My 6 Favourite Stops from Southern Arizona to the Mexican Pacific Coast


The unique article was printed in Journey Awaits final Feb. 9. 2022.

The Mexican
Pacific Coast is the place my husband actually desires to dwell; Mazatlan in Sinaloa, in
specific. That’s the place he’d collected nice recollections along with his late spouse and youngsters
on trip from his then-hectic company life. Once we met, he readily hosted
my household in his timeshare. They liked it and stated it was the perfect trip
they’d ever had.

Town’s allure
comes from the truth that it isn’t only a resort city. It’s a bona fide Mexican
metropolis, with age-old traditions just like the third largest Carnaval on the planet in
February, locations like its lovely historic downtown full with a venerable
theater, a ravishing cathedral, and an ideal Mercado, and landmarks just like the
longest Malecon in Latin America with important monuments and lovely seashores.
This Shrimp Capital of the World is now our second dwelling.

We keep in
Mazatlan’s  El Cid Resorts each winter
though we are able to additionally keep at their Cancun and Cozumel properties. From our
home in Mesa, Arizona, it is a bit more than 900 miles or 16 hours of
driving time. We’re presently right here on our fourth winter break, lacking 2020
due to Covid. To get right here, we now have used three completely different routes and have
gotten to know six completely different stops.  

Our Early Route: Hermosillo
and Los Mochis


is the biggest metropolis (inhabitants
830,000), the capital, and the primary financial middle for the state of
Sonora which borders Arizona. It has grown a lot due to sturdy
industrialization, particularly for the reason that Nineteen Eighties within the automotive business. Such
is the financial stimulus of being on the US border.

 It’s six hours (with out time on the border) from
our dwelling in Mesa and, as such, could be very very similar to an American metropolis. It boasts of
an fascinating and rocky landform known as the
Cerro de la Campana thought-about the image of town. On
a hilltop at an elevation of over 1,000 ft, it gives vacationers a superb
view of town.

to Los Mochis

The federal
Mexico 15 is the freeway that connects Arizona
to Mazatlan. There are two elements: 15D is the Cuota (toll) whereas 15 is the Libre
(free) highway. We had been amazed on the enchancment of the Sonora part of 15D
between our first and second journeys (an interval of eight years). Operating straight
south, we registered nice mph all through. On our fourth journey, toll price
assortment plazas had been now not working however they resumed on our newest
(fifth) journey. There have been nonetheless a whole lot of these vibradores that power motorists to cut back velocity. However you even have nice scenes alongside the way in which.

Mochis, Sinaloa

Los Mochis
is a coastal metropolis within the northern a part of the state of Sinaloa. With a
inhabitants of over 360,000, it’s the finish of the Chihuahua-Pacific Railroad
which passes via scenic
Copper Canyon, a significant vacationer attraction of
Mexico. This railway hyperlinks the cattle markets in Kansas Metropolis, USA with the
nearest port on the Pacific Ocean, Topolobampo, the second largest deep-water
port on the planet positioned proper earlier than Los Mochis.

Town can be
on the middle of the state’s agricultural space producing sugar cane, cotton,
rice, flowers, mangoes, and different greens. Firms have adopted many
small farms, introducing modern farm implements and practices.  However we additionally noticed many males lined up at truck
stops and farm entrances, ready for farm managers to select them up for work in
the fields. These scenes had been miserable as a result of many don’t discover work
and stay idle. Maybe that is partly why the drug business has flourished in
the state.

Mochis to Mazatlan

From Los
Mochis to Mazatlan, Mexico 15D is nearly the identical as we noticed it on our first
journey: stuffed with potholes. Paradoxically, there was a Cuota Assortment cease each
half hour. There have been eight of them on the five-hour drive, much more than
Sonora. The saving grace is that, on the final hour of the journey, the large, blue, and
calm Pacific Ocean stayed with us to the fitting of the freeway, reminding us that
the paradise we search is nearly across the nook.

A New Route and New Stops:
Navojoa and Magdalena del Kino

On our third
winter trip, we met a pair who had been driving to Mazatlan for years.
They suggested us to vary our route to 1 that not solely divides the journey extra
evenly but in addition intentionally confines stops to Sonora. It’s a state with a Stage
3 Journey Advisory (go together with warning) as an alternative of Sinaloa with a Stage 4 (don’t
go). And the stops are much more charming!


