Out of the 32 Mexican states Chihuahua is the largest with an area of 247,455 square kilometers (95,540 sq mi). It’s population however is ranked at 11th place with 3.5 to 4 million people. That May be because of its vast remote areas like the “Sierra Madre Occidental” located in the western part of the state. It’s biggest city is Cuidad Juarez (bordering El Paso, Texas) with about 1/3 of the population living there.
Chihuahua is south of Texas and New Mexico, west of Sonora, North of Durango and east of Coahuila.
It’s GDP is over 20 billion dollars mostly due to huge corporations investing in its workforce.
The earliest inhabitants discovered were in Rancho Colorado and Samalayuca said to date back from 12,000 BC to 7,000 BC.
Chihuahua is home to Las Jarillas Cliff Dwellings near Casas Grandes (also known as “Paquimé”). The Mogollan Culture occupied large parts of Sonora, Chihuahua, New Mexico, West Texas and East Arizona. The Mogollan was part of a larger group called Oasisamerica that stretched from Utah and Colorado to Southern Chihuahua. It is believed that the first inhabitants to the “Paquimé” area came from the north in search of more abundant edible plants.
After the arrival of the Spanish Explorers they dispersed, but not after some tribes like the Conchos Tribe showed heavy resistance for almost a century.
Francisco de Ibarra was the first Spanish explorer to arrive in “Paquimé”. His lieutenant Rodrigo de Rio de Loza was left in the charge of the area; he later found gold in the Sierra Madre Occidental. This led to the founding of Santa Bárbara from which several expeditions were organized to find shorter routes into New Mexico. It’s was in April of 1598 that Juan de Ońate found it and called it “El Paso Del Norte”.
In this article you will learn the top 5 places to see in Chihuahua. From the Valley of the Monks to the Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution. Remember to leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to edit this article.
5. El Valle de Los Monjes
Deep in the heart of the “Sierra Tarahumara” is the “Valle de Los Monjes” or the Valley of the Monks. They are rocks 20 meters high surrounded by forest.
The rocks show millions of years of erosion by wind and rain that have given them their human like shape thus resembling monks. The legend says that in the course of deep meditation they were frozen in time. The weird part is that they’re aligned in groups of 5 to 10 in procession.
4. Los Medanos de Samalayuca
Los Medanos de Samalayuca (the dunes of Samalayuca) are located in the northern part of the state and south, southeast and southwest of Juarez. It’s part of the Samalayuca Desert with an area of 2000 sq km.
The dunes are the beach shoreline of an ancient lake (Lake Palomas) that spread 9000 sq km across Chihuahua. The lake is believed to have existed during the Pleistocene Epoch era.
The sand in the area is considered to be 90% to 95% silica, which is pure enough for glass and ceramics.
Among the things people do there is “sandboarding”, but also camping, sightseeing and four-wheeling. On the western mountain range some ancient paintings have been discovered.
3. Cliff Dwellings at Las Jarillas
Just 36 kilometers northwest of Madera, Chihuahua you will find the Cliff Dwellings of Las Jarillas. These archaeological sites called “Huapoca”, were the dwelling places of the “Paquimé”. These “Casas Grandes” or big houses were made out of adobe and fiber reinforcement.
The decay of the settlement in 1340 CE is unknown, but in 1520 information was gathered from native groups still living in the area. They called themselves “Jonás” or Cahitas.
There are two notable sites in Huapoca Canyon the “Águila” and the “Serpiente”. “El Nido Del Águila” ( the eagles nest) is located about 2/3 of the height of the cliff. “La Cueva de la Serpiente” (the serpent’s cave) is a residential complex with about 14 or 15 rooms.
2. Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution
Calle 10a. y Méndez No. 3010 Col. Santa Rosa, Chihuahua, CHI, is the former estate of General Francisco Villa and his widow María Luz Corral de Villa. Following her death the property was turned over to the government in 1981.
Here you will find paintings, saddles, hats, pistols and even the Dodge automobile he was in when assassinated (Pancho Villa was killed in Hidalgo Parral in 1923).
1. Barrancas Del Cobre
Located in the deepest parts of the “Sierra Madre Occidental” to the west of Chihuahua is the “Barrancas Del Cobre”, also known as Copper Canyon. It is said to have 20 canyons 4 times superior to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Copper Canyon is a beautiful place with an area of 60,000 sq. km. It’s highest points are Urique (1830 meters) and La Sinforosa (1830 meters).
Among its residents you will find the black bear, the puma, the white tail deer, the wolf, the wild pig and the mountain lion. For birds, you can find the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the green macaw, the woodpecker, wild turkey, vultures and quail.
There are two waterfalls called “Piedra Volada” and “La Cascada de Basaseachi”. “Piedra Volada” (the flying stone) is 453 meters high. The Basaseachi Waterfall is 246 meters high. The best viewpoints are Cerro Grande, Divisadero Barrancas, La Piedra Volada, Cerro Gallego, La Bufa, Piedra Redonda and La Ventana. The rivers are Batopilas, Urique, El Río Conchos, Candameña and El Verde.
There is a 3 kilometer cableway, 7 zip lines on 2 hanging bridges and the Zip Raider which is the worlds longest at 2,530 meters parallel to the cableway. There are also 2 cyclist routes and many other activities to do in the area.
The “Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico” nicknamed “El Chepe” is a train that cuts through western Chihuahua to Los Mochis, Sinaloa. The train cuts through Copper Canyon crossing 37 bridges and 80 tunnels.
So there you have it. The top 5 things to do in the state of Chihuahua. Remember to leave a comment and subscribe for more articles of everything-mexican.com. Thank you for reading.