- Capital: Saltillo
- Area: 58,519 miles² (149,511 km²), 7.6 % of the national territory
- Population: 2.5 million
- Topography: extensive plains interrupted by the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range; minimum altitude is 650 feet (200 m) above sea level. The highest peak is Cerro del Morro at 12,170 ft (3,710 m) above sea level.
- Climate: the northwest is extremely hot; in the lowlands the average temperature is 21°C with extremes between day and night
- Flora: pine trees and conifers in the mountains, cacti, cardón and scrub brush in the lowlands
- Fauna: rattlesnakes, scorpions, lizards, deer, peccary, puma, and a great variety of birds
Located in northeastern Mexico, Coahuila is mainly desert, largely undeveloped and only sparsely populated.
Saltillo, the state capital, was founded in 1577 and the first mission was built in 1591 to educate and convert the local indigenous people. Lovely colonial buildings and a moderate climate make it a great place for a short stay. However, the city contains the reminder of a historic defeat: it was just south of here, at Buenavista, that Mexico lost a decisive battle and thus lost control of its northeast territory to the United States. Since, Saltillo has developed some big industries and the area around has gained importance for cattle ranching and agriculture. Monclova, Coahuila's second biggest city, is home to one of Mexico's largest iron and steel works.
Piedras Negras is an important border crossing point for visitors from the U.S., located on the northeastern edge of the state, across the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande) from Eagle Pass, Texas. Piedras Negras means "black stones," in reference to the area's coal deposits. The border city is the starting point of highway Mex. 57, also known as la Carretera de la Constitucion which runs south to Mexico City. See our Mexico driving distances calculator for the distance between Piedras Negras and other Mexican destinations.
The town of Torreón in the southeast on the border to the state of Durango is a good starting point to explore the desert that stretches north all the way to Mapimi and the Zona del Silencio. Mapimi was once an important mining center and, passing a spectacular 300 m-long suspension bridge over a deep gorge, you will find the entrance to the mine and can go on a guided walk into the 800 m tunnel. The name “silent zone” is said to derive from the fact that radio waves cannot propagate in this area that is covered by meteorites. It is part of the Reserva de la Biósfera Bolsón de Mapimi dedicated to the research of desert flora and fauna, especially a rare tortoise.
The small town of Cuatrociénagas lies in a valley in the middle of the Desierto Chihuahuanse. Due to innumerable underground springs that have formed rivers and pools, this desert region has developed an isolated habitat of extraordinary biological diversity that was declared an natural protected area. One of the natural pools, Poza La Becerra, is set up as a recreational facility; a cool swim in the middle of this desert landscape is an unforgettable experience. Also interesting is a visit of an area called Las Arenales; white sand dunes formed by crystallised gypsum stand against the mountain ranges around the valley.
How to get there: there are airports in Saltillo, Monclova and Torreón as well as good bus connections to and from major cities in Mexico.
List of Mexican states