San Luis Potosí, commonly referred to as San Luis, or by its initials SLP (Otomi: Nmiñ'u), is the capital and the most populous city of the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí. It is the municipal seat of the surrounding municipality of San Luis Potosí. The city lies at an elevation of 1,864 metres (6,115 feet). It has an estimated population of 824,229 in the city proper and a population of approximately 1,221,526 in its metropolitan area, formed with the neighbour city of Soledad de Graciano Sánchez and other surrounding municipalities, which makes the metropolitan area of Greater San Luis Potosí the eleventh largest in Mexico.

San Luis Potosí
From left to right and from top to bottom: buildings at Avenida Carranza, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs tower, St. Louis Cathedral, National Institute of Statistics and Geography tower, Plaza de San Francisco, Museo Nacional de la Máscara, Calle Universidad, San Luis Potosí historical centre, panorama of San Luis Potosí.
From left to right and from top to bottom: buildings at Avenida Carranza, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs tower, St. Louis Cathedral, National Institute of Statistics and Geography tower, Plaza de San Francisco, Museo Nacional de la Máscara, Calle Universidad, San Luis Potosí historical centre, panorama of San Luis Potosí.
La Ciudad de los Jardínes
(City of Gardens)
San Luis Potosí is located in San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
Location of San Luis Potosí in Mexico
San Luis Potosí is located in Mexico
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí (Mexico)
Coordinates: 22°9′4″N 100°58′34″W / 22.15111°N 100.97611°W / 22.15111; -100.97611
CountryMexico Mexico
StateSan Luis Potosí San Luis Potosí
FoundedNovember 3, 1592
Founded asPueblo de San Luis Mesquitique
 • MayorEnrique Francisco Galindo Ceballos
 • Municipality385 km2 (149 sq mi)
1,864 m (6,115 ft)
 • Municipality824,229[1]
 • Metro
 • Demonym
Potosino (a)
GDP (PPP, constant 2015 values)
 • Year2023
 • Total$35.8 billion[2]
 • Per capita$28,300
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)

The city is in the west-central part of the state of San Luis Potosí, at 22.16°N, 100.98°W. The municipality has an area of 1,443.14 square kilometres (557.20 square miles). It is part of the macroregion of Bajío.[3][4][5]

The city is named after Louis IX of France (also known in Mexico as San Luis Rey de Francia, Saint Louis, King of France), who is the city's patron saint. Potosí was added in reference to the fabulously rich mines of Potosí, Bolivia, discovered some forty years before the city was founded, as the exploitation of silver and gold mines in Cerro de San Pedro, near San Luis, was the main reason for the founding of the city in 1592.[6]

Currently the city is one of the main industrial centers in central Mexico with a prolific manufacturing industry. A number of foreign industries have chosen to invest in San Luis Potosí in the last decades thanks to its strategic location for trade, as the city is located halfway between Mexico City and the United States border, as well as in the middle of the triangle formed by the three largest cities in Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.[7]

Besides its industrial economy, recently the city has been promoted as a touristic destination in central Mexico by state and federal programs. San Luis Potosí's historic center displays a remarkable mixture of different artistic styles in many buildings and is a major example of colonial architecture in Mexico. In 2010, the historic center was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site within Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.[8]



Pre-colonial period


In pre-Hispanic times, the territory now occupied by the state of San Luis Potosí included two cultural areas: Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica. While the southern and eastern regions of the state were occupied by Otomi and Huastec kingdoms, its northern and central-west regions, where the city of San Luis now is located, were inhabited by Chichimeca. Chichimeca is a generic term given to various nomadic ethnicities which inhabited the northern fringes of the Aztec Empire, which is now northern Mexico. As they were nomadic peoples, they did not build large cities nor have permanent settlements like most Mesoamerican civilizations. They are described by historians as very warlike peoples, living in continual wars among themselves. These tribes spoke different languages but their customs were similar.[9]

After the arrival of Spanish conquistadores and their indigenous allies into the territory now formed by the Mexican nation, it still took them about a century to colonize the northern territories in Aridoamerica. When the settlers founded the first settlements in the region in late 16th century, they had to struggle against constant attacks from Guachichil tribes. Extremely belligerent, these tribes attacked traders who traveled to Zacatecas in newly created routes. Conquistadores and religious missionaries called the place where San Luis now is located "El Gran Tunal" (Grand Place of Tuna fruit). Finally, in 1589, peace between Chichimeca peoples and Spanish settlers was reached thanks to efforts made by Miguel Caldera and Brother Diego de la Magdalena, which marked the end of the Chichimeca War.[9][10]

Universidad St.

