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Renowned for its sharp limestone and warm winter temperatures, El Potrero Chico is known as Mexico’s sport climbing paradise. Only a short walk away from the accommodations, these rock climbing classics boast stunning options for all levels of climbers. Beginners will enjoy cragging on solid, sharp limestone, which lends itself to intuitive and flowy face climbing, while experienced climbers can sink their teeth in Potrero’s long multi-pitches, including the legendary Time Wave Zero, one of the longest sport climbs in North America, while “Little Coral” hides some big climbs—and there are plenty of pitches to go around. 

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Adventure highlights

  • Sharp, stable limestone that feels intuitive for beginner climbers

  • The “approaches” are just five-minute walks from most campgrounds

  • One of the biggest concentrations of long multi-pitches in North America

Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the fantastic climbing, culture, and cuisine of El Potrero Chico. Spend a week upgrading your technique and sending Portero’s steep limestone routes—both single and multi-pitch—with an AMGA-certified instructor. With one guide per two climbers, customizable climbing objectives and progress are guaranteed! Then, after a day of pushing yourself on the rocks, unwind over traditional delicacies in excellent local restaurants.

  • Fly into Monterrey—the largest city in northern Mexico. El Potrero Chico is located by the town of Hidalgo, which is less than one hour away from Monterrey. The easiest and the fastest way to get to Hidalgo is to take a taxi—your guide can help you organize a drive that will take you directly to your accommodation. Once everyone has arrived, go to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner to get to know your guide and fellow climbers and discuss your goals!
    NOTE: Make sure to fly into Monterrey before 5 pm.

    Tops of large limestone formations at El Potrero Chico illuminated during sunset.
  • Start your day with a hearty breakfast in your accommodation. Spend your first climbing day cragging with your group. You’ll be warming up to the climbing in Potrero and reviewing (as well as learning) the fundamentals, while your guide will ascertain your skill level. Finish the day at a local restaurant to get a taste of Mexico.

    Two rock climbers preparing to start climbing another pitch during a multi-pitch climb at El Potrero Chico.
  • During the main portion of the course, your group will be split into two: some climbers will head out to send some multi-pitch routes, while others get to enjoy some cragging. Your guides will cycle everyone through, making sure that each participant has ample opportunity to get on a few multi-pitch climbs if they want to. The climbing instruction that you’ll be receiving will be as good as it gets—with the ratio of only two climbers per one guide. After tackling different routes all day, your group will head to a different local restaurant each evening to sample as many Mexican delicacies as possible. Your guide can also organize a taco tour of Hidalgo—food will definitely be one of the highlights of your El Potrero Chico escapade. 

    Two rock climbers climbing a route at a limestone crag at El Potrero Chico.
  • After a morning debrief, head out and make your way to the airport to return home. Your guide can help arrange transportation. Say goodbye to your guide, fellow climbers and Mexico—or continue touring on your own. 

    Large limestone rock formations shrouded in mist at El Potrero Chico, Mexico.
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Meet your guides

The Climbing School
5.00
The Climbing School
The Climbing School is an organization of AMGA Certified Rock Guides dedicated to teaching climbers how to safely and efficiently spend time in the mountains or at the crag. They enjoy sharing their experiences with new and old friends and love pushing themselves and their guests to improve their skills in the mountains.
Lani Chapko
5.00
Lani Chapko
Lani is an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide from Index, Washington. She has explored climbing destinations worldwide, including Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Nepal, Mexico, and Canada, combining her love for climbing and travel. With a specialization in crack climbing and big walling, Lani has accomplished notable achievements such as completing a grade VI big wall ascent on Mt Index. Additionally, she holds a degree in engineering, enabling her to effectively teach the technical aspects of climbing. Lani is Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace trainer certified, and she has also completed a Professional Level 2 Avalanche Course.
Sam Boyce
5.00
Sam Boyce
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Sam’s passion for climbing and adventure was ingrained at a young age. Sam has achieved remarkable feats, including multiple ascents of the renowned El Capitan, spanning from single-day challenges to extended expeditions lasting up to eight days. His true passion lies in the thrill of adventure climbing and pioneering first ascents across a diverse range of styles, from single-pitch sport climbs to hidden trad lines and challenging backcountry big wall aid climbs. Since 2015, Sam has dedicated himself full-time to sharing his expertise to others. Alongside being an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, he is also AMGA Assistant Alpine Guide, a certified Wilderness First Responder, a Leave no Trace Trainer, and has successfully completed an Avalanche Professional Level 1 course.
5.00 (1 reviews)
Patrick Carney

