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Chihuahua

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Chihuahua is large and prosperous capital in the centre of the state of Chihuahua in Northern Mexico. It has a population of about 748,551 and the predominant activity is light industry.

Understand[edit]

Chihuahua is famous for norteno food (rather similar to Tex-Mex), a delicious if healthy cuisine that makes liberal use of beef, cheese, and chiles.

The colonial middle is beautiful and pedestrian-friendly. The outer areas of the city are affluent by Latin American standards but uninteresting for the average tourist. The central area has museums dedicated to Pancho Villa (a major folk hero in the north), another museum about the national mint, government palaces, and historic churches as well as luxurious mansions and villas.

There are also good dining spots and cantinas for males and it's very rare that a female is not welcome. The city's natives are friendly and helpful, unlike Mexico's more southern cities.

Climate[edit]

In the north and in the hills, it can be cold here during the winter. It even snows once or twice a year. During the summer, temperatures can reach 40°C. Wear light, fresh, and comfortable clothes. Autumn is a particularly pleasant time of the year to visit the area.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Being 4h south of Juarez/El Paso by expressway, the city is an easy drive to reach; there is no major city on the way, but there are roadside diners.

By plane[edit]

Roberto Fierro Airport is 18km from the city; a taxi is about USD7.00.

By bus[edit]

Chihuahua's bus terminal is conveniently located on Juan Pablo II boulevard in the south-eastern part of town, right across from the baseball stadium, a seven minute walk from Walmart supercenter, with public transportation access. There are buses to all major cities in Mexico. Service is provided by the Omnibus de Mexico, The Chihuahuense, Estrella blanca, just to name a few. No English-speaking clerks detected at the ticket counters, so basic knowledge of Spanish will come in handy. Bus tickets bought through service provider's official websites are generally cheaper than those acquired at the counter (clerk's commission is included in the latter).

By train[edit]

Chihuahua is the start of the famous Copper Canyon railway linking Chihuahua with Los Mochis, called "el Chepe" [1] As of 03/11/2014, one-way tickets cost MXN1562 (around USD120) in second class and twice as much in first class, although the difference between the two classes of service is practically imperceptible, it's the same train with differently colored cars, providing same dining options and, obviously, same travel time from Chihuahua to Los Mochis. If you don't wish to find yourself stuck in a half-empty carriage with a couple of other ripped-off tourists, opt for the second class and spend your hard-earned cash on things to do at your destination place.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Chihuahua is a great tourist destination; a PBR championship, concerts, art and international festivals take place all year-round, but mostly on mid-October, you will find the city and its people very charming and down to earth.

Even though Chihuahua suffered a massive destruction of colonial buildings (During the 1970s) in order to widen the main streets and avenues in the downtown, it stills preserves some valuable monuments from the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the more interesting sites in the city are listed below:

  • Temple of San Francisco - The original burial place of Fr Miguel Hidalgo.
  • Federal Palace of Chihuahua - Now a modern art museum, and the former jail cell of Fr Hidalgo.
  • El Palomar Central Park - Once one of the worst districts in the city, now the largest city park. Art, concerts and massive events are held in this modern park.
  • Mansión Creel
  • Mansión Terrazas
  • Mansión Quinta Carolina - Former summer estate of Don Luis Terrazas. Now in semi-ruined condition, in process of restoration.
  • Torre Legislativa de Chihuahua - Legislative tower of Chihuahua-state legislators office building) Located in front of the Plaza de Armas.
  • Government Palace - The State House.
  • City Hall of Chihuahua - Historical City Hall.
  • Dancing Fountains - Lights and water show located besides the Federal Palace.
  • Mansión Quinta Gameros - City Museum for the Decorative Arts, Art Noveau style mansion.
  • Church of Santa Rita - Saint Rita of Cascia is the patroness of the city.
  • Ave. Zarco Residential Area - Some of the most impressive pre-revolutionary residences in the city are situated along this street.
  • Chihuahua Cathedral, Libertad street #814, Centro, +52 614 410-3877, [2]. A sample of the Baroque Art in northern Mexico.  edit
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Casa Redonda (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Casa Redonda), Colon avenue and Escudero street, +52 614 449061. Tu-Su 10:00-19:00.. What was once the National Railways of Mexico (Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México) workshops is now this museum, known as Casa Redonda (Round House) by its building structure dating from the early XIX century. USD1.50.  edit
  • Museum of Religous Art (Museo de Arte Sacro), Libertad street #814. M-F 09:00-13:00 & 15:00-17:00. A large hall in the basement of the Chihuahua Cathedral, located at the rear of the Capilla del Rosario, was conditioned to install the Religious Art Museum. USD1.00.  edit
  • Museum of the Revolution Former home of Pancho Villa, hero of the revolution. learn the story of Mexico's fight for freedom and view many artefacts including the car that Pancho Villa was killed in.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Grutas de Nombre de Dios[3]: a huge system of caves with stalactites and stalagmites. Easy going as everything has concrete floors and handrailings. To get there, by bus 'Nombre de Dios/Ojo' to the grutas ($6 Pesos, $.50 dollar), entrance fee 50 Pesos ($4 dollars).

