It's pre-history probably extends back more than three thousand years but it's modern explosive growth towards a city of a million people, dates back to the 1980s when the the Ford Motor Company built a factory here. Nowadays, electronics and the information technology sectors are the largest employers by both revenue and number of employees.
The city's favourable flat, grassed location in the middle of the Sonoran Desert encourages many North Americans travelling by car toward the coast to break their journey here. It's about the only city in Mexico that purifies all drinking water before it goes to homes and restaurants.
It's a modern city with all the services you would normally find in the United States. Shopping, eating and tourist attractions are all throughout the city.
Hermosillo's International Airport (General Ignacio Pesqueira Garcia), IATA: HMO, is one of the busiest in Mexico, as it is in the centre of Mexico's northwest and has scheduled flights from/to the US cities of Dallas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Domestic origins include: Chihuahua, Cd. Juárez, Cd. Obregón, Culiacán, Guadalajara, Los Mochis, Mazatlán, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Tijuana and Torreón.
Also, small regional and charter airlines provide service to the following destinations:
Facilities are ready to receive aircraft as large as Boeing's 777. If you are close to the border (Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez) check flights leaving out of those airports in Mexico, they are generally cheaper than flights from US cities into Hermosillo.
Low air-fare providers are Interjet and Volaris; while Viva-aerobus is the cheapest of them all beware of the airline policies for it wont give any protection for any delays or cancellations.
The road from Nogales (on the border) down to Hermosillo is a well paved, new highway, however, due to a large amount of rain in December 2007 the highway (Mexico 15) had developed many potholes, some of them very large and deep. These potholes have caused extensive damage to vehicles and tires, and have even caused some fatal accidents. The potholes are on both the north and south bound sides of Highway 15. As of April 2008 reconstruction and maintenance of the highway is taking place so be prepared to take the designated detours. The portion of Highway 15 between Magdalena de Kino and Hermosillo is a toll road, keep your receipt as this is a form of insurance. To file a claim you will need to return to the toll booth (either in Hermosillo or Magdalena). If you are bringing a car in from the United States of America, or Canada (including rental vehicles) you will need to have insurance through a Mexican company, if you have an accident call these companies immediately, in most cases a representative from the insurance company will be dispatched to the scene of the accident, be prepared to wait for them, though no more than 2 hours, especially if you are in the middle of the desert somewhere. Also be aware that quite often when you are involved in an accident which requires a police report the vehicle will be impounded overnight. Most police officers (federal and local) are very courteous and helpful, some of them may be willing to forego the report in order to help you out. On your Mexican insurance forms there should be a number for the "Angeles Verdes" (Green Angels) which is a roadside assistance service similar to AAA in the United States. Keep that number handy when you travel, Angeles Verdes drivers are bi-lingual and are very helpful.
Going to or coming from Hermosillo from Nogales you will encounter several checkpoints. On the north bound side there is a checkpoint manned 24 hours a day by the Mexican military. The soldiers posted at the stop sign who speak to the drivers are almost always able to speak enough English to deal with American and Canadian tourists. They will ask you where you are going, where you are coming from, and may ask to see your ID. Random and suspicious vehicles will be directed to a parking area to be searched, if you are selected to be searched the process normally takes less than 5 minutes (assuming you aren't carrying anything you shouldn't be). They will search through your bags, and the interior of your car. There may also be Federal Preventative Police (PFP) checkpoints, these checkpoints are often set up in different locations. Most PFP Police Officers will speak english, but will normally wave through any vehicles with American or Canadian plates, so long as the occupants are obvious tourists (break out your straw hats, brown shoes, and black knee socks!)
