Originally founded in 1779 as Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepcion de los Alamos de Catorce, this once thriving silver mining town presently has a full time population of under 1,000 residents. Its Colonial style buildings, picturesque surroundings and remote location have made Real del Catorce and environs popular movie sets.
Huicholes from Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco and Zacatecas visit the valley of Catorce - Wirikuta in Huichol language - every spring to gather a year's supply of peyote. Though found throughout the region, the cacti in the Wirikuta purportedly produce the most desired crop.
Thousands of Peregrinos - pilgrims - visit La Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción the week around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 to express their gratitude for favors granted.
Today's Real del Catorce is very popular on the weekends with travelers from the capital city of San Luis Potosi and other areas of Mexico. Mondays through Thursdays are the best time to visit. Some local restaurants are only open on the weekend.