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Hermosillo

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North America : Mexico : Northern Mexico : Sonora : Hermosillo
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For other places with the same name, see Hermosillo (disambiguation).
Hermosillo as seen from atop Cerro de la Campana in El Centro.

Hermosillo is the capitol city of Sonora, Mexico.

Understand

Hermosillo is one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of around 850,000 people. It's a modern city with all the services you would normally get back at home. Shopping, eating and tourist attractions are all throughout the city.

Get in

By plane

There is an International Airport (General Ignacio Pesqueira Garcia), with flights to Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, as well as a few cities in Mexico (México City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Toluca, Chihuahua, Ciudad Obregón, Rocky Point). The airport code is HMO. 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. Aeromexico (and its affiliate Aerolitoral that uses smaller aircraft), is the airline with more schedules in and out from Hermosillo, with both national and intenational destinations. 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 cancelations. At this point Aviacsa's operations are shut down, due to government intervention. Mexicana (temporarilly out of service) although not flying any aircraft of its own to Hermosillo has a ticket office and carried a shared-code flight with Aeromexico.

By car

Highway on the way to Hermosillo. Portions of this highway are currently undergoing repairs due to numerous and large potholes caused by excessive rain in December 2007. Use caution while traveling on Mexico 15 both north and south.

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.

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.

One of the typical wide tree lined boulevards in Hermosillo. This one is Blvd. Morelos headed south to the intersection with Blvd. Angel Garcia Aburto.

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.

TelCel 117+send

Movitel *114+send

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.

By bus

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.

Get around

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.

Hermosillo has recently begun to replace their older public buses with new German made models (which thankfully have air conditioning!). These SUBA buses have caused some confusion as new routes are started and others are discontinued. Unlike most cities in the USA or Canada the bus in Hermosillo is a simple (and cheap) way to get around. The buses will run every few minutes, so if you miss one just wait a few minutes for the next one.

Taxis are widely available and are a cheap way to get around.

Talk

Be aware, it gets very hot in Hermosillo, this picture was taken at 10PM in May. This is the Soriana at Blvd. Lopez Portillo and Blvd. Morelos.

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 and can talk as well as you, so don't hesitate to ask for directions or just start a conversation.

See

Naranjeros in action at Estadio Hector Espino.
  • Cerro de la Campana - This radio tower is on a road that winds up a mountain right downtown. It isn't very high, but gives a great view of Hermosillo and the surrounding countryside. Dont go there at night can be sometimes dangerous.
  • Museum of Sonora (Museo de Sonora), Jesús García, 62 17 25 80. Housed in a very creepy old stone penitentiary built in 1897. You can visit the old underground cells which are especially creepy, making you wonder how many people died there in those horrible conditions. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 9am-4pm. Closed Mondays.
  • Regional Museum of Sonora's University
  • Hector Espino Stadium, Blvd. Solidaridad and Blvd. Luís Encinas - Colonia Pimente. Home of the Hermosillo Naranjeros [1], the best baseball league of Mexico and because they play between October and January, you can see some MLB players in addition to the best Mexican baseball players. Some notable former and current Naranjeros include Hector Espino, Fernando Valenzuela, Erubial Durazo, Curt Schilling, Vinny Castilla, Luis A. Garcia, Geronimo Gil, and many others. All of this surrounded by a great atmosphere of party as only Mexicans know how. There is a souvenir store located at the stadium as well.
  • Hermosillo at night - In the northeastern part of the city there is a small parking area where Blvd. Jose Maria Morelos meets Blvd. Juan Bautista de Escalante. Park here and bring your camera as you will see a stunning view of Hermosillo, including Cerro de la Campana. The view is especially impressive at night, as you can see lights that seem to stretch out forever. Hermosillo police officers are often posted there at night, they will not bother you, and will often chat with tourists and suggest other places to visit.

Do

A view of Hermosillo from the "La Jolla" residential community.
  • Hit the trails Mountain biking and hiking are very popular activities, and the area has many amazing trails to follow in the mountains around the city. The mix of desert and mountain give these trails a very nice touch. Wild life is very interesting. You get to see from little lizards and roadrunners all around to big deer and coyotes, and if you're lucky you might be able to watch a bighorn sheep or even a rattlesnake (not considered to be extremely lucky).

