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Peña de Bernal

Bernal

The Peña de Bernal is the third largest monolith in the world, after the Rock of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean and the Pan de Azúcar in Rio de Janeiro. It rises majestically above the Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) of San Sebastián Bernal, in Querétaro, which was founded in the 17th century.

The Peña de Bernal sits an estimated 8,235 feet above sea level and rises 1,148 feet above the town. As such, its summit allows for a panoramic view of this entire region in Querétaro.

The Peña is considered a sacred site within Otomí-Chichimeca culture, owing to the pre-Hispanic cross carved out of stone that lies at its summit. Otomí-Chichimeca ancestors used to venerate it before the arrival of the Spanish and the evangelization of the region. To this day, local indigenous people hike to the summit, in procession, every May fourth, carrying a 187-pound wooden cross.

The best way to experience the Peña de Bernal is by hiking up one of its sides. The trail is laid out perfectly, so no additional or special climbing equipment is required. However, not everyone is able to summit the monolith, given the fact that the last 148-foot stretch is completely vertical and, as such, requires additional equipment. Expeditions are available for hire in the town.

Another way to explore the monolith is aboard a safari truck, which takes you to visit a spring and a cavern filled with cave art, hidden along the hill.

The Peña de Bernal is the third largest monolith in the world, after the Rock of Gibraltar in the Mediterranean and the Pan de Azúcar in Rio de Janeiro. It rises majestically above the Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) of San Sebastián Bernal, in Querétaro, which was founded in the 17th century.

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The Peña de Bernal sits an estimated 8,235 feet above sea level and rises 1,148 feet above the town. As such, its summit allows for a panoramic view of this entire region in Querétaro.

The Peña is considered a sacred site within Otomí-Chichimeca culture, owing to the pre-Hispanic cross carved out of stone that lies at its summit. Otomí-Chichimeca ancestors used to venerate it before the arrival of the Spanish and the evangelization of the region. To this day, local indigenous people hike to the summit, in procession, every May fourth, carrying a 187-pound wooden cross.

The best way to experience the Peña de Bernal is by hiking up one of its sides. The trail is laid out perfectly, so no additional or special climbing equipment is required. However, not everyone is able to summit the monolith, given the fact that the last 148-foot stretch is completely vertical and, as such, requires additional equipment. Expeditions are available for hire in the town.

Another way to explore the monolith is aboard a safari truck, which takes you to visit a spring and a cavern filled with cave art, hidden along the hill.

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