Hermosillo's International AirportOne of the busiest in Mexico, as it is in the center of country northwest. It has scheduled flights from the US cities of Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and a number of cities in Mexico:
- Cd. Juárez
- Cd. Obregón
- Los Mochis
- Mexico City
Also, small regional and charter airlines provide service to the following destinations:
- Guerrero Negro
It operates commercial, regional and private aviation. Facilities are ready to receive up to Boeing's 777 aircraft.
If you are close to the border (Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez) check flights leaving out of those airports in Mexico, they are generally cheaper than flights from US cities into Hermosillo.
Aeromexico (and its affiliate Aerolitoral that uses smaller aircraft) has many flights to Hermosillo from national and international destinations.
Low airfare providers are Interjet and Volaris; while Viva-aerobus is the cheapest of them all beware of the airline policies for it won't give any protection for any delays or cancellations. Aviacsa's operations have been shut down by the government.
On your Mexican insurance forms there should be a number for the "Angeles Verdes" (Green Angels) which is a roadside assistance service similar to AAA in the United States. Keep that number handy when you travel, Angeles Verdes drivers are bilingual and are very helpful.
Going to or coming from Hermosillo from Nogales you will encounter several checkpoints. On the north bound side there is a checkpoint staffed 24 hours a day by the Mexican military. The soldiers posted at the stop sign who speak to the drivers are almost always able to speak enough English to deal with American and Canadian tourists. They will ask you where you are going, where you are coming from, and may ask to see your ID. Random and suspicious vehicles will be directed to a parking area to be searched, if you are selected to be searched the process normally takes less than 5 minutes (assuming you aren't carrying anything you shouldn't be). They will search through your bags, and the interior of your car. There may also be Federal Preventative Police (PFP) checkpoints, these checkpoints are often set up in different locations. Most PFP Police Officers will speak English, but will normally wave through any vehicles with American or Canadian plates, so long as the occupants are obvious tourists (break out your straw hats, brown shoes, and black knee socks!)
Hermosillo is about a 7½ hour drive from Phoenix, Arizona, 4-4½ hours from Tucson, and about 3 hours from Nogales, Sonora. That is assuming you drive the speed limit. It is not unheard-of to have the previous mentioned times to be much less when the border crossing is not congested. Also (and this applies for all of Mexico) The Mexican highway patrol has a modern fleet of Dodge Chargers, all of them have video cameras and many of them have K-Band radar. So bring your radar detector. Mexican regulations don't explicitly prohibit detectors nor are they sold in the country, however, that does not mean cops aren't familiar with these devices. So if you get pulled over with your detector, don't expect the cop to be so nice anymore if he notices it (just like in the US). As with any cop either side of the border, be nice to them and they'll be nice to you.
When you arrive in Hermosillo be on the lookout for topes, or speed bumps. Not all topes are marked (a yellow sign with a black speed bump) or painted yellow, pay particular attention at night as they are not always visible, and you may leave your engine on the street.
- Central de Emergencias 066
- Federal de Caminos (Federal Police) +52 662 289-7098
- Sonora State Police Headquarters
- North +52 662 218-5564, +52 662 218-6416, +52 662 218-5526
- Central +52 662 213-4046, +52 662 213-3738, +52 662 213-3401
TelCel and MoviTel also have emergency numbers, check your cell phone's display screen to see which service your phone is using.
- TelCel 117+send
If your phone is not on one of these two networks use one of the other numbers listed above.
Most likely you will have to have a basic knowledge of Spanish to communicate on these lines, or ask if there is anyone available who speaks English (Hablas Ingles?).
Also see the "Stay Safe" section of this entry.
By busTUFESA bus line runs from Arizona (Tucson, Phoenix, etc.) to Hermosillo. Fares are around $49 one way from Phoenix, and vary based on other cities. The Hermosillo stop is on the Ciudad Obregon route.
There's a trolley bus tour that goes out just in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Hermosillo right in the city center. It will take you to the best sight seeings and landscapes of the city.