Hermosillo is about a 7 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona, about 4 to 4 1/2 hours from Tucson, and about 3 hours from Nogales, Sonora. That is assuming you drive the speed limit. It is not unheard of to have the previous mentioned times to be much less when the border crossing is not congested. Also (and this applies for all of Mexico) The Mexican highway patrol has a modern fleet of Dodge Chargers, all of them have video cameras and many of them have K-Band radar. So bring your radar detector. Mexican regulations don't explicitly prohibit detectors nor are they sold in the country, however, that does not mean cops aren't familiar with these devices. So if you get pulled over with your detector, don't expect the cop to be so nice anymore if he notices it (just like in the US). As with any cop either side of the border, be nice to them and they'll be nice to you.
When you arrive in Hermosillo be on the lookout for topes, or speedbumps. Not all topes are marked (a yellow sign with a black speedbump) or painted yellow, pay particular attention at night as they are not always visible, and you may leave your engine on the street.
People in Hermosillo tend to drive somewhat recklessly, particularly the bus drivers. Red lights, stop signs, and speed limits are often treated as suggestions rather than law. Be careful of vehicles coming from side streets, they normally have stop signs, but sometimes will not stop until their car is already halfway in the nearest lane. Traffic lights are like most others in Mexico, where the green light will flash before it turns to yellow, and then red. Passing through a yellow light is a violation, there is no delay from when your light turns red to the other light turning green as there normally is in the United States. When you see the light flashing green be prepared to stop. Many intersections will have stop signs in addition to the lights, if the light is green you do not have to stop, this can be confusing to some people who have never encountered this setup before.
Central de Emergencias 066
Federal de Caminos (Federal Police) (52)(662) 289-7098
Sonora State Police Headquarters
North (52)(622) 218-5564, (52)(622) 218-6416, (52)(622) 218-5526
Central (52)(622) 213-4046, (52)(622) 213-3738, (52)(622) 213-3401
TelCel and MoviTel also have emergency numbers, check your cell phone's display screen to see which service your phone is currently using.
If your phone is not currently on one of these two networks use one of the other numbers listed above.
Most likely you will have to have a basic knowledge of Spanish to communicate on these lines, or ask if there is anyone available who speaks English (Hablas Ingles?).
Also see the "Stay Safe" section of this entry.
The main bus terminal (Central Camionera) is located approx. 2km east of downtown on Blvd. Luis Encinas. It is well served with frequent north-south route. You can catch a local bus in front of the terminal to the downtown area (bus #1, 18, and 19. Fare: 6 pesos, exact change only).
There is also a daily departure at 6:30 by Estrella Blanca to Chihuahua through Yecora, Baseachi, and La Junta, that is useful if you are heading to Copper Canyon area. This route is quite expensive (748 pesos to Baseachi, June 2014) and Estrella Blanca website  doesn't list this route, so inquire locally.
TUFESA bus line runs from Arizona(Tucson, Phoenix, etc) to Hermosillo. Fares are around $49 one way from Phoenix, and vary based on other cities. The Hermosillo stop is on the Ciudad Obregon route.
Hermosillo has recently begun to replace their older public buses with new models with A/C and modern payment system. Unlike any other Mexican bus, the driver does not handle fare, but instead you need to insert exact amount of fare into a machine or pay with a contactless smart card. One ride is 6 pesos and no transfer available. Bus Sonora has a list of bus lines and bus location system (which hasn't really worked yet but route map is useful). The service is frequent and if you see older bus coming, it may worth wait for another one with A/C.
During weekend evening, there's a trolley bus tour that goes out just in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Hermosillo right in the city center. It will take you to the best sight seeings and landscapes of the city.
Taxis are widely available and are a cheap way to get around. Use those ones from a Taxi site, or ask for one in the Hotel front desk. Cheapest taxi fare in Hermosillo is $4.50 USD.
Car rental offer several models starting about $50 USD per day. If you move in this city by car take a GPS with you as some streets may have dead-ends, some wide avenues stretch suddenly to 2 lane alleys and other streets may change circulation way with no advice.
Most of the city's important avenues have marked lanes for bycicles, if you choose it as a different way to go around.
Most people in Hermosillo speak some English and almost everybody in the service and food industry speaks English. While visiting the parts furthest from the city only some people speak some English, though certainly not enough to have a philosophical conversation with you. They will likely be able to help you find places, directions, gas stations, etc.
