Explore The northwest and Copper Canyon
Beyond Navojoa, Hwy-15 maintains its southbound course, soon crossing the state line into Sinaloa. The next place of any size is Los Mochis, an uninteresting destination in itself, but as the western terminus of the Copper Canyon railway, an important transport hub. There are plenty of places to stay in Los Mochis should you need to spend a night, but many train passengers prefer to head inland to El Fuerte, a tranquil colonial backwater some two hours east. Back on Hwy-15, the prosperous city of Culiacán lies about 200km south of Los Mochis. Though it’s the state capital, you’ll find little to do here and it’s been known as “narco city” for its role in the illegal drug trade since the 1950s – most travellers choose to press on to the resort of Mazatlán. Note that Sinaloa is one hour ahead of Sonora in the summer (April–Oct), as the latter does not observe daylight savings.Read More
The modern agricultural centre of Los Mochis is a relatively new creation by Mexican standards, its origins going back to the establishment of a utopian colony on Topolobampo Bay in 1881, led by American socialist Albert Kimsey Owen. The colony was abandoned in the early 1900s, and Los Mochis really owes its existence to the Sinaloa Sugar Company, a US-owned monolith that was established by Benjamin Johnston in the 1890s (the founder and his wife are commemorated with reverential portraits in the lobby of Hotel Santa Anita). The town grew up around the extensive company works, and today it’s a broad-streeted, prosperous, but rather dull place with few attractions, notable only as a major crossing point for road, rail and ferry, and above all the western terminus of the incomparable Copper Canyon railway. If you’re planning to take the ferry or train you’ll have little choice but to stay at least one night here – don’t expect much excitement. The sweltering grid of streets that makes up Los Mochis has no real focus, but what there is of a town centre is on Hidalgo and Obregón, between Allende and Leyva.