Colonial period


A Franciscan mission was established in the zone in 1583, nine years before the city's founding. In early 1592 the mines of Cerro de San Pedro were discovered. The lack of water in Cerro de San Pedro made impossible a new settlement in that specific area, as well as the proper exploitation of the minerals. A short distance away there was a valley where water was abundant. This originated the creation of a new township to facilitate the labors of mining extraction. The legal foundation of the town of San Luis Potosí was made in November 3, 1592, according to a charter commission raised by Viceroy Luís de Velasco and given to Miguel Caldera (considered the historic founder of the city) and Juan de Oñate.[11]



For a time in 1863, during the French invasion of Mexico, San Luis Potosí served as the capital of the republican government, under President Benito Juárez.

Alameda Theater in the city of San Luis Potosí

The Plan of San Luis Potosí, issued November 20, 1910, was the opening shot of Mexico's revolution against the dictator Porfirio Díaz. The 1910 presidential election was stolen when Díaz had his opponent Francisco I. Madero arrested and imprisoned. Madero fled and issued the Plan of San Luis Potosí, declaring the election void and calling upon Mexicans to take up arms against the government.

Today, the downtown is one of plazas and colonial architecture. The "Plaza de Armas" is the site of a cathedral and governor's palace (1770). The nearby "Templo de Nuestra Señora del Carmen," with its colorful tiled domes and famous altars, is considered among Mexico's finest churches. In addition, San Luis is home to the bullring Plaza de Toros Fermin Rivera.

Outside the center, a modern industrial city has begun to grow.

The Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP) is in the city. Based on a Jesuit College founded in 1624, the Instituto Científico y Literario was raised to the category of a university in 1923, and is recognized as one of Latin America's best universities.



With a population of approximately one million inhabitants, it is now the twelfth largest metropolitan area in Mexico. The city is a major commercial and industrial center. It lies in an economically advantageous area at the heart of the "triangle" formed by the three largest cities in Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

In recent years, the city has attracted the attention of European and American investors; its political, social, and economic stability has convinced large multinational companies to assume a presence there and to buy land, on the outskirts of the city.

Recently, according to a survey conducted by the magazine The Investor, San Luis Potosí and its metropolitan area was the third-best place to live in Mexico.

The city has experienced one of the fastest increases in demand for housing.
Panorama of the city (2007)
Historic centre of the city of San Luis Potosí (In process of evaluation)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Part ofCamino Real de Tierra Adentro
CriteriaCultural: II, IV
Inscription2010 (34th Session)
Area70.34 ha
Buffer zone133.49 ha





San Luis Potosí features a cold semi-arid climate (BSk) under the Köppen climate classification. Its high altitude means that the city experiences only a handful of hot days each year. While the climate exhibits noticeably cooler (January and February) and warmer periods (April and May) of the year, temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the course of the year. San Luis Potosí receives, on average, 392.1 mm (15.44 in) of precipitation annually, mostly seen from May through October. Snowfall is a rare occurrence in the city downtown, even though it is not uncommon in the city outskirts and in the highest parts of the greater San Luis Potosí area to get reports of frost and some snow during the winter.

The last recorded snowfalls occurred in January 1967, December 13, 1997, December 2011, March 2016, and December 8, 2017.

Climate data for San Luis Potosí (1951–2010, extremes 1949–2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 20.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 13.0
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 5.5
Record low °C (°F) −8.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 13.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.2 1.6 1.5 2.9 5.6 7.4 7.9 7.0 8.4 5.0 1.8 1.9 53.2
Average relative humidity (%) 58.6 53.2 45.6 46.9 53.2 62.0 67.9 66.9 70.2 66.7 61.5 59.7 59.4
Mean monthly sunshine hours 215.7 229.0 268.8 258.6 284.2 260.3 244.4 251.6 193.5 219.8 227.3 218.5 2,871.7
Source 1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[12][13]
Source 2: World Meteorological Organization (relative humidity and sun 1981–2010)[14]

Local cuisine


Potosinos (as residents of the city are referred to) are proud of their bright orange enchiladas potosinas, often served with refried beans and guacamole.

The nearby town of Santa María del Río provides the state with its sparkling mineral water, Agua de Lourdes. The water fills both store shelves and the cocktails of Potosinos, who claim the water can cure a hangover.

Important buildings


Besides having hundreds of classically designed buildings, the city is also home to some of the most modern and interesting buildings in Mexico.

Cathedral of San Luis Potosí
Casa de la Cultura, in Av. Carranza
Iglesia de San Agustín
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and Ex-Convent
National Museum of the Mask, view from la Paz theatre
San Francisco Garden
Caja de Agua
Monument to the Flag in the Avenida Venustiano Carranza

In recent years the city has faced a boom in the construction of buildings and museums. Among the most prominent are the Laberinto Museum of Science and Arts, which was an investment of more than $200 million pesos, in 9000 m2 of land in the Tangamanga I Park. The project was designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta and promoted by the governor of San Luis Potosí, Marcelo de los Santos Fraga. It is a museum of aesthetic proportions similar to that of the Papalote Museum of Children in Mexico City, with the addition that the materials used in its construction, especially the quarry, make it a real Potosino manufacturing building. The floor of the museum occupies a total of 6.5 ha, which have gardens with species endemic to the region and a central source. Its interior is divided into a total of six rooms arranged in galleries. Their proportions will allow visitors to make an interactive tour that will switch themes of the art museum with samples of science and technology.

