Mineral de Pozos: Ghost Town Revival Among Lavender Farms
Mineral de Pozos popped up on our radar one day while searching through Mexican travel websites. It sounded kind of cool. An old mining town that was abandoned twice in the last century, this little ghost town is coming back to life with real estate options, festivals and a Pueblo Magico designation.
Mineral de Pozos is an excellent day trip option. It’s situated off Highway 57 between Queretaro and San Luis Potosi with cooler temperatures at an elevation of 7400 feet. We went on a weekday right after a week-long “Working Man” celebration. Fireworks and rockets were still being shot off, but the carnival was packing up when we arrived. It’s a very quiet town during the week, but we hear it’s very lively during festival weekends (which in Mexico is at least every other weekend).
History of Mineral de Pozos
Mineral de Pozos has a ghost town feel and rightly so. Gold and silver mining were the main economic sources that created this city in the 16th century. It was an important colony on the Silver Route for centuries. Large haciendas were built by the rich, and modern shops and a railroad brought commerce to the city.
Wars lured the men from the town as miners became soldiers trading their picks and shovels for guns. The decade long Mexican Revolution of 1910 was extremely devastating to the population and mining production of the town. Mineral de Pozos tried to make a comeback after the war, but the price of silver had fallen. The town drudged on, but new tunnels hit an underground sea and flooded the chambers. Again, production came to a halt, and the townspeople left for greener pastures. In just over 50 years, the town had fallen into such despair that only 200 residents remained.
Revival of a Ghost Town
Today, Mineral de Pozos is making a comeback and promoting itself as the next San Miguel de Allende (or more accurately, the San Miguel de Allende of the 1950s). A handful of B&Bs and hotels are scattered within and just outside the city, and art galleries are springing up in the old haciendas. It’s an easily walk-able town with a beautiful church, many old ruins, and from what we hear, enthusiastic festivals. If you visit in April, don’t miss the Mariachi Festival where more than 100 mariachi bands turn the town into one big party!
Interested in the next big real estate opportunity?
For those of you interested in real estate opportunities, Mineral de Pozos might be a smart investment. Just a short walk from the town center on the northern edge of town is a large sustainable community project called Pozos. Incorporating the abandoned mines and buildings into its design, Pozos is slated to be completed within the next 8 years. A few houses have been built, and some are using the mine shafts in their backyards as either wine cellars or art galleries. Two luxury hotels will be built on the property, one using old train sleeping cars as individual rooms. The community already features a museum on the town’s mining history and an art school offering classes in painting, sculpture and photography.
Lavender grows extremely well in Central Mexico. You’ll see lavender in neighborhoods and the sode of roads, but take the time to visit a lavender farm. We visited Lavendar Farms of Pozos just outside and to the north of Mineral de Pozos on GTO 46. For 30 pesos each we were given a tour and shown different types of lavender. Did you know there are over 60 different varieties of lavender? Some are better for perfumes, others are better for food. Tom makes an excellent lavender ice cream!
Lavender Farms of Pozos also has a restaurant on site.
This is an interesting town with a unique history on the road to another revival. Tourism is growing with hotel retreats and cycling tours. Mineral de Pozos is just an hour from Querétaro or San Miguel de Allende. During the week, Mineral de Pozos is tranquillo. The best day to visit Mineral de Pozos is on a Sunday when the local farmers and vendors set up their wares. For those who enjoy a little peace and quiet, Mineral de Pozos is the perfect place.
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