Pinal de Amoles is a town and municipality located in the north of the state of Queretaro in central Mexico. It is part of the Sierra Gorda region which stretches over northern Queretaro into Guanajuato, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosi, with 88% of the municipality’s land part of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, declared in 1997. The town began is a mining camp in the 17th century and the municipality contains large areas of forests and the highest peaks in the region, which separate the wetter areas of the north and east of the Sierra Gorda from the drier areas of the south and west.
The town of Pinal de Amoles, was originally founded as Real de San Jose de Amoles, in the early 17th century as a mining camp. Today, much of that mining has disappeared, but the town remains. It is located 153 km north of the state capital, straddling Federal Highway 120, which connects it to San Juan del Rio in the south and the state of San Luis Potosí in the north. The town located at an altitude of 2,320 meters above sea level, on small flat spaces on a mountain with a population of 1,582 (2005).
The town center consists of a very small plaza which fronts the local parish church of San José, dedicated to Saint Joseph. The San José Church was begun in 1770 and inaugurated in 1771. It has a simple design with a traditional pediment on its facade. On the right hand side, there is a bell tower with three levels.