How bad of an idea would it be to visit Chihuahua and Sinaloa states if I keep to the tourist track/city centers?

How bad of an idea would it be to visit Chihuahua and Sinaloa states if I keep to the tourist track/city centers? Rough itinerary would be flying into Chihuahua>Creel>Copper Canyon train>Los Mochis>Culiacan>Mazatlan. I've been to Mexico and other parts of LATAM, but probably not like northern Mexico. I know its dodgy, but didn't know if its doable for a gringo solo traveling.

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I think it totally depends on your Spanish and your street smarts. I have a half Mexican friend whose family is from deep cartel territory and he is fine because he knows how to blend in with the locals and speaks Mexican. If you are a typical SighSee autist who can form a sentence and dresses like an anime fan you might get into trouble but if you’ve already traveled Latam and Mexico I think you’ll be fine.

    The most important thing to remember is that the cartels are in charge there, not the government. But that doesn’t mean it’s a lawless place, it just means you have to follow the rules of the cartels rather than the laws of Mexico. Stay out of trouble, respect the gangsters, don’t cause any issues and nobody will give a shit. I think you should go for it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I'm not the most suave guy, but I'm not neckbead/body pillow levels of autism. I've done Nicaragua and Colombia which were fine, though Cartagena got a bit dodgy. Fricking touts. I'm over 6' which will make me stick out. I could learn more Spanish, but I've travelled to Central Asia where I obviously didn't know shit. I'd have to fly into or out of Chihuahua one way, and I might just leave directly for Creel. And even the State Dept says Los Mochis and Mazatlan are fine. Culiacan would be the one place I'd drop from the intinerary.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Adventure is never a bad idea. Northern Mexico is the ultimate normie filter. If you have a solid set of balls, you'll enjoy your time there.

      Your Mexican friend would find himself in some deep, deep shit if he goes traipsing around the wrong part of his country. Yes, they will take your phone, go through your contacts, socials, pictures, etc.
      Being a gringo who speaks simple Spanish and has a phone full of scenic pictures makes it clear that you are merely a tourist with no cartel connections.

      https://i.imgur.com/7N0uv0W.jpg

      How bad of an idea would it be to visit Chihuahua and Sinaloa states if I keep to the tourist track/city centers? Rough itinerary would be flying into Chihuahua>Creel>Copper Canyon train>Los Mochis>Culiacan>Mazatlan. I've been to Mexico and other parts of LATAM, but probably not like northern Mexico. I know its dodgy, but didn't know if its doable for a gringo solo traveling.

      Chihuahua centro historico is pretty cool; they have a big market, plaza and cathedral. IIRC, the restaurant selection in el centro is rather limited. It's a big city, and some parts of it are very modern.
      The state's murder rate in 2023 was around 95 per 100K, among the highest in the world. But Chihuahua's been violent for so long that it's just a fact of life there. You'll notice that people are not given to friendliness toward strangers, but they have a curious sense of honor, like the Old West. If they decide you are trustworthy, they will be formal and respectful, but if they distrust you, they will be curt and hostile, or even fearful.
      Creel is much colder than the lowlands. It caters to tourists, but depending on recent cartel happenings, the tourists may be curiously absent. Cuauhtemoc has a strip of seedy bars and frequent outbursts of violence...it is worth a night if you dare.

      I'm not the most suave guy, but I'm not neckbead/body pillow levels of autism. I've done Nicaragua and Colombia which were fine, though Cartagena got a bit dodgy. Fricking touts. I'm over 6' which will make me stick out. I could learn more Spanish, but I've travelled to Central Asia where I obviously didn't know shit. I'd have to fly into or out of Chihuahua one way, and I might just leave directly for Creel. And even the State Dept says Los Mochis and Mazatlan are fine. Culiacan would be the one place I'd drop from the intinerary.

      Visiting Culiacan gives you bragging rights. Even the badass Mexicans don't really frick with foreign visitors, it's not part of their culture. Respect them like you respect a rattlesnake. Don't get trashed with lowlife "friends" in bars; that's how bad things happen. Do NOT smoke weed with drunk Mexicans.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    crazy to me that homies think walking into mexico requires you to be a navy seal
    you are a gringo, nobody is going to do anything moron you might get robbed and that's that

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Well generally what I'm planning is considered batshit insane. I'm not planning on leaving the centro historicos in the bigger cities. Any partying Id probably do in Mazatlan. How likely am I to be robbed like that?

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Staying within tourist spots is safe, even outside the city can be but like everyone's been saying, depends on not being moronic and flashy.
        >partying in mazatlan.
        Never been partying, but they always say to politley refuse drugs if offered there. Mostly because all the drugs are connected to the cartel and by that theyd have you in their reach.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >theyd have you in their reach.
          Meaning? I've bought drugs in Latin America before. I wouldn't just buy from some guy on the street.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Not likely unless you run into El Piyi himself. You can do whatever you'd do in any other big city, you'll find whatever you go looking for.
        Like, if you're charismatic enough you could get a tour of the plantations. You're not going to instantly get shot.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I visited the Copper Canyon twice, once in 2017 and once in 2018. Living in Big Bend National Park, it was quite accessible by road, but virtually no gringos had the balls to go cruising around Chihuahua at that time.
    Unfortunately I lost most of my photos from the trip...only have a few I ripped from Facebook before deleting my account in 2020.
    Driving from Chihuahua to Cuauhtemoc

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Looks awesome. I wouldn't travel except by bus/train and maybe Uber when necessary.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The famous view of the Copper Canyon from Divisadero. This was in July, during monsoon season. Unfortunately you'll have only 15 minutes to dash out of the train, snap a picture, maybe grab a chile relleno para llevar, and then you're off.

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Bocoyna, I believe. The rock formations were interesting in this area.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Descending into the canyon of Recohuata hot spring...we passed some obvious cartel activity (a literal drug mule or donkey being unloaded) that had my friend super sketched out. Hot spring was cool. Everyone gave us hard looks, but nobody bothered us.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The brink of Basaseachic Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in the world. It only flows during the monsoon, unfortunately.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The park ranger got very upset at me for getting so close to the water, kek. One little slip and I'd be shot out over the 900 foot drop, ending my life still a virgin

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    One of innumerable canyons, this one near Recohuata. The eastern slope of the divide is mostly rolling highland hills covered in thick pine forests; it's the western slope that has these terrific gorges.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Typical view on the eastern side of the drainage

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Leaving Creel, me and my friend got absolutely trashed on tequila and drove to Batopilas on a whim. Hot as hell down there, amazing scenery. Also tons of rockslides. We passed out after checking in, then woke up and hit the streets at 1 AM. There were men armed with rifles loitering around an unmarked pickup truck who waved and said "good morning" in English. My friend chased an enormous toad down the street. Everything was closed and silent, the Saturday night festivities were over. We left the next day, driving like absolute madmen. His 16 gallon tank took 15 3/4 gallons of fuel when we finally reached the PEMEX.
    Still remains one of the most adventurous trips of my life.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Basaseachic
    Second tallest waterfall in Mexico.
    Unbelievably, the tallest waterfall in Mexico is on the same damn river

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