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Culiacán Rosales
Coat of arms of Culiacán Rosales
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): La Perla del Humaya
(The Pearl of the Humaya)
Location of Culiacán within Sinaloa
Location of Culiacán within Sinaloa
Location of Sinaloa within Mexico
Location of Sinaloa within Mexico
Country Mexico
State Sinaloa
Foundation 1531
 • Mayor Sergio Torres Felix  PRI
 • City 6,305,61 km2 (243,461 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • City 858,638
 • Density 136/km2 (350/sq mi)
 • Urban 858,638
 • Demonym Culichi, Culiacanense
Time zone MST (UTC−7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
Waterways Tamazula River, Humaya River, Culiacán River
Airports Federal de Bachigualato International Airport
Public transit RedPlus
Railroads Ferromex Culiacán Station
Website .mx.gob.culiacanwww

Culiacán (   ) is a city in northwestern Mexico, the largest city in the state of Sinaloa as well as its capital and capital of the municipality of Culiacán. With 675,773 inhabitants in the city (census of 2010), and 858,638 in the municipality. The municipality has a total area of 4,758 km2 (1,837 sq mi), the city itself is dense, at only 65 km2 (25 sq mi).

The city is located in a valley at the confluence of the Tamazula and Humaya Rivers, where the two meet to form the Culiacán River, and is located 55 meters above sea level. It is located in the center of the state with almost equal distance to the other urban centers of the state: Los Mochis to the north, and Mazatlán to the south.


  • History 1
    • Pre-colonial period 1.1
    • Foundation 1.2
    • Post World War II era 1.3
  • Climate 2
  • Economy 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Administrative divisions 5
  • Media 6
  • Education 7
    • Universities 7.1
  • Transportation 8
    • Transit system 8.1
      • Urban transport 8.1.1
      • Rail 8.1.2
      • Bus station 8.1.3
    • Roads and expressways 8.2
      • Main roads 8.2.1
      • Bridges and tunnels 8.2.2
      • Highways and freeways 8.2.3
    • Airport 8.3
  • Entertainment 9
    • Tourism 9.1
    • Attractions 9.2
    • Sports 9.3
  • Notable people from Culiacán 10
    • Entertainment 10.1
    • Sports 10.2
    • Modeling 10.3
    • Arts 10.4
  • Gallery 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Pre-colonial period

The most accepted translation would be Colhuacan "place of those who adore the crooked god Coltzin". Other translation may be that come from the word coahuacan, which can mean "palace of snakes". Before the Spaniards arrived from Europe, this site had been a small Indian settlement since 628 when Amerindians had first founded it.


The city existing today was founded in 1531 by the Spanish captain Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and named San Miguel de Culiacán. In the same decade, it was the terminus of the long journey of Cabeza de Vaca and company among natives. Explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set out from Culiacán to explore what is now the southwestern United States. Settlers from Europe came to Culiacán, and in the following centuries, Culiacán continued to be a quiet town. It was only after the federal government built dams in the adjacent areas in the 1950s that agriculture exploded and the city began to grow exponentially. Some of Mexico's largest agricultural conglomerates operate in the vast and fertile coastal plains. The agro-industrial economy continues to be the single largest contributor to the region's legal economy. While the vast majority of technical and skilled labor is educated locally, the once-seasonal field labor pool now experiences a yearly shortage of workers. International patterns of migration now draw laborers from deep within Mexico's south to the northern border states and into the United States.

Post World War II era

Culiacán Municipal Palace (City Hall).

Beginning in the late 1950s, Culiacán became the birthplace of an incipient underground economy based on illicit drugs exported to the United States. The completion of the Pan-American Highway and the regional airport in the 1960s accelerated the expansion of a workable distribution infrastructure for the enterprising few families that would later come to dominate the international drug cartels along Mexico's Pacific Northwest.


Culiacán has a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh), despite receiving an annual rainfall of over 600 millimetres (24 in), due to its hot temperatures and high evaporation. Summers are very hot and humid, shade temperatures can reach 45 °C (113 °F) and high humidy can produce heat indexes of h 50 to 55 °C (122 to 131 °F), with the risk of heavy rainfall from decaying tropical cyclones also present. Winters are much milder with less humidity and an average high of 27 °C, with cool nights.

Climate data for Culiacán (1951–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 41.0
Average high °C (°F) 27.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.4
Average low °C (°F) 10.9
Record low °C (°F) 2.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 18.4
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.2 1.4 0.6 0.4 0.2 2.4 13.8 14.8 10.8 2.9 1.6 2.2 53.3
Average relative humidity (%) 68 63 59 56 57 62 70 74 74 70 66 68 66
Mean monthly sunshine hours 196.4 201.6 236.2 225.7 262.1 229.4 198.8 199.2 200.2 231.9 224.6 193.8 2,599.9
Source #1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[1]
Source #2: Colegio de Postgraduados (humidity and sun)[2]


Culiacán's economy is mainly agricultural and commerce, being a trade center for produce, meat and fish. Among other industries, Culiacán represents 32% of the state economy.

