el potrero chico entrance

Today I’m going to tell you all about El Potrero Chico (EPC). 

It is one of North America’s most popular winter sport climbing destinations. 

(In Fact)

It is the place to go sport climbing in Mexico. 

This article is the result of months of on site research (read: dirtbagging). 

If you’re looking for a one stop shop, telling you absolutely everything you need to know about El Potrero Chico, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article you will find:

El Potrero Chico Overview

El Potrero Chico (EPC) is without a doubt one of North America’s premier winter climbing destinations. 

In the winter of 2018-2019, I was able to spend over a month down at EPC enjoying everything that it had to offer.

I have to tell you, this place has it all.

What stood out for me in particular about EPC was the sheer quantity of super accessible multi-pitches and the strong climbing community. 

EPC sits uniquely close to the USA, meaning that there are a lot of seasonal travelers here looking to escape the cold from the north.

This combined with cheap Mexican living and a slow pace of life makes it an excellent location to go for a short vacation or stay for the whole season.

Check it out, you won’t be disappointed. 

Why Go To El Potrero Chico?

rock climbing el potrero chico
The Western Side of EPC

El Potrero Chico is a world class sport climbing destination. There is a huge amount to climb here at every grade. EPC actually has one of the largest selection of “moderate” (5.9-5.11a) climbs in the world. 

If that is too easy for you, nearby El Salto has emerged as one of the world’s premier steep limestone crags, with large quantity of 5 star lines starting at 5.11+ going all the way up to 5.14+.

As I mentioned before, EPC has some of the easiest and most accessible moderate multi-pitches in the world, many with almost non-existent approaches. 

In addition, most of the more difficult classics are aidable, meaning that anyone who can comfortably lead 5.10 will have a lot to choose from.

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

In winter the days are dry and crisp, making for perfect temps. In the shoulder seasons things heat up, but once you learn where the shade is you can pretty climb here every day October to May, even longer if you’re keen.

Also, as you might imagine, it is very cheap once you get here. If you’re camping it is easy to comfortably live off of about 10$ a day. 

A true dirtbag’s delight.

The climbing community here is also super strong, one of the best I’ve ever seen. 

If you happen to be traveling alone, you will have absolutely no problem finding someone to climb with at pretty much any grade.

Land of the free, el potrero chico mexico
Happy To Climb? (From ‘Land of The Free’, 5.12b PG-13)

Oh, and did I mention that climbing here is great? And there is a style to fit almost anyone’s tastes. 

Though sometimes EPC can be chossy, most of the well-traveled routes are bomber, just be sure to wear a helmet while climbing here, as rocks get kicked off from the multi-pitched above regularly.

When Is The Best Time To Rock Climb at El Potrero Chico

The weather in El Potrero Chico is for the most part arid, dry and sunny. 

EPC sits at an elevation of about 1,800 feet, which is fortunate for climbers as it helps keep the temperatures way down.

The main climbing season for EPC is the North American winter, from about November to February. With the shoulder seasons being October – November and March – April. 

Due to its close proximity to the US, you can get super cheap flights there even during the peak season.

Just because it is Mexico, does not mean that it’s always hot here!! EPC gets cold, especially at night. 

It is not uncommon for temperatures to reach below freezing, and there is the occasional snow! Make sure to pack appropriately or you will have some very cold nights ahead.

In the winter you should expect to find cold crips days, which are cold in the shade but heat up a lot in the sun. 

Perfect climbing weather! 

Also keep in mind that during the holidays, EPC can get super busy, so make sure to plan ahead and make reservations if you’re not planning on camping.

Where Is El Potrero Chico and How To Get There

rock climber EPC Mexico
Multi-pitching On The Jungle Wall

Located in one of Mexico’s most northern states: Nuevo León, EPC sits about two miles outside of the town of Hidalgo and about 45 minutes away from the state’s largest city: Monterrey

Hidalgo itself isn’t much to look at, but it is surrounded by stunning mountain views that can’t help but make a climber smile. 

