Photo: Courtesy of Sombrerete Tourism Board

Visit and hear the sounds of the Organ Mountains in Zacatecas

Viridiana Ramírez
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The breathtaking volcanic columns have been carved by thousands of years of wind erosion and have been used to film movies such as For Greater Glory and Bandidas.

Organ recitals are no longer just for theaters and cathedrals, you can now also enjoy one in the middle of colossal columns of volcanic rock. Strong winds push through the columns to create sweet melodies that are heard throughout the entire region. However, for the best seats in the house, you'd have to visit the Sierra de Órganos (Organ Mountains Region), just outside the Somrerete Magical Town in the State of Zacatecas.

A hike through the Sierra de Órganos nature reserve will take you through massive rhyolite volcanic rock columns that, thanks to thousands of years of wind erosion, have been molded into curious shapes and natural sculptures that resemble the pipes of an ancient church organ. Lucky visitors will also catch a glimpse of the park's most famous resident, the golden eagle, which is endemic to the region.

Inside the park, visitors can enjoy two types of tours, both of which are free. The first is two hour-long tour of wildlife, plants, and other interesting sights such as caves and cracks in the columns where silver mine thieves used to hide their stolen goods.

The second expedition is for those who are more daring and aren't scared to climb the over 140 foot-tall columns. This tour also includes mountain biking through the sites where movies were filmed, such as For Greater Glory, staring Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria, and Bandidas, staring Penelope Cruz, Salma Hayek and Steve Zahn.

Visitors are allowed to camp at the park or stay inside one of its rustic cabins, which are equipped with fireplaces and kitchenettes.

The Sombrerete Magical Town (Pueblo Mágico de Sombrerete) is located just 25 minutes outside of the Sierra de Órganos park. The town maintains to this day many of its colonial era monumental constructions. At the Our Lady of Solitude convent, nuns still produce homemade rompope, which is a traditional eggnog-like drink, and bake and sell fresh bread on a daily basis. You can also enjoy a menu of over 500 varities of artisanal beer, with brujitas, which are small empanadas filled with beans, beef and potatoes.


To get there, buses leave from the Zacatecas main bus terminal and travel directly to Sombrerete in about an hour and a half. A one-way ticket costs 250 pesos (around 12 dollars). Once in Sombrerete, the Municipal Tourism Board takes to to the park for free. However, you have to make a reservation by calling 01 (433) 935 1438.

Where to sleep:

Cabins cost 650 pesos (around 31 dollars) per night and fit six people.

Camping permits cost 60 pesos (around 3 dollars) per person.

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