Visiting Pena de Bernal Monolith and Magic Village in Mexico


Visiting Peña de Bernal Monolith and Magic Village in Mexico

couple sitting in a cafe at peña de bernal town

My friends just moved to Queretaro, Mexico. Until they moved to this place, I had never even heard of this city. But while they were doing their moving process, they sent me and my family an image of Pena de Bernal, one of the Pueblos Magicos which are magic villages that surround the city. Pena De Bernal is the third-largest monolith in the world and one of the most popular places to rock climb. Since my husband and sons are climbing junkies we needed to visit this place, and we did it!

Here’s my full family travel to Peña de Bernal and Pueblos Magicos.

So you need to go to Queretaro to visit the monolith. 

Since my friends know that my kids and husband are avid rock climbers, all of a sudden I had a huge light bulb that we are going to go and visit them and my sons will go climbing because today I’m barely able to go traveling unless there is some rock climbing involved, and that was the clincher for me, my friend, who is also my youngest son’s best friend now lives in Queretaro.

mom and two kids in peña de bernal town with the monolith at the back

Pena de Bernal

You could certainly stay in Peña de Bernal, since it’s not only the monolith it’s also this tiny, adorable, beautiful little village, and it is really little which makes it really easy to get around, and it all is surrounded by this monolith, this unbelievable huge rock in the middle of nowhere. The rock is itself over 350 meters high, so it’s almost, 3000ft high.

Climbing Pena de Bernal

It is really popular for climbing purposes for multi-pitch climbing and bouldering. My sons don’t do multi-pitch, they are more sports climbers and bouldering.

Since my husband has had a pretty severe accident, he was not able to climb. I had to find a good climbing guide, and before we arrived I did a lot of homework to find a good professional climbing guy because my kids are not just beginning novices who just want to try it. They are really advanced.

So after a lot of work, I found a perfect climbing guide for my sons, they went two times, the first day they went bouldering and the second time they went to do actual sports climbing.

It’s really important for you to find the correct climbing guide for your level. Otherwise, they’re all just pretty cookie cutter, not so great.

peña de bernal town and monolith

Visiting the Village

On the first day, my husband and I also went to the village itself. My husband could walk, but with a limb. So the point that I was saying that it’s tiny really was magical for many reasons because my husband was able to walk around and see the beautiful little town, and I was able to enjoy it with him as well.

What’s fascinating about Peña de Bernal, is that now the actual town is, even though you have this monolith there, the town is not at all revolved around climbing. As a matter of fact, if you didn’t know anybody climbing, you would never know that it was someplace that climbers even come.

Usually, whenever we go to climbing sites, the whole town is kind of like visiting a surfing village or a skiing snowboarding village. Everything revolves around the sport. In this particular case not at all super colorful, beautiful closed streets, tiny for you to walk around.


There are different foods and restaurants. The main food there is gorditas which is a really popular Mexican dish, and also they serve nopal.

Nopal is a Cactus that they use quite a lot, and it comes from that particular region, but gorditas are like two tortillas together stuffed with all these different things.

woman holding a cup in peña de bernal town

Artisan Shops

Plus, they have all these different artisan shops that you could walk around, and it’s definitely a place to visit.

Getting to Pena de Bernal

If you are going to go and visit Queretaro you have to go and check out Pena de Bernal for one day. It’s actually probably half a day. It’s 45 minutes to an hour to get to the village from the city.

How much time to spend there

Three to 4 hours, if you’re not going to be climbing, is more than enough and if you’re not going to be hiking (you can hike up as well). That’s obviously an entire day event, or you could just enjoy the actual village itself, which is what my husband and I did.

woman with a black dress in peña de bernal mexico


There are a bunch of terrace restaurants and coffee shops, and it’s just a beautiful, magical village. So if you guys are going to go to Queretaro Please take one day and visit at least one of the Pueblo Mexico Which would be Pena de Bernal or San Miguel de Allende, which I also have a podcast you should listen to.

Also, make sure to listen to my podcast on Queretaro itself.  I have two podcasts really talking a lot about what there’s to do and why to visit those two areas as well.

💡 You can listen to the full Queretaro podcast here and the San Miguel de Allende podcast here.

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Last Updated on May 29, 2023

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