Durango offers first time visitors quite a surprise, especially when you drive into the city, when arriving from the airport. The outskirts of the city would lead you to believe that you were in a city that consisted of nothing but industrial parks, warehouses and truck stops. A striking contrast awaits when you arrive in the pleasant town center with its blatant display of colonial architecture. Durango is located in the northern central section of the country and is an important railway hub and trucking center, a major producer of cotton and textiles, Mexico's leading iron producer, and the location of many movie sets, mostly for the production of cowboy movies. Durango is also the jumping off point for many wilderness and adventure tours that take visitors into the rugged mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Durango is most definitely cowboy country and home to many cattle ranches that produce much of Mexico's beef. This city likes it's cowboys and therefore the locals are also crazy about rodeos. Durango is home to no less than 5 "charro" rings where rodeos are regularly scheduled. This is a great city to purchase high quality leather items, especially boots, saddles and other cowboy related items. Also look for the beautiful wool serapes, popular the world over, which are produced locally.
The beautiful city center is the pride of Durango, and rightfully so. The stunning cathedral, located directly adjacent to Plaza de Armas, took over eighty years to build and is said to be the home of some very active ghosts. A short walk around the city center will dazzle visitors, because of the sheer number of buildings with classic 17th and 18th century architecture. The French style Teatro Ricardo Castro is known to be one of the nicest theatres in northern Mexico. The city also has many fine museums and most are within a short walk of the main plaza.