Discover a local favorite with these 8 great things to do in Bernal Mexico!
A Pueblo Magico, the small town of Bernal, Mexico has gained recognition for the giant monolith that shadows it. Around that recognition, it has built a tourism industry catering to wealthy domestic tourists. It is also starting to gain traction as an international destination as the natural, cultural and culinary offerings, driven by domestic tourism reach a world standard.
A tiny town of only 3,000 permanent residents, Bernal has managed to retain the old-world charm of an authentic Mexican village. At the same time, it has developed all the creature comforts travelers have come to expect of a much larger city.
Being a rural community there are also many opportunities for wild camping if you are overlanding.
We’ve rounded up some of the best things to do in Bernal Mexico, great things to eat, and fantastic places to stay in this local tourist destination.
Things to do In Bernal, Mexico
1. Climb the Peña de Bernal Mexico
This mighty monolith is one of the tallest in the world and can be seen for miles and miles.
The stunning rock is a beacon, attracting rock climbers from Mexico and around the world. It offers a number of routes of varying degrees of difficulty.
For the less adventurous (us), a moderately strenuous 30-minute hike will take you as far as you can safely scale the rock without ropes. The vista from the Bernal peña provides great views of the town below and the expansive plateau on which it sits.
You can access the trailhead from the center of town. Get started early to beat the mid-morning rush and fierce heat. Access to the rock costs $30 MXN per person.
2. Explore the Area by ATV
A hugely popular activity throughout Mexico and particularly here. Guided tours are available or rent an ATV or buggy and get to explore yourself. It is a great way to see the countryside around this rural town and discover the Peña de Bernal from another perspective. You can find a number of rental agencies on the town’s main drag, Benito Juárez.
3. Grab a Gordita Negrito in the Zona Centro
Gorditas, specifically those made with black corn are the specialty item of the town. Flat cornbreads are made from black corn giving them their distinct color and stuffed with guiso, a thick meat stew, and other fillings.
Of course, there are plenty of options in this touristic town, from pizza and pasta to American bbq to fine dining, there is a huge selection for such a tiny town.
While the historic streets are gorgeous and packed with first-rate (and comparatively expensive) restaurants if it’s quality food on a budget you want, head to the main drag, Benito Juárez. Here you’ll find local hole-in-the-wall restaurants and street stalls serving up delicious gorditas, tacos, quesadillas, and rotisserie chicken.
4. Enjoy a Cerveza on a Terraza Overlooking the Peña de Bernal
The city center has several rooftop bars and restaurants. A great place to enjoy a cold beer and great views of the monolith, after a morning spent conquering it. Looking for a little local flavor? Order yourself a michelada, Mexico’s answer to the Bloody Mary made from beer and spicy tomato juice.
5. Sample the Artisanal Foods of the Region
Bernal sits along the route known as la ruta de arte, vino y queso. Artisanal cheese (queso) is a local craft export and you can find a number of boutiques specializing in cheeses, artisanal foods, wines, and craft beers. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir (or stock up for yourself).
Bernal is also known for its Pan de Queso, a sweet bready pastry made with local cheese. Pan de Queso is phenomenal for breakfast with coffee and can be found throughout the city.
6. Camp in the Shadow of the Peña de Bernal
Surrounding the town is scrub forest and farming land. Not ten minutes from the city’s main drag, we camped in the shadow of the mighty Peña de Bernal. Nearby a cattle farm, there was some noise from dogs, livestock, and the occasional tourist on an ATV and a few flies. But these small inconveniences were a small price to pay for watching the sunset and rise over the incredible rock. The site is better suited to overlanding (camping with a vehicle) than tent camping.
You can find our campsite here.
7. Treat Yourself at Hotel El Cantar del Viento
A popular destination for Mexico’s wealthy and fashionable boutique hotel industry is particularly competitive here. There are plenty of boutique hotels, suited to all budgets within the town.
While there are plenty to choose from, atop the pile sits the gorgeous El Cantar del Viento. Making the list of Mexico’s 100 Imperdibels (100 unmissable experiences in Mexico) in the category for hotels.
El Cantar del Viento, you can stay in one of six private villas all offering incredible views of the Peña de Bernal from your private terrace. The beautifully appointed rooms come with all the modern conveniences you might expect as well as a few extras. You can pamper yourself at the onsite spa and unwind with morning meditation sessions. Prices are extremely reasonable but with limited space, this true boutique hotel is rarely vacant.
8. Visit the Museum of the Masks (Museo de la Máscara)
An interesting thing to do in Bernal, Mexico, and one that, to be honest, is quite surprising is the Museum of Masks. This small museum was originally opened to display masks from an annual competition in the community. Now, in addition to the local display, the museum has masks from all over the world.
A visit to the Museum of Masks is easily one of the best things to do in Bernal. The cost to enter is $30 pesos per person.
9. Continue West Along the Ruta de Vino y Queso
If you tried and enjoyed the cheese and wine of Bernal continue southwest to Tequisquiapan along the Queretaro cheese and wine route. As Mexico’s second-largest wine-producing region, it is a great way to take a break from all of the tequila and cervezas!
Sample some of Mexico’s best wine and finest cheese along this popular national tour route.
READ MORE: Queretaro’s Wine and Cheese Route
We hoped you enjoyed these 9 amazing things to do in Bernal Mexico. Let us know if you enjoyed Bernal as much as we did in the comments below.
Looking for More Mexico Travel destinations?
Bernal is only one of the best places to travel in Mexico. If you are looking for more great things to do in Central Mexico, check out one of our articles below for the inside scoop on our favorite destinations!
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