San Luis Potosí is the capital of and most populous city in the Mexican state of the same name. The city lies at an elevation of about 6,000 feet. It has an estimated population of over 700,000 inhabitants in the city proper, and a population of over 1 million in its metropolitan area. This makes the metropolitan area the tenth largest in Mexico.
Buisness in San Luis Potosi
The city is one of the main industrial centers in central Mexico, with a prolific manufacturing industry. The city is strategically located halfway between Mexico City and the United States border, as well as in the middle of the triangle formed by Mexico City and the other two largest cities in Mexico, Guadalajara and Monterrey. A number of foreign industries have chosen to invest in San Luis Potosí in the last decades thanks to its strategic location for trade.
San Luis Potosí’s economy owes much of its success to the state’s thriving manufacturing and agriculture industries. Also, some of the richest silver mines in Mexico are located in the northern part of the state. Gold, copper and zinc are also mined there.
Manufacturing accounts for about 26 percent of the economy. General service-based companies represent 18 percent, followed by trade activities at 17 percent, finance and insurance at 15 percent, agriculture and livestock at 9 percent, transportation and communications at 9 percent, construction at 5 percent and mining at 1 percent.
Most of the state’s industrial activities–food processing, automobile manufacturing, mining and textiles–take place in or around the capital city. Many large foreign companies have facilities there, including Bendix (auto parts), Sandoz (pharmaceuticals), Union Carbide (chemicals) and Bimbo (food products). Fruit crops such as oranges, mangoes, bananas and guavas are abundant in this region. Corn and beans are primary crops throughout the state, with goats, sheep and cattle being the chief livestock commodities.
San Luis Potosi Tourism
Besides its industry-based economy, recently the city has been promoted as a touristic destination in central Mexico. San Luis Potosí’s historic downtown displays a great mixture of different artistic styles in many buildings and it’s a major example of colonial architecture in Mexico.
The 400-year-old capital city is famous for its jardines – beautifully planted plazas – and extraordinary number of baroque churches, surpassed only by those in Guadalajara and Mexico City. The Potosina Cathedral and the Palace of Government are in the city’s central square; the Plaza de Armas, which is also home to many other beautifully preserved and historically significant colonial buildings. The colonial center has since been closed off to traffic to help preserve its architectural treasures.
The city of San Luis Potosí is home to several art and history museums, including the National Mask Museum (Museo Nacional de La Máscara), which offers permanent and temporary mask exhibits. The Potosí Bullfighting Center Museum (Museo del Centro Taurino Potosino) offers an extensive collection of bullfighting memorabilia, including photographs, posters, clothing and equipment that once belonged to famous matadors. See the video on tourism in San Luis Potosi:
Outside the City
The resort town of Santa María del Río, which is known for its thermal baths and spas, also has an ancient stone aqueduct, El Arquillo that crosses the river and forms a beautiful waterfall.
The region known as La Huasteca Potosina has some of the most important ecotourism sites in Mexico’s northern region and features attractions such as waterfalls, rapid rivers, caves and camping sites. City Valley (Ciudad Valles) is in the middle of La Huasteca Potosina.
The Basement of the swallows, (El Sótano de las Golondrinas) is a 1234-foot deep cave popular among spelunkers and rock climbers. Every morning thousands of swallows fly out in a synchronized spiral flight, and every afternoon they return.
The town of Xilitla features a surreal castle built in the middle of the jungle. Edward James, an Irish-American millionaire and owner of railroad businesses, built the castle in 1950 and lived with the local residents of the region, practicing alternative medicine for more than a decade.