A Chihuahua itinerary isn’t necessarily the first thing people think of for a family vacation but Chihuahua City is actually great for a family city break. There are so many things to do in Chihuahua Mexico for families!
The capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the city of Chihuahua is a historically important place chock-full of museums, culture, great food and friendly, welcoming people. Take a look at why we love Chihuahua, and why you should consider Chihuahua Mexico travel for your family.
Plus, read more to get our suggestions of what to do in Chihuahua Mexico with kids.
This post was written by Cassie Pearse of Mexico Cassie Goes International.
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Whether you’re planning to stay at a hotel or a vacation rental during your Chihuahua itinerary, aim to stay close to Zona Centro. This area is close to many of the things to do in Chihuahua. If you’re working with a travel agent or trip planner for your trip, they can also recommend some hotels to stay in Chihuahua.
In terms of where to eat in Chihuahua, Plaza del Mariachi in Zona Centro is a small area with a number of restaurant options. There’s bound to be something for everyone here and the bandstand in the middle will keep smaller kids happy while you wait for food to arrive.
Here are some highly rated hotels around Zona Centro that you can book for your family-friendly Chihuahua itinerary.
For a basic hotel offering during your Chihuahua itinerary, consider staying at Hotel Plaza Chihuahua. This hotel is located near the Cathedral of Chihuahua and Plaza de Armas.
There's a rooftop terrace, and continental breakfast is offered for free. Rooms have free wifi, and there are rooms that can accommodate families of four.
For a hotel option during your Chihuahua itinerary that offers more amenities, consider staying at the Quality Inn San Francisco. This hotel offers a gym, laundry services, cribs for babies, and babysitting for families.
If you have a car, parking is available on site for free. Quality Inn San Francisco is located a couple of blocks away from the Plaza de Armas in Zona Centro. Families of four can book rooms with two queen beds.
If you want to splurge, consider the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Chihuahua. This hotel is actually located outside of Zona Centro. So if you're planning on staying here, you might want to rent a car to get to your Chihuahua itinerary activities.
This hotel offers a pool, gym, free parking, laundry services, and free cribs for families who need it. Families of four can book suites with double beds. The suites are equipped with microwaves, refrigerators, and free WiFi.
Before jetting off to Chihuahua with all your Chihuahua itinerary plans, take some time to get to know the history and basic info about the city. Also learn about the best time to visit Chihuahua, how to get to Chihuahua, and where to stay in Chihuahua.
These Mexico guide books are helpful for general Mexico travel information:
In addition, here is more specific information about Chihuahua to get you started before you dive into all the things to do in Chihuahua Mexico.
The main airport in Chihuahua City is Aeropuerto Internacional de Chihuahua General Roberto Fierro Villalobos (Chihuahua International Airport). This airport primarily services destinations throughout Mexico. But there are also two US destinations that the airport services: Dallas and Denver. However, you can always get a flight into Mexico City and then find cheap flights into Chihuahua from there.
If you’re planning to travel to Chihuahua by bus from around Mexico for your Chihuahua itinerary, the main bus operators are Chihuahuenses and Omnibus de Mexico. From Mexico City, the bus ride takes between 20-24 hours, and costs around 2400 pesos (roughly $120 USD). From the city of Monterrey in Nuevo Leon state, the bus ride takes around 12-13 hours and costs around 1200-1300 pesos (roughly $60-65 USD).
For a longer, more scenic option to get to Chihuahua, take the Copper Canyon Railroad, also known as the Chepe Express. This 9-10 hour train takes passengers from the coastal city of Los Mochis in Sinaloa through Copper Canyon to the city of Creel in Chihuahua state. From Creel, you can take a 4-6 hour bus (booked through Chihuahuenses) to Chihuahua City. The whole trip, including the bus Chihuahua to Creel portion, costs 3000-5,200 pesos (roughly $150-260 USD) per person.
For getting around to your things to do in Chihuahua, there are taxis all throughout the city. Ubers also exist in Chihuahua, however you might not want to rely on it all the time as only a few of them are active.
