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Agua Prieta is a city of 91,000 people (2020) in Sonora on Mexico's border with the United States across from Douglas, Arizona.


The name comes from the word ópata bachicuy, which means 'black water'. This is due to the fact that in the place, the water with which the ranchers of the late nineteenth century watered their cattle turned dark, due to the nature of the terrain.

Its territory is generally mountainous, located between the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental with nearby mountains such as Agua Prieta, San Bernardino, Guadalupe, Gallardo, Pitáicachi, La Cabullona, ​​San Luis and Xitahueta. It is in the basin of the Yaqui River. The Punta de Agua stream, which rises in the San José mountain range, in the Naco municipality, penetrates its territory, continuing east until it joins the Agua Prieta river; this and the Cajón Bonito stream join the Batepito river, which continues south, to discharge into the Bavispe river.

Among the main industries are the maquiladoras: it has 33 maquiladoras that employ around 14,000 people, whose main lines of business are: clothing, wooden furniture, electronics , material and equipment for hospitals, sports, and computer components for radio communication and television, among others.

The Agua Prieta II Solar Thermal Project is an integrated combined cycle solar system (ISCCS) with solar parabolic trough technology. Agua Prieta II is the first plant of its kind to enter the electricity market in Mexico and Latin America.


The predominant climate in the municipality is temperate , the maximum monthly average temperature is 35.0 °C in the months of June and July and the minimum monthly average is −0.7 °C in the months of December and January; the annual average temperature is 17.5 °C; the rains occur in the months of July, August and September with an average annual rainfall of 355.2 mm; there are thaws in the north in the months of December and February.

Get in[edit]

Agua Prieta is 4.3 km from Douglas, Arizona.

It is linked to the rest of Mexico by Federal Highways 2 and 17. It is 380 km from the state capital, Hermosillo.

Get around[edit]


Customs building

Architectural and historical monuments

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Temple, contemporary building
  • Customs building portal topped by a tower, built in 1918
  • Plaza Azueta, built in 1911-1912
  • Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, contemporary building
  • Dedication to General Plutarco Elías Calles, commemorating the battle of Agua Prieta
  • Monument to Zaino
  • Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • Old Military Barracks, built between 1924 and 1928
  • Former Federal Finance Office, built in the 1920s



  • April 17-19, Cultural Festival of the Border
  • Month of May, Spring Fair
  • September 13-16, National Holidays
  • December 20-24, Local Christmas Festival



[File:Agua Prieta, Sonora (23106459042).jpg|thumb[]]

  • 1 Asadero El Mago, Calle 5 y 6 Ave 8, +52 633 338 8750, . W-M 12:00-24:00. Great steaks and other Mexican food. The meat is family-raised on a ranch in southern Sonora. The steaks are about 500 g and the price is well below what you would pay in the US.



Stay safe[edit]

As of July 2021, the U.S. State Department warns that Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. Americans have been victims of kidnapping.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Agua Prieta
Douglas ← becomes  N  S  → Jct END

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