Unlike most cities in the USA or Canada the bus in Hermosillo is a simple (and cheap) way to get around. The buses will run every few minutes, so if you miss one just wait a few minutes for the next one. Bus service is not recommended for tourists as you can get lost or end up in an outskirt zone. Do not use buses if you are not familiar to the routes. Some buses do not have air conditioning, so take precautions as temperatures may reach more than 40°C (100°F). Fares are approx. US$0.50.
Taxis are widely available and are a cheap way to get around. Use those ones from a Taxi site, or ask for one in the Hotel front desk. Cheapest taxi fare in Hermosillo is US$4.50.
Car rental offer several models starting about US$50 per day. If you move in this city by car take a GPS with you as some streets may have dead-ends, some wide avenues stretch suddenly to 2-lane alleys and other streets may change circulation way with no advice.
Most of the city's important avenues have marked lanes for bicycles, if you choose it as a different way to go around.
Young people will certainly know more than average as most of the universities here require to approve a certain level of English in order to complete their studies and title. Young ones can talk as well as you, so don't hesitate to ask for directions or just start a conversation.
- Cerro de la Campana - This radio tower is on a road that winds up a mountain right downtown. It isn't very high, but gives a great view of Hermosillo and the surrounding countryside. It has parking space and police surveillance.
- Museum of Sonora (Museo de Sonora), Jesús García, 62 17 25 80. Housed in a very creepy old stone penitentiary built in 1897. It is a castle-like building with big stone walls and watchtowers. You can visit the old underground cells which are especially creepy, making you wonder how many people died there in those horrible conditions. Also features a permanent show of old coins, and historical elements, showed on a timeline order. Tu-Sa 10:00-17:00, Su 09:00-16:00.
- Regional Museum of Sonora's University .
- Hector Espino Stadium, Blvd. Solidaridad and Blvd. Luís Encinas - Choyal area. Home of the Hermosillo Naranjeros, the best baseball league of Mexico and because they play between October and January, you can see some MLB players in addition to the best Mexican baseball players. Some notable former and current Naranjeros include Hector Espino, Fernando Valenzuela, Erubial Durazo, Curt Schilling, Vinny Castilla, Luis A. Garcia, Geronimo Gil, and many others. All of this surrounded by a great atmosphere of party as only Mexicans know how. There is a souvenir store at the stadium as well.
- Hermosillo at night - In the northeastern part of the city there is a small parking area where Blvd. Jose Maria Morelos meets Blvd. Juan Bautista de Escalante. Park here and bring your camera as you will see a stunning view of Hermosillo, including Cerro de la Campana. The view is especially impressive at night, as you can see lights that seem to stretch out forever. Hermosillo police officers are often posted there at night, they will not bother you, and will often chat with tourists and suggest other places to visit.
- Hit the trails Mountain biking and hiking are very popular activities, and the area has many amazing trails to follow in the mountains around the city. The mix of desert and mountain give these trails a very nice touch. Wild life is very interesting. You get to see from little lizards and roadrunners all around to big deer and coyotes, and if you're lucky you might be able to watch a bighorn sheep or even a rattlesnake (not considered to be extremely lucky).
Visit downtown Hermosillo (El Centro.) In El Centro you will find many shops, selling anything you can think of. There are also food stands if you get hungry or thirsty. Be careful though, the streets in El Centro are always crowded, and traffic is heavy. Also the sidewalks are higher off the street level than you may be used to, this will be a difficult area to traverse if you are in a wheelchair, or have a baby carriage. A heavy police presence is maintained in the area due to its popularity, and constant crowds, help is never far away.
ATM & banks. Hermosillo has branches of all the major banks operating in Mexico, some of them are related to foreign banks:
- HSBC. Has ATMs almost in every retail (Walmart, Ley, Soriana) and those one in their branches.
- Banamex. Relates to Citybank/Citygroup, is the most important bank in the country, several branches and ATM's in most of the retail stores.
- BBVA Bancomer. Related to Chase, number of branches similar to those of HSBC. ATMs in most of retails.
- Santander. Associated with Bank of America. BofA users can withdrawal money from Santander ATMs with no additional fees. But, Santander has fewer branches and ATMs than other banks.
Toys can cost almost 1.5 times more in many parts of Mexico than in the USA, don't expect deals there. Restaurants, food, bars, liquor, hotels are excellent in price and with the average exchange difference, can cost 2/3rds of the same in US.
The following are some interesting stores you may find in town:
- Deportes Arietta, in El Centro (downtown Hermosillo). The official uniform dealer for the Naranjeros. You can get a real jersey, the same as the players wear, for about US$60. The store also has merchandise from the other teams in the Mexican Pacific League, as well as other sports teams from throughout Mexico, and MLB and NBA merchandise. Several store employees speak fluent English and will be happy to talk sports with you.
- Casa de Vaquero, a store that sells cowboy hats, and boots, also the cowboy type of clothing that is popular throughout Hermosillo and northern Mexico. There are several stores throughout Hermosillo, prices range from low to high.
- Soriana, located throughout Hermosillo (6 stores). It's a retail store, competes directly with Walmart.
- Coppel Department store, cheap furniture and clothes, also offers gold and other jewelry, fragrances, shoes and house appliances.
- Ley, More than 15 locations. Ley is a retail store. Ley is connected to the US chain Safeway.
- Supermercados SantaFé, a grocery store. Several locations in Hermosillo. Rebranded from a previous retail chain who went to bankruptcy.
- Wal-Mart, several locations throughout Hermosillo. Unlike Wal-Marts in the US, Wal-Mart is considered an upscale, expensive store in Mexico. The Wal-Marts in Hermosillo are much nicer and cleaner than a Wal-Mart in the United States. One of the newest Wal-Marts is located at the "City Center" shopping area, in the northern part of Hermosillo on Blvd. Jose Maria Morelos.
- Oxxo, a convenience store. Literally hundreds of locations across Hermosillo. Some of them into gas stations.
- Galerias Mall. Designed under American-style this place offers a movie theatre with normal, 3d and VIP service. Food court with dozens of options including McDonald's. Lots of boutiques and shoe stores, a Sears store and a casino with electronic games and bingo.
- Plaza Sendero. South of the city, this Mall provides dozens of cloth and shoe stores, a Soriana retail store, food court including Burger King, a movie theatre, Coppel and Woolworth departmental stores, and a casino with electronic games.
- Plaza Girasol. This plaza has focused stores and services as Office Depot, Cable company, banks, optical service, regional airline tickets, and food court.
- Plaza Ley Sahuaro. This plaza/mall is one of the oldest in town and has lots of clothing and shoe stores, jewelry, hair dressers, gift shops ATM machines, even pawn shop, food court and arcade games are available in the rear side, the main store is a Ley retail.
- City Center Pitic. Located north at Morelos Bldv. this plaza offers high level stores and services. It's main store is Walmart and others include: HP store, GNC, Starbucks, Gamers, City Salads, Quetzal kitchen design, Play City casino and SportWorld Gym.
- Metrocentro and Megamall area. This unincorporated area includes the Metrocentro Plaza, the Franchise Plaza and the Megamall which all of them are placed together in the intersection of Colosio and Solidaridad Blvds. This area offer high level stores as: Tous, Abercrombie&fitch, Aeropostale; restaurants: Marcos, Applebee's, California; fast food: 24 hour Burger King, McDonald's, BaskinRobins; a cinema, a bowling alley with many lanes and a bar, music and musical instruments store, crafts and local items, Olympus cafe, Costco retail store, Commercial Mexicana retail store, Office max, among others. This is a very complete area if you want to buy or have fun.
- Liverpool. Fancy department store, sells clothes, shoes, fragrances, jewelry, makeup, gifts, chocolates, furniture and house deco. Has a restaurant with bar and toy&pet store.
- Sanborn's. High level amenities stores. Sells Cuban tobaccos along with a variety of cigarette brands, liquors, movies, books, apparel accessories, gifts and electronics. Has a cafe/restaurant. Marked as a gay encounter site.
- Sears. Known department stores. Two locations in Hermosillo, one in Galerias Mall, the other one in Downtown. Clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, gifts, lingerie, among other items. The store located in Downtown is expected to close as the one in Galerias Mall is now totally working.
