Six hours from Mexico City and three hours from Queretaro, you enter this unique biosphere, with transparent rivers and varied biodiversity. There are camp grounds all through the region, but some of the top spots are Rio Ayutla, Rio Escanela, Cascada El Chuveje, and Cuatro Palos. You can see other campsites and cabins in Queretaro here and here. Read more things to do in Sierra Gorda.
Hidden in the mountainous landscape of Sierra Gorda snakes this vivid blue river. It’s so clear and clean you see straight to the bottom, and long enough that several campgrounds line both shores. It gets packed on holidays – especially Easter – with campers and locals alike, many who free-camp along the river.
A favorite is Campamento Los Sauces, where you can camp under mango trees with river views. Across the river, Camping La Huerta has direct river access. At the ‘Juntas Del Conca – the “joint” of two rivers – there are more campgrounds, such as Las Brisas and Platanal de la Playita. Some hotels and establishments allow camping inside their grounds, such as Cabana 3 Rios, Villa Riviera and Villa Los Pinos.
This river leads you to the famous ‘God’s Bridge’ (Puente de Dios), one of the best waterfalls and hiking trails in Sierra Gorda. While campers are welcome to set-up a tent anywhere along the river, there is no security at night. During rainy season, free-campers should be especially aware of flash flooding.
A safer option is to camp at the start of the hiking trail or in the nearby town, where you can find security and camping on the river, such as Campamento Pena La Glora.
Cascada El Chuveje
While the other rivers in the area tend to be clearer and more spectacular, camping in the grounds of Cascada El Chuveje offers that free-camping feeling but with a secure and controlled entrance.
Once inside the grounds, it’s about a 30-minute hike to reach the waterfall at the end – and you can camp anywhere along the river that leads you there. Just find your own little corner among the rocks and trees, and you’re good to go. There are no facilities or toilets in the grounds, only at the entrance.
For spectacular views across valleys and mountain tops, this lookout emotes a mystic feeling. You can camp off the beaten track, and you may even have the sunrise to yourself. Sometimes the clouds form deep below you, giving you the feeling that you are camping on top of the world. With a local guide, you can ask about the unique edible plants that grow in this area. The most popular point is Cerro de la Media Luna.