There are companies of national importance headquartered in Culiacán like Coppel, Casa Ley, Homex, among others.


  • (Spanish) H. Ayuntamiento de Culiacán — Official website
  • (Spanish) Culiacán Travel Guide - Official website

External links

  1. ^ "NORMALES CLIMATOLÓGICAS 1951-2010" (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. 
  2. ^ "Normales climatológicas para Culiacan Sinaloa." (in Spanish). Colegio de Postgraduados. Retrieved January 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mexico's Sinaloa gang grows empire, defies crackdown". Reuters. 19 January 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Officials: Wiretaps, aides led to drug lord arrest". 
  5. ^ "Julio Cesar Chavez - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia". 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  6. ^ Elie Seckbach %BloggerTitle% (2010-06-17). "Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Trainer Freddie Roach Workout". Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  7. ^ "Omar Chavez - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia". Retrieved 2013-03-15. 


See also






Notable people from Culiacán

The city is home to two professional league sport teams: baseball with the Tomateros de Culiacán from the Liga Mexicana del Pacífico, two championships in Caribbean series in 1996 and 2002; and soccer with Dorados de Sinaloa, who play at the Estadio Banorte (Estadio Carlos González). Duck, dove and goose hunting season goes from early November through March. Culiacán also holds a yearly international marathon.


  • Nearby towns and villages:
    • La Primavera (The Spring) is a small and private urbanized zone in the south of city. Contains many houses, two schools, a little mall next to a full of ducks channel, a sport club and a channels group connected to the biggest lake in Culiacán, where anyone can fish and go camping.
    • El Conchal and other small villages with a population of 500 or less are located 8 kilometers from El Dorado. There people live on fishing and tourism. People charge 350 pesos to give boat group tours.
  • Water parks: Splash Club! is one of the largest water parks in the state of Sinaloa.
  • Parks:
    • Ernesto Millán Escalante Park (previously known as Culiacán '87): It has many pools, attractions, an artificial lake, gardens, sports courts, the longest water slide in northern Mexico, an open air Hellenic theatre, etc.
    • Revolución Park
    • Constitución Civic Center: Culiacán's civic center located in eastern city at the Malecón Viejo (Old Waterfront), facing the Tamazula river. It has the Culiacán Library, the Culiacán Zoo, the second Dancing Fountains in city where people go when it is hot, sports courts, a big run track and a Hellenic theater.
    • Las Riveras Park (The Riversides Park): A park located around the Tamazula river, between Forum Culiacán Complex, the Isla de Orabá park (Orab Island park) the Malecón Viejo (Old Waterfront) and the Malecón Nuevo (New Waterfront). It has only pedal boats and a tyrolean across the river. Also a bike path, including recreational games. Here is celebrated Mother's Day, Father's Day, Children's Day and the Holy Week.
  • Antártica Ice Rink
  • Nightclubs: Catalina, Barezzito, Ópera etc.
  • Gambling and casinos: Caliente (3), Royal Yak, Ermitage, Las Palmas (Nuevo León franchise), Lomas Play and Play City (2008).
  • Movie theaters: Cinépolis (1), Cinemex (2), & Citi Cinemas (2).
  • Plaza La Campiña - A plaza/little mall in eastern city, very near the Culiacán river. It offers Pavi, Coppel, a Mega Plaza/Comercial Mexicana (Super Market), many boutiques, jewelers, and seasonally a Go Karts track.
  • Plaza Fiesta - A plaza located on the center. It offers Coppel, a Ley Plaza (Super Market), restaurants, little boutiques and shoe stores.
  • Plaza Cinépolis - A modern plaza/little mall in western city, and it is the only place in Culiacán where anyone can find the Cinépolis movie theater. It offers many boutiques, some famous restaurants of the city, including Sushi Factory and Italianni's, the Antártica Ice Rink and Royal Yak casino right after the parking area, and the school supplies store Office Depot.
  • Plaza Galerias San Miguel - Second largest mall. It offers Sears, Citi Cinemas movie theater, and mainly shoe stores.
  • FORUM Culiacán Mall - Largest mall in Culiacán. It offers stores like Liverpool, Sears, Steve Madden, Pull and Bear, Zara, C&A, Lacoste, Nine West, Victoria's Secret, MacStore, Starbucks, Sanborns, Tous, Cinemex movie theater, MixUp, boutiques, kiosks, food area, and a HSBC.