Awesome, El Potrero Chico was an amazing time, like a giant outdoor climbing facility!
Lani and Sam were great! Very knowledgeable and professional!

Things to know

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in El Potrero Chico, Mexico, please refer to the U.S. Consulate’s travel advisory for Mexico.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • Seasoned, AMGA-certified rock climbing guides with extensive knowledge of the area
      • Seven days of professional rock climbing instruction
      • Accommodations in a shared house for the duration of the tour
      • Welcome dinner on day 1
      • Dinner in local restaurants on days 2-7
      • Use of group climbing equipment such as ropes, rack, and quickdraws

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Monterrey, Mexico
      • Taxi fees from Monterrey to El Potrero Chico and back
      • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks on days 1-7 (transportation to the grocery store can be arranged with your guide)
      • Meals on days 0 and 8
      • Personal climbing equipment
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • If you can climb a ladder, you’re good to go. Being in good shape is always a plus but far from necessary. Like climbing in the gym, outdoor rock climbing is all about using good movement technique rather than muscling up a cliff using brute strength. To ensure you have a fun day, your guide will choose routes that best suit your skill and fitness level.

  • For this adventure, some indoor climbing experience is necessary, but you don’t need to have any experience with outdoor climbing. Whether you’ve never donned a harness or you’re a seasoned climber, a guide will help you meet your individual objectives. Above all, your instructor’s number one priority is your safety. As long as you listen to the given instructions, you’ll succeed in completing your climb.

  • For technical climbing equipment, you’ll need:

      • Helmet
      • Harness with belay and gear loops
      • Four locking and four non-locking carabiners
      • One 48” or “double length” nylon sling
      • Tube-style belay/rappel device
      • Prusik loop
      • Rock shoes
      • Multi-pitch climbing pack (10-15L)
      • Cordelette, quickdraws, and belay gloves — optional
      • Assisted braking belay device — optional
      • Chalk bag — optional

    Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-50L bag)
      • Water bottles with 2.5-3L of water capacity
      • Snacks that you like but aren’t available in Mexico — optional
      • Approach shoes
      • Moisture-wicking clothes
      • Spare clothes for layering and 7 days of climbing
      • Toiletries ( bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Sunglasses
      • Sunscreen and lip balm
      • Headlamp
      • Camera — optional

    Your guides can supply some rentals and are happy to make recommendations on what to buy.

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Your group will stay in a private spacious house, just a short walking distance from the climbing routes. The house will have multiple bedrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen and Wi-Fi. 

    If you prefer to stay in your own accommodation and want to make sure that you won’t have to share a room with anyone, your guide can reserve an apartment for the week for $400 extra. You can share this cost with a friend or partner if desired. 

  • You’ll be able to buy yourself food for breakfasts and lunches at local markets. Expect nothing less than the freshest food of very high quality at affordable prices! 

    Your guide can cater to various dietary restrictions, just reach out ahead of time to make the arrangements..

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this group retreat, the maximum number of participants is 4.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 
      • A lot of people sign up alone. It is a great way to network and meet new friends and climbing partners.

    Rock climbing in El Potrero Chico can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the retreat on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to El Potrero Chico, most people fly into Monterrey International Airport 45 minutes away. From there, your guides will arrange a taxi for you to take you straight to your accommodation for the trip. To make things easier for yourself and your guide, we recommend arriving at Monterrey before 5 pm on the first day of your trip.

  • For set dates, a 20% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The remaining amount is paid 2 months (60 days) prior to departure. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies. 

      • If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to sixty (60) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund minus the deposit. 
      • After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non-refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.
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