Gorda mountains to exploring ancient ruins, there is something for everyone in Pinal de Amoles.
In today’s blog post, we will take a closer look at what this town offers and why it should be on your Mexican travel itinerary.
So pack your bags and join me as we explore the best things to do and see in Pinal de Amoles, Mexico.
How to get to Pinal de Amoles
Again, Pinal de Amoles is a small town nestled in the state of Queretaro, Mexico. About 2.5 hrs away from the state capital.
It sits in the Sierra Gorda region, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities.
You can fly to the nearest major airport, Querétaro International Airport (QRO), and then take a bus or rent a car to drive to Pinal de Amoles.
Another option is to fly to Mexico City and take a bus from there (about 4.5 hrs).
12 Best things to do and see in Pinal de Amoles, Queretaro
Pinal de Amoles offers you incredible outdoor sites, both in the town and in the surrounding areas. Let’s take a look:
1. El Chuveje Waterfall
This is the ideal place to start your journey through the tourist places of Pinal de Amoles.
It is a beautiful waterfall 35 meters high, surrounded by impressive vegetation that calls to fully enjoy the landscape, planning an excursion to reach the place and camp there.
In the area where the waterfall is located, the vegetation comprises willows, ferns, and mosses.
The water that slides down the waterfall reaches a round pool and moves towards a stream, favoring the formation of new waterfalls and smaller pools.
2. Cuatro Palos viewpoint
A visit to this site is truly a unique and unforgettable experience.
The charm and magic of the scenery and the relaxing atmosphere make it one of the best places to visit in Pinal de Amoles.
You will be surprised to observe the magnificent Cerro de la Media Luna and the depth of the mountains, which invite you to explore and conquer them, living moments and experiences you will never forget.
This magnificent place marks the end of the semi-desert of Queretaro and the beginning of the forested area of Sierra Gorda.
It is an unbeatable place for excursions and explorations, as well as to observe and admire the fauna and flora of the area.
3. Puerta del Cielo (Heaven’s Gate road)
Puerta del Cielo is the gateway to the Sierra Gorda, at the road’s highest point.
In that area, there is a chapel with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which has a phrase that says, “Virgen María Puerta del Cielo.”
From there, you can see the clouds and some peaks and ledges of nearby hills; people say it is like being at the “Gate of Heaven.”
At that point, the descent begins to reach the wonderful, picturesque, and cool Pinal de Amoles, a place that is sometimes difficult to distinguish from the road due to the presence of fog that hides it.
4. El Infiernillo Canyon in Pinal de Amoles
This is a natural wonder in the Sierra Gorda. It offers the opportunity to rappel or jump from the top to the pool below, full of crystal-clear water.
It is the perfect experience for those who like extreme adventure and raised adrenaline levels.
Undoubtedly, this is a place you must visit in Pinal de Amoles.
The area is a typical habitat for macaws so you can admire these birds with beautiful plumage and somewhat scandalous voices during your visit.
5. Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge) / Angostura Canyon
To visit this unforgettable area in Pinal de Amoles, you must reserve at least half a day to enjoy the site and do the entire tour.
The tour starts at the Escanela River, with transparent waters and a bucolic sound that relaxes, while going through forests full of large poplars.
It is necessary to stop where the river’s flow crosses the Angostura Canyon, which measures a little more than 50 meters and where the water forms beautiful and clear pools.
At the end of the route, you will find the Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge), with impressive waterfalls descending from the top of the cave, approximately 30 meters long.
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You will likely take a delicious bath in these natural showers while admiring the spectacular springs.
If you wish, you can complement the tour by visiting the Peña de la Gloria Camp to enjoy a well-deserved rest.
6. Peña de la Gloria Camp
An overnight stay at Peña de la Gloria Camp, also known as Camp Río Escanela, can be the perfect ending to the beautiful adventure of the Puente de Dios / Angostura Canyon hike.
The place has attractive cabins, basic services, grills, and large palapas.
You can spend the night and start the excursion from there. You can also take the campsite as the tour’s endpoint to rest, recharge your batteries and enjoy the fantastic river views.
7. El Salto Waterfall in Pinal de Amoles
Located among the best tourist places in Pinal de Amoles that you cannot leave out on your trip is the El Salto waterfall.
To reach El Salto waterfall, it is necessary to descend about 350 steps, which is considered a challenge and an adventure; the area is full of ferns, large poplar trees, and moss.
The waterfall is approximately 35 meters, so at the end of the descent, there is a pool of crystalline and freshwater more than 15 meters in diameter, in addition to many small waterfalls.
8. Visit Pinal de Amole’s former Convent of Bucareli
This building closely resembles a medieval castle in the middle of the mountain range, among the historical tourist sites of Pinal de Amoles.
When entering the place, two ornamented patios with arched elements and a water fountain are observed, as well as cells and an unfinished construction of a large church.
Its founders were Franciscan priests from San Pedro and San Pablo de Michoacán.
Inside the same building, some works from 1868 were demolished to build the Ex Convent of Bucareli that we see today, and only a chapel and a sacristy or dressing room remain standing.
More than 450 copies of theological treatises written entirely in Latin are kept there.
Likewise, the Ex Convent Bucareli contains a space destined for museography, which keeps a good part of the historical patrimony of the place.
9. Las Trancas Camp
In this fabulous camp, you can live diverse experiences for all tastes. It is located in a quiet area, full of beauty and nature.
Taking it as a base, you can explore and get to know some of the unique places that Pinal de Amoles offers.
It is a unique place to observe the magnificence and beauty of the sky.
And if you want more action, you can go mountain biking or hike through the Gotera Canyon.
You can visit a fabulous grotto full of pillars formed by stalactites, and stalagmites joined together.
If you like ziplining, you can launch yourself and make the return by crossing a suspension bridge in a canyon more than 60 meters high.
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It is also possible to rappel or explore nearby canyons or bike from La Quebradora to Bucareli and back to camp.
You can rent a cozy cabin with all the services or set up your tent and camp in the area set aside for this purpose.
10. Bucareli Camp
As you go deeper into Bucareli, you will find this campground, located next to the crossing of the Extoraz River and El Plátano stream.
You’ll find the ideal place for hiking and camping in this campground. From the mountains near the town of Bucareli, the Ex-Convent of Bucareli can be observed very well.
Very close to the camp, caves with paintings can be visited.
There is availability for walks and hikes among mango, sugar cane, avocado, or papaya plantations; horseback riding; bathing and swimming in the river or contemplating and enjoying the magic felt and breathed in Bucareli, in the Sierra Gorda.
11. Explore the Pinal de Amoles cliff cave
It is known as Cueva del Risco (cliff cave) because, inside the cave, there are several cliffs scattered throughout the halls that make up the surroundings.
At the entrance, there is a descent full of stones, and in the lower inner part, there is a flat sandy area.
A rock can be climbed in the center of the cave to access the views of cliffs resembling basins with cold water.
There is also a rock similar to a pulpit and then a bell tower, which receives this name because of its sound, similar to a bell when it receives a blow.
To reach the place, you must go through a forest of organs and biznagas, striking alleys and trails with large rocks that serve to admire the community and the existing forest.
12. Jabalí Camp
To finish our tour of tourist sites in Pinal de Amoles, we cannot overlook Camp Jabalí.
Its facilities have been designed to resemble a safari. They offer ATV rides from the San Joaquín forest area to the camp located in the Palo Grande Community, two kilometers from Bucareli.
During the tour, it is possible to enjoy the Ex-Convent of Bucareli and its load of mysticism, and you can also admire the majestic canyon of the Extoraz River.