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.
Ciudad Valles slumbers on the banks of the huge Río Valles and serves as a good base for trips into the luscious Huasteca. It’s also close to the midpoint between Monterrey and Mexico City, at the intersection of Hwy 85 (the Pan-American) and Hwy 70 (running east–west from Tampico to San Luis Potosí). Hence, it’s a handy stop for motorists.
The pleasant but unremarkable town of Matehuala (pop 80,000), between Saltillo and San Luis Potosí on Hwy 57, is the compulsory changing point for buses north to Real de Catorce. The bus station is just west of the highway, 2km south of the center. From Matehuala, Estrella Blanca, Noreste and Transportes del Nord all have services.