Young people will certainly know more than average as most of the universities here require to approve a certain level of english in order to complete their studies and title. Young ones can talk as well as you, so don't hesitate to ask for directions or just start a conversation.
Among others. Also features a greenhouse, a souvenir store, several snack points spread all over the park.
Visit downtown Hermosillo (El Centro.) In El Centro you will find many shops, selling anything you can think of. There are also food stands if you get hungry or thirsty. Be careful though, the streets in El Centro are always crowded, and traffic is heavy. Also the sidewalks are higher off the street level than you may be used to, this will be a difficult area to traverse if you are in a wheelchair, or have a baby carriage. A heavy police presence is maintained in the area due to its popularity, and constant crowds, help is never far away.
There are many good universities here. Some of the the best known are: University of Sonora, Hermosillo Institute of Technology, University of Valle de Mexico and "Tecnologico de Monterrey". The University of Sonora has a very good school of foreign languages, where you can enroll for a moderate price to receive Spanish lessons.
Vangtel Mexico and Cyber Control provide oportunities for english speakers.
Hermosillo is slightly more expensive than other parts of Mexico, as life quality is slightly higher than other Mexican cities. However, prices are still good compared to the United States. There are lots of American stores, including Office Depot, Blockbuster, Office Max, COSTCO, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and others. Also, Hermosillo is FULL of shoe and clothes stores (boutique).
ATM & banks
Hermosillo has branches of all the major banks operating in Mexico, some of them are related to foreign banks:
Toys can cost almost 1.5 times more in many parts of Mexico than in the USA, don't expect deals there. Restaurants, food, bars, liquor, hotels are excellent in price and with the average exchange difference, can cost 2/3rds of the same in US.
The following are some interesting stores you may find in town:
Hermosillo has several places to shop:
Hermosillo is full of great restaurants, including American ones such as Applebee's. There are lots of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other ethnic restaurants as well. The best, though, are the Mexican-run taco stands.
Beer stores are located everywhere in Hermosillo. The most popular brands are Tecate, Pacifico, and Modelo (Corona). In a hurry? Look for a "Tecate Six" you can buy your beer in a drive-thru. Coke and Pepsi are available at almost every restaurant and store, DrPepper is aviable at Extra, Santa fe and Super del Norte stores. Tap water is safe to drink, as Hermosillo is the only city that purifies the water before it goes to the pipes. While it is safe to drink the tap water, many of the locals suggest drinking purified bottled water, as the tap water contains some minerals which after years of drinking may cause (or may not) teeth stains.
Please note that smoking is not allowed in closed public places including restaurants, night clubs and bars. Today most of the city's fun places have terraces outside to allow smoking people without breaking the law.
Also you must know that bars and night clubs close at 2 a.m. and beer and liquor stores have to close at 12 a.m. if you plan to drink all night have this in mind when you go to buy booze, even if 12 a.m. is the time to stop selling liquor most of the stores stop selling at 11:45.
Hotels and accommodations abound around the city.
Very nice hotels in Hermosillo cost about the same as a mid-range hotel in Phoenix. For around $50 per night, you can find a hotel that would cost around $100-200 in the U.S.
In case of emergency, call 066 or 911.
Both numbers work as emergency numbers. 911 is exclusively for tourists and you will be answered in English. State your emergency and if you know where you are, give proper directions, if not, just give a general location or where you were in the past couple of hours, and if you have no idea where you are or are lost they can trace your call. Try to stay on the line for as long as possible or until help comes. If you are disconnected, having called will help since emergency services will now look for tourists and locals can usually spot you and tell them where you are.
The Hermosillo Municipal Police can also be reached at ☎ +52 662 250-4882.
If you need to contact US authorities, call the U.S. Consulate, Avenida Monterrey #141 ☎ +52 662 289-3500.