How To Get To El Potrero Chico From Monterrey Airport (MTY)

el potrero chico mexico

Most of you will be coming from the Monterrey International Airport (MTY). This is located on the outskirts of Monterrey, and is about a 45 minute drive from the town of Hidalgo.

MTY is big airport, and you can get cheap flights there from most places in the US or beyond. 

You technically have two options to arrive to town: bus or taxi/Uber. 

The bus to Hidalgo takes 2.5-3hrs (if you know where you’re going) and will take a relatively high level of Spanish, as most people from Monterrey will have no idea where Hidalgo is. 

To do this, take the bus from the airport direct to Hidalgo’s transport terminal. From here you will be able to ask for directions to the local bus to the town of Hidalgo. 

This will cost you about 3$ USD.

If you’re coming by Uber, you can be taken directly from the airport. This is by far the easiest option is the easiest option. 

If you don’t have international data, you can use the free wifi in the airport to order one. The cost is 525-600 Mexico Peso (MXN).

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

If you want to go by cab, they have a number of automated kiosks at the airport.

Simply type where you’d like to go, and the cab will arrive a few minutes later to take you to your destination. This costs 650-700 MXN.

To return to the airport to MTY, you can either navigate the local bus system, or hire a cab as there are zero Uber drivers in Hidalgo. 

The easiest way to do this is to ask at any of the campsites, as they all hire their own taxi services. This costs around 1000 MXN.

You can also ask at Leo’s or El Taco Loco, as they provide taxi services as well. 

Their rates are more economic, as they charge around 600 MXN. I would suggest posting on EPC’s FB page a few days before if you’re hoping to split the costs.

How To Drive to El Potrero Chico

It is also surprisingly common for people to drive down to EPC from the US. The closest border is only about 2.5hrs away. 

But driving in Mexico is a little different than it is in the US, so for that reason you need to take special precautions if you’re choosing to come in your own car. 

El Potrero Chico Climbing Guides has a page with all the info you need including insurance, directions, and general rules and precautions.

El Potrero Chico Safety

Mexico has gotten a lot of bad press from the drug cartels over the past few years, especially the border states (like Nuevo León).

However it is the general consensus of the climbers and locals alike that the Narcos have no reason to be in Hidalgo. Serious crime is rare here, and it is considered safe for travelers. 

There is also a very high police presence in Hidalgo, and they are constantly patrolling the climbing areas.

Keep in mind, that with any foreign country, exercise heightened caution and use your own judgment. 

The US embassy has an excellent page and interactive map where you can decide for yourselves.

Where Do You Buy Food At El Potrero Chico

Food EPC, Edgardo
Edgardo’s Pizza El Potrero Chico

So there are a few logistical things that you should be made aware of to both help save you money and time. 

This includes the beta on the supermarkets in town, ATMs and the local street markets. I’ve also included some info on the popular restaurants.

Hidalgo Street Markets

The town of Hidalgo has two weekly street markets. 

The first being held every Friday (and is therefore called the “Friday Market”), and is located on Calle Niños Heroes, right next to the police station (which happens to be the location of the closest ATM in town). 

Here there is a nice assortment of fruits, vegetables and street food. The prices are slightly lower than the local supermarket.

Friday market Hidalgo Mexico
Hidalgo Friday Market

The other market, referred to as the “Tuesday” market, is on the outskirts of town on Calle José Domínguez, and about a 10 minutes walk closer to the climbing than the Friday market. 

This market is also larger, and has lower prices than the Friday market. For that reason it is an excellent idea to plan your shopping around days around this one.

I would like to point out that both of these markets are very “local” meaning that they are not the place to go if you’re looking for Mexican souvenirs, only food and other household items. 

Tuesday Market Hidalgo Mexico
Hidalgo Tuesday Market

Actually Hidalgo is in no way a tourist town, meaning that if you’re looking for souvenirs you’ll most likely have to venture into Monterrey.

