The Copper Canyon: Places to Explore

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Chihuahua City

For a city ringed with highways and pocked by parking lots, Chihuahua has a really pleasant center. Here you'll find a pair of lovely plazas and more trees than you will probably see in any northern city of comparable size. Chihuahua, with a population of 750,000, feels considerably smaller than it is. Its two good museums are tied to key figures in the nation's history: Pancho Villa, the mustachioed revolutionary who helped overthrow Dictator Porfirio Díaz in 1910, and Padre Miguel Hidalgo, the priest known as the father of Mexican independence.

Given the problems with drug cartel–related violence in Chihuahua City and Cuidad Juárez, we strongly advise that you avoid using either as a transit hub or a base. Instead, use Los Mochis as a transit hub and travel from there or El Fuerte to Creel.

If you must start and/or spend time in Chihuahua City, check with the U.S. state department's Web site (www.travel.state.gov) for updates on the situation. Stay on the tourist path—or, better yet, sign on to an organized tour—and keep your wits about you.

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