Buy[edit][add listing]

Cowboy boots, yee-haw! You will never in your life find a place with higher density of shops selling cowboy boots, and you'll find them in colors you hardly knew existed. Go nuts, you know you want them!

Eat[edit][add listing]

Be careful! The best chiles rellenos in the world, served on a flour tortilla. The seeds are not removed, making for a fire in your mouth that is unsurpassed.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

The cheap sleeps in Chihuahua are all found east of the cathedral, between Calle Libertad and Victoria.

  • Casa de Huespedes Flores, Calle 12 No. 218 btwn Victoria and Libertad, rooms from 100 Pesos, including bathroom, TV, probably the best value in town.
  • Hotel Plaza, Calle 4 No. 206, not-too-clean place right behind the cathedral. Rooms from 130 Pesos (singles), 200 pesos(4 people).
  • Hotel-ito, Calle 4 Cnr Trias, filthy rooms without windows, (cold) water usually out of order, 100 Pesos (singles).
  • Hotel Trias, Calle Trias cnr Independencia, as filthy as the others, singles from 120 Pesos.
  • Casa de Chihuahua, Calle Mendez 2203, a brand new hostel conveniently located across the train station. Dorms from 150 Pesos per night. Advance booking essential.
  • Hotel San Juan, Calle Victoria cnr Decima, central location rooms from about 145 Pesos single/155 Pesos double/165 Pesos triple per night. This is the old backpacker favorite, though some say there are better choices these days.
  • Hotel Roma, Calle Libertad cnr Calle 12, singles from 125 Pesos
  • Posada Aida, near the downtown honk tonk district rooms from about $9 per night. Friendly staff.

Midrange[edit]

  • Microtel Inn & Suites Enjoy consistency, quality, reasonable prices and great service.
  • Hampton Inn Very nice business class hotel. As good or better than any Hampton in the USA.
  • Best Western Mirador Very nice business class hotel. As good or better than any Best Western in the USA. It is located in Ave. Universidad, close to downtown Chihuahua.

Stay safe[edit]

Northern Mexico, especially the state of Chihuahua, has experienced a sharp increase in violent drug-related crime since 2007. Chihuahua is much safer than Ciudad Juárez but still has had its share of cartel killings in the last two years. Most killings have specifically targeted drug dealers and their families, and tourists have rarely been affected by violent crime. Avoid bars and nightclubs that cater to a criminal element. Military checkpoints may be set up in the city and the roads around the city. Always stop at these checkpoints.

Contact[edit]

  • Cibercafe Canaco, Av. Cuauhtemoc 1800 3th floor, 1416 0000.

Dialing code for Chihuahua City: 01+52+(614)+Phone Number

Emergency phone numbers

Radio Patrols: 060

Red Cross: 065

General emergencies: 066

International Operator: 090

Tourist Security: 01 800 201 55 89

Get out[edit]

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