Introducing Real de Catorce
Energy – in a spiritual sense – is a word commonly ascribed to the alluring village of Real de Catorce. This stark, compact and functioning 'ghost town' sits high on the fringes of the magical Sierra Madre Oriental. It was a wealthy silver-mining town of 40,000 people until early last century. Not long ago, it was nearly deserted, its streets lined with crumbling buildings, its mint a ruin and a few hundred people eking out an existence from the annual influx of pilgrims and old mine tailings.
Over the last few decades Real has experienced a slight revival; it has attracted several well-to-do Mexicans and foreigners (especially Europeans) who run some of the businesses and smarter hotels in town. Nevertheless, recent economic woes have hit Real hard and although it might never live up to its former 'ghost town' label, doors do creak in the breeze, dusty cobblestone streets end abruptly and many buildings remain in ruins.
To soak up its magic and unique atmosphere, you need to stay a night here, longer if you wish to explore the surrounding hills on foot or horseback.