Visiting in El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico - Just Designated a Pueblo Magico
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Spending another Winter in wonderful Mexico
Follow along with our adventures in Jennie the RV and Willie the Jeep
Leaving Huatabampito we decided to visit the small town of El Fuerte in Sinaloa. It is an old colonial mining town, first settled in 1564. There are a couple of ways to get there. Going south from Navajoa on MX15D we took the turn off at La Carrizo, km 55. From here it is 36 miles inland. Can also continue south to Los Mochis then take the Los Mochis/Choix road. It is 49 miles to town. By taking one road in and the other out you can avoid one toll booth just before Los Mochis. The road we took is a narrow two lane paved road. Good in some places really rough in others. It took us one and a quarter hours to drive the 36 miles. At one point we were herding cows with the RV. In another place we didnít see the vibradores (a series of small speed bumps about five feet apart) coming up and almost shook ourselves apart. It was a pretty ride through mostly unihabitated country with lots of small trees and big cacti.
El Fuerte was a station on the Camino Real. Now it is a bustling town supplying the surrounding agricultural area with the necessities of life. From here you can also catch the train to Creel to visit the Copper Canyon region. It has just been declared a Pueblo Magico so a lot of federal money is coming in to restore the buildings.
There is only one RV park in town . It is at the Hotel Bugamvillas. We are parked right in front of the hotel rooms on the grass. Electricity is 15amps run off an extension cord from the hotel building. Water can be supplied by the gardener using his water hose.
No sewer connection but there is a place to dump the tanks. The owners will also open a hotel room for use for showers etc. No WiFi service but there are several places in town where you can connect to the Internet. Right now it is 150 Pesos a day (exchange rate appx. 12.50) It is easy to find from either highway in. The highway from Los Mochis is the better of the two but out of the way if you are southbound and coming to El Fuerte.
The only drawback is -BUGS- lots of biting bugs. Come with a good supply of bug spray and you'll be okay.
From the RV park you can drive or walk into town. The streets are narrow and some are one-way so pay attention. Driving up the narrow streets is kind of like driving through an obstacle course. Swerving from side to side to avoid the parked vehicles. Like driving a slalom course.
There is a lot to do in El Fuerte. One day we went for a slow boat ride on the El Fuerte River. We were picked up at the tour office, Amigos3, by our English speaking guide and driven down to an Indian village where his boat was stored. He hooked it up to his suburban and away we went to the river. The boat had no motor just oars but we were going with the current. Saw lots of birds but most were too far away to get a decent picture of. We made one stop along the river and hiked up into the hills to see some petroglyphs. The hill they are on was considered sacred and the elders would go up there and use peyote among other things. According to the historians there has been some type of Indian village in the area for over 3,000 years. At the end of the ride we were driven back to the tour office. Passed another village where the women were doing their laundry in the river. Nice experience.
Back in town we visited the museum. It is a replica of the old fort from which the town got its name. Built in basically the same area up on top of a little hill next to the river. Lots of interesting information about the region and town.
There are a couple of REALLY nice hotels in town. Went in and looked them over. The most breathtaking one was like going into a museum of all the art in Mexico. It is called the El Fuerte Hotel and from the outside it looks like just another hotel. It was a 300 year old hacienda restored. The other hotel, Hotel Posada del Hidalgo was more modern but still has a claim to the olden time. Legend has it that at one time on that site there was the home where Zorro was born. So of course the hotel makes a big deal of that. With statues and a happy hour every night where Zorro shows up and sings and dances.
We visited the red brick Palacio Municipal to see the magnificent mural telling the history of the area.
Every evening after five the churro man sets up his equipment on the corner of Zaragoza and 16 de Septiembre. He has been making a living making churros for 17 years.
Good restaurants are plentiful. One right downtown the General we ate at a couple of times. One afternoon when we stopped in there was a tour group there. Much to our delight the restaurant put on a show for them and we got to watch. Beautiful young women from the village came out in costumes that told stories about Mexico, the beaches, the agriculture, the culture.
The other restaurant we went to after the boat ride was right on the river. From our seats we could watch men in boats setting out their langostinos de aqua dulce, crawdad, traps.
Two different nights while we were walking around town we found Christmas processions. Mary on a burro with Joseph leading her. Three Kings, angels, peasants, devils and people walking behind with candles. All in costume. Both nights we followed them and were made to feel that we belonged there.
Another afternoon there was quite an event put on in the plaza by a local radio station. A couple of different groups playing music and singing. Seemed like the town was full of music all the time.
Hotel Bugamvillas RV
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
El Fuerte Slideshow
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Things we've done and places we've been on this trip - Mexico 2009