La Joya Honda – Barranca, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

La Joya Honda

Barranca, Mexico

Legend has it thieves once stashed their treasures in this crater in the Mexican desert.  


During the Mexican Revolution the country was ripe for bandits and gunmen, and loot was bountiful. As such, thieves needed a place to store all that money. Luckily for them there was this huge crater in the middle of the desert, full of caves and very difficult to access. So they stashed their treasures inside La Joya Honda.

The location of the crater has been known to people in the area in San Luis Potosí, Mexico since the Huachichil people inhabited the region, who called this kind of volcanic crater Xalapasco, meaning “waterless crater.”

La Joya Honda has been the source of legends and mystery ever since, and people in the nearby communities have passed down stories for generations. According to legend, the crater has not only housed bandits, but is also a place where witches can be sighted some nights, and where UFOs tend to land from time to time. 

The crater is 800m wide and 200m deep. One of the world’s deepest maar craters, it has generated a completely different microclimate inside the maar. Today the maar is an abandoned park, in which you can not only see the crater, but the abandoned buildings that were once built to transform it into the most unique adventure park in the region.

Know Before You Go

Take water, food and company with you, since it is a bit isolated and anything could happen.

To get to the maar take the exit in estación ventura and follow the signals placed by the locals, the use of four wheel drive cars or motorcycles is reccomended.

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August 26, 2016

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