Introducing Northwest Mexico
The magnets for visitors to Mexico’s northwest are the picture-perfect beaches beside the Sea of Cortez, and the abundant marine life, including some 40 sea-lion colonies and 27 species of whale and dolphin. Tourism here originates largely from Arizona (some towns are so easily reachable from there that they’re becoming Mexican-American communities) but the region, encompassing Sonora (by far the safest of Mexico’s border states) and northern Sinaloa, still bursts with homespun character. The strains of norteña (country) music and the inviting smell of the trademark regional snack, carne asada (marinated grilled beef), waft past cowboy-hatted ranchers on the streets. The main city hereabouts is Hermosillo, a proud cultural capital with cutting-edge museums, while resplendent colonial towns such as Álamos get you exploring inland. Los Mochis to the south is the jumping-off point for the spectacular train ride that is the Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico.