Hiking Puente de Dios Queretaro in the Sierra Gorda
Puente de Dios, Queretaro is one of the top outdoor adventures within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.
This natural area offers a beautiful hike along the Escanela River which flows through an ecosystem of native trees and wildlife.
As you make your way up the Escanela River, you will cross several wooden bridges along the rocky river before you reach Puente de Dios, Sierra Gorda.
The 4-mile hike itself is relatively easy and can be completed in about two hours during a guided tour to Puente de Dios, Queretaro.
This guide to Puente de Dios will tell you everything you need to know from how to get there to the costs as well as additional tips along the way.
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Where is Puente de Dios in the Sierra Gorda?
Puente de Dios, or Bridge of God, is located along the Escanela River, about 100 mi (164 km) east of the city of Queretaro. From the city center, it takes about 3 hours to drive to Puente de Dios.
It takes about 30 minutes to get to Puente de Dios Queretaro from Pinal de Amoles and 45 minutes from Jalpan de Serra.
Keep in mind, this Puente de Dios is located in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. There is another spectacular natural site called Puente de Dios, Tamasopo.
In fact, you may be interested to read my full guide to La Huasteca Potosina which is a great addition to exploring the Sierra Gorda since you can combine both trips into one if you have at least 12 days.
How to Get to Puente de Dios, Queretaro
If you decide to rent a car in Queretaro and drive, Google Maps provides fairly accurate directions to get to Puente de Dios.
From highway 120 there is a turn-off for Cañón de la Angostura (map) located about 10 mi (16 km) from Pinal de Amoles and 15 mi (25 km) from Jalpan de Serra.
You’ll see a large sign at the entrance to the road announcing that Puente de Dios is 4 km ahead.
There are a couple of small stores at the turn-off as well in case you need to purchase anything. However, if you take my recommendation to arrive early, they may not be open yet.
In the last part of the drive to Puente de Dios, Queretaro takes you down to the Angostura Canyon along a dirt road.
We drove slowly while admiring the morning mountain views and had no issues in our compact rental car.
Puente de Dios Queretaro Tour
If you decide not to drive, you’ll need to take a tour of Puente de Dios, Queretaro. While you can take a bus to Pinal de Amoles or Jalpan de Serra, getting to Puente de Dios without a car might be difficult.
In fact, you can make the most of your time in the Sierra Gorda when you book this tour to Puente de Dios which also visits Cuatro Palos and the town of Pinal de Amoles.
How to Hike Puente de Dios, Sierra Gorda
To hike to Puente de Dios, Queretaro, you are required to go with a guide from the local community. While I typically prefer nature walks solo, our group was small and pleasant.
In addition, the guide provided interesting information about the flora and fauna we saw along the way. Our guide only spoke Spanish, though perhaps you can ask for a bilingual guide at the ticket booth.
The 2 mi (3 km) hike to Puente de Dios takes about 40 minutes each way as it follows the Escanela River into the Angostura Canyon and to Puente de Dios.
Keep in mind, if your group takes their time you should expect the hike to take closer to an hour each way.
It’s a peaceful walk as you observe the surrounding forest, crystal clear water, and wildlife that inhabits the area.
Along the way, you’ll pass over several wooden bridges that transport you across the river. And at one point, visitors need to climb a small wooden ladder to an elevated platform built along the river.
I consider this relatively flat hike to be easy, though that will partially depend on the water level of the river. I recommend wearing comfortable water shoes (see what to pack) as there are a couple of rocky areas to cross.
Best Time to Visit Puente de Dios, Queretaro
The best time of year to visit Puente de Dios, Queretaro is from November to June.
Our guide told me that the hike is often impassable during the months of August and September. However, this will depend on the water level of the river during these months, which is the peak of the rainy season.
It’s also best to visit Puente de Dios in the morning since they cap the visitors to 600 per day.
Going early in the morning also increases the chances that there will be fewer people on the trail during the hike.
We arrived around 8 am, just after they opened. We were asked to wait about 20 minutes for others to arrive and join the tour.
Though they would have taken just the two of us on the guided hike had no one else arrived after 20 minutes. On the walk back, the trail was clearly more busy as we passed several groups of hikers.
Hours – 8 am to 4 pm every day
Cost – 175 pesos per person for the hike, 30 pesos to park
Reaching Puente de Dios
As you hike further, the beauty of Cañón de la Angostura begins to reveal itself. The river flows a little faster and has a rich turquoise color. While the rocks along the river become more boulder-like in size.