- MundoComic. Comic, manga and magazine store. Also trading cards, collectibles and video games. In the same block of Liverpool store.
- Municipal Market. The perfect place to eat the local food. Here you can also buy fruits and vegs. along with local and traditional foods, toppings, and gifts, such as ironwood ornaments.
- Bona building. Located in front of San Alberto Hotel and Vip's restaurant, Bona building has among its occupants a traditional food place, where you can eat different typical menu, and an exclusive souvenir shop, which sells shirts, cups, postcards, ironwood items, iron items and lots of surprising gifts to take back to home.
- Carne asada - Grilled beef (boneless chuck, rib eye, sirloin) which is the most typical food in the city. Tacos are typically around one dollar and are pretty good. Some of the best carne asada and tacos (also try caramelos which are tacos with melted cheese) can be found on the thousands of taco stands you will find on almost any street in Hermosillo.
- Coyotas - A flat sweet bread filled with various choices as buttermilk candy (not the chocolate bar), apple, pecan nut, strawberry jam, among others. This bake is a tradition among the city and it started in the former town called Villa de Seris, which now is part of Hermosillo.
- Empanadas - Another local bread which consists of a turnover style pastry filled with a sweet filling.
- Melcochas - Candy based on raw sugar.
- Tacos de cabeza - Beef tacos made from the head of the cow, typical for breakfast.
- Burro percheron - A variation on the traditional burrito. The difference is in the ingredients and the size, as in the south of Mexico burritos are usually thin and about six inches long and has lots of potato filling. Percheron burro in the big size are usually 30 cm (1 foot) and 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) wide, they are filled with avocado, tomato, cheese and premium beef. Cost is around US$6-8 and even more if toppings are asked (pork meat, pepperoni, ham, shrimp, anaheim pepper, bacon).
- Hot dogs - For a late dinner you have to go to Dogos CBC of Pami for the best hot dogs in Sonora, voted among the top 50 hot dogs in the world and one of the best 100 foods in the world, you will be able to find hot dogs here 24/7. Also check out the hot dog stand which is out at night right next to the Oxxo, located at Blvd. Lopez Portillo and Ave. Tres. Turkey hot dogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon.)
RestaurantsHermosillo is full of great restaurants, including American ones such as Applebee's. There are lots of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other ethnic restaurants as well. The best, though, are the Mexican-run taco stands.
- Antojeria del Centro, Periferico Poniente and Blvd. Luis Donaldo Colosio (Metrocentro Area), 662 260 5070. Popular with foreign tourists, this restaurant offers a wide selection including delicious Mexican food, Italian food and American favorites. English menu available.
- Irasema - The best and cleanest place for tacos de cabeza.
MariachisimoPeriférico Poniente No. 325 - Col. Palmar del Sol, 662 218 35 55. One of the two best carne asada restaurants. There is an amazing mariachi band on stage (Mariachi Juvenil de Jalisco). A little expensive, but very good.
XochimilcoObregón No. 51 - Col. Villa de Seris, 662 250 40 89. Carne asada restaurant with very good service, taste, and quality. Window allows you to watch the chefs in action, and the enormous tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) being made. Xochimilco slogan is 'If you come to Hermosillo and don't eat at Xochimilco, you can assume you were not here'.
- Sonora Steakhouse, Blvd. Eusebio Kino. A steakhouse featuring the food Sonora is famous for. Located in the Pitic neighborhood near the Fiesta Americana and Araiza Inn hotels. Expensive, but worth it. They come by and show you the meat and let you choose the thickness of your steak (which they charge you for by the gram). Plus, you might get to meet the Governor! The governor's residence is right next to the Sonora Steakhouse.
- La Casa Grande, Blvd. Eusebio Kino No. 902. Tel: 662.214-5740. Traditional Mexican Food
- Ole, Blvd. Morelos No. 89. A restaurant featuring Spanish cuisine. Friday nights there is live music and flamenco dancing.
