Difference between revisions of "Chihuahua"
Revision as of 02:31, 23 January 2011
The capital of the state of Chihuahua, this is a large prosperous city located in the center of the state. Chihuahua is famous for norteno food (rather similar to Tex-Mex), a delicious if not particularly heart healthy cuisine that makes liberal use of beef, cheese, and chiles. The colonial center of Chihuahua is beautiful and pedestrian friendly. The outer areas of the city, while affluent by Latin American standards don't likely hold a lot of appeal for the average tourist. The centro has museums dedicated to Pancho Villa (a major folk hero in the north of mexico), another museum about the national mint, government palaces, and historic churches as well as luxurious mansions and villas. There are also good dining and lodging options for the visitor and a lot of fun cantinas for male travelers (sorry women usually aren't welcome in these). Chihuahua's natives are friendly and helpful and don't show any resentment towards visitors like you might expect to experience in Mexico's more southerly cities.
The city is at both high latitude and relatively high altitude, meaning it will get 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.
Spanish is the official language of Mexico. In academic and professional level, English and French is also spoken. Additionally, because this is north Mexico and a lot of the people living here have worked and lived in the US at some point in their lives, it is usually quite easy to find someone who can speak English to you.
Four hours south of Juarez/El Paso by expressway, it is an easy drive. There are no major towns between the two cities but there are roadside diners to break up the journey.
Roberto Fierro Villalobos Airport, Chihuahua city airport is located 18 kilometers southeast of Chihuahua City. Taxi is the best option for getting there and away. Taxi to the city, Aprox. $7.00
Chihuahua's bus terminal is located quite a distance out of town. There are buses to all major cities in Mexico.
The Chihuahuense bus line will take you to central Mexico or to Tijuana from the main terminal in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua!
Chihuahua is the start of the famous Copper Canyon railway linking Chihuahua with Los Mochis. One-way yickets are around 991 pesos in second class and 1980 pesos in first class. Advance booking is advisable for second class but essential for first class.
Chihuahua is hardly a major tourist destination; but if you can time your visit to coincide with a bullfight (note bullfighting still exists here, but is nowhere near as popular as it is in Juarez), concert, or art festival you will likely find the area 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:
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.
The cheap sleeps in Chihuahua are all found east of the cathedral, between Calle Libertad and Victoria.
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.
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