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El Fuerte is a quaint Hispanic Colonial town that was founded in 1564, and a great place to base yourself before embarking on your Copper Canyon journey.


It was the gateway to the last frontiers of northern Indian territories of Sonora, Arizona and California and the town was named for its 17th century fort that the Spanish built to protect settlers to safeguard the precious metals mined from the Copper Canyon, from the local Zuaque and Tehueco Indians.

For three centuries it was a major commercial and agricultural center of the Mexican northern region. El Fuerte became a major trading post for silver miners and gold seekers from the Urique and Batopilas mines in the nearby Sierra Madre.


The most notable features of El Fuerte are the Palacio Municipal, plaza, church and the replica of the original fort on Cerro de las Pilas, now a Museo de El Fuerte. Climbing the fort gives you an excellent view of the town, surrounding area and the wide Rio Fuerto. Spending time wandering round the attractive plaza or down by the river makes for a pleasant relaxing afternoon.

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Suggested itinerary featuring El Fuerte

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in El Fuerte, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of El Fuerte

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    Places near El Fuerte

    Accommodation choices for El Fuerte

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit El Fuerte. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.