Piedras Negras Mexico
The border town of Piedras Negras in the state of Coahuila, Mexico is located at the northeastern edge of the state, across the Rio Grande from its sister city in the United States, Eagle Pass Texas. Due to Piedras Negras easy accessibility from the US and its influx of commercial traffic and people on foot, it has been dubbed “La Puerta de Mexico” – Mexico’s Door. The moniker also refers to the fact that most people come through that door to travel southward to other destinations in Mexico.
While parts of the city still have the feel of “Old Mexico” and are atypical of most border towns, many of its sectors reflect the bustling industries of coal-mining and manufacturing that sustains its economy. Incidentally, the name Piedras Negras means "black stones" and refers to the area’s abundance of coal deposits.
It’s well-known that the city shares many interests with Eagle Pass, Texas, particularly its penchant for big game hunting. Piedras Negras is home and host to many hunting clubs and festivals. If you are a big-game hunter, you’ll be thrilled with the services that Piedras Negras can provide you.
A fun and interesting fact about Piedras Negras is that it boasts being the birthplace of the beloved snack, the nacho. It was created quite by accident in 1940 by maître d' Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya working at the Victory Club restaurant. When twelve military wives came in and he couldn’t locate a chef, he threw something together for the women that turned out to be the beginning of a very delicious and popular “invention.”
To celebrate the distinction of being the birthplace of the nacho, the city holds an annual two-day International Nacho Festival filled with plenty of entertainment including live music, cultural activities, and the famous Guinness Book of World Records contest for the “biggest nacho in the world”. The festival is usually held in mid-October, so if you are in the area during this time, definitely take part in the festivities!
Anyone visiting here, or just passing through, should take the time to enjoy that “Old Mexico” version of the city that includes a plethora of beautiful monuments, historical architecture, and markets filled with local artwork and handcrafted products.
Some of the city’s most popular attractions, not to be missed, include:
- The 18th century ruins of the San Bernardo Mission
- The Museum of Handcrafts
- The Culture House
- Caverns of De La Ventana
- Zaragoza Market Square, with a wide variety of traditional Mexican crafts, includes everything from silver to ceramics to serapes to leather sandals, and beyond. Truly a shopper’s haven!
- 19th century El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe – a building that has survived battles, explosions, and time.
- Macroplaza I and II – an expansive sports complex.
- Plaza de las Culturas (Cultural Plaza) – completed in 2005, this beautiful Plaza pays respect to the country’s primary indigenous cultures, which are the Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec. It features several monuments and replicas pyramids representing the design of each culture.
There are many fine hotels and restaurants as well as numerous other great cultural attractions in this city, so before you move on to explore the rest of Mexico, make sure you take in all that Piedras Negras has to offer!