El Fuerte is on the coastal plain before the foothills of the Sierra Madre. With its charming cobblestone streets and handsome colonial mansions, it is the prettiest town along the train route. At only 80m (262 ft.) above sea level, it is most comfortable in winter. The town owes its origin to silver mining, and its existence in recent times to booming agriculture. From the late 18th century onward, the town has been under the control of a few families, and to this day, much of the real estate in and about the center of town remains in their hands. The town's plaza is quaint and handsome, with a 19th-century bandstand surrounded by graceful palms. One way to see the town is to take a taxi from Los Mochis and pick up the train the next day. An added advantage to this plan is that it allows you an extra hour in bed. The train station is a few kilometers from town. El Fuerte may look quiet, but there have been killings here, too, though this is by no means a common occurrence. You'll have a hard time getting anyone to talk about what happened, so don't raise the subject with them. I consider this place safer than Los Mochis.

Exploring The Town -- Possible activities include visiting nearby villages, birding, fishing for black bass and trout, and hunting for duck and dove. Hotels can arrange guides and all equipment if they're contacted in advance.