Durango
Mexico
By Ryan Austin

Located in the majestic mountains of Northwest Mexico, the sprawling state of Durango is among the largest and most picturesque in the country, as well as one of the most historically and culturally important. Nicknamed “La Tierra del Cine,” or “The Land of Movies,” Durango’s awe-inspiring landscape has provided the backdrop for hundreds of Hollywood films, and continues to be a sought-after location for filmmakers hoping to capture some of the area’s timeless magic. Thrill-seekers will find plenty of adventure in Durango’s diverse geography, while those looking for a taste of modern Mexico could hardly ask for a better destination than the capital city (also called Durango), one of the leading cultural centers in the country. An ideal mix of natural beauty, historical significance, and contemporary culture, Durango is the perfect place to discover the real Mexico.

Travelers to Durango typically touch down in General Guadalupe Victoria International Airport (DGO), located about 20 minutes northeast of the capital. To book your flight to Durango, click the following link:  (https://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php).  From there, it is a short ride by bus, shuttle, or taxi into the city center, where you will find many of the area’s major hotels. Book your accommodations with WhatsCheaper.com by clicking here: (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php).

The city of Durango has a rich history dating back to the Colonial period, and is home to some of the most renowned architecture in the country, influenced heavily by the Spanish and French settlers in the region. The Catredal Basílica de Durango is a must-see attraction, widely considered one of the most important architectural achievements in all of Mexico. Also noteworthy are the Governor’s Palace and the Municipal Palace, and the Casa del Conde de Súchil, a Colonial-era mansion that served as headquarters for the Inquisition.

Cultural explorers have a wide variety of museums and galleries to choose from inside the capital, including the Regional Museum of Durango, the Ganot-Peschard Museum of Archaeology, the Thematic Film Museum, the Guillermo Ceniceros Art Museum, the Anthropology and History Museum, and, for the little ones, the Bebeleche Interactive Museum, designed especially for children. (As always, admission prices are subject to change, so WhatsCheaper.com recommends researching each site beforehand for exact fees).

Away from the capital, travelers will discover an entirely different - but equally fascinating - side of Mexico in the vast mountains, lush forests, and breathtaking canyons that give Durango its dreamlike appeal. Eco-tourism is hugely popular in the state, and there are dozens of tour companies that offer excursions for kayaking, cave-diving, rock climbing, and mountain biking, just to name a few. And nature enthusiasts will definitely want to check out La Michilía Biosphere Reserve, about an hour south of the capital, which houses a wide variety of wildlife and fauna unique to the region.

Movie lovers won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Villa de Oeste and/or Chupaderos, two cinematic theme parks located on old film sets just north of the capital. Dozens of classic westerns were filmed in Durango - including The Magnificent Seven, True Grit, and The Wild Bunch, as well as a number of John Wayne films - and visitors can explore the sets and enjoy cowboy shows, or have dinner and a drink in an old-time saloon.

Durango is also famous for its other performing arts, and has a lively and distinctive music scene. Duranguense music is among the most popular in the Spanish-speaking world, and it isn’t difficult to find bars or nightclubs with live musicians on any given night in the capital. Durango’s cuisine is equally unique, and the city has plenty of excellent restaurants to sample local dishes or traditional Mexican fare.

For those travelers looking for a more authentic Mexico than that of the crowded resort towns, Durango is a great place to start exploring. Come experience the wonder. WhatsCheaper.com reminds all travelers to check the US State Department website for any applicable travel advisories in the area before booking.

MUST SEE IN Durango LIST:

  • 1. Catredal Basílica de Durango
  • 2. Governor’s Palace/Municipal Palace
  • 3. Casa del Conde de Súchil
  • 4. Villa de Oeste/Chupaderos
  • 5. Thematic Film Museum
  • 6. Guillermo Ceniceros Art Museum
  • 7. Bebeleche Interactive Museum
  • 8. La Michilía Biosphere Reserve
  • 9. El Tecuán Nature Park
  • 10. Peña del Aguila Reservoir

Durango EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Three Kings Celebration - January
  • 2. Carnival - February
  • 3. Cinco de Mayo Parade - May
  • 4. Durango National Fair - June/July
  • 5. Fiesta de Virgen del Refugio - July
  • 6. Independence Day - September
  • 7. Revueltas Festival - October
  • 8. Day of the Dead - November
  • 9. Day of the Revolution - November
  • 10. Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe - December

PHOTO GALLERY