Another transportation option for your Chihuahua itinerary, especially if you’re flying into Chihuahua International Airport, is to rent a car. International car rental companies that are available at the airport include Alamo, Thrifty, Europcar, and Avis. Make sure you get insurance for your car rental (having insurance is mandatory for car rentals in Mexico) as your standard travel insurance might not include it.
Being a desert and mountainous climate, Chihuahua City receives less rainfall throughout the year than other parts of Mexico. The rainiest months are between June and October. However, the most rain Chihuahua receives is in the month of July, at around 3 inches for that month. For most of the year, Chihuahua City receives less than an inch of rain each month.
The hottest time of the year in Chihuahua City is between the months of May and early August. During that time of year, the temperatures reach highs of 80-93 degrees Fahrenheit (though evenings can get quite cool). The coldest months of the year run from late November to early February, with temperatures hovering around mid-30 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you’re planning your Chihuahua itinerary, consider the climate and weather for each month. The best time of year to visit Chihuahua City is from March to May and September to October.
Some of the indigenous groups who lived in the area before the arrival of the Spanish in the late 16th century include the Tarahumara (Raramuri), Apache, Comanche and Guarojío. Many historians believe the name Chihuahua is a variation of an indigenous Nahuatl word meaning “dry sandy place”. But the city, itself, was established by the Spanish in 1709.
During Spanish colonization, Chihuahua City was a center for silver mining. And during the Mexican Revolution, revolutionary leader Pancho Villa fought all throughout the state for the rights of peasant farmers. Today, Chihuahua serves as a center of industry, known for its many car, electronics, and textile factories (called maquiladores).
Additionally, Chihuahua state has its fair share of nature and archeological sites worth visiting and exploring. The state has a mix of mountains, plains, and deserts.
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Some of the best places to visit in Chihuahua Mexico are its museums and plazas. Many of the Chihuahua Mexico attractions are located in Zona Centro, but some can be found throughout the city as well. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure to include some excursions too during your Chihuahua itinerary, as the area has some beautiful natural landscapes.
Here are the top 15 things to do in Chihuahua Mexico for your next family vacation.
Begin your Chihuahua itinerary by visiting museums to get a handle on the significance of this magnificent city. There are two museums in particular that should be visited with children: the Museo del Mamut and the Museo Semilla Interactivo.
However, there are also other museums worth checking out with kids if they can face it. These museums showcase the history of Chihuahua. Read on to find out what each museum has to offer families.
Housed in an old school in downtown Chihuahua, the Museo del Mamut (Mammoth Museum) is bound to capture the attention of the kids during your Chihuahua itinerary. Work your way through this strange and eclectic collection of artifacts. Marvel at the enormous mammoth skeleton and other items relating to the history of Chihuahua.
The Museo del Mamut is open to the public on Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 4pm. Admission to the museum is 15 pesos (roughly $.75 USD) for adults and 5 pesos (roughly $.25 USD) for children.
For an interactive science museum to include in a Chihuahua itinerary, the Semilla Museo Interactivo is just perfect for the kids. The museum has two enormous halls filled to the brim with exhibits that kids are welcome to touch and enjoy. There are guides who will take you around and explain everything should you so desire. If you don’t want a guide with you all the time there are also staff available to answer specific questions as they crop up.
Semilla Museo Interactivo is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum is open from 11am to 6pm. Admission to the museum is 40 pesos (roughly $2 USD) for adults and 35 pesos (roughly $1.75 USD) for children.
It’s always a good idea to check out the Palacio del Gobierno (also known as the Government Palace) in any Mexico city you visit because they are generally decorated with murals that are both fascinating to examine and also historically informative. Chihuahua’s Palacio is no letdown.
This 19th century building has some wonderful architecture you can admire. It also houses a shrine commemorating the execution of Miguel Hidalgo at the hands of a Spanish firing squad in 1811. Be sure to include a visit on your Chihuahua itinerary.
The Museo Casa Chihuahua (officially known as Casa Chihuahua Centro de Patrimonio Cultural) focuses on showcasing the cultural heritage of Chihuahua state. It’s a perfect educational activity for a Chihuahua itinerary.
Besides permanent and temporary exhibits, the museum also offers artistic activities and an educational library. A (weird) highlight of this museum is the dungeon where Hidalgo was held prisoner until he was executed in the Palacio opposite.