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.

Learn

There are many good universities here, between the best known are: University of Sonora, 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.

Work

Vangtel Mexico Provides oportunities for english speakers.

Buy

Hermosillo is slightly more expensive than other parts of Mexico, probably due to the presence of American firms. However, prices are still good compared to the United States! There are lots of American stores, including Office Depots, Blockbusters, Office Max, COSTCO, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and others. Also, Hermosillo is FULL of shoe stores. The open air market is ok, but not as good as most. Soriana (grocery/department store, similar to Wal-Mart) has several ATMS, which are the best place to exchange money. Wal-Mart also has ATMs.

  • Deportes Arietta, in El Centro (downtown Hermosillo). The official uniform dealer for the Naranjeros. You can get a real jersey, the same as the players wear, for about $60. The store also has merchandise from the other teams in the Mexican Pacific League, as well as other sports teams from throughout Mexico, and MLB and NBA merchandise. Several store employees speak fluent English and will be happy to talk sports with you.
  • Casa de Vaquero, a store that sells cowboy hats, and boots, also the cowboy type of clothing that is popular throughout Hermosillo and northern Mexico. There are several stores throughout Hermosillo, prices range from low to high.
  • Soriana, located throughout Hermosillo, and Mexico, Soriana is like Wal-Mart, with food, clothing, sports gear, household goods, etc.
  • Coppel, another department store.
  • Ley, several locations throughout Hermosillo. Ley is a department store. The one across the street from Estadio Hector Espino includes other small stores and kiosks, similar to a small mall that you would find in the United States. Ley is connected to the US chain Safeway.
  • Supermercados SantaFé, a grocery store. Several locations in Hermosillo. Recently opened offering great places to buy
  • Super Val, a part of the Valenzuela family (VH) empire. There are many of these stores throughout Hermosillo, most contain "Farmacia VH" (VH Pharmacy). Unlike VH, the Super Val stores will remain in business.
  • Wal-Mart, several locations throughout Hermosillo. Unlike Wal-Marts in the US, Wal-Mart is considered an upscale, expensive store in Mexico. The Wal-Marts in Hermosillo are much nicer and cleaner than a Wal-Mart in the United States. One of the newest Wal-Marts is located at the "City Center" shopping area, in the northern part of Hermosillo on Blvd. Jose Maria Morelos.
  • Oxxo, a convenience store. Literally hundreds of locations across Hermosillo.
  • Farmacia Benevides, a pharmacy/convenience store. Also many locations in Hermosillo.

Eat

La Fabula Pizza on Blvd. Jose Maria Morelos.
  • Carne asada - Grilled beef which is the most typical food in the city. Tacos are typically around 70 cents, and are pretty good. Some of the best carne asada and tacos (caramelos) can be found on the thousands of taco stands you will find on almost any street in Hermosillo.
  • Coyotas - A flat sweet bread from a part of the city called Villa de Seris.
  • Empanadas - Another local bread which consists of a turnover style pastry filled with a sweet filling.
  • Melcochas - Candy based on raw sugar.
  • Tacos de cabeza - Beef tacos made from the head of the cow, typical for breakfast.
  • Burro percheron - A variation on the traditional burrito. The difference is in the ingredients and the size, because they are immense.
  • Hot dogs - For a late dinner you got to go to the University Plaza for the best hot dogs in Sonora, voted among the top 50 hot dogs in the world, you will be able to find hot dogs stands here 24/7. Also check out the hot dog stand which is out at night right next to the Oxxo, located at Blvd. Lopez Portillo and Ave. Tres. Hot dogs de pavo con queso (turkey hot dogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon.)

Restaurants

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.

