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Chihuahua is the main city in central northern Mexico. Having said this, it has more of a small country town feel to it. Siestas are common place in the afternoon. As is the customary Mexican tradition of loitering. If you're interested in the local fashions (outrageous cowboy boots and locally made sombreros) then this is the city to get them. In the downtown area, there are streets lined with cowboy boot/hat shops. Shop around and you'll find some really cool items. Chihuahua is definitely worth a night or 2 stopover, especially if your on the way to Copper Canyon.
In one of the central plaza's, Plaza de Armas, there is a great big old church. This plaza is also a great place to catch locals loitering and kids playing, as well as local Tarahumaran tribes people selling their handicrafts. Every half hour or so a guy comes to ring the church bells. There is a strict pattern and number to this, but if you ask really nicely, he'll show you the pattern and let you ring the bell. Dont hold back, the bell cannot be rung too loudly, but apparantly it can be rung not loudly enough.
Whilst walking around, check out the Plaza Hidalgo, with its state government building and murals depicting the state's history. There is a rather interesting museum in the area as well, which is actually the old mansion of the boisterous revolutionary, Pancho Villa. His old car is there, bullet holes and all, as are the rooms where he apparantly held wild parties, original furniture still in tact.
Also, at night, there are some really cool proper local style Mexican taverna's to check out. Two of the best of these are downstairs from one of the budget hotels in the city.
Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexciowhere where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.
Chihuahua has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild winters. Average daytime temperatures range from 17 °C in Demceber and January to around 33 °C in June, with nights ranging from 2 °C to 19 °C. Almost all of the annual 350 mm of rain falls during the July to September period, from October to June it is very dry.
|Avg Max||16.5 °C||19.6 °C||23.1 °C||26.3 °C||29.8 °C||32.7 °C||30.9 °C||29.4 °C||27.5 °C||25 °C||20.6 °C||17.2 °C|
|Avg Min||1.7 °C||3.7 °C||7.4 °C||10.9 °C||14.6 °C||18.7 °C||18.9 °C||17.6 °C||15.7 °C||10.9 °C||5.3 °C||2.3 °C|
|Rainfall||15.3 mm||4 mm||4.2 mm||13.5 mm||23.5 mm||34.3 mm||108.2 mm||107 mm||104.9 mm||32.1 mm||12.8 mm||16.9 mm|
General Roberto Fierro Villalobos International Airport (CUU) has a range of flights, with the main destinations being Mexico City, Houston, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, Dallas/Fort Worth and Cancun.
Chihuahua is the starting point for the famous Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico which travels two times daily to the Pacific coastline to the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa and its port Topolobampo, though the beautiful Copper Canyon. One trip is for tourists only and is much faster, the second daily trip is slower, stopping en route at about 15 places and is a combined trip with cargo.
Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.
See also International Telephone Calls
Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.
The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.
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