Hidalgo Supermarkets

The street markets are great for getting fresh foods, but for anything packaged you’ll have to take a trip to one of the supermarkets in town. 

The closest supermarket is located on Calle Anquiles Serdán and has a small but good selection. Also,they accept credit cards, which is nice.

hidalgo supermarket el potero chico

If you have a car, or if you’re willing to walk a bit further, I suggest going to Bodega Aurrera, as it has a much larger selection and better prices than the aforementioned market.

El Potrero Chico’s Best Restaurants

As we all know, Mexicans make some of the tastiest food on the face of the planet. So for that reason, I have assembled a small list of some of the best food options nearby.

El Taco Loco

el taco loco el potero chico

One of the best options around EPC, and also, the closest to the rocks. Recently moved to their new location right outside the entrance to the climbing, they have some of the best burritos and tacos in town. 10 MXN a taco, 50 MXN a burritos. Wasn’t a fan of their margaritas though…

Checos

checos EPC Mexico climbing

Located across the street from La Posada, Checos is probably my favorite food near the campsites, Checos has a good selection of local food. The mole sauce is out of this world. Closed on Sundays.

Edgardo’s Pizza, EPC

Eguardo's pizza el potrero chico

Selling food in the parking lot of the canyon, Edgarado sells fresh baked pizzas made to order. An absolute must go for any climber. He also has a great selection of microbrews and without a doubt the best margaritas in town.

He also sells climbing gear and t-shirts. What a legend.

Tamales Esperanza, Hidalgo

tamales esperanza hidalgo mexico

Located near the police station, on the same street as the Friday market, Tamales Esperanza offer the most delicious and cheap tamales in town (only 7 MXN each). The bean tamales are the way forward.

El Buho, Hidalgo

el buho cafe el potrero chico mexico

El Buho is the only proper cafe in town, offering great locally sourced coffee and a good range of food. 

They also have a pile of board games, climbing magazines and multiple bookshelves to keep you occupied on your rest days and not to mention some of the friendliest staff around.

It’s also a great place to meet people from the climbing community. They have a regular social events, such as barbecues every Tuesday night.

Rock Climbing At El Potrero Chico

Oh boy, why we’re all here in the first in the first place. EPC offers one of the longest and most accessible concentrations of sport climbs in the world. 

The guide book boasts close to 1000 routes, with new development always ongoing.

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

Combine that with nearby El Salto, and this place makes for years of climbing. EPC is certainly somewhere that keeps you coming back for more.

Multi-Pitching at El Potrero Chico

EPC Mult-pitches mexico
Near the Top Of “Land of The Free (5.12b)”

What I found separated EPC from most climbing areas is the quantity and quality of excellent moderate multi-pitch routes. 

Anyone who can comfortably lead 5.10 will have no shortage of things to do. 

In addition, most of the difficult pitches are aidable, and the rappels are generally very straightforward meaning that you always have the option to bail off if things get out of your comfort zone.

Though the routes themselves are generally quite clean, it is worth mentioning that there is a lot of loose rock surrounding the routes, which means it is easy to kick off a piece at any time, even on the classics.

For this reason, a helmet is absolutely essential while climbing here. 

Not only while multi-pitching, but while cragging, as many of the multi-pitches climb over the popular cragging areas, keeping the potential for injury constantly present.

Also, due to the moderate grades, EPC attracts many beginner climbers, so it is common for people to come here to try to their first multi-pitches, which only adds to the danger. 

The guide book offerers great beta and topos of the classics and is a must have for anyone climbing EPC. I’ll defer to that for detailed information. 

