As mentioned in my last post, we are making it a quest on our long drive south to visit all of the Pueblo Magicos, the Magic towns of Mexico. On our recent trip with Trafalgar, we were fortunate enough to not just visit vibrant Alamos, but also colorful El Fuerte.
A major train stop on the trip heading into the Copper Canyon, is a bustling small city with a redone fort, a pleasant main plaza, and fantastic bass fishing. As in Alamos, we were lucky enough to be hosted in luxury at the Hotel Torres del Fuerte. A former private hacienda, words can’t fully describe the relaxed opulance of this amazing hotel. I wandered the grounds in awe, thinking “WOW, someone grew up here!!! I was born into the wrong family.” All of the rooms were decorated in a unique manner, and relatively scattered about the hotel. We were in a streetfront room with ruby red walls, a massive carved bed, and river rock bathroom. Wooden shutters meant we could open up the room to light, while also getting an upfront view of life on the street.
This 400-year old hacienda has been owned by the Torres family for over 200 years, only being turned into a hotel in 2006. Our dinner of the local black bass was delicious and the evening’s entertainment, some young adults from a nearby town demonstrating various dances of the region, superb. Unlike so many of these “group” type shows, they truly appeared to be having an enjoyable time.
With a couple of hours of free time, we wandered the back streets, as we are wont to do. My camera finger was busy trying to capture all of the brightly painted buildings. Unlike in the US, where the common mindset is to make buildings compatible to each other, which normally ends up creating a boring palette of grey and cream and tan, in Mexico and more exuberant nations, dramatic contrast is the name of the game and I can never get enough of the dazzling rainbow effect it creates.
We drank in the scenes of local life. Families out shopping, taco stands revving up for a brisk dinner business, local artists selling their wares in the town square. Each turn of corner reflected gorgeous color and arched doorways. Magnificent metal work and inviting courtyards.
Hearing the sound of young voices, we wandered towards the building, finding a music lesson just wrapping up. As the kids poured out into of class, they mounted their bikes to head on their way, transforming the serene street I had just photographed into a giggling, energetic glimpse of local life.
Alas, as happens, our time here was too short and the train to the Copper Canyon was calling, but El Fuerte intrigued us enough to deserve another visit. We simply added it to the, ever growing list, of “must sees” on our long drive south. Keep the charm El Fuerte, we will return!
** Although sponsored by Trafalgar, all opinions are my own **