- Taco Grill, Blvd. Navarrete No. 205. Carne Asada (Grilled Beef) Tacos
- La Tiendita del Pami, Colegio Bicultural Cananea, Garcia Aburto. Popcorn, chips, salads, Fritos Azteca considered by the general population of the city to be the best. You can also visit Don Jesus; but beware the mortal grudge held between them.
There are beer stores everywhere in Hermosillo. The most popular brands are Tecate, Pacifico, and Modelo (Corona). In a hurry? Look for a "Tecate Six" you can buy your beer in a drive-thru. Coke and Pepsi are available at almost every restaurant and store, DrPepper is available at Extra, Santa fe and Super del Norte stores. Tap water is safe to drink, as Hermosillo is the only city that purifies the water before it goes to the pipes. While it is safe to drink the tap water, many of the locals suggest drinking purified bottled water, as the tap water contains some minerals which after years of drinking may cause (or may not) teeth stains.
Smoking is not allowed in closed public places including restaurants, night clubs and bars. Today most of the city's fun places have terraces outside to allow smoking people without breaking the law. Also you must know that bars and night clubs close at 14:00 and beer and liquor stores have to close at midnight if you plan to drink all night have this in mind when you go to buy booze, even if midnight is the time to stop selling liquor most of the stores stop selling at 23:45.
- Opera, formerly "Secrets", in El Centro, a gay and lesbian bar/club.
- Classico, in Blvd Rodriguez is a great club to go out on Thursdays and Saturdays.
- Velvet, next to Fiesta Americana is also a great club to go out on Fridays. Sometimes this night club does not allow people under 26 so people in their thirties can have fun without having to share space with 18 year old kids.
- Johny Sailor and Orange Mill: two local restaurant/bars on Blvd. Colosio and Sahuaripa street. On weekends Orange mill features live Country music band, making this place an excellent options for those who are not so into pop/dance.
La BibliotecaBar and pool tables. This place is on Rosales avenue, in the front of the BMW dealer and one block away of the University of Sonora. Offers domestic and international beer, soft drinks, music and screens with music videos or sports events. Opens at 11:00.
Republicaddress: Blvd. RodriguezFormerly known as Tantra, it's a nightclub located at Rodriguez Blvd. Features pop/electronic/dance/house music and domestic and international liquor.
- Hotel Washington Dr. Noriega 68, between Matamoros and Guerrero streets. Simple rooms without TV, but free WiFi and one computer for guests. Single room US$18, double room US$20. Very friendly and helpful staff, roof terrace, clothes line can be used when washing own clothes. Very central, thus somewhat noisy.
Hotel & Suites Kinoaddress: 151 Pino Suarez stThis hotel offers one-person accommodation starting at about US$30-35 and up to double and executive suites at US$70. Three-star hotel with the basic stuff and also an inside swimming pool, free coffee at nights, WiFi access and cable TV among other comforts. The only low-budget remarkable hotel in town. Operating with no interruption since 1863. Also take a look to the exhibit of 19th and 20th century items. This hotel has no bar.
- Santiago Hotel, 545 Blvd. Luis Encinas. For about US$60 per night you can get a suite, not much different than your average hotel room, but includes granite countertops in the bathroom. Includes a restaurant with a buffet.
- San Sebastian Corner of Perisur and Guaymas exit. Pretty much the same thing, style and rates of Santiago Hotel. Just a bigger in size. Has a buffet restaurant and a bar with live music and comedian.
phone: +52 662 259 5200address: Blvd. Paseo Río Sonora Nte. 985-star amenities. Bilingual staff. It's in the southern part of the city, next to "Centro de Gobierno" or the main government offices. Modern decor, pool, and Jacuzzi.
phone: +52 662 289 2200address: Blvd. Francisco Eusebio Kino 3755-star amenities. Bilingual counter staff. Located in the northern part of the city, as you enter from Mexico 15 south the hotel is just after you enter the city on the left in Hermosillo's finest neighborhood, "Pitic." Surrounded by some of Hermosillo's nicest (and most expensive) restaurants. The hotel has a restaurant, tennis courts and a nightclub.
address: Blvd. Eusebio Kino 353Near the Fiesta Americana, a 5-star type hotel with all amenities. Includes a delightful outdoor pool, and a bar/nightclub in the rear side.