Currently, the two tallest buildings in the city are the EME Building and the Muniz Werger Building. The EME Building was built in 1988 and measures 64 m to the top floor, with the spiral 75 m, with the antenna 98 meters. It has 17 floors, with 10 levels of parking at the street for a capacity of 1500 cars, and it houses mixed offices. The Muniz Werger Building, which measures 58 m for the top floor, 65 m with the spiral, and 80 m with the antenna, has 15 storeys and two elevators. Its construction began in 1991 and finished in 1993, and it is considered the most modern building in the city.

There are currently two buildings under construction and five buildings in the project. Corporate Tangamanga, which measured 41 m, will have 14 floors; its construction began in 2005 and will end in 2008. This building houses offices and mixed Star Medical Tower, 40 m and will have 8 floors.

Commerce and transportation


The principal commercial centers of the city are Plaza Tangamanga, Plaza el Dorado, Plaza Sendero, Plaza Citadella and Plaza San Luis.

In the city, various banks also operate, such as, BBVA Bancomer, Banamex, HSBC, Banorte, Santander-Serfin, Actinver, Scotiabank-Inverlat, and BanRegio.

The city's transportation consists of a public system, based on urban buses that move throughout the metropolitan area. Besides, the city contains one of the highest concentrations of taxis.

Ponciano Arriaga International Airport is the city's main airway point. It is around 17 km (11 mi) from the city's downtown and it is the state's most important airway terminal.

Higher education and scientific research


These places offer degrees at the bachelor level:

  • El Colegio de San Luis
  • Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica, A.C. (IPICYT)
  • Instituto Tecnologico de San Luis Potosí (ITSLP)
  • Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Campus San Luis (ITESM)
  • Polytechnic University of San Luis Potosí
  • Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP)
  • Universidad del Centro de Mexico (UCEM)
  • Universidad Cuauhtemoc - Campus San Luis Potosí
  • Universidad Interamericana del Norte - Campus San Luis
  • Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo - Campus San Luis
  • Universidad Marista - Campus San Luis Potosí
  • Universidad Pedagogica Nacional - Campus San Luis Potosí
  • Universidad Politécnica de San Luis Potosí (UPSLP)
  • Universidad Potosina
  • Universidad Tangamanga
  • Universidad Tec Milenio
  • Universidad Tecnológica de San Luis Potosí

IPICYT, UASLP and El Colegio de San Luis are also world class research institutions that offer doctoral degrees.



Mayors and municipal presidents




Newspapers include El Sol de San Luis,[15] Pulso,[16] El Heraldo de San Luis, La Prensa, San Luis Hoy, La Jornada San Luis, and Tribuna.

Twin towns – sister cities


San Luis Potosí has the following sister cities in Mexico and abroad:[17]


Procession of Silence on Good Friday in San Luis Potosí City
Procession of Silence, Good Friday

The Procession of Silence is an annual event commemorating the passion and death of Christ. It occurs on the night of Good Friday, starting at the Templo del Carmen, from where it originates and proceeding through the streets of the historic center of the city of San Luis Potosí. Drums and bugles are played as a part of the procession, but participants and spectators do not speak, meriting its name. It is one of the most important celebrations of Easter in Mexico and was declared part of the cultural heritage of the state of San Luis Potosí in 2013. [18]


  1. ^ a b "Número de habitantes. San Luis Potosí".
  2. ^ "TelluBase—Mexico Fact Sheet (Tellusant Public Service Series)" (PDF). Tellusant. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  3. ^ "Entrada Group: at the heart of Mexico's thriving manufacturing industry".
  4. ^ Méndez, Karla Ruiz. "Se afianza en el Bajío clúster de autopartes". Periódico am.
  5. ^ "El Financiero | Caen 2.5% las remesas familiares en el Bajío". Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  6. ^ "Historia de la Ciudad". Archived from the original on 23 November 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  7. ^ "San Luis Potosí polo de desarrollo industrial en el centro del país". Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Camino Real de Tierra Adentro". Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Época prehispánica". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  10. ^ Peralta Merino, Atilio Alberto. "La guerra Chichimeca". Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  11. ^ "Fundación del pueblo de San Luis Potosí". Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Estado de San Luis Potosi-Estacion: San Luis Potosi (DGE)". Normales Climatologicas 1951–2010 (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Extreme Temperatures and Precipitation for San Luis Potosi (DGE)" (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  14. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 15 October 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  15. ^ El Sol de San Luis
  16. ^ Pulso
  17. ^ David, Luis (9 June 2023). "Municipio de SLP estrena galería dedicada a sus 21 Ciudades Hermanas". Líder Empresarial (in Spanish).
  18. ^ "Semana Santa en San Luis Potosi". Archived from the original on 2013-05-24.