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Casas Grandes


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       ◈ Casas Grandes will captivate you with its charms—it is a town tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, wrapped in pine forests with wide-open stretches of native grasslands spreading through neighboring valleys. Revel in the majestic open spaces here. This small town was founded in 1661, when the Franciscan Mission of San Antonio de Padua was built.

  1. Visit the town of Mata Ortiz, famous for its Paquimé-style ceramics.
  2. Chow down on burritos—the beans and cheese, colorado chili pepper, and pasado chili pepper are classics.
  3. Discover Nuevo Casas Grandes, northwest Chihuahua’s business leader.



Check out Cueva de la Olla on a photographic safari.

Image: Gary Todd

❖ Paquimé Archeological Site

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site was once a junction on the trade routes between Mesoamerica and North America.

The architecture of its houses with walls formed of water and earth and shaped with wood was ground-breaking for the time. Its waterworks are its most noteworthy feature: reservoirs, canals, irrigation ditches, drains, and more crisscross the houses through walls and passageways.

Archeologists calculate that the site holds the remains of at least two thousand rooms. You can tour several spaces, such as Casa de los Hornos, Casa de las Serpientes, Casa de las Guacamayas, and the ball courts.

Colonia Juárez
and Colonia Dublán
Neighborhoods in
Nuevo Casas Grandes

Founded in the 19th century, these neighborhoods were the first Mormon settlements in the country. The houses here are built in typical U.S. architectural style. You can visit the Victorian-style Academia Juárez school and the Colonia Juárez church.

We recommend hitting Malmedy, a Belgian restaurant in a historic mansion located in the Dublán neighborhood.

Museo de
las Culturas del Norte

The design of this museum is inspired by the ceremonial mound in Paquimé. Its circular layout displays a fragment of the Casas Grandes meteorite which the people of Paquimé took as a sign from the gods to found their city.

Built by architect Mario Schjetnan, its architecture and courtyards incorporate the textures and tones of the desert landscape. In 1995, the project was awarded the International Committee of Architectural Critics’ Prize in their Biennial Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Collect a Pot
from Mata Ortiz

This artists’ colony has become known for its handicrafts inspired by the region made up of northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S., and especially for employing the techniques originally used to create this pottery: wood, cow manure, vegetable paints, and local minerals.

Mata Ortiz is a type of pottery that is drawn from the traditional pottery found in northwestern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.

The pottery is distinctive for the traditional technique used to produce these vessels, employing wood, cow dung, vegetable paints, and local minerals. The technique was re-discovered and developed by master potter Juan Quezada, who received the National Arts and Sciences Prize. A visit to his gallery reveals the wide variety of pieces created by the many artisans from Mata who have learned the technique.

There are pots and vessels for all budgets.

Marvel at Cuarenta Casas
Archeological Site

Also known as “las casas de los Acantilados” (“cliff dwellings”), this is an archeological site set inside Cueva de la Ventana (“Window Cave”). The pre-Hispanic complex has 15 adobe dwellings from the 8th century.

Adobe and wood were used to build throughout the canyons of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. In recent years, researchers with the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) have located more than 180 similar sites.

Dig Into Burritos

One of the local dishes that you have to try in Casas Grandes are the famous burritos. The greatest hits include the ones made with colorado chili peppers, pasado chili peppers, and of course, beans and cheese, all wrapped up in homemade flour tortillas.

Try Dago’s, El Burrotote, and Menchy’s Burros y Más.

Commemoration of the Battle of Casas Grandes

At the beginning of March, the traditional Commemoration of the Battle of Casas Grandes takes place, where we remember the battle that occurred in 1911 in the town when the revolutionary forces under the command of Francisco I. Madero attempted to capture Casas Grandes.

It’s the occasion to carry out activities such as contests for typical dishes of Casas Grandes, children’s drawing competitions, civic events to commemorate the anniversary, and conferences related to the historical event.

Festival of Casas Grandes

Taking place at the Museum of Northern Cultures, the Festival of Casas Grandes is held during the month of October. It features various activities such as workshops, lectures, panel discussions, theatrical performances, dance demonstrations, and musical presentations.

Furthermore, during the event, knowledge about the ancient civilization of Paquimé and everything related to the way of life of this community that inhabited the area is promoted.

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