  • Imala's hot springs, which are about a 30 minute ride from the city and close to several dams and reservoirs where you can fish large mouth bass all year round.
  • Altata beach located 30 minutes from Culiacán, where there has been extensive development over the last couple of years. It has a "sister" beach called Isla Cortés (Cortes Island) or Nuevo Altata (New Altata) where this project of travel destination, has begun with some restaurants, and private areas. It is famous for its blue sea, white sand, modern restaurants and bars, nightclubs, and high sea waves.
  • The Cathedral, a 19th-century church which began construction in the 1830s.
  • Plazuela Alvaro Obregón, which was the place for social gatherings in the 1800s.
  • La Lomita or Templo de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is the tallest church in Culiacán, situated on a hill with a view of the entire city.
  • The Centro Cultural Genaro Estrada, known by the locals as "Difocur", encompasses a theater, movie theater, a cafe and a group of museums specialized in local culture. DIFOCUR is also the home of the Orquesta Sinfonica Sinaloa de las Artes. The OSSLA performs a 42-week season (September to June) of symphony, pops, opera, ballet, and chamber music, and features musicians from more than fifteen different countries, including Mexico, the United States, England, Scotland, Canada, Romania, Argentina, and others. Working under the auspicies of the government of Sinaloa, the OSSLA also performs many outreach and educational programs around the state of Sinaloa, as well as throughout Mexico.
  • Regional History Museum in the "Parque Constitución", a large art museum downtown and a number of small art galleries owned by several of the local universities.
  • Botanical Garden and Centro de Ciencias de Sinaloa, a science museum that holds the fifth largest meteorite on earth.
  • A baseball stadium, the "Estadio Angel Flores" home of Los Tomateros de Culiacán, a bigger football arena called "Estadio Banorte" (Former Estadio Carlos González) home of Los Dorados de Sinaloa, Mexican Football Team, and several university stadiums.
  • In Downtown, the best preserved old street is the "calle Rosales", between Rosales square and the Cathedral.
Las Riveras Park on Old Waterfront
Cathedral in Culiacán



Culiacán is served by ICAO: MMCL), the most important domestic gateway in the state of Sinaloa, and the second on international operations after Mazatlán International Airport. It is located south of downtown. And it is also the 10th Mexican Air Force base.


  • Freeway 15D (South: Mazatlán)
  • Freeway 280-30 (West: Navolato-Altata)
  • Freeway 3-225 (North: Melchor Ocampo-Guamuchil)
  • Freeway 5-325 (South: Costa Rica-El Dorado)
  • Tamazula Interstate Freeway (Northeast: Sanalona-Tamazula de Victoria)

Culiacán is linked to the satellite city of Navolato by an excellent Freeway that now reaches Altata, in the Pacific Ocean coast. Culiacán is also linked to Tamazula de Victoria in Durango state.

Culiacán is a rail junction and is located on the Panamerican Highway that runs north to the United States and South to Guadalajara and Mexico City and the Benito Juárez Highway or Maxipista, which is a toll road that runs parallel to the toll-free Federal highway. It is connected to north with Los Mochis and to south with Mazatlán, Tepic and Guadalajara with the Federal Highway 15.

Highways and freeways

  • Zapata (Blvd. Emiliano Zapata)
  • 280-Aeropuerto (Blvd. Aeropuerto)
  • Eje Aeropuerto (Blvd. Aeropuerto-Emiliano Carranza street)
  • Mexico 15 (Plan Mar de Cortes-Mexican Federal Highway 15)
  • Primavera (Plan Mar de Cortes-La Primavera)
  • Eje El Trébol (Plan Mar de Cortes-Blvd. Jesús Kumate)
  • Eje Federalismo Tunnels (Gabriel Leyva Solano/Francisco I. Madero-Federalismo)
  • UdO (Blvd. Rolando Arjona-Blvd. Lola Beltrán) Under construction
  • Gasolinera del Valle (Blvd. Jesús Kumate-Blvd. Emiliano Zapata) Under construction
  • Japac Country (Blvd. Pedro Infante-Blvd. Rolando Arjona) Spring 2013

Also, Culiacán has bridges in streets conforming High Transit Systems in places where is common the Rush Hour.

