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es:Culiacan fr:Culiacan nl:Culiacan de:Culiacan

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Night view of Alvaro Obregón Avenue

Culiacán is a city in northwestern Mexico, the capital of and biggest city in the state of Sinaloa. With 745,532 inhabitants, it is the 15th largest city in the country.

The city is located in a fertile valley where the Río Tamazula and Río Humaya rivers meet to form the Río Culiacán, and is located 54 m above de the sea level. It is placed in the center of the state with almost equal distant to the other urban centers of the state: Los Mochis to the north, and Mazatlán to the south. Culiacán is a sister city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.

In this City live Angel Ochoa
Culiacán Rosales, Sinaloa, México
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Area: 4,758.64 km²(municipality)

 - Total (2001)
 - Cdn. CD

 - Density


Time zoneMountain Standard Time Zone: UTC-7


Template:Coor dm



Experts do not agree on the meaning of the name, but it apparently comes from the word colhuacan, which can mean "place where roads turn", "place of snakes", but traditionally the most accepted translation would be "place of the those who adore the god Coltzin". Before the Spaniards arrival, this site had been a small Indian settlement since 628 when passing Aztecs had first founded it.

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Culiacan, 1945

The city existing today was founded in 1531 by the Spanish captain Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and named San Miguel de Culiacán. In the same decade, it was the terminus of Cabeza de Vaca and company's long journey exclusively among natives. Explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set out from Culiacán to explore what is now the southwestern United States. Settlers from Europe came to Culiacán, and in the following centuries, Culiacán continued to be a quiet town. It was only after the federal government built dams in the adjacent areas in the 1950s that agriculture exploded and the city began to grow exponentially. It still has a yearly shortage of workers, who have to be brought from southern Mexico, especially the state of Oaxaca. Because of this, unemployment has been characteristically low, around 3.0% over the last 10 years.


Average year temperature is 24°C, with minimum of 2 C and reaching as high as 47°C in summer with an annual rainfall of 658 mm. Hot, humid summers and warm-to-cool and generally dry winters are characteristics of this city’s weather.

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Satellite view of Culiacán


The total population of the city is 745,532 reaching almost a million adding the inhabitants of the satellite cities of Navolato (a municipality of its own),Costa Rica and Eldorado and those of the rural villages such as El Salado, Quila,Culiacancito, Imala and San Pedro. Immigration to Culiacán comes from all parts of the world, but especially from southern Mexico and Europe. There are Greek, German, French and Japanese communities in Culiacán, largely because of the economic boom of the last 50 years.


The tourism industry in Culiacán 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. Culiacán has a very active nightlife and social scene.

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San Miguel Archangel Cathedral, next to Plazuela Alvaro Obregon in Downtown
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Inside San Miguel Cathedral

Attractions in Culiacán include:

  • Imala's hot springs, which are about a 30 minute ride from the city and close to several dams and reservoirs where you can fish large mouth bass all year round.
  • Altata beach located 30 minutes from Culican where there has been extensive development over the last couple of years, with the goal of becoming a great travel destination in the next decade.
  • The Cathedral, a 19th century church which began construction in the 1830s.
  • Plazuela Alvaro Obregón, which was the place for social gatherings in the 1800s.
  • La Lomita or Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the tallest church in Culiacán, and it has a view of the entire city.
  • Dancing Fountains located on a peninsula formed by the junction of the Tamazula and Humaya rivers, this fountain system dances at the rhythm of local and international music displaying a colorful lighting show at 19:00 and 20:00.
  • The Centro Cultural Genaro Estrada known by the locals as "Difocur" encompasses a theater, movie theater, a cafe and a group of museums specialized in local culture, is worth a visit (closed on Mondays).
  • Regional History Museum in the "Parque constitucion", a big art museum downtown and a number of small art galleries owned by several of the local universities.
  • Botanical Garden and Centro de Ciencias de Sinaloa, a science museum where you can admire the fifth largest meteorite on earth.
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Centro de Ciencias de Sinaloa
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World's fifth largest Meteorite
  • For sports lovers, there is a big baseball stadium, a bigger football arena, and several university stadiums.
  • In Downtown the best preserved old street is the "calle Rosales", between rosales square and the cathedral.
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City Hall in Downtown

Safety: Tourism related petty crime, such as pocket-picking and tourist scams, is almost zero in the city. In Culiacán, your main concern should be watching out for the mix of careless drivers and narrow colonial streets. Stay in the sidewalks, even if tempted to wander around the colorful streets. Zebra crossings are only cosmetic, but crossing lights are to be taken seriously. There are police women who will admonish you the first time, and give you a ticket if you are a known offender, if you cross the street when the red "Do not walk" sign is on. Although there is drug related crime in the zone, its victims are individuals who take part in illegal activities, and it finds place in the low income neighborhoods outside the metropolitan area. Most of it involves drug traffickers, not average citizens, like any other big sized town.


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Downtown Culiacán seen from its tallest building

Though there are several high speed roads, most of the city’s streets are rather narrow and traffic jams are common on rush hours. The city has a total of 9 bridges: 6 across the Tamazula river, 2 in Humaya River and the longest one crossing Culiacan river, most of them of great architectural beauty. Efforts to solve traffic problems have been made but most of the city streets and bridges are now crowded and insufficient to handle regular and rush hours traffic; and a 40 km/h speed limit in most parts of the city worsen the situation. It was recently published that there are 530,000 cars in Culiacán making the per capita number of cars one of the highest in the country considering the 745,000 inhabitants. The city is a rail junction and is located on the Panamerican Highway that runs north to the United States and South to Guadalajara and Mexico City and the Benito Juárez Highway or Maxipista which is a toll road that runs parallel to the free highway. Culiacán is linked to the satellite city of Navolato by an excellent Freeway that is planned to be continued to Altata, in the Pacific Ocean coast. Culiacan is served by:


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Angel Flores Baseball Stadium

The city is home of two professional league sport teams: baseball with los Tomateros de Culiacán from the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico and soccer with Los Dorados de Sinaloa from Federación Mexicana de Futbol. Duck, dove and goose hunting season goes from early november through march. Culiacán also holds a yearly international marathon.

The Estadio Carlos González y González is a relative new and small stadium having capacity for near 15,000 seats. This sport facility is used mostly for soccer games and is the home of the newcomer team Dorados de Culiacán.


Companies headquartered in Culiacan

  • Casa Ley
  • Casas GOM (http://
  • Coppel (
  • Sukarne (
  • Productos Chata (
  • Homex (http://

News and media

Drug traffic issue

A word about drugs and Culiacán. After the fall of Burma in World War II, the USA were short of opium for medical purposes. The climate in the Sierra near Culiacán was ideal for growing opium, and the government encouraged its trade and production. After the war ended, the many US soldiers who became addicts continued to encourage the opium growers to provide them with drugs, and the first modern drug smuggling chains in the region were born. It was all small quantities until the 70's, when cocaine from Colombia became fashion in the USA and colombian drug dealers used Mexico as a gateway to the USA.

Although there is drug related crime in the zone, it's victims are individuals who take part in illegal activities, and it finds place in the low income neighborhoods outside the central area. Most of it involves drug traffickers, not average citizens, like any other big sized town.

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Dancing Fountains in Culiacán.

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