Saltillo is a beautiful small colonial city in Northern Mexico. It is a traditional city with a colorful history. A city that was an important point on the 19th century Camino Real, yet a city with a diverse modern manufacturing economy. Interior designers know Saltillo for its famous thick, lightly glazed, earthen ceramic floor tiles, and the brightly colored shawls known as sarapes are part of the city's colorful tradition. Today, Saltillo is a government center, a college town, and a manufacturing city with big factories outside the city limits producing chemicals, metals, auto parts, and trucks.
Saltillo's International Airport (IATA|SLW) is located on the north side of the city, about 10 minutes from downtown. It is served by a regional carriers to Monterrey and Mexico City. There is one daily flight from the U.S.: a Continental Express flight from Houston, however, convenient flight schedules are available to nearby Monterrey.
Many bus lines serve Saltillo, including Omnibus de Mexico, Transportes del Norte, Turistar, Futura (Estrella Blanca) and Coahuilenses (Grupo Senda). Trans-border buses to the U.S. are also available from Saltillo.
From Monterrey (either the central bus station or the airport) there are hourly buses going to Saltillo, run by Coahuilenses. Also, these make two stops inside the city before arriving to the bus terminal. For most hotels, you'll want to drop off at "Hospital del Niño" (first stop), in the northern part of the city, and take a taxi there. In this same spot, across the avenue, you can take a bus back directly to the airport.
Palacio de Gobierno (Coahuila State House), attractive colonial era state house featuring bright open courtyards and a series of murals depicting Coahuila history, painetd by Salvador Tarazona.
Cathedral of Saltillo, stunning cathedral built in the mid 18th century, spectacular churrigueresque facade, 6-inch thick doors of carved mahogany and cedar featuring St. Paul and St. Peter, stunning silver-plated altar.
Museo del Desierto (Museum of the Desert), large, modern museum organized as a series of pavilions, each exploring a particular aspect of desert life. The focus is on the enormous Chihuahua desert, and the museum's centerpiece is an enormous T-Rex skeleton, excavated in the nearby desert. Great for kids!
Museo de las Aves (Museum of Birds), large, modern museum showcasing more than 2,000 stuffed and mounted birds, representing nearly every species found in Mexico.
Parque Alameda Zaragoza, tranquil city park featuring towering cedars and long walkways through an immaculately landscaped garden. Playgrounds for kids, benches for strolling lovers on a Sunday afternoon.
Vito Alessio Cultural Center, relatively small museum, located a block from the cathedral at the corner of Hidalgo and Aldama. Not a lot to see, but admission is free and it is the site of a fascinating series of murals depicting the history of Coahuila, and life of Vito Alessio, a revolution-era general born in the local area.
Galerias Saltillo, Blvd. Nazario Ortiz Garza #2345 Col. Tanque de Peña C.P. 25279 Saltillo, Coahuila (Just a couple of blocks off 40), ☎ (844) 485 3600 al 04, . 11AM to 9 PM. This is the local upscale shopping mall. It features several popular chain stores and also a number of small boutiques. The prices are comparable to the United States (no good deals here), but the products are interesting. Many things are made in Mexico. There is good access to ATMs here. Parking costs 5 pesos for two hours.edit
Some unique regional dishes that are specialties of Saltillo include:
Pan de pulque - a delightfully sweet airy bread that owes its texture to the use of fermented agave juice in its batter. Widely available throughout the city, you can also grab a loaf to go from the shops across the street from the bus station.
El Tapanco, Calle Allende Sur 225, 844 414 4339. Outstanding restaurant with courtyard setting, intimate dining rooms, and traditional Mexican cooking. Their tortilla soup is one of the best in Mexico.
Like the rest of Northern Mexico, Saltillo is prone to occasional violence. Avoid being out alone at night, a good guidline is to avoid bars/casinos/bad neighborhoods/ and be in by dark. Travel with another person when possible, even in the daytime. Don't drive unless you are accustomed to Mexican driving/roads.