However, here is a small collection of routes which I found to be particularly worthwhile:

  • Treasure of the Sierra Madre 5.10c 7 pitches – Mota Wall (afternoon sun)
  • Snott Girlz 5.10+ 7- Mota Wall (afternoon sun)
  • Pitch Black – 5.10+ Sport 6 pitches – Conundrums (all day shade baby!)
  • El Sendero Diablo – 5.11c 6 pitches – Outrage Wall (afternoon sun, one of my favorites)
  • Yankee Clipper – 5.12a 15 pitches – La Selva (Jungle Wall) – Pretty boring until you get to the last two pitches, and get some serious exposure facing the front side. Also worth mentioning that the final crux pitch only has a few hard moves, and is easily aidable.
  • Time Wave Zero – 5.12a 23 pitches – Timewave Buttress – Pretty much the highest you’ll ever be able to climb with sport gear alone. The view is worth the journey. The 5.12a crux pitch can be mostly aided, however you’ll have to at least pull through one or two hard moves to clip the next bolt.
  • Land of the Free – 5.12b PG-13 10 pitches – One of my favorite multis I climbed here. I warn you though, the bolts on the easy pitches are spaced out and quite dirty. However, the climbing between pitches 5 to 9  was the most consistent stretch of superb 5.11+ climbing I have ever encountered. The last pitch, also the crux, wasn’t very memorable, I suggest just skipping it.
  • El Sendero Luminoso – 5.12d 15 Pitches – The king line at EPC. Made famous by Alex Honnold after is 2014 free solo, the route has become an essential hard multi test piece. Hype aside, the climbing is excellent. One of the best EPC has to offer. If you wish to bivy, there is a perfect camping space after pitch 5, greatly lowers the level of commitment needed to climb.

This should give you a good mix of styles and grades to start with. There are many more worth trying! Once again, I defer to the guide book

Single Pitches (Cragging) at El Potrero Chico

surf bowl, surfer rosa el potrero chico
The Author On “Surfer Rosa (5.13a)” in the Surf Bowl Sector

Though overshadowed by the abundance of multi-pitches, I found the craging here to be excellent. And trust me, you get tired of hanging on your harness all day, so you’ll eventually want to try out some of the single pitches EPC has to offer.

Now once again, I’m not going to go into too much beta on the routes. I’ll simply give a few areas I found to be of higher quality. 

Surf Bowl – Steep and powerful, tufas, knee bars, and heel hooks galore. This is limestone at its finest. 

Not to mention, Surfer Rosa (5.13a/b) is arguable one of the best routes in North America. So if you climb the grade is is an absolute must do.

Club Mex Wall (Las Estrellas) – One of the highest concentration of 5 star classics at EPC. 

The rock is bomber vertical technical face climbing at its finest. Fear of Flying (5.12a) is 30m of absolute perfection… possibly the best 5.12a at EPC. 

Nearby there are other classics at similar grades to choose from such as Salty Dog (5.12a), Conflict (5.12b, excellent), The Sword (5.12a) and Club Mex (5.12c). 

Also, it is in the shade all day, meaning that it is one of these places to go on hot days.

Outrage Wall – Another one of the highest concentrations of 5 star routes at EPC, also home to El Sendero Diablo (5.11c), an excellent 6 pitch multi. 

As far as single pitches go, some of the must does are: Celestial Omnibus (5.12a, also arguably the best at the grade at EPC), British Invasion (5.12a) and Habanero (5.12b). 

The only real downside of climbing here is that Outrage gets cooked in the direct sun for most of the day, so you’ll have to save it for when the temps are right.

El Fin de Semana – Located right off the road (about a 2 min approach), Fin de Semana doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. 

The climbing here is vertical and very technical. Hombre de Rifle (5.13a) is one of the best climbs I’ve ever done, and is another must do for the grade. 

The wall gets shade until about 1pm, then goes back in the shade around 4pm.

TNT Wall – An excellent crag, with a good mix of grades. Pretty much every climb here is worth doing, Baked Fresh Daily (5.10c) and Band of Brothers (5.10c) are excellent moderate climbs, and Inglorious Bastards (5.12a) is another harder classic. 

Has shade until about 2pm, then goes back into the shade at about 4:30pm.

Mota Wall – Probably the best place to find moderate climbs, with most of the classics ranging from 5.9 to 5.11c, just pick your grade and enjoy. 

For this reason, this crag can get pretty busy during the peak months. Sun from about 10:30am on.