You can visit Museo Casa Chihuahua on Wednesdays to Mondays from 9am to 5pm. Tickets to Museo Casa Chihuahua costs 50 pesos (roughly $2.50 USD) per person. Families can purchase a family package, good for 5 tickets, for 125 pesos (roughly $6.25 USD). Museo Casa Chihuahua is located across the street from Palacio del Gobierno.
For a chance to learn more about the indigenous history of Chihuahua during your Chihuahua itinerary, head to Ex-Hacienda El Sauz. Just outside the city (about 60 kilometers), this museum is dedicated to the Apaches and Cowboys.
Ex-Hacienda El Sauz was established in the 1700s and owned by Benito Aspedes de Rivera. In the late 1800s, the property was transferred to the Terrazas family. Today, the ex-hacienda houses the Museo de La Apacheria and exhibits address the tension between the Apaches and the Spanish in the past. The museum also has exhibits about the famous Apache, Geronimo.
The museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Admission to the Ex-Hacienda El Sauz costs 20 pesos (roughly $1 USD) per person.
Another great museum to learn about Mexican history is the Museo Histórico de la Revolución. Here you will learn about Pancho Villa and the Mexican revolution.
The museum showcases exhibits and furniture belonging to Pancho Villa, known formally as General Francisco Villa. He served as a leader in the Mexican Revolution. Museo Historico de la Revolución is also a great example of houses of the time of the Mexican Revolution.
Museo Histórico de la Revolución is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm. On Sundays, the museum is open from 9am to 5pm. Admission to the museum is 10 pesos (roughly $.50 USD) for adults and 5 pesos (roughly $.25 USD) for children. It’s an inexpensive activity to include on a Chihuahua itinerary.
Once the kids are all museum-ed out, it’s time to consider more outdoorsy activities for your Chihuahua itinerary. Check out our recommendations for great options.
For some people-watching opportunities during a Chihuahua itinerary, head to Plaza de Armas. Located in Zona Centro, right in front of the 18th century Catedral Metropolitana de Chihuahua, Plaza de Armas is a popular hang out place for local families.
Every evening people come out to dance and enjoy themselves. It’s a great place to let the kids run around while also seeing some local culture. While on the plaza you could also let them take a ride on the small train that loops around the plaza.
Also in Zona Centro, several blocks from Plaza de Armas are two more plazas worth visiting for your Chihuahua itinerary: Plaza de Angel and Plaza Mayor de Chihuahua.
These two large, pedestrianized squares are side-by-side and offer a great space for the kids to run and play. They can join local kids enjoying splashing in the fountains (take towels), sliding down the steps on the monument in the middle of the Plaza de Angel and generally running riot.
For outdoor enthusiasts, head southwest of Chihuahua to Parque Metropolitano Tres Presas el Rejon. It’s just south of Centro Cultural Universitario, one of the universities in Chihuahua. This park surrounds Presa El Rejon (El Rejon Dam), which creates a lake for sport fishing and water activities.
At the lake you can hire boats, kayaks and take a turn on the zipline (tirolesa in Spanish). There’s a six kilometer walking trail here and plenty of space for picnicking. There are also bike trails for cycling. It’s a perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon on your Chihuahua itinerary.
For another opportunity to cool off during your Chihuahua itinerary, take an uber and head out to a traditional Mexican water park for the day. Cabañas del Tio Alberto is a local aquatic center located northeast of Chihuahua City with water slides, pools, and splash areas.
The kids will just adore the slides and water play and you’ll love the cheap snacks and laid back atmosphere. Tio Alberto has small cabins for rent for the day or per night. There’s also a small train young kids can ride.
Cabañas del Tio Alberto is open every day from 10am to 7pm. Tickets are 100 pesos (roughly $5 USD) per person, but children under 90 cm (roughly 35 inches) are free. Cabana rentals range from 1,100 to 4,460 pesos (roughly $55-$223 USD). The least expensive cabanas can accommodate two people, while the most expensive accommodates ten people.
If you are renting a car during your Chihuahua itinerary, it’s worth driving out to Puerto de Chihuahua. This interesting large, red sculpture is 46 meters tall and is located about 15km outside of town. It was designed by Sebastian, a famous Mexican sculptor.
