El Cerro del Pueblo overlooks the city. Due to its higher elevation,
the city is much cooler and drier than nearby Monterrey.
Desert takes center stage at the Museo
del Desierto located at Perez Trevino 3745 in the Parque
Alameda Zaragoza is the largest park in the city and has an
artificial lake with the shape of the Mexican Republic.
The city is home to the Saraperos
DEAD BIRD MUSEUM
Saltillo's impressive Mexican Bird Museum (Museo de las Aves)
opened its doors in 1993 in the ex-Colegio de San Juan Nepomuceno
at the corner of Hidalgo and Bolivar. This is the country's
largest permanent collection of Mexican birds, collected by
Aldegundo Garza de Leon over a period of 40 years.
The museum contains about 1,800 specimens representing more
than 70 percent of native Mexican birds. Exhibits depict the
birds' relationships to various ecosystems as well as their
mating rituals, migration patterns, and bird songs.
The distinctive Mexican sarape has been produced since the
arrival of Spanish colonists. Geometetric figures and vibrant
colors characterize the garment, used to protect the wearer
from inclement weather.
Saltillo was founded in 1577. Spanish colonists moved to the
region and were joined by a settlement of Tlaxcaltecas.
In 1824 the city was made the capital of Coahuila and Texas,
in a territory that includes the present-day states as well
Leon. Over time and after a war with the United
States, the territory shrunk to its current boundaries.
The state's recent success in attracting new businesses from
the United States and Mexico into its borders has created some
obstacles for conservation. The state is becoming urbanized
and industrialized, often at the cost of survival of desert
plants and animals.
Less than 30 minutes from the city's center is the Sierra
de Zapaliname, a state reserve and canyon. The park, located
off of Highway 54 toward Zacatecas, is suitable for hiking,
but beware of flash floods. Near the entrance is a reforestation
project run by the Antonio
Narro Universidad Autonoma Agraria.
Just 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) east of Saltillo is the town
of Arteaga on Highway 57. The pine-forested area is home to
the maroon-fronted parrot and other bird species. The town is
also famed for its apple production and handicrafts. The mountains
are great for hiking.