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Introduction

Monclova is mostly a very bland industrial city short on sights but an important regional transportation center, nonetheless. The city is located in the far eastern portion of the state of Coahuila. With a population of roughly 230,000, Monclova is the third largest city in the state.

Monclova is a prosperous city; it has one of the highest commercial, industrial and financial sectors in Mexico and one of the lowest poverty rates. Also, metropolitan Monclova is one of the top 10 competitive urban areas in all of the country and enjoys the highest labor productivity.

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Sights and Activities

Monclova is not a touristic city and there are few significant sites in town. However, you may want to see:

  • Parroquia de Santiago Apostol, Hidalgo Nte.. Located on the city's central plaza is a 200-year old colonial style church. The sculpted greyish pink cantera facade and ornate iron gates are quite pretty. edit
  • Coahuila and Texas Museum (Museo Coahuila y Texas), ☎ +52 866 632 0513. Somewhat small historical museum chronicling the period of history when Texas and Coahuila were a single, gigantic northern Mexican state. Much of the museum is an historical library and the exhibit space is of peripheral focus.

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Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

Other Events and Festivals

  • Grito de la Independencia - September 15th is Mexican Independence Day! A massive celebration involving plenty of singing, dancing and fireworks takes place in the Zócalo. Everyone here awaits an appearance from Mexico's president who rings a bell from a central balcony of the Palacio Nacional overlooking the Zócalo. The president then shouts out the Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores which was Father Hidalgo's famous call to arms against Spanish rule in 1810.
  • Dia de la Candelaria. Candlemas is held February 2nd and commemorates Jesus being introduced into the temple 40 days after his birth. This nationwide celebration sees many different ways of celebrating with many towns holding processions, bullfights and dances. Of course, plenty of delicious, traditional foods are served during Dia de la Candelaria as well.
  • Carnaval is held in late February or early March throughout Mexico. This big party is meant to celebrate the 40 day penance of Lent. Carnaval always takes place during the week or so prior to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. Mexicans celebrate this holiday with fireworks, food, parades, dancing and drinking.
  • Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a huge celebration which starts on Palm Sunday. This is a very popular time for Mexicans to take a short break; as a result, it seems most of the country is on the move, with buses and hotels often booked out. As for the celebration of Semana Santa, expect colorful processions and many masses at churches everywhere.
  • Día de Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe, or Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, is held December 12th. There is a week-long build up to this religious celebration in honour of the Virgin who appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego in the year 1531. Since then, the Lady of Guadalupe has been Mexico's religious patron and her veneration is very significant. It is traditional for young boys to be dressed as a Juan Diego and for young girls to be dressed in indigenous garb and brought to a special mass, held at many churches throughout the country.

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Weather

The median temperature for Monclova in January is 13.6 °C, although the temperature can climb as high as 30 °C during some days and it can drop to 0 °C some nights. The coldest spell in recent times took place on December 25, 1983 when the temperature plunged to -9.5 °C.

However, temperatures during late spring and summer can have bouts of extreme heat, with evenings above 40 °C for many consecutive days. In recent decades the hottest records have climbed as high as 43 °C on July 13, 2005 and 45 °C on May 4, 1984. However nighttime low temperatures are typically 15 degrees cooler than daytime highs, due to the very arid conditions. Even in July, which is the warmest month, temperatures have dropped as low as 10.6 °C in 1975. The median temperature July is 28.6 °C. A typical summer day has a low around 21 °C and a high near 35 °C.

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Getting There

By Plane

Venustiano Carranza International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Venustiano Carranza, IATA: LOV, ICAO: MMMV), also known as Monclova International Airport, handles flights from Texas; Dallas, Houston, Del Rio, and Laredo. Other flights arrive from and depart to Guatemala City and Mexico City.

By Car

The city is on Mexican Highway 57, which is reachable from Monterrey to the south and via Piedras Negras to the north. Monclova is also reached by Mexican Highway 53 via Saltillo to the south. To the southwest, Mexican Highway 30 enters Monclova from Torreón.

By Bus

The main bus terminal is located just 2 blocks west of the central plaza. There are destinations to and buses from Mexico City, Ciudad Acuña, Nuevo Laredo, Cuatro Ciénegas, Monterrey, Piedras Negras, Saltillo and Torreón.

For an overview of schedules and connections, check thebusschedule.com. Also check out rome2rio.com.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Intra-city buses ply nearly every main street in the city and are cheap; expect to pay a few pesos for any route. Major points along the way of each route - markets, plazas, malls, hospitals and so on - will be displayed in the front window of the bus. Most people wait for their bus at designated stops but it is often possible to flag down a bus anywhere.

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Eat

  • Pescaderia García, Hidalgo Sur 318, Centro. A popular, centrally located seafood restaurant specializing in baked, grilled and fried snapper. Also features Sinaloense favorites like fish prepared zarandeado style.
  • Los Corrales, Calle Blvd. Pape & Frontera, Guadalupe, ☎ +52 866 631 3333. Mexican food and antojitos, plus grilled steaks and a few shrimp dishes. This is a great casual eatery that fills up at lunch time all week.
  • Pollo Feliz, Blvd San Jose, Heroes del 47. Rosti pollo, or whole roast chicken, is served with french fries, tortillas, salsa and a side salad. They also serve hot dogs and a few different types of tortas.
  • Boruca Restaurant & Sports-Bar, Blvd Harold R. Pape 1629, ☎ +52 866 105 2888. A fun place to hang out and order pub grub while having a beer and watching a football or boxing match.
  • Fonda La Sirena, Benito Juárez Sur 700, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 866 632 2550. Basic eatery serving anything that comes prepared with a tortilla: tacos, burros, burritos, tingas, synchronizadas, gringas and tostadas.
  • Cactus, ☎ +52 866-635-1133. Blvd. Pape y Oaxaca. Traditional Mexican cuisine.
  • Las Fajitas, ☎ +52 866-646-00-79. Washington 415 y Frontera. Casual Mexican grill.
  • Los Cuatro Vientos, ☎ +52 866-633-24-24. Blvd. Harold Pape 708. Casual seafood restaurant.

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Drink

  • Chamochelas

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Sleep

  • Hotel Olimpia, ☎ +52 866-633-62-11. Hidalgo 203 Nte.
  • Fiesta Inn, ☎ +52 866-649-94-00. Blvd. Harold R. Pape 1909,
  • Four Points by Sheraton Monclova, ☎ +52 866-632-00-25. Blvd. Harold R. Pape 200.
  • Hotel Chulavista, ☎ +52 866-36-02-11. Prolg. Monterrey.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are internet cafe's in most cities and towns in Mexico. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere in the country and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico, and some are actually very pretty buildings. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

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This is version 16. Last edited at 9:14 on Apr 26, 19 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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