Virgin Canyon – One of the first crags developed at EPC, and arguably, still one of the best. It is home to a few absolute classics like Selam (5.10a), Milk Cow Blues (5.10c), Mexico in Flames (5.11c) and Don Quixote (5.11d). 

There is something here for everyone. This coupled with all day shade makes for a super popular crag, it is an absolute must visit.

I could go on, but like I said, I suggest taking a look at the guidebook before you arrive.

Guiding Services At El Potrero Chico (EPC)

El Potreo Chico Jungle Wall

The best guiding service I found was “Potrero Chico Climbing Guides”. I was able to spend a few days with Rudy, and I really enjoyed the experience. 

If in need of a partner, lessons, or just looking for someone to show you around, I recommend giving him a call.

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

He offers a 4hr and 8hr multi-pitch guiding service, in addition to 4hr group classes if you’re looking to learn some of the skills needed to safely get you up and back down the climbs safely.

For those of you with zero multi-pitch experience, I recommend his 2 day “crash” course

Here you’ll learn the basics of anchor building, setting up hanging belay systems, how to transition the rappels and some basic self-rescue techniques.

What to Bring To EPC (Suggested Packing List)

el potrero chico seen from camping
The Front Side of El Potrero Chico seen from near the Rancho Sendero campsite

Though the route at EPC are all bolted, it is not always a walk in the park when it comes to the climbing. 

Injuries happen regularly here, though the reasons are numerous, many times it comes down to a fundamental lack of understanding of safety process and incorrect gear. 

In addition, there is no climbing shop in Hidalgo. 

The essentials can be purchased at Edgardo’s shop or the office at La Posada campsite. However the selection is limited so I’d get everything beforehand.

Make sure to take the proper precautions to protect yourself. 

Helmet

A helmet is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY at El Potrero Chico. 

Rock fall is extremely common here, even on the well traveled classics. 

In addition, many of the multi pitches, climb over other routes. This means that a helmet need to be warn at popular crags even when your not climbing. 

The Mota Wall is particularly dangerous for rock fall, as a few of the classics follow the ridgeline directly above the popular crag below. 

It doesn’t really matter what helmet you get, but if you’re looking for an all around, comfortable and great value for your money,  the Black Diamond Half Dome is a solid choice. 

The helmet is very comfortable, and is adjustable to fit just about any head shape. It is a great all-around helmet that you could expect to use for years to come.  

70m Rope

A 70m rope is 100% necessary at EPC. 

Though there are routes which can be climbed with a 60m, most of the routes can only be climbed with a 70m so it is absolutely worth buying one. 

In addition, to save time on climbing and rappelling on multi-pitches, it is common practice at EPC to link pitches and do double rappels. 

These are both essential techniques to climbing EPC to save you a ton of time, neither of which are possible without a 70m. 

If you’re on a budget, the EDELRID Eco Boa is the best bang for your buck out there. 

However, to save weight and rope drag a thinner diameter rope like the Mammut Infinity is a good option as well. 

Rope Bag

At EPC, you’re going to want to take extra special care to keep sand and dirt off of your rope. 

It is an essential piece of gear at El Potrero Chico. 

The best way to do this is with a crag friendly rope bag like the Metolius Speedster

It is small and durable, the perfect size for the days out cragging around EPC. 

It has space for a 70m rope, with just enough room to carry the rest of your basics like your quickdraws, harness and caulk. 

Not to mention, its clever center zipper design gives you quick access and easy packing of your gear! 

Quick Draws

EPC is a sport climbing destination. There is absolutely no need to bring any type of trad gear here. 

Because the routes are long, and it is so common to link pitches, you’ll need a combined rack of at least 20 quickdraws at ECP. 

For that I suggest a rack of heavy duty, sport climbing specific draws like the DMM Alpha

They’re particularly good fits at EPC because they are super easy to clip and clean, are designed to ergonomically fit your hand, and they are very resistant to abrasion. 

