Motorcycle Ride in Mexico
by Daniel Levy
Motorcycle Rides in Mexico
A beautiful ride across cities and places named
World Heritage by the Unesco, through a splendid
protected natural area and ending in a surrealistic
garden by artist Sir Edward James. Just keep
The ride starts in Queretaro City at 5,970 ft above
Queretaro is a colonial city founded more than 500
years ago and named World Heritage by the Unesco in
1996 . It's located in the center of the country two
hours North Mexico City. Nowadays it has become one
of the most dynamic cities in Mexico due to the
surrounding industrial parks where many
international companies are located.
The first stop is just 45 minutes away: "La Peņa de
Bernal" (The "Rock of Bernal"). We are talking about
the third biggest rock in the world and the highest
in Mexico. At its feet a quaint little town were you
can stop for a soda, lunch or spend the night. You
can also find nice little souvenirs. Whatever you
decide to do, this place is a must.
If you like rock climbing, you are in the right
The road to Bernal doesn't present any major
challenge, most of the road is straight with just a
few extended curves... but just after passing Bernal
it starts to get fun!
Surrounded by an arid landscape due the high content
of lime in the soil, you start with a very
interesting section of twisties, one after another,
up and down, a technical road between the mountains
for about 30 miles. The landscape changes a bit as
you advance and a few miles later you are in the
middle of a semidesert.
After this twisty section you then continue on a
straight part of the road. A few more miles down the
route and you find a military checkpoint... Don't
worry about it, they are normally courteous people
just looking for arm and drug smugglers.
After the control point the curves and the fun start
again. As you get to "Peņa Blanca" ("White Rock" in
English) - by the way if you need gas, this is the
place to stop and fill it up - you start climbing
the mountains twist after twist.
I love this part: most of the ride you can clearly
see three or four turns in front of you, and as it
is a low traffic road, you can enjoy yourself taking
the best lines (always keeping it in the safe side
if you know what I mean!).
After climbing for a while you notice how things
start to change and suddenly what were rocks, sand
and cactus are now pine trees. It's beautiful.. You
feel the change of temperature and then you reach
"La Puerta del Cielo" (The Door of Heavens") the
highest point in this ride.
We are now at about 9200 feet above sea level... The
turns continue but now you are going downhill.
Remember to adjust your riding to that fact.
Unfortunately I have seen more than one forgetting
about it that and paying the consequences.
As you start descending you ride through a small
town called Pinal the Amoles... descend, turn turn,
descend turn turn, descend turn turn... I love it!
About 10 miles after Pinal de Amoles, the weather
starts to change again and gets warmer. The
vegetation also suffers a sudden transformation.
You keep devouring the road and you cannot help but
getting marveled of the landscape around you... Just
remember to keep your eyes on the road! Turn,
turn... You are in the middle of the Sierra Gorda
protected area and home of multiple plants and
You continue descending till you reach Jalpan de
Serra the most important town in the Sierra Gorda
and place where Father Junipero Serra built one of
his most important missions in the area before
heading north to build the Missions in California.
These missions were also named World Heritage by the
Unesco in 2003.
In Jalpan you can find a couple of simple but nice
hotels and some restaurants. Another possibility to
spend the night is to ride a few more miles west to
a place called Conca where you 'll find a hotel with
Spa to relax from the day's ride and get ready for
the rest of the trip.
After Jalpan our next stop and final destination is
Xilitla, so you head north-east till you reach the
state of San Luis Potosi.
A few miles after crossing the state limits in the
middle of the mountains, at about 3,300 ft asl, in a
rain forest of incredible vegetation you get to
This town was chosen by Sir Edward James, a
surrealistic British artist - also noble and rich -,
to spend the rest of his life. It is in this place
he built a huge garden, a private zoo and a
meditation place in the middle of the jungle. Its
very difficult to describe it with words... Maybe
the photos in this site can help:
In Xilitla you can stay in the Castillo "The Castle"
the house of former Sir Edward James' right hand and
friend: Plutarco Gastelum. This exclusive Bed and
Breakfast is unique in its kind and you can see,
feel and breath the influence of the artist
Another possibility to spend the night is to ride a
bit more to the north and stay in Ciudad Valles an
important city of San Luis Potosi state where you
will find all kind of hotels and restaurants, night
My recommendation... stay at the Castillo, forget
about your ride and enjoy for a whole day this
Mexican Shangri La.
After spending the whole day in Xilitla prepare for
a long ride back to Queretaro. For this one I like
to leave early in the morning and keep, if possible,
a fast pace. Turn, turn...
We are talking about many miles and literally
hundreds of twisties... Once my wife counted them...
She stopped when she was at the 500th and we hadn't
arrived back to Queretaro City yet!
It's so fun that the time flies and suddenly you
realize it's all over and you would like to turn
around and do it again...
You know the feeling right?
Another possibility from Xilitla is to head to the
famous Huasteca Potosina a zone of exuberant rivers,
waterfalls and springs... But that area deserves a
whole article by itself. I will be writing it in the
If you liked the trip I described and want more
information about great motorcycle rides in Mexico
and/or to contact me for any other issue please
visit my site at www.japanese-motorcycles-only.com.
Enjoy the ride!
P.S. Below you will find a few facts about this
Facts about the ride:
Difficulty: Intermediate-Advanced Recommended time
to enjoy the trip: 3-4 days Total length of the
ride: about 600 miles. Checkpoints: Queretaro-Bernal
Bernal-Military Checkpoint Military Checkpoint-Pinal
de Amoles Pinal de Amoles-Jalpan de Serra Jalpan de
Weather: normally clear and dry with the exception
of the rainy season from July to September where you
can find some heavy rain.
Recommended Map: Guia Roji Mexico Tourist Road
Atlas. You can find it at Amazon.
About the Author
Daniel Levy is the owner and contributing writer of
www.Japanese-Motorcycles-Only.com. He loves
Web development. For more great info