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Fodor's See It Mexico, 3rd Edition
Casas Grandes Review
Some 300 km (186 mi) northwest of Chihuahua, the twin towns of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes are the gateways to the ancient area known as Paquimé, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Near the aspen-lined Casas Grandes River, Paquimé was inhabited by peoples of the Oasis America culture between AD 700 and 1500. The city was poised between the Pueblo cultures of today's Southwestern United States (to whom they were related) to the north and their Mesoamerican neighbors to the south. Paquimé was a commercial center whose residents manufactured jewelry and raised fowl and macaws from the tropics. Evidence of their engineering and architectural savvy still stands in the form of heat-shielding walls and intricate indoor plumbing systems. The high-tech on-site museum shows Paquimé artifacts and ceramics and has bilingual displays.
Omnibus de México makes the five-hour trip from Chihuahua to Nuevas Casas Grandes (about $20). To get to the ruins, it's easiest to hail a taxi from the bus station in Nuevas Casas Grandes. Once there, head for the zócalo (main square). Paquimé is a 10-minute walk from town—follow the "Paquimé" sign on Avenida Constitución.
- Address: Chihuahua City, Chihuahua
- Phone: 636/692–4140
- Cost: Museum $2.60
- Hours: Tues.–Sun. 8–5
- Location: Chihuahua City
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