If you’re planning a visit to Bernal, Mexico you may be shocked by the high prices of hotel rooms in this tiny village. While hostels and hotels in most smaller communities offer extremely attractive rates, Bernal grew up at the base of La Pena, the third highest monolithic rock in the world, exceeded only by Sugarloaf Mountain in Brazil and the Rock of Gibraltar. Over the years, La Pena has developed something of a cult following. Myths abound with regard to the spiritual qualities of the rock, with many claiming that it exudes an energy that keeps people who live in the town especially healthy; indeed, Bernal claims to have more centenarians than almost anywhere else in the world. Seeking a little bit of this healing energy, Mexicans and foreign tourists flock to Bernal every weekend to hike the rock and enjoy the evening light and sound show that bathes the rock in multi-colored light.
As with most major tourist destinations, the rates for accommodations in Bernal are generally high. However I did find one very affordable option, Posada Real de Bernal. Located just a block from the adorable town square, this inn is clean and safe and even has room for three cars to park behind the large wooden doors that are secured at night. The rooms are private and each has an ensuite bathroom and air conditioning. My bed was very comfortable and the inn even provided purified drinking water for all its guests. Best of all, if was squeaky clean and had free in-room wifi. Room prices range from $24 to $28 USD, according to the Internet, but I just showed up without a reservation and paid $16 per night for weekend days and slightly less for weekdays.
Most everything in Bernal happens on the weekend. Once Monday rolls around, the town closes up tighter than a drum. I had a difficult time even finding an open restaurant on Monday and most of the shops were closed. The inn has no website but reservations can be made by calling directly to Mexico at +52 (441) 296-4155. Posada Real de Bernal is located at Independencia No. 28, on the street that lies between the main highway and the center of town.