For a slightly cheaper option, the Black Diamond PosiWire are an incredible value for your money, and have most of the advantages of the Alpha at about half the price! 

GriGri

The only real option for belay devices at EPC is a GriGri

At EPC, you can use your GriGri not only to lead belay and multi-pitch belay from above, but also is the only way to safely double rappel. 

It is also a great idea to have a alpine backup belay device with you like Mammut Smart Alpine

You can either use a two belay device system to multi-pitches, or at the very least have an extra on your harness incase you where to drop your GriGri!

Not to mention, Smart Alpine is an engineering masterpiece, and is one of the best lightweight and functional multi-purpose belay devices on the market. 

Climbing Shoes

la sportiva climbing shoes Chiang mai Thailand

Knowing what climbing shoes to bring with you on a trip is always a tough choice. 

At El Potrero Chico, the majority of the climbs are vertical, techy with lots of edges, crimps and pockets. 

There are a few overhung routes, such as what can be found in the Surf Bowl, but they are a rarity. 

At EPC, you also have the added factor of needing your shoes to be comfy for the long days of mult-pitching. 

If you’re looking to learn more on the performance side, the La Sportiva Miura is the perfect shoe for EPC. 

The edge, toe and smear better than almost any other shoe ever made. 

If you’re leaning more towards comfort, the Anasazi Moccasym are good choice. It is a great all around climbing shoe, and is super comfortable. 

Guide Book

el potrero chico guide book

Fresh from the 2019-2020 season, Frank Madden has released a second and updated edition of “EPC Climbing”. 

Now to admit, I haven’t had the chance to pick up my copy yet. 

However, first edition of EPC Climbing was extremely well done, with detailed route info, approach beta, topos and hundreds of excellent photos. 

I can assume that the second addition is only an improvement of the first, so it is absolutely worth the money. 

Make sure to pick up your copy before you arrive, as it is possible that it will sell out this year during the peak season. 

Travel Insurance

For those of your coming from the US, be aware that most of your health insurance plans will not cover you in Mexico. 

Couple this with adventurous activities like rock climbing, risk of lost baggage or theft, and the all too common food and waterborne illnesses, makes a recipe for disaster. 

Furthermore, many travel insurance say that they cover “adventure” sports like climbing, only to discover that once you read the fine print they add in special inclusions like requiring you to climb with a certified guide to be covered (IMG Global and Liaison Travel I’m looking at you!). 

The fastest, easiest and most respected travel insurance in the world which covers rock climbing is World Nomads, and is what I use every time I travel. 

Be sure to select the “Explorer Plan” on the next page so that you’ll be covered for outdoor rock climbing! 

Go here to read more about travel insurance and you can’t travel without it!

El Potrero Chico Accommodations

camping el potrero chico
EPC Accommodations Seen From The Land Of The Free Wall

There are a range of choices available, though they’re all quite similar. 

A very large portion of the people who come to EPC camp, which is a great option. Camping is cheaper, there is always space, and you have full access to the bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Also I’d like to note, for all of you van lifer’s out there, all of the places I’m about to mention allow people to stay in their cars. They charge the same rates as camping.

Hotels Around Hidalgo

There are a ton of hotel options available in nearby Monterey, and a few good options available in the town of Hidalgo itself. 

If you’re looking for a more comfortable experience, away from the dirt and noise of the campsites,there are the way to go.  

I highly suggest booking a hotel before hand if you plan on going during the peak season (November to January) or you will not have a place to stay when you arrive!!

El Potrero Chico La Posada

la posada EPC camping

La Posada is the most popular spot for climbers to go. For that reason, also one of the busiest and most expensive. 

Camping cost about 150MXN a night, and rooms cost close to 20-30 USD a night.

Rooms get booked well in advance, so make a reservation if you plan on this option.

In January of 2019, they completed a new kitchen, which was well overdue. 

My main complaint of this place is that it is a little more “social” i.e. loud at times.

It tends to pull the the weekend warriors or vacationers who are there not only to climb but to let loose. 