The Hermosillo Municipal Police can also be reached at +52 662 250-4882.
If you need to contact US authorities, call the U.S. Consulate.
The Consulate is at Avenida Monterrey #141 and can be reached via telephone at +52 662 289-3500.
If you or anyone in your party is drunk, do not drive. Drunk drivers are easily spotted and you will get pulled over. If you find yourself in this situation, be nice, be patient, and even if taken to the police station only the drunk driver will be locked up in case he gets rowdy. If this happens, wait for him to be sober up, give him coffee, and you'll be on your way. If you visit the city in December, beware of an increase on police checkpoints all over the city, this time of the year the officers will find any excuse to try and arrest people in order to get money out of them via bribes. Be very careful.
For the most part, Hermosillo has been spared the drug violence which is plaguing much of Mexico, especially the border areas. Sporadic violence related to the drug cartels does happen in and around Hermosillo. In May 2007, a grenade was thrown into a newspaper office in Hermosillo, no one was injured. That same day in the northern Sonora city of Cananea, drug traffickers shot and killed 5 municipal police officers. These traffickers were followed by State Police into nearby mountains where 15 of them were killed. Several months ago another set of hand grenades were tossed at a State Police Investigative office near the central part of the city, luckily the only casualties were a few windows. While drug cartels are certainly active in Hermosillo, it has not seen the levels of violence that cities such as Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez have been subjected to. As a tourist you do not have much to worry about as the drug cartels mostly target rival members, the police and the military. As a tourist your biggest crime fears would be the same as they are at home (Ex: pickpockets, thieves, drunks, etc.).
Since 1994, there have been occurrences of gang violence between bands who have sworn loyalty to Don Pami (The Big) and Don Jesus (The Don). These conflicts are very known by the population and have caused an estimate of 10,000 violent deaths mainly between young people and students.
Although Hermosillo is home to more and more American companies and businessmen visiting from the north side of the country's border, you will still get stares and second looks, especially if you are of African or Asian heritage. But have no fear, most people are very friendly and welcoming to tourists and business visitors and will do anything they can to make you feel at home.
Hermosillo is probably more "liberal" than other parts of Mexico, however, Mexico is a conservative Catholic country. If you are a gay or lesbian person, people will stare at you and your partner or may even make comments. So, if you have purple hair, a nose ring and six earrings, expect the same.
Even in the hottest of the hot Hermosillo weather, men and women will still wear jeans. You will rarely see a local wearing shorts unless they are involved in an athletic activity. Even if it is 120 degrees, wearing shorts will still expose you as a tourist. Most men wear jeans and different types of shirts, many the cowboy style with a sombrero (cowboy hat) and cowboy boots. Women mostly wear jeans and different types of shirts as well. Trying to fit in with the local population will make you less of a target for those who prey on tourists; i.e. criminals, some taxi drivers, corrupt police, etc. After normal working hours are over you will notice this practice is relaxed and more people will wear shorts in the evening rather than the traditional jeans.
- phone: +52 1 662-289-3500address: Monterrey #141
Hermosillo is only about 1 hour east of Bahía Kino, a small town with a beautiful beach, and access to Isla Tiburon. About an hour and 15 minutes south of Hermosillo is Guaymas and San Carlos. San Carlos is more developed than Bahia Kino, with many condo/resort facilities, however there are some areas of secluded beach. San Carlos is also home to Tetakawi, a large mountain right on the water that is sometimes referred to by locals as "Goat Tits" due to its unique shape. Not far from San Carlos is the port city of Guaymas, smaller than Hermosillo, it is a bustling and growing city with excellent restaurants, and access to a largely unknown Mexican maritime culture. Continuing past Guaymas one can also reach Ciudad Obregon from Hermosillo, which is also a city on the rise, and home to a beautiful lake frequented by locals. Most American and Canadian tourists are just passing through Hermosillo on their way to one of the nearby beaches. Unfortunately for them they do not know what they are missing in this clean, modern, and beautiful city.