After about 40 minutes on the trail, you’ll reach Puente de Dios (Bridge of God). This area is best described as a semi-open cave with beautiful rock formations.
Towards the center is an opening through which a waterfall flows. When we visited in late March, the water was quite shallow at Puente de Dios (and along the hike).
Otherwise, I’ve read of people swimming in this area. Though keep in mind, you’ll only be given about 15 minutes to admire Puente de Dios before your guide directs you back to the entrance.
Despite this, I never felt rushed during the hike. The guide was patient while I took pictures and asked questions about the flora and fauna in the area.
Costs to Access Puente de Dios, Queretaro
With an entrance fee of 175 pesos, I find the cost of Puente de Dios Queretaro to be quite steep.
However, I was happy to support the local community and the preservation of this beautiful part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.
Keep in mind, it also costs to park at Puente de Dios. While we paid 30 pesos for our car, I have read reports of others paying up to 75 pesos to park.
Perhaps it depends on the type of car or the season.
What to Pack for Puente de Dios
In my opinion, the most important thing to pack for Puente de Dios Queretaro is a pair of comfortable water shoes.
Depending on the temperatures and time of day, you may wish to change into your water shoes just before the hike. It was quite chilly when we arrived early in the morning.
Otherwise, if you plan to swim you will want to bring a bathing suit and a quick-drying microfiber towel.
And of course, a camera or phone to record the beautiful scenery. While we didn’t need them with the low water levels in March, you may want to consider buying a waterproof cell phone case or a dry bag to protect your things.
I found these last items quite useful while traveling through Mexico, especially when we explored La Huasteca Potosina. I also used these items a lot when I visited the hot springs of Las Grutas Tolantongo in Hidalgo.
Quick Packing List for Puente de Dios, Queretaro
- Water Shoes
- Bathing Suit
- Microfiber Towel
- Waterproof Phone Case
- Dry Bag
Other Places to Visit Near Pinal de Amoles
The area of Pinal de Amoles is the gateway for the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. You likely already have most of these on your list.
But here is a quick summary of other things to do near Pinal de Amoles. When needed, there are links to full posts you may find helpful.
Mirador Cuatro Palos
I consider Mirador Cuatro Palos to be the jumping off point for the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. It’s located just an hour and a half east of Bernal, Queretaro which while technically not part of the Sierra Gorda should be your first stop.
I highly recommend renting a car in Queretaro so that you can stay in one of the cabins at Cuatro Palos. Simply spending the evening in this remote location and waking up among the clouds significantly added to the experience.
Plus, you’ll appreciate being close for the early morning hike to the viewpoint.
Hours – Monday to Friday 6 am and 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 5 am and 5 pm
Cost – 80 pesos per person for the guided hike
Puerta del Cielo
Puerta del Cielo (Heaven’s door) is a brief stop near the touristic letters of Pinal de Amoles.
The area surrounding this point is often bathed in clouds, making it seem as though you are driving into the sky.
Most travelers simply stop here to take photographs but you should also explore the town of Pinal de Amoles.
Tip – The streets in Pinal de Amoles are very narrow and can be difficult to navigate. The town is so small that I recommend parking along the highway and walking.
El Chuveje Waterfall
Cascada el Chuveje is a gorgeous waterfall located in the Sierra Gorda, about 30 minutes from Pinal de Amoles.
The falls themselves might be the main attraction, but the hike along the river is just as beautiful and calming.
Along the walk, keep an eye out for native birds and other wildlife. As we were leaving, a group of cows playful bounded down to the river for a drink of water.
Once you are there, plan on spending at least one or two hours walking along the river and enjoying Cascada el Cheveje.
A visit to this majestic waterfall should definitely be included in any traveler’s itinerary when visiting the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.
Hours – 9 am to 5 pm every day
Cost – 80 pesos per person
Final Thoughts About Visiting Puente de Dios, Sierra Gorda
While it takes a bit of effort to get to Puente de Dios, it’s easily doable whether you rent a car in Queretaro or book this one-day tour of the Sierra Gorda.
I highly recommend taking a few hours one morning to visit Puente de Dios from Pinal de Amoles or Jalpan de Serra depending on which best fits into your Sierra Gorda itinerary.
About Julien Casanova
I’m happy you found me. I’m a solo female traveler and the creator of Cultures Traveled. I specialize in Mexico and Colombia travel with an emphasis on getting out of routine bucket list travel so you can immerse yourself in the local culture, make new friends, and experience different traditions.