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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Feria Nacional de Durango
Durango’s month-long festival, held in July, celebrates the city’s foundation on July 8, 1563 by Spanish explorer Francisco de Ibarra. Festivities commence several days before and run right through till the fiesta of the Virgen del Refugio on July 22 – well worth going out of your way for, though rooms are booked solid.