Top 5 Places to Visit in Chihuahua, Mexico

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pestle and Mortar

The Pestle and Mortar known as the “Molcajete” in Spanish, is a wonderful addition to your kitchenware.

A brief history

If your like me, you want authenticity and quality, right? Why would we want something less for the same price? Taking this into consideration, how about something handmade, or better yet, handmade by real artisans from Mexico, who have been making them since pre-Hispanic times? That’s thousands of years of authenticity embedded into the making of the “molcajete.”

During the last Ice Age people survived by hunting and gathering. The animals ate the grass, and the people ate the animals. When temperatures finally reached the 70-80 degrees, rainfall increased and other plants began to grow. This led to the consumption of plants such as beans, corn, chilies, avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos and other native plants. This in turn, led to the creation of new food preparation tools such as the pestle and mortar.

It is also believed that it was used for the burial of members of high society. Awesome right? Well maybe not, but we’re not going to use them for that. For more on these topics see the Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain.

Easy to Make Salsa

We all know that there are several ways to make salsa, but there are only a couple ways to make the real deal. You know where I’m going with this, and yes the molcajete has a way of preserving the flavor of the ingredients crushed in it. (For tips on how to cure click here.) Try this easy to make and delicious jalapeño salsa.

  • 4-5 jalapeños
  • 1 tomato
  • salt to taste

Toast the jalapeños and tomato over direct heat until hot and fragrant. (Depending on the intensity of the flame maybe 3-5 minutes.) There May be a unique technique to crushing the vegetable, but I’m sure you’ll figure this one out. Next add some salt to self taste preference level and enjoy with some “tostadas” or on a juicy taco.

Let’s not forget there are a million ways to make salsa. I have to say, guacamole with pico de gallo is my personal favorite.

The Everything Mexican Promise

Here at Everything-Mexican.com we believe in honesty, integrity, and transparency. The products, such as the molcajete, are products we recommend and use ourselves. WE DO get paid a commission every time someone, such as yourself, clicks one of our links to buy any product from the direct vendors (See Affiliate Disclosure for more info). However, this is at NO EXTRA COST to you. That arraignment is between Everything-Mexican and the vendors.

The TLP Mortar and Pestle

We recommend the TLP (The Latin Products) Mortar & Pestle,                         

because of it’s quality, authenticity and uniqueness. Quality because it’s made out of lava rock and looks amazing and original. Authentic because it’s handmade by Mexican Artisans, and unique because it’s handmade where there will never be two exactly the same.

With this in mind Everything-Mexican gives the TLP Mortar & Pestle the “Es Gud” thumbs up. Thank you for reading, and I encourage you to leave a comment or email me at fernando@everything-mexican.com with any questions or concerns.

 

 

 

 

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The Mexican Poncho

The poncho has become an international icon in the world of fashion, but where did it come from? How did it arrive in Mexico and the United States?

 

The Mexican Poncho

To some the term “Mexican Poncho” may come across as offensive; since, it didn’t originate in Mexico. Natives from the Andean Mountains predating the Spanish arrivals are credited with that privilege. Pre-Incan cultures dating back over 2500 years are believed to have worn the beautiful garment.

After the arrival of the Spanish the Mapuche scattered their population throughout central Chile and surrounding areas. They were farmers, fishers and hunters; they weaved the wool from llamas into fine fabrics including the poncho. They traded their goods with the Incas from the north. Its safe to assume that this was the way the poncho was introduced to Mexico.

The Military Poncho

In its simplest form its just a blanket with a whole in the middle; but, it can be designed with intricate knitting patterns and fabrics. The U.S. Military integrated the poncho with a waterproof latex coat from India. With its waterproof properties and unique design it shielded soldiers from the harsh elements.

Since the 1800s the poncho was worn by the military forces. By the end of World War l prior to World War ll it was significantly improved. Following experimental testing in the Panama jungles it was found that it was extremely useful for survival and other tactical purposes. Being part of the famous ghillie suit, snipers use it for advanced camouflage techniques. It has remained a standard issued piece of U.S. Military equipment.

The Fashion Poncho

There are many types of ponchos nowadays. There’re the ones that ward off the rain and wind and the ones used for fashion. In the past they were mostly used by prominent men, but in the world of fashion women have embraced its colorful and stylish attributes.

The International Day of the Poncho

On the 27th in Boyaca, Colombia they celebrate the Day of the Poncho. The local artisans display their works of art to people from around the world. Weighing more than 1500 pounds they hold the record for the world’s largest poncho.

Why Mexicans love it.

Mexicans are extremely proud of their culture. You will forever see the poncho embedded into their traditions; and the reason they love it is the same reason why the rest of the world loves it: its warm and pretty so get yours today or just leave a comment and tell us what you think.

 

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Norteño Music

     Norteño music has a long history dating back to the Mexican Revolution. The accordion is what gives it flavor. “No accordion no Norteño.” Thats what the older folks will tell you.

     Even though the instrument comes from the other side of the world it came to Mexico to stay.

     Corridos (at least today) are the most popular type of music you will hear with the accordion. Polkas, huapangos, boleros, rancheras and cumbias are others that gave the accordion its popularity.

     This type of accordion (in the picture) is the most popular for Norteño. The diatonic accordions (also known as button accordions) are the most widely used.

     Gabbanelli accordions are among the most popular, but other brands are quickly gaining ground mostly due to pricing.

     Ramon Ayala and Lupe Tijerina are legends playing the accordion, to say the least. With their music they have filled our lives with joy and despair.

     The diatonic maybe the most popular, but the piano accordion is not to far behind.

🎹 accordion

 

     Many famous musicans like Micheal Salgado play the piano accordion. Amazingly, he plays it literally upside down. His style could be confused with Ramon Ayala but only to the untrained ear.

     The other instruments associated with Norteño is the bajosexto and bajoquinto.

     Although the origins are unclear, they reached their popularity in Central and Southern Mexico in the 19th century.

     It strung its way up north where it gained even more popularity. Eventually, it merged with the accordion giving birth to what many Mexicans believe to be the “organic” Norteño music.  (Here is a video of Chuy from Las Cruces, NM and his friend on the bajosexto.)

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My favorite holiday treat “Tamales”

I was going to wait till December, but I couldn’t resist. “Tamales” are like our energy bars. During the holidays Mexicans like to eat alot of tamales.

Red chile, green chile, rajas with cheese and borrachitos (sweet flavored with raisins and peanuts) are probably the most popular.

I have to tell you that if you have never had one your missing out. Whats even better is that you don’t have to travel to Mexico to enjoy one. They are becoming very popular here in the states. For recipe click here.

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