  • Antojeria del Centro, Periferico Poniente and Blvd. Luis Donaldo Colosio (Galerias Cinemark building), 662 260 5070. Popular with foreign tourists, this restaurant offers a wide selection including delicious Mexican food, Italian food and American favorites. English menu available.
  • Irasema´s - The best and cleanest place for tacos de cabeza.
  • Mariachisimo, Periférico Poniente No. 325 - Col. Palmar del Sol, 662 218 35 55 [2]. One of the two best carne asada restaurants. There is an amazing mariachi band on stage (Mariachi Juvenil de Jalisco). A little expensive, but very good.
  • Xochimilco, Obregón No. 51 - Col. Villa de Seris, 662 250 40 89, [3]. Carne asada restaurant with very good service, taste, and quality. Window allows you to watch the chefs in action, and the enormous tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) being made.
  • Sonora Steakhouse, Blvd. Eusebio Kino. A steakhouse featuring the food Sonora is famous for. Located in the Pitic neighborhood near the Fiesta Americana and Araiza Inn hotels. Expensive, but worth it. They come by and show you the meat and let you choose the thickness of your steak (which they charge you for by the gram). Plus, you might get to meet the Governor! The governor's residence is right next to the Sonora Steakhouse.
  • La Casa Grande, Blvd. Eusebio Kino No. 902. Tel: 662.214-5740. Traditional Mexican Food
  • Ole, Blvd. Morelos No. 89. A restaurant featuring Spanish cuisine. Friday nights there is live music and flamenco dancing.
  • Taco Grill, Blvd. Navarrete No. 205. Carne Asada (Grilled Beef) Tacos

Drink

One of the many Tecate stores in Hermosillo, this one is near El Centro.

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. Tap water is safe to drink, being one of only a few places in Mexico where the water is treated and filtered. While it is safe to drink the tap water, many of the locals suggest drinking purified water, the tap water contains many chemicals which are bad for your teeth and maybe be hard on the stomach. Do not fear drinking the water occassionally because the effects of the chemicals on the teeth can only be seen with extended exposures.

  • Secrets, Located in El Centro, a gay and lesbian bar/club.
  • Classico, Located in Blvd Rodriguez is a great club to go out on thursdays and saturdays.
  • Velvet, Located next to Fiesta Americana is also a great club to go out on fridays
  • Johny Sailor and Orange Mill Are to local restaurant/bars on Blvd. Colosio that are usually crowded at nights

Sleep

Hotels and accommodations abound around the city.

Budget

A view of El Torre de Hermosillo from the neighboring Holiday Inn.

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.

Mid-range

  • Santiago Hotel, 545 Blvd. Luis Encinas. For about $60 USD per night you can get a suite, not much different than your average hotel room, but includes granite countertops in the bathroom. Includes a restaurant with a buffet.

Splurge

  • Lucerna, Blvd. Vado del Rio-. Hermosillo's newest and most luxurious hotel, 5 star amenities. Bilingual staff. Located in the southern part of the city, right next to "Centro de Gobierno" or the main government offices. The fine and modern decor, along with attention to detail make it the new benchmark for luxury hotels en the city, the pool, with jacuzzy, is clearly a notch above all competitors.
  • Fiesta Americana Hotel, Blvd. Eusebio Kino 369 - Col. Lomas Pitic. Hermosillo's hotel, 5 star amenities. Bilingual counter staff. Located in the northern part of the city, as you enter from Mexico 15 south the hotel is just after you enter the city on the left. Located in Hermosillo's finest neighborhood, "Pitic." Surrounded by some of Hermosillo's nicest (and most expensive) restaurants. The hotel includes its own restaurant, and a nightclub.
  • Araiza Inn Hotel, Blvd Eusebio Kino No. 353. Located right near the Fiesta Americana, the Araiza Inn Hotel is also a 5 star type hotel with all amenities. Includes a delightful outdoor pool.

http://www.araizahoteles.com/

Contact

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.[4] The Consulate is located at Avenida Monterrey #141 and can be reached via telephone at: (52)(662)289-3500.

Stay safe

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 was tossed at a State Police Investigative office near the central part of the city, luckily the only causalties were a few windows. While drug cartels are certainly active in Hermosillo, Hermosillo 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, pickpockets, thieves, drunks, etc.

Cope

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 black or asian. 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 gay/lesbian people will stare at you and your partner, some may even make comments to you. If you have purple hair, a nose ring, and six earings 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.

Consulates

Get out

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.


Routes through Hermosillo
NogalesQuerobabi  N noframe S  GuaymasCiudad Obregón


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