Hermosillo is safer than the rest of Mexico, far from being a dangerous place, but recently the criminals have increased their activity in the city. Use common sense and if you wouldn't do something in your home city, don't do it in Hermosillo, lock up your car, don't wave money around, keep your purse close to you, etc. Tourist attractions are very safe and police are always close by in case of emergency. Usual response time for paramedics is under 5 minutes.
If you or anyone in your party is drunk, do not drive. Drunk drivers are easily spotted and you will get pulled over. If you find yourself in this situation, be nice, be patient, and even if taken to the police station only the drunk driver will be locked up in case he gets rowdy. If this happens, wait for him to be sober up, give him coffee, and you'll be on your way. If you visit the city in December, beware of an increase on police checkpoints all over the city, this time of the year the officers will find any excuse to try and arrest people in order to get money out of them via bribes. Be very careful.
For the most part, Hermosillo has been spared the drug violence which is plaguing much of Mexico, especially the border areas. Sporadic violence related to the drug cartels does happen in and around Hermosillo. In May of 2007, a grenade was thrown into a newspaper office in Hermosillo, no one was injured. That same day in the northern Sonora city of Cananea, drug traffickers shot and killed 5 municipal police officers. These traffickers were followed by State Police into nearby mountains where 15 of them were killed. Several months ago another set of hand grenades were tossed at a State Police Investigative office near the central part of the city, luckily the only casualties were a few windows. While drug cartels are certainly active in Hermosillo, it has not seen the levels of violence that cities such as Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez have been subjected to. As a tourist you do not have much to worry about as the drug cartels mostly target rival members, the police and the military. As a tourist your biggest crime fears would be the same as they are at home (Ex: pickpockets, thieves, drunks, etc).
Although Hermosillo is home to more and more American companies and businessmen visiting from the north side of the country's border, you will still get stares and second looks, especially if you are of African or Asian heritage. But have no fear, most people are very friendly and welcoming to tourists and business visitors and will do anything they can to make you feel at home.
Hermosillo is probably more "liberal" than other parts of Mexico, however, Mexico is a conservative Catholic country. If you are a gay or lesbian person, people will stare at you and your partner or may even make comments. So, if you have purple hair, a nose ring and six earrings, expect the same.
Even in the hottest of the hot Hermosillo weather, men and women will still wear jeans. You will rarely see a local wearing shorts unless they are involved in an athletic activity. Even if it is 120 degrees, wearing shorts will still expose you as a tourist. Most men wear jeans and different types of shirts, many the cowboy style with a sombrero (cowboy hat) and cowboy boots. Women mostly wear jeans and different types of shirts as well. Trying to fit in with the local population will make you less of a target for those who prey on tourists; i.e. criminals, some taxi drivers, corrupt police, etc. After normal working hours are over you will notice this practice is relaxed and more people will wear shorts in the evening rather than the traditional jeans.
From Hermosillo you can access points all over Sonora, or continue south to Sinaloa. Mexico's Route 15 goes all the way down to Mexico City, though flying is the better option if you plan on heading to that area. Hermosillo is only about 1 hour east of Bahía Kino, a small town with a beautiful beach, and access to Isla Tiburon. About an hour and 15 minutes south of Hermosillo is Guaymas and San Carlos. San Carlos is more developed than Bahia Kino, with many condo/resort facilities, however there are some areas of secluded beach. San Carlos is also home to Tetakawi, a large mountain right on the water that is sometimes refered to by locals as "Goat Tits" due to its unique shape. Not far from San Carlos is the port city of Guaymas, smaller than Hermosillo, it is a bustling and growing city with excellent restaurants, and access to a largely unknown Mexican maritime culture. Continuing past Guaymas one can also reach Ciudad Obregon from Hermosillo, which is also a city on the rise, and home to a beautiful lake frequented by locals. Most American and Canadian tourists are just passing through Hermosillo on their way to one of the nearby beaches. Unfortunately for them they do not know what they are missing in this clean, modern, and beautiful city.