NORTHERN MEXICO

The deserts and dunes of the north extend across the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora, Durango, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas, where maximum summer temperatures range between 32º C and 36º C (90º F and 97º F) and winter lows drop below 0º C (32º F). The western and eastern mountain ranges of the Sierra Madre stretch across the region as well.

Ideal for camping and photography, don’t miss out on the breathtaking sights of the hot springs in the Cuatro Cienegas desert in Coahuila.

In the state of Zacatecas, you can admire the beautiful colonial buildings of the capital (also called Zacatecas) from high above on a suspended cable car, which departs from city landmark Cerro de La Bufa. There are also interesting archeological zones nearby such as Alta Vista and La Quemada.

In the state of Chihuahua, you can visit the ruins of Paquime, where some of the ancient constructions are five stories high. Also in Chihuahua, you can take an amazing ride on the Chihuahua-Pacific railroad as it passes through the Copper Canyon region. Finally, don’t forget to check out the traditional art of the Raramuri Indians, heirs of the Tarahumara culture.

In the state of Sonora, ancient territory of the Yaqui Indians, you’ll find the best beach resorts in northern Mexico: Guayamas, San Carlos, Bahia de Kino, and Puerto Penasco. You’ll also be able to admire the dunes of El Pinacate biosphere reserve and the adjacent Gran Desierto del Altar (the Altar Desert), recently declared UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Thanks to its barren desert landscape, the state of Durango has become a popular spot for film locations. Also in Durango, you can camp in the mysterious Zona del Silencio (The Zone of Silence), a desert area where the atmosphere purportedly attracts meteorites and blocks radio transmissions. Another state attraction is national park La Sierra de Organos, where you can see some of nature’s most peculiar rock formations.

In the state of Nuevo Leon, you can visit business and industrial center Monterrey, home of the famous cabrito (roast goat-kid) dish. The saddle-shaped Cerro de la Silla provides a backdrop to Mexico’s third largest city.

Meanwhile, in the state of Tamaulipas, you can discover a wide variety of flora and fauna at El Cielo, a biosphere reserve with four different ecosystems. You can also check out El Complejo Cueva Diablo, one of the nation’s oldest archeological zones dating back 8,000 years.

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