5 mysterious and intriguing ghost towns of Mexico

By Dania Vargas Austryjak

Just like traveling through time

Complete cities, towns and societies can vanish for one reason or another… What’s only left are traces of what once was the home to many people: vestiges, remains and evidence that endured with time and give the town an eerie flair. Mexico is no exception of places like this and today we present five of the ghost towns of Mexico.

Ojuela, Durango

It once was a prosperous mining town nestled between mountains, where gold, silver, zinc and manganese where extracted from the mines, an activity that was encouraged by Spanish conquistador Francisco Ojuela. A mid-twentieth century a storm flooded the mines, leaving them completely useless and forcing the people out. The most attractive features of the town are the mine tunnels, the hanging bridge and its desert landscape.

Acceso al Puente de Ojuela

Original Image: “Acceso al Puente de Ojuela” by G.E.A.M., used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas

This city was abandoned in 1944 when the construction of the Falcon Dam flooded the entire city; in fact it was completely covered in water. For decades the city remained underwater until the water level decreased and the city emerged. Guerrero Viejo can be visited when the water level allows it. The interesting thing about this city is that the remains have acquired strange colors, given to the water damage.

San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacán

In this town the only thing left is the church of San Juan Parangaricutiro, the rest of it is completely covered in lava. The town was evacuated in 1943, prior to the imminent destruction of the eruption of Paricutin volcano. The church is the only thing that rises over the lava rocks, an intriguing act of nature that can be seen by visitors.

San Juan Parangaricutiro

Original Image: “San Juan Parangaricutiro” by Luis López Franco, used under CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí

During the 16th Century gold and silver was found in this area, turning the town into a thriving region of Mexico; it wasn’t until 1948 when miners went into strike, but lost their battle. After this, mines abandoned the place, and the town simply decayed and was left in complete desertion. Today, visitors enjoy walking around the streets, admire the plaza and church.

Cerro de San Pedro San Luis Potosi

Original Image: “Cerro de San Pedro, San Luis Potosí” by Marcos Guevara Rivera, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí

This is not only a ghost town but a Magic Town; it is practically deserted and comes alive when people visit this town full of mysteries and legends. This once was a dynamic silver mining town which was considered one of the most important mining centers of the New Spain. But in 1910 everything changed and mining was no longer enough, so people left. Even though it’s the most famous ghost town of Mexico, people only come here to see empty buildings, the temple and the mining tunnels. Besides the constructions, Real de Catorce is close by the sacred ceremonial place of Huicholes, which can be visited, and it’s the perfect place to admire the landscape.

Real de Catorce

Original Image: “Real de Catorce” by lamazone, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, via Flickr.

These are just some of the ghostly towns of Mexico… Intriguing and mysterious towns that still remain, after years of abandonment but come alive when the visitors arrive.

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