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Region 3: Northwest Mexico
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The Northwest region spans the western Baja coast from Nogales in the north to Mazatlán in the south. It is represented in this book by the two states Sonora and Sinaloa.
Sonora, Mexico’s second largest and second most wealthy state, is cattle country. Its rural areas are often compared to the American Wild West. Positioned within the vast Sonoran desert, travelers driving from Nogales (reached by car from Tucson via I-19) through and into Hermosillo and beyond will be exposed to endless farmlands, livestock, and Mexican cowboys, called “vaqueros.”
Puerto Peñasco, only 65 miles south of the Arizona border at Lukeville, is a popular wintering spot for U.S. retirees and a weekend jaunt for Arizona families. San Carlos, about 75 miles south of Hermosillo, is also growing as a retirement destination further south on the Sea of Cortés.
The bustling city of Hermosillo, with its university, international airport, and important industrial sector, is the state capital and one of the most modern cities in Sonora. Although traditional parks (zócalos) abound, complete with vendors and entertainers, Hermosillo feels more like the Southwest U.S. than Mexico, and the neighborhoods and surroundings are reminiscent of nearby Tucson, Arizona.
South of Sonora lies Sinaloa, Mexico’s most important state in terms of agriculture, with one of the largest fishing fleets. The state capital is Culiacán, while the port of Mazatlán is a large resort city—the fifth in the country—with an international airport and a population of around 500,000. Popular with spring breakers, Canadian and U.S. retirees, and family vacationers alike, Mazatlán offers seaside vacations and living at moderate prices.
Los Mochis, positioned in the southern part of the region, is a rich agricultural center. It is also one of the starting points for railway passage into the Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), the only major transport link across the Western Sierra Madre chain of mountains.
Northwest Mexico – Safety
The summertime heat in the Northwest can be oppressive. Visitors should be aware of the changes in temperature and plan their days accordingly, with out-door activities scheduled for the early part of the day or in the evening.
In both Puerto Peñasco and San Carlos trauma is the number one reason foreign visitors make a trip to the emergency room, with ATV (All-Terrain Vehicles) accidents being the greatest contributor. We suggest you read the owner’s manual prior to operating an ATV and wear appropriate riding gear: DOT-, Snell or ANSI-approved helmet, goggles, gloves, over-the-ankle boots, long-sleeve shirt, and long pants. Also, ATVs were not made for multiple riders and will tip much easier with additional weight.
Testimonial » view all
My name is Laura Read. I had a hysterectomy in Hermosillo, Mexico in August of 2011 with Dr. Jose Gonzalez. So my doctor, my OB here in the states let me know that I needed a hysterectomy. Unfortunately I don’t have insurance and to have that surgery here in the states, just to walk into the hospital I needed $20,000, which I did not have.
I did a lot of research, and my brother had had surgery in Mexico a couple years prior.» read more