I recently had a wonderful opportunity to visit the northern Mexican states of Coahuila and Nuevo León to attend the Feria de Pueblos Mágicos, or the Magic Town Expo held in Monterrey. As part of the trip, we also got to visit the magic towns of Villa de Santiago in Nuevo León and Parras de la Fuente in Coahuila. Now, I have to admit that despite the work I do in promoting the positive stories of Mexico, I was under the impression that both of these states were quite unsafe. However, having just spent five days traveling around, I can say that there was no point at which I felt unsafe at all. I feel like often feeling safe or not is something instinctual and the whole time I felt relaxed and just as safe as I feel in Oaxaca or Mexico City.
Not only that, but I was so pleasantly surprised with just how pretty and culturally rich these states are. Monterrey is quite an industrial city but the surrounding mountainscape is impressive and the Barrio Antiguo has just the aesthetic that I like. Coahuila is a desert state that boasts some of the most impressive landscapes of rugged mountains and huge cacti. Parras de la Fuente is known as the oasis of the desert and is home to Mexico’s oldest vineyard. The wine there is delicious. I found myself buying a bottle even though I generally don’t even drink wine (I am loyal to Oaxaca, with a refined palette for mezcal- but on a side note I must say that mezcal from the northern states is actually really good). With just five days we barely scratched the surface of things to do and places to see in these two states but I loved every minute of the trip. Exploring Mexico is probably my favourite thing to do and I can’t wait to go back and see more. I now have three new places on my bucket list, Saltillo (to see dinosaur footprints), Arteaga (to explore the alpine-like forest areas of northern Mexico) and Cuarto Cienegas (to see the multi-coloured lakes).
Back to the Doors
As always, with every trip I take in Mexico, I am on the hunt for beautiful doors and Nuevo Leon and Coahuila did not disappoint. My door loving heart was beating fast while discovering some of these beauties. While some of these door photos could have been taken in more southern states of Mexico, there were some that seemed very particular to the north. The sunbeam design above the doors is something that I don’t feel like I had seen before and created an enticing effect at night when the light shone out from inside. I hope that you enjoy this collection of doors from northern Mexico. Do let me know which ones are your favourites.
Susannah Rigg is a freelance writer and Mexico specialist. Her work has been featured in BBC Travel, CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, AFAR and The Independent among others. Check out her portfolio here. Contact Susannah by email, info [at] mexicoretold [dot] com and join her on Instagram and Twitter.