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Overview

Immediately south of the U.S. state of Arizona, Mexico's northwestern state of Sonora is a scenic amalgam of cactus-strewn deserts, the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez and the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental. With simplified paperwork under the "Sonora Only" program for visiting drivers, Sonora is an easy and popular getaway from the U.S. Southwest. The beach towns of Puerto Peñasco and San Carlos, in fact, get almost overwhelmed by the influx from north of the border in the cooler months of the year. Bahí'aKino is a much more tranquil seaside village. The state capital Hermosillo and the port of Guaymas ...

Immediately south of the U.S. state of Arizona, Mexico's northwestern state of Sonora is a scenic amalgam of cactus-strewn deserts, the blue waters of the Sea of Cortez and the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental. With simplified paperwork under the "Sonora Only" program for visiting drivers, Sonora is an easy and popular getaway from the U.S. Southwest. The beach towns of Puerto Peñasco and San Carlos, in fact, get almost overwhelmed by the influx from north of the border in the cooler months of the year. Bahí'aKino is a much more tranquil seaside village. The state capital Hermosillo and the port of Guaymas are much more characteristic of northwest Mexican cities, busy and largely modern. Hermosillo boasts an excellent zoo and botanical garden, the Centro Ecológico de Sonora, displaying the state's fauna and flora. But Sonora's real gem is the small, remote colonial town of Á'lamos, a former silver-mining center where many fine mansions have been restored as inns or homes for expatriate Americans. Charming Álamos is a base for excellent hiking, horseback riding and birdwatching in the forested Sierra Madre foothills.

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Sonora is located in northwestern Mexico. It is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to April