Centro Travel Guide

Explore Centro, Mexico with our comprehensive travel guide. Find out the must-see attractions, best things to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more.

Introduction to Centro

Centro is a charming historic district in the heart of San Luis Potosi, a state in the Bajio region of Mexico. Known for its colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and rich history, Centro is a popular tourist destination for those looking to explore Mexico beyond the beaten path.

In this comprehensive tour guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to plan your trip to Centro, from must-see attractions to best things to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more.

List of Places to Visit in Centro

Centro is home to a variety of attractions, from culturally significant museums and historical sites to natural wonders and outdoor adventures. Here are some of the top places to visit in Centro:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Museum of the Viceroyalty: This museum is housed in a restored colonial mansion and features exhibits on the history of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, a political entity that ruled over Mexico and parts of Central and South America from the 16th to the 19th centuries.

  • Cathedral of San Luis Potosi: This stunning cathedral is one of the most prominent architectural landmarks in Centro. Its Gothic-style facade and towering spires make it a must-see for any visitor to the district.

  • Palacio de Gobierno: This government palace is home to a number of impressive murals by famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn more about the history and symbolism of the murals.

Natural Attractions of Centro: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Sierra de San Miguelito: This mountain range offers some of the most breathtaking views in all of Mexico. Hikers can explore the trails and take in the stunning scenery.

  • La Presa de San Jose: This large reservoir offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

  • Parque Tangamanga: This expansive park is a popular spot for locals to bike, jog, and relax. Visitors can explore the botanical gardens and enjoy the many recreational facilities.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Centro

Centro is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore. Here are some of the best routes for those looking to get some exercise while taking in the natural beauty of the district:

  • Sierra de San Miguelito: This mountain range offers a variety of trails for hikers of all levels, from easy walks to steep climbs. The views from the top are worth the effort.

  • Parque Tangamanga: This park has over 20 miles of paved paths for biking, running, and walking. It’s a great place to get some exercise while taking in the sights and sounds of Centro.

  • Camino Real de Tierra Adentro: This historic trail was once used by Spanish traders traveling between Mexico City and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Today, it’s a popular route for hikers and bikers looking to experience some of Mexico’s rich cultural history.

Best Things to Do in Centro: Activities and Tours

Centro has plenty of activities and tours to offer visitors, from cultural experiences to outdoor adventures. Here are some of the best things to do in Centro:

  • Cooking classes: Learn how to make traditional Mexican dishes like tamales and enchiladas from local chefs and cooks.

  • Tequila tasting tours: Discover the history and production process of Mexico’s famous spirit on a tequila tasting tour.

  • Art and culture tours: Explore the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Centro on guided tours of museums and galleries.

Week-Long Itinerary for Centro

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Centro, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore the historic center of Centro and visit the Cathedral of San Luis Potosi.
Day 2 Take a cooking class and learn to make traditional Mexican dishes.
Day 3 Visit the Museum of the Viceroyalty and the Palacio de Gobierno to learn about Mexican history.
Day 4 Take a tequila tasting tour and sample some of Mexico’s famous spirit.
Day 5 Explore the natural wonders of the Sierra de San Miguelito.
Day 6 Take a cultural tour of Centro and learn about the artistic and cultural heritage of the district.
Day 7 Relax and unwind at Parque Tangamanga or La Presa de San Jose.

Food and Drink Scene of Centro

No trip to Mexico is complete without sampling the delicious local food and drink. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages to try in Centro:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Enchiladas potosinas: These are a local specialty made with tortilla dough and stuffed with cheese, onion, and chili.

  • Gorditas de nata: These sweet, fluffy cakes are made with cream and sugar and are a popular breakfast or snack item in Centro.

  • Tamales: These steamed packets of masa dough stuffed with meat, cheese, or vegetables are a tasty and filling meal.

Local Beverages

  • Tequila: No trip to Mexico is complete without trying some tequila. Look for local brands like Cazadores and Don Julio.

  • Pulque: This traditional Mexican drink is made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. It has a sweet, tangy flavor and is often served in clay pots.

  • Micheladas: This refreshing beer cocktail is made with beer, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. It’s perfect for sipping on a hot day in Centro.

Where to Stay in Centro: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Centro has a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and taste, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some top options:

  • Hotel Real de Minas: This elegant hotel is located in a restored 19th-century mansion and offers comfortable rooms and top-notch amenities.

