Northern Mexico

Northern Mexico is a vast desert region bordering the United States of America. The north is sometimes referred to as "unknown Mexico" or "lost Mexico" because it is ignored by the vast majority of tourists.


Regions map


Other destinations

Arareco Lake, near Creel.


This is not the tourist Mexico of the Colonial altiplano or the southern beach resorts. Rather the Norte is the Mexico of popular imagination. A place of vaqueros, horses and small towns, soaring mountains and sweeping deserts. But at the same time with some of the more modern cities in the country. Truly this is a very rich and virgin region. Visit Chihuahua or Coahuila and you will be far off the well worn gringo path. In many ways traveling to the north is like traveling through an old Western movie. Northern Mexico is one of the country's most wealthy and modern regions. Maquiladoras(factories) are located along the northern border. America's music, television, and other forms of entertainment are present near the American border. A lot of Mexicans cross the border to shop or work.


As in the rest of the country, Spanish is the predominant language among the population. The variety of Mexican Spanish spoken in the region distinguishes itself from the rest of the country with its strong intonation and contraction of words. Due to its proximity to the United States, it receives a great deal of influence from English. For example, English words such as troca (truck), lonche (lunch) and bai (bye) are of common usage.

Education in English is widespread among the middle and upper economical classes of the population, albeit with varied degrees of fluency. Students and business people would the best bet if you need to ask something in English on the street.

Northern Mexico has the lowest concentration of indigenous communities of all regions in the country. There is no a single indigenous language that surpasses 100,000 speakers. Some of the most significant indigenous languages include Tarahumara, Mayo, Huichol, and Paipai. Please note that is not essential to learn any of these languages unless you go into a very remote area or you want to be immersed in the local culture. The great majority of indigenous people are bilingual in Spanish as well.

Get around

Northern Mexico has the best highway system in the country. Additionally, the area's sparse population means heavy traffic congestion is seldom an issue (outside of the Monterrey area). As a result, taking the bus or finding a few friends to carpool with are probably the best option for getting around. If you are short on time there are many regional flights between the larger cities. If you have plenty of time buying a horse or bicycle would really allow one to slow down and absorb the region's unique scenery, culture and lifestyle; it could be the travel experience of a lifetime.



Explore a largely overlooked area that is several times the size of Spain.


See also: Mexican food


You might wish to try L.A. Cetto Wine, world-renowned wine produced in Baja California and known for its outstanding quality of Merlots and Cabernets.

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