Mexico really does have something for everyone, even those of you that like getting all sweaty, covering yourself in chalk, and then climbing up the side of a cliff. That’s why I talked to some of the most enthusiastic rock climbers I could find to bring you this list of the 7 best places to go rock climbing in Mexico!
Whether you’re an amateur rock climber, or so experienced that you have chalk dust permanently stuck under your fingernails and forearms bigger than your legs, Mexico has an endless supply of climbing spots – all thanks to its massive variety of landscapes ranging from towering cliffs, to colossal boulders.
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1. Peña de Bernal
Peña de Bernal is the third largest monolith in the world and is one of the top rock climbing spots in Mexico. Just over 50 Km from the town of Querétaro and just a 3-hour drive from Mexico City, Peña de Bernal offers dozens of climbing routes of varying difficulty. There are even some bouldering spots here!
Popular routes include La Capilla – famous for breathtaking panoramic views; Via Ferrata – a good route for beginners and inexperienced climbers; and Bernalina – the longest route at this spot spanning over 280 meters!
After a day of climbing, head down to San Sebastián de Bernal to fill up on Mexican comfort food and michelada beer. The town’s never-ending artisanal stalls are perfect for souvenir shopping, and if you’re staying the night there are plenty of hotels, guest houses, and Airbnb options available.
Staying for a day or two? Make sure to visit the nearby eco-reserve for stunning and practically untouched Mexican forest landscapes.
2. El Arenal
A few kilometers from the city of Pachuca in the state of Hidalgo is El Arenal, famous for its otherworldly rock formations. Look up into the hills and you’ll see pointy rock formations locally known as Los Frailes, famous for being one of Mexico’s best climbing and abseiling spots.
One of the area’s most popular climbing spots is La Cueva (the cave) located just a short drive from the town. La Cueva is a large open cave with 19 short climbing routes on the outer part of the rock formation, and inside there are another 19 climbing routes that are mostly suitable for more experienced climbers.
If you’re staying for a few days, make sure to check out the nearby campsites for some of the best night sky views on earth!
Jilotepec, in the State of Mexico, is home to the Dexcani El Alto rock climbing spot – a popular destination that attracts climbing enthusiasts from Mexico and beyond.
Dexcani El Alto is so famous for its amazing climbing routes that it has even hosted the Petzl RocTrip climbing competition – one of the most important climbing events on earth.
You can climb here year-round, but conditions are best from October to March.
If you’re here for a few days you can either stay in a nearby hotel, or camp in designated spaces next to the main climbing area. Just make sure to bring a warm sleeping bag, it get’s seriously cold at night!
4. Basaseachi Fall in Chihuahua
The Basaseachi Waterfall National Park is known worldwide for its incredible natural beauty, with lush green forests, long hiking trails, and of course the impressive Basaseachi waterfall – the second highest waterfall in Mexico!
The surrounding oak and pine forests are some of the most diverse in the country, and are home to some wild species of agave plants and acacia trees!
At the very heart of the Sierra Tarahumara in the northeastern corner of Chihuahua state, the national park is a favorite among the rock climbing community thanks to its 50+ climbing routes suitable for all sorts of skill levels.
Camping areas are sometimes available here, but the temperature drops so drastically at night that it’s best to spend the night at one of the nearby family-run hotels and guest houses.
5. Potrero Chico in Monterrey
About 40 kilometers north of Monterrey is one of the most famous climbing sports in Mexico: Potrero Chico. World famous rock climbers come here from all over to experience some of the most challenging climbing routes on the continent. Potrero Chico was prominently featured in the 2018 rock climbing documentary Free Solo following fearless rock climber Alex Honnold.
With over 500 climbing routes for all experience levels, this really is the Mecca of Mexican rock climbing destinations. If you fancy a day off from rock climbing, spend an afternoon exploring one of the countless hiking trails that run through the area.
Potrero Chico offers a few camping sites, and there are also small hotels and inexpensive guesthouses nearby!
On the outskirts of Taxco you’ll find some of Mexico’s best rock climbing sites and most beautiful natural areas. From cathedral-like caves to enormous waterfalls, the stretch of wilderness between Guerrero and Morelos is teeming with all sorts of outdoor activities.
Chontalcoatlán is well known by locals, and has also started attracting tourists over the last few years thanks to its rock climbing and adventure sports sites. Located near the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park, the area has dozens of abseiling spots suitable for all ages.
For more challenging rock climbing experiences, hire a local guide that’ll take you to the best rock faces. It’s best to visit in winter to avoid heatwaves and peak mosquito season!
If you’re looking to stay for a few days, there are a couple of campsites in and around the national park and cheap guesthouses are available in nearby towns. Alternatively, stay in Taxco and head to Chontalcoatlán early in the morning.
7. Los Dinamos
Los Dinamos is an old forest located in southern Mexico City, a popular day out for nature lovers and local families and one of the city’s best kept secrets.
At the very center of Los Dinamos National Park is Mexico City’s top rick climbing destination, offering everything from abseiling to challenging climbing routes.
It’s best to visit in dry season between October and May, as Los Dinamos often floods during Mexico’s unpredictable rainy season.
Near the parking area you’ll find small family-owned restaurants with freshly cooked trout, traditional Mexican comfort food, ice cold beer, piping hot coffee, and some of the best pre-Hispanic pulque alcohol this side of the 15th century.