  • Hostal El Jardín: This cozy hostel is perfect for budget travelers who want to stay in the heart of Centro.

  • Casa Peces: This charming guesthouse offers a welcoming atmosphere and clean, comfortable accommodations.

What to Buy in Centro: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Centro is a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs and local products to bring home. Here are some ideas:

  • Handmade crafts: Look for locally made pottery, textiles, and other crafts to take home as souvenirs.

  • Tequila: Bring home a bottle of Mexico’s famous spirit as a gift or to enjoy yourself.

  • Spices: Mexican spices like chili powder, cumin, and oregano make great gifts for foodie friends.

Local Culture and Customs of Centro

Mexico has a rich cultural heritage, and Centro is no exception. Visitors should be aware of local customs and show respect for the culture. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Religion: Mexico is a predominantly Catholic country, and many locals take their faith seriously. Be respectful when visiting churches and other religious sites.

  • Language: Spanish is the official language of Mexico. While many locals speak English, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Spanish before visiting.

  • Etiquette: Mexicans are generally polite and friendly, and visitors should show the same respect. It’s customary to greet people with a handshake or hug and to say “buenos dias” or “buenas tardes” when entering a shop or restaurant.

Best Time to Visit Centro

The best time to visit Centro is during the dry season, from November to April. The weather is cool and dry, with plenty of sunshine and low humidity. The wet season, from May to October, can be hot and humid, with frequent rain showers.

Do’s and Don’ts of Centro

When visiting Centro, visitors should be aware of local customs and etiquette. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Be polite: Mexicans are generally polite and friendly, and visitors should show the same respect.

  • Try the local food: Mexican cuisine is delicious and varied, and visitors should take advantage of the opportunity to try new dishes and flavors.

  • Learn some Spanish: While many locals speak English, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Spanish before visiting.


  • Take photos without permission: It’s considered rude to take photos of people without asking for their permission first.

  • Ignore local customs: Visitors should be respectful of local customs and show an interest in Mexican culture.

  • Engage in reckless behavior: Centro is a safe and welcoming district, but visitors should exercise caution and avoid engaging in risky behavior.

Safety and Health

While Centro is generally a safe district, visitors should take normal precautions to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:

Safety in Centro

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Visitors should stay alert and be aware of their surroundings, especially at night.

  • Use common sense: Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry and keep valuables out of sight.

  • Stay in safe areas: Stick to well-lit, populated areas and avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Centro

  • Stay hydrated: The hot, dry climate in Centro can lead to dehydration. Visitors should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

  • Protect against insects: Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and Zika virus are present in Mexico. Visitors should wear insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing to avoid bites.

  • Take precautions against the sun: Mexico’s high altitude can lead to intense UV radiation. Visitors should wear sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid sunburn.

Getting to Centro: Transportation Options and Logistics

Centro is easily accessible from other parts of Mexico by plane, bus, and car. Here are some of the most popular transportation options:

Airports Near Centro

  • Ponciano Arriaga International Airport: This airport is located in San Luis Potosi and offers flights to destinations throughout Mexico and the United States.

Bus Stations Near Centro

  • Terminal Terrestre de San Luis Potosi: This bus station is located in the north of the city and offers connections to other parts of Mexico.

Other Options

Visitors can also drive or take a taxi to Centro from other parts of San Luis Potosi or surrounding areas.

How to Get Around in Centro

Centro is a walkable district, with most attractions within easy walking distance of each other. Visitors can also take taxis or use public transportation to get around. Rental bikes and scooters are also available for those looking to explore the area on two wheels.

Where to Go Next from Centro: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Centro is a great base for exploring other parts of San Luis Potosi and the surrounding areas. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Real de Catorce: This historic mining town is located about two hours from San Luis Potosi and is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful desert scenery.

  • Xilitla: This charming town is home to the surreal sculpture garden of Edward James, a British artist and poet.

  • El Charco del Ingenio: This natural reserve is located in the nearby city of Guanajuato and offers hiking trails, botanical gardens, and stunning views.


Centro is a fascinating and beautiful district with something for everyone, from history buffs to foodies to outdoor enthusiasts. With this comprehensive tour guide, you’ll be able to plan the perfect trip to Centro and experience all that this vibrant part of Mexico has to offer.