Regions and States

Sonora crestThe state of Sonora is part of the North Pacific Region of Mexico, along with the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sinaloa. The state capital is the city of Hermosillo.

The state of Sonora has given its name to one of the world’s major desert areas, the Sonoran Desert, which also includes almost all of the Baja California Peninsula. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar extends from Sonora into the northern part of Baja California, and across the U.S. border into Arizona and California. This reserve is an undisturbed portion of the Sonoran desert which offers visitors a dramatic combination of two very distinct landscape types: volcanic landscapes (El Pinacate) and sand dunes (Gran Desierto de Altar).

Sonora also has one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world; the Buenavista del Cobre mine in Cananea produced over 200,000 metric tons of copper in 2012 and is estimated to hold another 26.874 million metric tons.

Here are select articles and recipes related to Sonora:


Saguaro at Border Wall © 2023 Allan Wall.

Motoring along Highway #2, the edge of Mexico is all about Mexico. While most articles focus on the interior, the edge of Mexico is still Mexico and Mexico’s border regions are worthy of exploration. There is plenty to see there. My 20-year old son Raphael and I recently took a drive in a Mexico border region. We followed the U.S.-Mexican border, on […]


Filet mignon with tomatillo-chipotle sauce: Filete de res al chipotle

The colonial silver mining town of Alamos, Sonora was designed by the king of Spain’s personnal architect and remains every bit as impressive today as it was three hundred years ago. While staying at Alamos’ beautiful Hacienda de los Santos, I taught a cooking course which included this version of filet mignon in chipotle sauce. […]


Grilled Chihuahua style leg of lamb: Pierna de cordero a la parilla

This northern Mexican recipe, which typifies the outdoor cooking characteristic of the region, is adapted from Larousse de la Cocina Mexicana by Alicia Gironelli. One end of a leg of lamb is thicker than the other, going from about 1 – 2 ½ inches thick, making it easy to satisfy the different tastes for rare, medium and […]

Paul Carrigan's car

North to Nogales from Puerto Vallarta (and back)

Two years ago, I would’ve been leery about driving out of Mexico alone. Well, “everyone says” that the drive to Nogales (from Puerto Vallarta) is a drag: long, flat, boring, and nothing to see – something like, “straight roads and lots of desert.” As is the usual case with “the CV” (the Conventional Wisdom), it […]


Mexican three milk cake with rompope: Pastel de tres leches con rompope

Tres leches cake, one of the all-time Mexican favorite desserts, is so named because it is made with three kinds of milk. Sweetened condensed milk has been around since the 1800s, when it was developed as a way of preserving milk, so this is not necessarily a modern recipe. This cake is usually made as a […]


Sonora style beef stew: Guisado de res sonorense

Cooks in Sonora often cut the beef for this guisado into strips, so that it can be rolled into burritos once cooked. This way, the recipe yields a vegetable stew plus beef burritos. In Mexico, ground ancho chile is sold in most large mercados. North of the border, it is sold bottled by McCormick. Ingredients 1 pound flank steak, […]


Headin’ South to Guadalajara from Nogales

Charlie G. Posted by Charlie G. on January 13, 1999 Headin’ South from Nogales (an update) My son and I crossed the border at Nogales yesterday (1/11) and were pleasantly surprised with the efficient system we found at the Mexican immigration and customs station on the loop west of Nogales about 19 miles below the […]


The Guaymas Chronicles: La Mandadera by David E. Stuart

Cogan’s Reviews Although it’s about Mexico, this one starts off in Ecuador in the 1960s where the author was doing doctoral fieldwork for a dissertation on haciendas in that country. His work took him to a remote research station on the side of a mountain seventy miles from electricity, running water, telephones, etc. One day […]


The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

Cogan’s Reviews This is the story of a group of men who have become known as the Yuma 14. They are the fourteen illegal immigrants who died attempting to cross the Arizona border in May, 2001. And what a terrible and upsetting story it is. Unknown numbers of these illegal immigrants die every year making […]

Mesoamerican ballgame (Ulama)

Did You Know? The oldest ballgame in the Americas

Baseball is not the oldest ballgame in the Americas Forget modern “traditions” like the World Series! Forget soccer, tennis and golf! By far the oldest ballgame in the Americas is the little known game of Ulama! Amazingly, this game is still played in some regions of Mexico, where it is believed to have originated more […]

The notable gazebo in Alamos' main plaza displays fine ironwork. © Gerry Soroka, 2009

Alamos: Still a boom to bust town, but with everlasting charm

There is magic in the wind and change in the air. The historic pueblo of Alamos, Sonora, like most Mexican silver towns, has descended to bust from boom more than once in its fitful existence. As long-suffering as a campesino, the community nevertheless has survived those roller coaster rides. Craggy hills clad in variable foliage […]

Mexconnect author Gerry Soroka with his wife, Vera. Frida, their Volkwagen Westfalia campervan, is named for the iconic Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

Nogales, here we come

It is more than Mexico’s constant sun and the bewitching landscape that entrance us. It is the people. October is revival month. We are at the tag end of six months in Canada the province of British Columbia to be precise — and joyfully are getting organized for the trip south to Mexico where the […]

Gerry Soroka with Vera and Frida

Border disorder: passages into Mexico

I tell my friends that the only thing I have had stolen by Mexicans was my unwavering fealty to Canada: I have even considered living full-time in Mexico. We are approaching the border crossing about half a mile off. There are no distinctive markings to the terrain to define it. There is no checkpoint. No […]

Jesús García, Hero of Nacozari (Detail of photo in Lewis W. Douglas Collection, U. of Arizona)

Did You Know? The Hero of Nacozari

The small town of Nacozari occupies a valley nestled in the foothills of the Western Sierra Madre (Sierra Madre Occidental) in the state of Sonora. A hundred years ago this month, a young locomotive driver had to make a desperate decision: save his own life or try to save the lives of hundreds in his […]


The cuisines of Northern Mexico: La cocina norteña

Living in southern Mexico and making frequent trips to visit family and friends north of the border, we have taken many different routes to the frontera. From Tamaulipas, which connects the tropical south to the northern plains, to Sonora, where the vistas range from colonial towns to picture-perfect cowboy country, we have enjoyed all of our travels […]

Map of Sonora

Map of Sonora

Map of Sonora Map of Sonora SCT, 1999.


TAGS – States, Regions, Cities

Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, México (State of), México City, D.F., Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas,


Mexico Highway Routes: Driving from Nogales to Uruapan

Hi, my family and I are traveling to Mexico in a few weeks. We are entering through Nogales and traveling to Uruapan, Michoacan. I have been trying (unsuccesfully) for several weeks to find a map of Mexico that has the new highways (cuotas?) shown. I know from past experience that the smaller highways are just […]


Alamos, Sonora (Mexico Notes 4)

Mexico Notes – part 4 This morning the church bell rang at 5:15. One lonely ring. A pause. And all hell broke loose. Clang, clang, clang-edy clang. Clang. Clang-edy. Clang. Pause. One ring. No obvious rhyme or reason in this place at the end of the road. Journal, Mayo 25 I sit and watch. Under the […]

Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *