El Fuerte Sinaloa Mexico

Magic Town of History and Legend

Colorful sign for El Fuerte MexicoThe Magic Town of El Fuerte Mexico can be found in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

El Fuerte Sinaloa is a colonial town rich in history, traditions, and wonderfully preserved architecture offering a perfect blend of culture and top-notch vacation photos.

A trip to Mexico usually evokes the image of sandy beaches, azure waters, and an all-inclusive stay with every amenity at your fingertips. Nothing wrong with that!

But for those who want to experience a taste of culture, you can’t beat a visit to one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos – also known as Magic Towns.

Learn more about this enchanting “Magic Town” in Sinaloa Mexico and the vibrant legend that lives within its streets.

A Brief History Of El Fuerte Mexico

The town of El Fuerte in Sinaloa State was founded in 1563 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Ibarra.

Following years of attacks by the local Zuaque and Tehueco indigenous groups, a fort was constructed in 1610 by the Spaniards to protect the town. The fort went on to define the town, the very name El Fuerte meaning “the fort.”

The town flourished as a trading post for the gold and silver mined in the adjacent Copper Canyon and served as a link to the lower regions of California, Arizona, and Sonora, all of which were under the umbrella of Spanish control at the time.

What Is a Magic Town?

The Magic Towns in Mexico, or Pueblos Mágicos in Spanish, is a program that was initiated by the Mexican government to preserve and celebrate cities that embodied the Mexican culture.

The program was launched in 2001 and provides funding to select towns all throughout Mexico.

Like El Fuerte Mexico, the Magic Towns are chosen for their pristine preservation of history, architecture, and tradition.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, then you can’t beat the magic of these small towns, which seem frozen in time.

Statue of El Zorro in front of Hotel Posada del Hidalgo in El Fuerte, Mexico.The Legend of Zorro

The infamous Robin Hood-Esq vigilante Zorro is known worldwide thanks to popular movie franchises and media.

The fictional character was created in 1919 by writer Johnston McCulley but is thought to be inspired by Mexican folktales of a noble bandit who fought on behalf of the peasantry and indigenous peoples.

The town of El Fuerte Mexico is said to be the birthplace of the legend of Zorro.

The story claims that Diego de la Vega, the real name of Zorro, was born in room number 46 of what is now the Hotel Posada del Hidalgo, one of the more famous hotels in El Fuerte Mexico.

Diego would grow to later fight for justice in California against the forces of colonization, taking on the moniker of El Zorro (the name Zorro means fox in Spanish).

What To Do In El Fuerte Mexico

El Fuerte Sinaloa Mexico is known for its warm tropical desert climate. While it is beautiful year-round, the area is hottest between the months of June and August.

The town’s proximity to the coast along with the abundance of nearby rivers, lakes, and dams means that local restaurants are known for their fresh seafood dishes.

You will never run out of options with the abundance of other traditional meals such as pescado sarandeado, beef jerky, chilorio, and specialty grilled meats to name a few!

Now that you know what to expect, let’s dive into some of the must-see sights in this unique town in Mexico.

Plaza de Armas & The Downtown

One of the biggest draws of the town of El Fuerte is the many colonial-era buildings and stunning architectural details. The beautiful Plaza de Armas is a great place to stroll and take in the town’s beauty. Wander around downtown, soak up the sights, and people-watch for a relaxing afternoon or evening.

Municipal Palace

The Municipal Palace, also known as City Hall, is one of the most prominent historical buildings in El Fuerte Mexico. Built at the end of the 19th century and designed in the neoclassic style, its elegant entrance is sure to take your breath away with its many arches, decadent murals, and multi-story indoor patio. Entrance to the Palacio Municipal is always free.

El Fuerte Museum

While the original town’s namesake may be long gone, the museum that now sits in its place is a near-perfect replica of the old fort.

History buffs rejoice because here you can learn all about the fort’s history and the indigenous groups that once inhabited the area. Take a walk through the old rooms to see photos, artifacts, and a great view of the town and Fuerte River from the top of the roof.

Hotel Posada del Hidalgo, a former mansion in El Fuerte, Mexico.Posada del Hidalgo El Fuerte Mexico

Hotel Posada del Hidalgo is a former hacienda, or mansion, and said to be the birthplace and childhood home of Don Diego de la Vega.

Vega is more famously known as Zorro.

The hotel performs a show about Zorro nearly every night where all are welcome, so long as you buy something from the restaurant or bar.

This beautiful hotel in El Fuerte Mexico also houses a statue of this iconic hero with the full legend displayed on the wall.

Ancient Petroglyphs (stone carvings) near El Fuerte, Mexico.River Tour and Petroglyphs

Weather permitting, you will get to explore the natural sights surrounding the town with an El Fuerte River Tour by Caravan Tours!

The calm water is the perfect place to observe local wildlife, vegetation, and the lush rainforest around the town.

View the mysterious stone carvings (petroglyphs) on the Hill of the Mask just outside of town.

Very little is known about the petroglyphs’ meaning, but you can view the hundreds of carvings on a guided tour with a local expert.

Come Experience El Fuerte Mexico with Caravan Tours!

For more than 70th years (since 1952) family-run Caravan Tours has been thrilling travelers from around the globe with fully guided affordable tours.

Caravan uses very knowledgeable local tour guides for tours in the United States, Canada, and the Central American countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Our Copper Canyon Mexico train tours begin and end in El Paso, Texas and include stops in Creel, Chihuahua, Barrancas, and El Fuerte.

Along with Copper Canyon, our Mexico Ancient Civilizations tour is quite popular (includes a visit to Chichen Itza) and both usually sell out. To secure your preferred tour dates, we encourage you to book early.

If you still have questions about El Fuerte Mexico or any of the stops on our Copper Canyon tour, or to book your 2023 tour date, please contact us.

El Fuerte FAQs

What does El Fuerte mean in English?

In English, El Fuerte translates to “the fort.”

When was El Fuerte Mexico founded?

El Fuerte Sinaloa Mexico was founded by the Spanish in 1563.

Where is El Fuerte Mexico?

El Fuerte Sinaloa Mexico is located 53.5 miles (86km) north of Los Mochis in Sinaloa state near the Gulf of California.

How far is El Fuerte from Mazatlan Mexico?

El Fuerte is approximately 301 miles (485km) from Mazatlan.

How far is El Fuerte from Chihuahua Mexico?

El Fuerte is approximately 380 miles (612km) from Chihuahua Mexico.