The sculpture, erected in 1997, is meant to represent a sundial. In addition, it makes reference to rituals surrounding the sun in Chihuahuan culture.
Besides spending time within Chihuahua City during your Chihuahua itinerary, take some time to do excursions too. There are plenty of things to do in Chihuahua Mexico outside of Chihuahua City.
Popular activities include visiting caves, hiking at nature parks, and exploring nearby communities. Here are some suggestions for excursions to include in your Chihuahua itinerary.
There are two caves to explore just outside Chihuahua: Las Monas and Nombre de Dios. Las Monas caves, located 49 km northwest of Chihuahua, are home to the famous Raramuri cave paintings.
Most people, however, visit the Grutas Nombre de Dios, located 10 km north of Chihuahua, since they are just twenty minutes from town. The visit is a guided tour that lasts around ninety minutes and takes in around 1.5km of fascinating caves full of stalactites and stalagmites.
Be warned that there is a decent amount of walking and it isn’t always an easy trail so wear good quality shoes.
Consider bring one of these shoes along on your Chihuahua itinerary:
A third cave option is the Grutas de Coyame, located 139 km northeast of Chihuahua. These beautifully lit caves hold pools of water, stalactites and stalagmites and apparently provide proof that this region was once under water.
300 km is a long way to drive for a day trip but Paquimé is one of those places you will never regret visiting.
Paquimé is a prehispanic desert settlement that is considered a significant Mogollon archaeological zone that had links to other sites in Arizona and New Mexico. Take some time during your Chihuahua itinerary to take a road trip to this unique site.
Around 100km from Chihuahua, is home to a sizable Mennonite community. People visit the city for the Mennonite museum, to check out La Quesería Americana and for the apple orchards.
Longer day trips include Creel, Divisadero (Copper Canyon Adventure Park), Cascadas de Basaseachi (the second highest waterfall in Mexico at 246 meters). These can all be visited in one day on organized tours but if you have time, they would be better visited over a few days to really get the most out of your visit to the region.
Take a look at these partial day or full day excursions from Chihuahua City tours packed with things to do in Creel Chihuahua and Copper Canyon Mexico.
Tour around El Creel Chihuahua
Private Sandboarding Experience in the Samalayuca Dunes
Of course, you can’t forget to check out the Chihuahua letters. This is surely one of the fun things to see in Chihuahua Mexico, and makes for a great photo opportunity!
Every kid enjoys clambering around these famous Mexican landmarks. Here, the sign is on a ramp so kids can play without actually climbing on the letters, which is, of course, frowned upon.
Get this must-have guide, Yucatan With Kids by Cassie Pearse, to plan your trip to the Yucatan.
If your time in Chihuahua is limited and you’re looking for specific things to do in Chihuahua Mexico to make the most of your time, here are our recommendations for your trip itinerary.
For a short Chihuahua itinerary, focus on visiting the top attractions in the city. These Chihuahua Mexico tourist attractions include museums, as well as famous government buildings and plazas. Here are our recommendations for a one day Chihuahua itinerary.
If you have two days in Chihuahua, use that time to include an excursion. On your first day, do all the activities in the one day Chihuahua itinerary, then include an excursion out to Creel or one of the caves on day 2.
For a three day Chihuahua itinerary, take your time enjoying Chihuahua at its best. For the first two days, do the activities suggested above for a 2 day Chihuahua itinerary. Then on day 3, take a look at these recommended activities.
If you have seven or more days to spend in Chihuahua, then you’ll have plenty of time to experience all the things to do in Chihuahua Mexico, as well as outside of the city. Here are our recommendations for a Chihuahua Mexico itinerary 7 days and more.
Chihuahua, Mexico is a fantastic destination for families with kids. The city offers a rich history, unique cultural experiences, delicious food, and breathtaking natural beauty. There are plenty of things to do in Chihuahua City to keep kids entertained, from exploring museums and parks to trying new foods and meeting friendly locals.
Whether you're looking for an adventurous trip or a relaxing vacation, a Chihuahua itinerary has something for everyone. With its warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and endless opportunities for fun and exploration, Chihuahua is sure to be an unforgettable destination for your family vacation.
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