- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Spanish Phrases
Smart travelers come to El Fuerte, a rather sleepy town of some 45,000 residents, to board the Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico. But tour operators also use El Fuerte as a base for hiking, birding, or fishing excursions. Some area hotels get in on the action by organizing float trips on the river near town. You'll see herons and egrets, as well as magpies, kingfishers, and many other birds as you drift downstream past willow trees, cacti, and lilac bushes. One popular tour is to Cerro de la Mascara, an interesting archaeological site where hundreds of rock paintings and petroglyphs have been preserved.
Conquistador Don Francisco de Ibarra and a small group of soldiers founded this small town as San Juan Bautista de Carapoa in 1564. It became known as El Fuerte for its 17th-century fort, built by the Spaniards to protect against attacks by the indigenous Mayo, Sinaloa, Zuaque, and Tehueco peoples.
El Fuerte at a Glance
Elsewhere in The Copper Canyon
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's