The primary
cease of our return journey was Navojoa
, Sonora, the fifth-largest within the state (inhabitants 150,000).  The Mexican Revolutionary Álvaro Obregón was born in a small city close to the
metropolis. After the 1910 revolt, he turned President of Mexico, introducing fashionable
agricultural methods, making the encompassing valley probably the most
affluent agricultural areas in Mexico.

Right this moment,
overseas and native buyers have gone into many different industries like shrimp
farming, swine manufacturing, and even a Tecate (beer) brewery. Prosperity is
evident. A stunning Fundamental Plaza fronts the Palacio Municipal surrounded by 4
monuments, a putting Clock Tower, with pretty Cathedral spires seen. At
the rotunda, a colourful Navojoa signal welcomes guests.  

de Kino

The subsequent
city, simply six hours from Navojoa, is a bit more than 60 miles south of
Nogales on the US border. The film “The Quick and The Livid” was filmed there
(and within the close by city of cattle nation, Santa Ana) in June and July 2008. Magdalena
de Kino (inhabitants 25,000) is a
Pueblo Mágico, one among 100+ cities chosen by Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism for a scenic, cultural or historic qualities.

We liked our
keep on the 5-star Lodge Industria, one among six lodges within the metropolis. It’s only a
half block away from the attractive Fundamental Plaza round which we had a stunning
horse-drawn carriage trip within the night.  On the middle are a chapel containing the
mendacity effigy of and a monument with a crypt housing the stays of Father
Francisco Eusebio Kino which had been found there in 1966, 255
years after his loss of life.  He’s the pioneer
Roman Catholic missionary who based fifteen missions within the space in addition to in
southern Arizona. Town can be named after Santa Maria Magdalena for whom a
fairly church was additionally constructed within the Plaza.

Our Most Latest Route: Nogales
and Ciudad Obregon

Christmas we celebrated with my husband’s daughter in Denver, Colorado. Since
we weren’t coming from dwelling, we ended up in Nogales, Arizona after a cease in
Albuquerque, New Mexico.


the port of entry that divides Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico

Nogales is an
Arizona metropolis of about 20,000, Arizona’s largest worldwide border group,
and a part of the bigger Tucson-Nogales mixed statistical space. It has a
counterpart metropolis of Nogales within the state of Sonora on the Mexican aspect. I-19
continues south from Phoenix into Mexico 15D. These two highways, along with
their Canadian counterpart, comprise the CANAMEX Hall that connects the
three nations.

Nogales channels
about US$30 B price of contemporary produce and manufactured items from Mexico into
the US. This commerce helps help hundreds of jobs and native economies
all through Arizona and Sonora. Fairly fascinating however it’s not a vacationer city.
Nevertheless, it makes an ideal base from which to proceed a drive into Mexico or to
calm down in after going via the procedures on the US border.


Obregon, the state’s second-largest metropolis after Hermosillo with a inhabitants of
329,404, is a six-hour drive from Nogales. Mazatlan is seven hours away. Since
Navojoa is an hour farther from Ciudad Obregon, we selected this new cease to permit
for time at Km. 21, the place the vacationer and car permits to remain in Mexico are
processed after border crossing. This often takes about an hour.
As you
method town from the north, the statue of an
indigenous Yaqui greets you. He represents the tribe that
received a number of battles towards the Spanish however in 1610 was persuaded to undergo
the Spanish Crown. Even then, conflicts continued into the subsequent two centuries.
In 1887 the Porfirio Diaz military shot the Yaqui Chief Cajeme to loss of life. That
ushered in business and agricultural progress within the 1900s, identical to close by Navojoa
when Obregon bought fashionable tools and developed “Hacienda Nainari.” In 1927,
nonetheless, he was assassinated and town was named after him.

The Laguna
de Nainari, a man-made lake with a diameter of about two kilometers, is the
inexperienced spot within the metropolis. It’s a assembly place for numerous teams and the place
individuals can pattern many various snacks of the area. Folks additionally collect at
the Ostimuri Youngsters’s Park and Zoo which additionally incorporates a Planetarium.

As you possibly can
see, there are nice stops on this route. We select them based mostly on two elements: the
US State Division Journey Advisory Stage resulting from crime and the driving time from
our start line (dwelling or elsewhere). Once we go dwelling in April, we’ll cease
at Navojoa and Nogales. 


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