Peña de Bernal (in English: Bernal’s Boulder or Bernal Peak) is the second-largest monolith in the world, after Mount Augustus, Western Australia. At 433 meters (1420 ft) it is also the fourth-tallest monolith in the world, after Mount Augustus, the Rock of Gibraltar and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Peña de Bernal is located in San Sebastián Bernal, a small town in the Mexican state of Querétaro.
According to Leonor López Domínguez of México Desconocido, the porphyrytic monolith was formed some 100 million years ago during the Jurassic period, when it must have been at least three times higher than today.
Many people make a pilgrimage to the highest point hikeable, visiting a little chapel about halfway up.
Things to do here:
Peña de Bernal – Climb the second-largest monolith in the world (about 350 meters high).
Rock Climbing – There are many multi-pitch sports routes on la peña. There are also more routes and some bouldering on the near-by el capitan.
Shopping – The town of Bernal is full of shops that sell locally made souvenirs, arts and crafts, and clothing. This is a great place to find unique items.
Eating out – Enjoy local restaurants that serve delicious traditional meals, and drinks.
Tours – There are a number of tours that will take you around the town, show you different angles of Peña de Bernal, and other points of interest in and around the town.
Getting to Peña de Bernal
Fly to Mexico City and take a bus to Querétaro ($20-$30), from Querétaro to Bernal is another bus that’s about $3-5. Or you can rent a car. The highway between Querétaro and Bernal is very safe and has had major upgrades recently making for a nice 40 minute drive.
If you are driving then take care not to miss the exit to Bernal right after the town of San Cristobal. It is a small exit under the bridge that takes you around and up onto the road that continues on top of the bridge. Stay on the right as it is one lane both-ways.