Durango state was the birthplace of Mexico’s greatest outlaw (Francisco Villa), while Durango city spawned its first president (General Guadalupe Victoria), and the easygoing capital strikes a happy medium between Wild West backwater and sophisticated metropolis.
This is one of Mexico’s most isolated cities: you have to travel hours through the desert or the Sierra Madre mountains from here before you’ll hit another significant settlement. Yet isolation has fostered distinctive regional traits, from the cuisine through to Durango’s celebrated role in the movie business.
Founded in 1563, Durango’s early importance was down to nearby iron-ore deposits, along with gold and silver from the Sierra Madre. Today hundreds of maquiladoras (assembly plants) dominate the economy.
For visitors, the city's striking colonial center commands attention, while good accommodations and restaurants are plentiful.
Note: Durango state's time zone is one hour ahead of Chihuahua and Sinaloa.