Piedras Negras

Travel Guide North America Mexico Coahuila Piedras Negras

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Introduction

Piedras Negras is a city in the Mexican state of Coahuila. It is located at the northeastern edge of Coahuila on the U.S.-Mexico border, across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass in the US state of Texas. In the 2015 the city had a population of roughly 163,500 inhabitants. The Piedras Negras and the Eagle Pass areas are connected by the Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras International Bridge, Camino Real International Bridge, and the Eagle Pass Union Pacific International Railroad Bridge. Piedras Negras is one of the most pleasant border towns in Mexico.

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Sights and Activities

  • De la Ventana Caverns
  • San Bernardo Mission ruins
  • Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

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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, dancing, parades, 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 climate of the region is semi-arid and hot. During summer the temperatures often surpass 45 °C. The hottest months are May through September with a daily average (mean) temperature between 26 °C and 31 °C. The high temperatures recorded in Piedras Negras have earned it recognition as one of the hottest cities in the country next to Teacte in Baja California.

Highest precipitation months are May, June and September with an average monthly rainfall in excess of 80 mm. However, fluctuations in the amount or rain often leads to frequent drought conditions. The period of lowest precipitation is between December through March, with a monthly average of 30 mm.

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Getting There

By Car

Most vehicles coming into (and going out of) Piedras Negras come from across the Mexican/U.S. border. From within Mexico, Federal Highway 2 runs north to south through Piedras Negras. From the southeast, Federal Highway 57 enters the city and officially ends at the border with the U.S.

By Bus

The central bus station in Piedras Negras is located at Avenidas Allende and Galeana in the Zona Centro, just 6 blocks from the international border. There are buses from Mexico City, Ciudad Acuña, Nuevo Laredo, Cuatro Ciénegas, Monterrey, 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

Piedras Negras is the birthplace of nachos.

  • La Casasita - charming small restaurant, casual and affordable. Outstanding empanadas.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Autel Rio, Padre de Las Casas 121, ☎ +52 878 782 7064.
  • Holiday Inn Express Piedras Negras, Av. Lazaro Cardenas #2500, ☎ +52 878 783 6040.
  • 'La Quinta Hotel, Av. Emilio Carranza 1205.

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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 11. Last edited at 9:17 on Apr 26, 19 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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