In the 1960s John Wayne came to the beautiful colonial city of DURANGO to make seven Westerns (among them Chisum and The War Wagon), a tradition maintained today in studios outside the city. Although the Sierra Madre still looms on the western horizon, the country around the city itself is flat; just two low hills mark it out from the plain: the Cerro del Mercado, a giant lump of iron ore that testifies to the area’s mineral wealth, rises squat and black to the north, while to the west a climb or cable car ride up the Cerro de los Remedios provides a wonderful panorama over the whole city. Durango, with its roughly 630,000 inhabitants, sits between these two hills in the Valle del Guadiana.

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