Durango Attractions | Things to do in Durango
Durango offers a wide variety of activities, everything from visiting museums and archeological sites, to touring original movie sets.
Historic Center of Durango
The Historic Center of Durango has close to one thousand historic buildings with diverse architectural styles ranging from neoclassical and Baroque to Gothic. Exploring the streets of the downtown area is like walking through a huge open-air museum. Durango’s numerous historic buildings and impressive architecture have led international agencies to suggest that it should be considered a World Heritage Site.
Basílica Menor Cathedral
With its impressive Baroque style facade, and masterful artistic details, a visit to the Cathedral is a real treat, not only for art lovers, but also for those who simply want to expand their knowledge. The Cathedral dates back to the mid-eighteenth century and houses several high-quality sculptures and magnificent works of art. It also features finely crafted altarpieces, woodwork, and ceramics, as well as beautiful renderings on the ceilings and religious paintings.
Durango Culture House
The Durango Cultural House is a building where you’ll find the National Institute of Anthropology and History; the State Institute of Culture (ICED), which displays a number of items from the revolutionary era of the country, including photographs, guns, personal items, and furniture used by different heroes of the Mexican Revolution; as well as the Cinema Museum, which showcases the passion that Durango has for cinema.
Cerro de los Remedios Church
This small church is one of the most traditional churches in Durango, and also one of the most unique due to its hilltop location. The church has been restored in such a way so as to retain its original architecture and the interior offers a peaceful atmosphere. This small building houses various works of religious art, and your visit is sure to be a pleasant one.
Durango has a wide variety of museums, such as the Revolution Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Archeology Museum, the Folk Art Museum, which showcases regional handicrafts; and the Regional Museum (better known as the Avocado Museum) with more than a dozen exhibit halls with historic items from Durango, as well as contemporary artwork. There are also two cinema museums, a book museum, a children’s museum, and several art galleries.
The Cinema Museums are attractions in Durango that deserve a special mention, especially given the importance of film in the history and culture of the region. They pay homage to the movies, actors, directors, and moments that made Durango the Land of Cinema.
Located in the State Culture Institute, the Rafael Trujillo Museum displays huge movie cameras that were used decades ago to film some of the first movies, as well as photographs, director’s instruments, and many other interesting items. It has six exhibit halls, a movie theater, and a complete video library with hundreds of independent and commercial films. If you like the seventh art, this exhibit is a must.
There’s also the Cinema Theme Museum, where you can see posters, photographs, and printed materials autographed by the stars of movies that were filmed in Durango
Villa del Oeste and Chupaderos
Villa del Oeste is a theme park and movie set that resembles a town in the old west, with its characteristic bank building and dusty streets. Here you can see a live cowboy show, go horseback riding, dine at the restaurants, and enjoy a fun evening out at the bar.
The town of Chupaderos is also a movie set with the authentic flavor of the old west, with its wooden buildings, unpaved streets, quaint rustic houses, and the classic atmosphere of the Hollywood westerns.
The cultural richness of Durango is evident in its many theaters. For architectural beauty, seek out the Victoria Theater, which is the oldest theater in the northern part of the country. Also worth a visit are the Ricardo Castro Theater, which is an example of the splendor of the Porfiriato and was built entirely of stone in a decorative French style; and the Angel Zarraga Theater, which houses outstanding works of art.
Traditional trolley tours are perfect for people who want to see all of the city’s top attractions but don’t have a lot of time, or who want to make the most of their stay by visiting as many attractions as possible while in Durango. One of the main advantages to these routes is that they can be easily adapted to your schedule, making it possible to choose the tour you want, in the time that you have available.
La Ferreria is a nineteenth-century hacienda that is located just five miles south of Durango. At La Ferreria you’ll also find archeological remains from the Chalchihuite culture, as well as a museum that displays artifacts that were found at the site. The archeological site has been declared a Cultural Heritage of Durango and the Nation by the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The dams in Durango are ideal for enjoying a variety of water sports, like kayaking, in a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by abundant natural beauty.
If you enjoy hunting for sport, there are ranches in Durango where you can do this activity. They all offer beautiful natural settings and most are situated within an hour of the city. Many specialize in the raising of deer, wild boar, wild turkeys, or doves.
Some are real dream destinations, like Rancho El Durangueno with nearly 50,000 acres of land where you can hunt wild deer and wild turkeys, surrounded by mountains, canyons, streams, and lush vegetation. Another worth mentioning is Rancho La Muralla, which in addition to great hunting, also features ziplining, a playground, horseback riding, rappelling, mountain biking, and paintball.
Many of the hunting ranches in Durango also offer other recreational activities, such as fishing and hiking in a beautiful natural setting.
Guadiana Park is one of the most traditional parks in the city, and a popular spot for local residents to go for a stroll, work out, or spend time with family. It is one of the main “lungs” of the city and has a playground, a jogging path, an Olympic size pool, a bike path, and a lake with ducks. Across from Guadiana Park is Sahuatoba Park, another park with a small zoo that’s home to a variety of wild animals, reptiles, tropical birds, and other exotic species.
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