Rock Climbing Retreat in El Potrero Chico

El Potrero Chico | Mexico
Trip Highlights

Top reasons to go on a climbing retreat in El Potrero Chico

  • Trip Highlight

    Sharp, stable limestone that feels intuitive for beginner climbers

  • Trip Highlight

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

  • Trip Highlight

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

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 campsites, these big wall classics accommodate 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, the longest sport climb in North America, while “Little Coral” hides some big climbs—and there are plenty of pitches to go around. 

Season

November through January

Nearest city

Monterrey, Mexico, is 45 minutes away from El Potrero Chico

Duration

8 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

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Rock Climbing Retreat in El Potrero Chico

8 days

Immerse yourself in the fantastic climbing, culture, and cuisine of El Potrero Chico. Spend a week upgrading your technique and sending Potrero’s steep limestone routes—both single and multi-pitch, depending on your skill level—with an AMGA-certified instructor. Then, after a day of pushing yourself on the rocks, unwind over traditional delicacies in excellent local restaurants.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 0: Arriving at El Potrero Chico

Fly into Monterrey, Mexico. From there, your guides will coordinate a taxi to take you straight to your accommodation, a shared house within walking distance from the routes.
NOTE: Make sure to fly into Monterrey before 5 pm.

A rock climber posing for a photo in El Potrero Chico, Mexico.

Days 1-2: Warming up and going over the fundamentals

Spend your first climbing days cragging with your group. On day 1, you’ll be warming up to the climbing in Potrero and reviewing the fundamentals. Day 2 will be spent practicing your techniques, from anchor building and cleaning to rappelling. If you’re interested, your guide can introduce you to leading and multi-pitch systems.

A climber sending a route on a scenic crag in El Potrero Chico.

Days 3-7: Cragging and multi-pitching

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.

A climber multi-pitching in front of an impressive vista in El Potrero Chico.

Day 8: Return

After a morning debrief, head out and make your way to the airport to return home.

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Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in El Potrero Chico, Mexico

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’s included?

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
    • Dinners in local restaurants on days 1-7
    • 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

How fit do I need to be?

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.

What if I’ve never climbed before?

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.

What do I need to bring?

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 breaking 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
    • Food you can eat on the go
    • 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.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this group retreat, the max client-to-guide ratio is 3:1. 
    • The cost does not decrease as the group grows. 

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.

Deposits and cancellation policy

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.

Getting there and meeting location

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.

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