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San Luis Rio Colorado is a city of 177,000 people (2020) in the state of Sonora, Mexico. It's on the United States border, opposite San Luis, Arizona.


Iglesia Inmaculada Concepción

Awarded city status in July 1958, San Luis Río Colorado serves as the administrative center for the surrounding municipality of the same name. The city is located on a mesa, characterized by a flat and sandy terrain. On Easter Sunday 2010, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the region. The Sears department store (formerly Dorian's) and 5 schools were destroyed, affecting approximately 30,000 people in the region. San Luis Río Colorado was once an important inland port for steamers traveling the Colorado from the Gulf of California. Since the early 1900s the Colorado has been completely or nearly completely drained for irrigation. The once-formidable Colorado is usually dry or a small stream.


San Luis Río Colorado has a desert climate, with extremely hot summers and mild winters. Winter is mild to cold and there are usually a few frosts per year. It is one of the hottest and driest cities in Mexico.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

San Luis Río Colorado Airport is the general aviation airport serving this city. The nearest international airport to San Luis Río Colorado is General Rodolfo Sánchez Taboada International Airport (MXL IATA) near Mexicali.

By car[edit]

San Luis Río Colorado has highway connections to other parts of Mexico and the United States.

By bus[edit]

Several intercity bus companies (including TUFESA) stop at the San Luis Río Colorado bus station.

Get around[edit]



Plaza Juarez
  • Fiestas del Desierto celebrates the culture, biodiversity, cuisine and sports of the Sonoran Desert Region in early November.
  • Pinacate Reserve and Gran Desierto de Altar: within the territory of San Luis Río Colorado is the reserve of El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar, which covers an area of ​​715,000 ha, made up of volcanic craters, areas of dunes and cinder cones and lava spills. The region has a cultural history of 20,000 years. The El Pinacate reserve is reached by federal highway No. 2, to the city of Sonoyta, from there it goes south on the road that leads to Puerto Peñasco, and at kilometer 8 is the entrance to the natural area.
  • Reserve of the Upper Gulf of California and Cienega de Santa Clara: the reserve involves communities and natural resources in the states of Sonora and Baja California. The residents of Ejido Luis Encinas Johnson, in the core area of ​​the reserve, offer canoe rides and tours of sites of majestic natural beauty found in the Ciénega de Santa Clara, an extensive area of ​​wetlands and tulares where you can appreciate more than 80 species of migratory and resident birds.
  • In the southwest region of the municipality is the Sea of ​​Cortez, which with its warm waters bathes the town of Golfo de Santa Clara, a quiet point of tourist interest 108 km from the border, which is visited by thousands of American tourists, Canadians and Mexicans. The most characteristic attraction of the fishing village is the harmonious combination that the desert and the sea achieve when they merge into a wide expanse of clean and fine beaches that cover more than 50 km.


  • In March the international off-road race takes place: the Sonora Rally, which begins in Hermosillo and ends in San Luis Río Colorado crossing the Great Altar Desert, which gives the winner a qualifying ticket for the famous Dakar Rally.
  • Also in March, the Taco Expo takes place in the Municipal Esplanade of the historic center, where in an atmosphere of music and party, local restaurants and merchants show a great variety of tacos.
  • At the end of March or the beginning of April, the Easter celebrations take place in the town of Golfo de Santa Clara , where thousands of visitors crowd the beaches.
  • In May, the Viva la Cheve event, which offers a wide variety of craft and commercial beers, with presentations by national artists. In the same month, the Desert Hawks Biker Festival is held, which is celebrated in the Tourist Walk on Third Street, and is attended by thousands of motorcyclists from both sides of the border and nearby states. The month ends with the Curvina Festival in the Gulf of Santa Clara * In July, in the town of Ejido Nuevo Michoacán, the Riito Patron Festivities are celebrated, with live music, fireworks, popular festival, horse race and worship of the figure of a virgin with more 100 years old, from the European continent.
  • In August, the Gulf of Santa Clara is filled with visitors during the San Luis on the Beach festivities.
  • National festivities are held on the esplanade of the municipal palace during the night of September 15 on the occasion of the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, by burning a castle that contains fireworks.
  • In October, in the Sultán Lagoon in the agricultural valley of San Luis, the Harvest Dinner Tour of the Date is celebrated, offering a tour of the date plantations, live music, open bar of cocktails and pairing dinner.
  • At the end of October, the Cotton Fair for two weeks offer gastronomy, rides, contests, artistic presentations, concerts by artists of national and international stature.
  • In November, the main festival in the region, the Tierra Sonora Festival, for four days offers a artistic presentations, books, cinema, paintings, murals, gastronomic area and concerts with local artists on the Tourist Walkway of Third Street and Municipal Esplanade.
  • At the beginning of December, the Corn Festival takes place in the municipal esplanade, which consists of a sample of the foods that are produced with the appreciated corn. On the second Saturday of December, the Emigrate Day is celebrated with the Fiesta al Emigrado also on the municipal esplanade, with live music and a gastronomic option, in order to celebrate Mexican workers in the agricultural fields of the United States.
  • On December 12 the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated in the different Catholic churches of the city with games, food, artists and a mass.






Stay safe[edit]


Go next[edit]

Routes through San Luis Rio Colorado
TijuanaMexicali  W  E  → Jct W Jct N S
Ends at BC-1/BC-4Ciudad Coahuila  S  N  → becomes San Luis

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