Their restaurant has some of the best coffee at EPC.

El Potrero Chico Ranchero El Sendero

ranchero el sendero camping

Located about a 15 minute walk from the entrance to the climbing, Ranchero El Sendero is one of the better campsite picks at EPC. 

This tends to attract a slightly more dedicated climbing crowd, and is also slightly less busy when compared to La Posada.

They have an excellent kitchen set up, with massive refrigerators, ample storage space and about 10 different stove tops to spread out the load during the dinner rush. 

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

They also recently opened up a bar/restaurant, and have all you can eat buffets every Friday night for 150 MXN ([email protected]#$ing delicious).

The cost for camping are as follows, 120 MXN a night for the first 10 nights, and then goes down to 110 MXN a night at 11, then decreases further to 100 MXN a night after 30 days.

They also offer dorm rooms, private rooms and have a full house available for rent.

I would reserve a spot early if you’re going during peak season, as these do fill up every year.

El Potrero Chico La Pagoda

la pagoda camping EPC

By far the least known of the three, La Pagoda has a lot of things going for it. For one, it sees almost zero crowds, even in the busy seasons. 

This means you’ll actually be able to get some rest here and not have to battle for kitchen space during peak hours.

Also, it is much cheaper than the other options, as they only charge about 70 MXN a night to stay.

There are also rooms available here for around 20-30USD a night.

The downside is that the amenities are more basic, however in no way inadequate. If you’re looking for a more… “rustic” option, this is the way to go.

El Potrero Chico Edgardo’s

camping edgardo EPC Mexico

If you’re seeking the full dirtbag experience, look no further. The legend himself, Edgardo, lets people camp at his house for only 40-50 MXN a night. 

Amenities are understandably less than some of the more expensive options, but those pesos add up!

He has a separate kitchen, bathrooms and wifi like all of the others.

Edgardo’s does attract a different crowd, and there is a fair bit of partying that goes on here, but you can’t beat that price.

He lives about a 15 minute walk further up the canyon away from town. If you’re looking to stay here, just find him in the canyon when he’s working, or ask around.

El Potrero Chico Rest Day Activities

So we can’t climb everyday (sadly), but luckily there are a few good rest day activities to keep you busy. I have already mentioned El Buho and the Tuesday and Friday markets. 

But if you’re looking for something more, I have included some info on a few other good activities.

El Torro Hike (The Front Side)

An excellent (and steep!) 3-5 hour hike. It gives you excellent views of the the front side of EPC. 

It is definitely worth it, especially if you don’t plan on doing any of the multi-pitches which give you the same view (such as Land of The Free, Yankee Clipper, El Sendero Luminoso, or Timewave Zero). 

Be warned that it gets cooked in the sun, so bring lots of water and sunscreen.

To arrive at the trailhead, head on the same road to the canyon. Once you have crossed the bridge, the trailhead will be on right, after a few minutes walk. The trail is well marked with signs.

A topo of the hike can be found here.

San Joaquin Hot Springs

Located only an hour’s drive from Hidalgo, the San Joaquin Hot Springs are nearby to El Potrero Chico, and offer a great way to relax and recover sore muscles. 

Not a bad way to spend the afternoon. For more information check out their website.

And last but not least.

Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance to protect you against illness, injury, and theft.

This is a super important thing to have on hand, especially when rock climbing!! I use and recommend World Nomads Travel Insurance and you can get your custom quote here:

Did I Miss Anything?

Now I’d like to hear from you. 

Which part of this article did you find most useful?

Is there anything I missed or that you’re just dying to know?

Either way, comment below, I’ll get back to you within 24hrs!!

Climb on. 

If you’re looking to find climbers, head on over to our BRAND NEW FB GROUP and drop a post with your dates! 

 

For further reading see: “Rock Climbing Colombia – The Internet’s Most Ridiculously Awesome and Complete Guide” and “The Absolutely 5 Best Places to Go Rock Climbing in Peru [Updated]” 

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