  • Musalá Bridge (Tamazula River)
  • Musalá-Universitaria Bridge (Tamazula River)
  • Benito Juárez Bridge (Tamazula River)
  • Morelos Bridge (Tamazula River)
  • Miguel Hidalgo Bridge (Tamazula River)
  • Juan de Dios Bátiz-Tres Ríos Brige (Tamazula River)
  • Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez Bridge (Humaya River)
  • Rafael Buelna Bridge (Humaya River)
  • Jorge Almada Bridge (Culiacán River)
  • Black Rail Brige (Culiacán River)
  • Rolando Arjona Amabilis-UDO (Culiacán River)
  • USE-Valle Alto (Culiacán River)
  • Libramiento Recursos (Rosales Channel)
  • Eje Federalismo Bridges (Rosales Channel)
  • Chavez Castro Bridge (Rosales Channel)
  • Emiliano Zapata Pass Bridge (Rosales Channel)

On Feb. 17, 2014, investigators from Mexico and the United States learned Joaquín Guzmán Loera, or El Chapo, was utilizing underground sewage tunnels in Culiacán by constructing hatches connecting to the drainage network in the bathtubs of his city "stash houses."[4] On at least one occasion, authorities chased Guzman into the tunnels but lost him. An AP reporter said some of the tunnels were well lit, had wood paneling and were air conditioned.[4]

It was recently published that there are 300,000 cars in Culiacán making the per capita number of cars one of the highest in the country considering the 745,000 inhabitants.

The city has a total of thirteen bridges: six across the Tamazula River, two spanning the Humaya River and the longest one with others four crossing Culiacán River. Efforts to solve traffic problems have been made but most of the city streets and bridges are now crowded and insufficient to handle regular and rush hours traffic; a forty km/h speed limit in most parts of the city worsens the situation.

Bridges and tunnels

  • Álvaro Obregón Ave
  • Francisco I. Madero Blvd.
  • Paseo Niños Heroes
  • El Dorado Ave
  • Aeropuerto
  • Emiliano Zapata Blvd.
  • Benjamín Hill Ave
  • Calzada de las Torres
  • México 68
  • Plan Mar de Cortes
  • Heroico Colegio Militar
  • Revolución Ave
  • Sanalona Way
  • Rolando Arjona Amabilis Blvd.
  • Universitarios
  • José Limón Blvd.
  • Las Américas
  • Diego Valadez Ríos
  • Manuel J. Clouthier
  • Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
  • José Vasconcelos
  • Gabriel Leyva Solano Blvd.
  • Xicoténcatl
  • Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez
  • Enrique Sanchez Alonso Blvd.
  • De los Insurgentes
  • Pedro Infante Blvd.
  • Rotarismo Road
  • Ciudades Hermanas
  • Patria Ave
  • Constituyentes Emiliano García
  • Nicolás Bravo
  • 21 de Marzo Ave
  • Las Minas

Culiacán has several roads (avenues, boulevards, streets, etc.) but some of these are the main quick connection to another points to the city.

Main roads

Though there are several high speed roads, most of the city's streets are rather narrow and traffic jams are common at rush hours.

Roads and expressways

Culiacán uses the Central Internacional de Autobuses "Millennium" ("Millennium" International Buses Station) to travel across all Mexico (North, Center and South) and to the United States (Arizona and California). This replaced the old bus terminal in the southern city.

Bus station

The city has a train station, operated by Ferromex, and it is used only to transport freight. It is connected to south with Mazatlán and at north with Guaymas.


At present, Culiacán has just over 68 urban transport routes, which serves approximately 1 million users. The Culiacán urban transport is operated by RedPlus.

Urban transport

Transit system



Aerial view of Culiacán


The newspaper El Debate is published in Culiacán.


  • Sector 1: Riberas
  • Sector 2: Centro (Downtown)
  • Sector 3: Las Quintas
  • Sector 4: Isla Musala
  • Sector 5: Universitarios
  • Sector 6: Tres Ríos
  • Sector 7: Patio de Maniobras
  • Sector 8: Juntas de Humaya
  • Sector 9: Río Culiacán
  • Sector 10: Guadalupe
  • Sector 11: Colinas de San Miguel
  • Sector 12: Abastos
  • Sector 13: El Barrio
  • Sector 14: Los Angeles
  • Sector 15: Mirador Tamazula
  • Sector 16: Humaya
  • Sector 17: La Conquista
  • Sector 18: Bacurimi
  • Sector 19: Villas del Río
  • Sector 20: Bachigualato
  • Sector 21: Diaz Ordaz
  • Sector 22: Barrancos
  • Sector 23: San Isidro
  • Sector 24: Loma de Rodriguera
  • Sector 25: La Higuerita
  • Sector 26: Aguaruto
  • Sector 27: La Costerita

Culiacán is divided into 27 sectors (sectores), which are groups of several quarters (colonias):

The 27 sectors of Culiacán.

Administrative divisions

The total population of the city is 675,773. Immigration to Culiacán comes from all parts of the world, but especially from southern Mexico, Japan, China, and Europe (Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Greece).



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