The Northwest

The Mexican northwest is formed by the states of Chihuahua, Sonora, Durango and Sinoloa. It is known for natural beauty, some nice beaches, and charming towns and cities.

Known for its forests, ravines, canyons, and beautiful rock formations, the state of Durango became famous in the 1950’s as a popular place to make western movies. In the state capital, Durango, some of the sets still remain and it is possible to visit them. The city is also known for having well-preserved buildings dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Durango is still a relatively small city, and it is possible to explore the city center on foot. Native culture buffs will enjoy a trip to the Ganot-Peschard museum of Archaeology, which features exhibits on local cultures from pre-conquest times to the present.

For a wonderful combination of colonial heritage and nice beaches, check out Mazatlan, the most important city in the state of Sinaloa. Situated on a small peninsula, the city boasts seventeen kilometers of coastline. It is known as one of the best sport fishing spots in Mexico: charters go out after prize marlin and sailfish, and annual tournaments attract fishing enthusiasts from around the world. The city has a reputation for lively nightlife as well. Come for the carnaval festivities, which have been compared to those in Rio de Janeiro or New Orleans. Architecture buffs should make a point of visiting the Angela Peralta theater, a neoclassic structure built during the Porfiriato and recently restored.

The state of Chihuahua contains the vast desert of the same name. It is Mexico’s largest state, and borders Texas and New Mexico to the north. Visitors know Chihuahua for the Barrancas del Cobre, or the Copper Canyon, a breathtaking cluster of canyons and ravines in the western range of the Mexican Sierra Madres. It is similar to the Grand Canyon, which is larger, but not as deep. The best base of operation from which to see the canyon is the town of Creel.

The Sonora Region is known for adventure travel and beautiful vistas. There are hunting parks, beaches and bays for water sports and fishing and deserts. A good place from which to explore Sonora is the capital, Hermosillo, located about a hundred kilometers inland from the Sea of Cort├ęs.