Cuatrociénegas is a small pueblo located about 3h30min northwest from my city, Monterrey. It is one of the main tourist attractions of the state of Coahuila, this because of the gypsum dunes (Dunas de Yeso) and the blue pool (Poza Azul).
Hannah and me arrived at around 2 in the afternoon and stopped by the plaza to eat something. There’s a pretty church from the 1800s (Iglesia de San José) which supposedly was built with calcareous structures from stromatolites, the rock-like microbe formed structures that helped raise the amount of oxygen in the Earth billions of years ago.
Then, we started asking people if they knew where could we camp and we found the Venustiano Carranza museum. It is the house where this former mexican president was born, he was one of the main leaders of the Mexican Revolution and one of the creators of the current constitution of Mexico (Constitución de 1917). There, a lady gave us a brochure and told us that the only place where we could camp at was “La Maquinita”, which happens to be a mill turned into a hostel.
Already knowing where we were going to sleep, we headed to the main attractions. First, the Poza Azul. We were super excited but when we arrived we found a lot of tourists around it taking selfies, drinking beer and though the colors are really impressive it was impossible to enjoy. So… we decided to go to the dunes, but when we arrived the dudes at the entrance told us they were already closing and we could only be there for around 15min (they close at 17:00). We left and since the place where you can swim (Río Los Mezquites) was closing in an hour too, we went to visit the town, asked where we could enjoy the sunset and finally found the tourist information center.
We decided to go to Bodegas Ferriño but you couldn’t visit, just buy (yes, I know, we weren’t that lucky up to that point). After buying grapes and taking 2 pomegranates from a tree we found “La Máquina”. You can camp for 100MXN and you have access to bathroom, showers, a tiny pool, grillers and tons of space for you to decide where to set up your tent. We did and then walked to the nearest mountain through the cactuses to have a better view of the “Cerro del Muerto” for the sunset.
The next day we finally had time to visit the dunes. This special dunes are part of the Chihuahuan Desert, and another similar landscape can be found in New Mexico (White Sands National Monument). We got there at a somewhat good time before it was full of tourists too and finished our Cuatrociénegas experience swimming at Río Los Mezquites, where you don’t feel at all the heat.
P.S. We saw no turtles.