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Culiacán is the Capital of the state of Sinaloa, northwest Mexico. It is located north of Mazatlán. Experts do not agree on the meaning of the name. It comes from "colhuacan, which can mean "place where roads turn", "place of snakes", but traditionally the most accepted translation would be "place of the ones' who adore the god Coltzin".
Culiacán is the administrative center of the state of Sinaloa. Before the spaniards re-founded Culiacán in 1531, it was a small indian settlemet since 628 when the passing aztecs founded it for the first time. Settlers from europe came to Culiacan, and in the following centuries, culiacan continued to be a quiet town. After the federal goverment built dams in the adjacent areas in the 1950's, agriculture exploded and the city grew exponentially. It still has a yearly shortage of workers, which have to be brought from south Mexico, specially the state of Oaxaca.
Unemployement has been steady around 3,0% during he last 10 years. Inmigration to Culiacán continues, from all parts of the world, but specially south mexico and europe. There are greek, german, french and japanese communities in Culiacan. People use to joke that the beauty of the local girls has been the reason for so much inmigration, and the beauty part is true (check www.estaperron.com, www.culiacan2night.com ), but it has been due to the economical boom of the last 50 years. By some accounts, Culiacan is growing too modern, and the birth rate is 2,4 kids per couple and falling rapidly. If the tendency remains, soon it will pass the critical barrier of 2,1 children per couple, and population would shrink if it wasn't for the continuing inmigration.
Culiacán tourism industry has grown considerably in the last decade from a small number of hotels and small jet airport, to a busy international fishing and hunting destination for thousands of tourists every year. Culiacan has a very active nightlife and social scene. The attractions near Culiacan include Imala's hot springs, which are about a 30 minute ride. There are several dams and reservoirs where you can fish large mouthbass all year round. There's Altata beach where there's been going extensive development over the last couple of years and it's going to develop to become a great travel destination in the next decade. While in the city don't forget to visit the Catedral, a 19th century church which began construction in the 1830s, and since you're near the Cathedral visit the Plazuela, which was the place for social gatherings in the 1800s. The Santuario is a church where you can still see the scars of the 1910 revolution in downtown. La Lomita is the tallest church in Culiacan where you can go there and
In the 1990s, Culiacán gained fame for being the hometown of world boxing champion Julio César Chávez. It's also the hometown of comedian Paul Rodriguez Although a native of Tamaulipas state, José Luis Ramírez, another world boxing champion, also moved to Culiacán. Altata beach is a favorite place of actress Salma Hayek and singer Thalia.
Although crime is high in the area, it's all related to drug trafficking and it's located in the outskirts of the metropolitna area, with most of it involving drug traffickers,not "civilians", like any other big sized town in north-america.
A word about drugs and Culiacan. After the fall of burma in WWII, the USA were short of opium for medical purposes. The climate in the Sierra near Culiacán was great for growing opium, and the goverment encouraged it`s trade and production. After the war ended, the many US soldiers who became addicts continued to encourage the opium growers to stay in bussiness, and though the practice was illegal then, small plantations continued to be an extra income for farmers in the montains fo the sierra. The ammount of opium produced was not specially high, but this created the first chain of drug trafficking in Sinaloa. Later, as cocaine became fashion in the 1970's, Culiacan became the contact point betweeen Colombian and USA druglords, given the high numbers of small landing strips in the state, it's high quality of life, and the big size of the city, which makes it easy to remain unnoticed.
Overall Culiacan is a beautiful place to visit. It's a beautiful mixture of modern and colonial Mexico, nearby sea and mountains. It can be a bit difficult to navigate because of the three rivers crossing the city, but the locals are always happy to give you a hand and are proud of their lively and beautiful city.
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City Travel Guide comes with Culiacan real estate guide with several tips on home valuation, realtors comparison, secrets on finding the "right" home, loans guide and other helpful real estate advices. Our partners also maintain Culiacan property for sale and rental listings, real estate laws and reviews. We will try to help you with buying property in Mexico, choosing real estate agents, property finders, relocation help, and information for English speakers wanting to buy real estate in Culiacan.back to top
This city is also known as: Culiacán.