The Scenic Routes to Concordia That Will Take Your Breath Away

Discover Concordia, a hidden gem in Sinaloa, Mexico. Accessible via Mazatlan or Durango, this picturesque municipality boasts impressive landmarks like the "El Baluarte Bicentenario" bridge.

The Scenic Routes to Concordia That Will Take Your Breath Away
The Mazatlán-Durango highway offers road tourism a spectacular view from the Baluarte Bicentenario bridge. This architectural work connects Durango and Sinaloa. Credit: Promotur Sinaloa

If you're looking for a hidden gem in Mexico, Concordia should be at the top of your list. This picturesque municipality, located in the state of Sinaloa, offers a rich cultural heritage and awe-inspiring landscapes. Getting to Concordia is a breeze, thanks to its proximity to the port of Mazatlan, which provides various transportation options. The Mazatlan airport is just a short 25-minute drive away, making it convenient for travelers from far and wide.

If you're coming from Durango, you have two options for reaching Concordia. The first is the old federal free highway, a scenic route that spans over 250 kilometers and takes approximately four hours to traverse. This road may have plenty of curves, but it rewards travelers with breathtaking panoramic views and the opportunity to explore charming towns along the way. One particular highlight is the section known as "El Espinazo del Diablo" (The Devil's Backbone), situated in the state of Durango near the Sinaloa border. This stretch of road is characterized by its steep slopes on both sides, adding an adventurous element to your journey.

Alternatively, you can opt for the Mazatlan-Durango superhighway, a stunning route that also offers diverse landscapes to captivate your senses. This relatively shorter stretch, covering just over 200 kilometers, can be completed in about an hour and a half. The superhighway boasts multiple bridges and an impressive 63 tunnels, with one tunnel standing out as a testament to engineering marvels—the "El Sinaloense" Tunnel.

As the second largest tunnel in Mexico, it showcases cutting-edge technology, including advanced ventilation, lighting systems, and dynamic electronic signaling. Constructing this highway was no small feat, and it took over three years of meticulous planning and execution due to the challenging terrain of the Sierra Madre Occidental, which spans across Durango and Sinaloa. Within the agrarian community of San Miguel del Carrizal, belonging to the municipality of Concordia, you'll find this remarkable tunnel.

Just a mere twelve kilometers from the "El Sinaloense" tunnel, within the confines of Concordia, lies a record-breaking landmark—the "El Baluarte Bicentenario" bridge. This cable-stayed structure towers at a height of 402 meters, with a length of 1,124 meters, and a fan-stayed system supported by 152 stays. Until 2016, it held the title of one of the highest bridges in the world, surpassing even the Guinness World Record-certified Millau Bridge in France. The bridge spans a ravine that plummets to a depth of 390 meters below deck, making it taller than the Eiffel Tower itself. It surpasses the previous record holder, the Millau Viaduct, by an astounding 120 meters. Not only does the "El Baluarte Bicentenario" bridge claim the title of the highest bridge, but its 520-meter central span also secures the record for the longest in North America, surpassing the John James Audubon Bridge in St. Francisville, Louisiana, USA, by an additional 37 meters. The only bridge surpassing it in height globally is the Sidu River Bridge in China.

Aside from these incredible routes and landmarks, Concordia benefits from its strategic location intersected by two significant highways: the Mexico-Nogales highway and the Mazatlan-Tepic highway. Both of these highways seamlessly connect with the Mazatlan-Durango free highway and superhighway, ensuring easy access to Concordia. For those traveling from Tepic, the distance to Concordia is approximately 250 kilometers, making it a convenient journey for visitors.

With its accessibility and remarkable attractions, Concordia offers an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and architectural wonders. Once you arrive, take the time to explore the charming streets of Concordia itself. The municipality is steeped in history and boasts well-preserved colonial architecture. Stroll through the town's cobblestone streets and admire the colorful facades of the buildings, visit the grand Concordia Cathedral, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

The Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge is located in the towns of Concordia and Pueblo Nuevo.
The Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge is located in the towns of Concordia and Pueblo Nuevo, on the Durango-Mazatlán highway, and connects the states of Durango and Sinaloa. Credit: Promotur Sinaloa

Beyond the town, Concordia's surrounding landscapes offer ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. The rugged Sierra Madre Occidental provides a breathtaking backdrop for hiking, nature walks, and photography. Explore the region's diverse flora and fauna, and discover hidden waterfalls nestled within the lush vegetation. You can also embark on a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside, stopping at viewpoints to soak in the panoramic vistas.

For those interested in history and archeology, nearby archaeological sites such as Las Labradas and the ancient ruins of La Campana offer insights into the region's rich pre-Columbian heritage. Marvel at the rock carvings at Las Labradas, which date back thousands of years, and learn about the indigenous cultures that once thrived in the area.

To truly immerse yourself in the local culture, don't miss the opportunity to sample the traditional cuisine of Concordia. Indulge in regional delicacies such as birria, a flavorful meat stew, or try the mouthwatering camarones aguachile, a dish featuring fresh shrimp marinated in lime juice and chili peppers. The municipality is also known for its production of fine handmade furniture and pottery, which make for unique souvenirs to take back home.

Whether you're an adventure seeker, a history buff, or simply looking for a tranquil escape, Concordia offers a wealth of experiences to satisfy every traveler's interests. From its accessible transportation routes to its impressive landmarks and cultural treasures, this hidden gem in Sinaloa is waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags, embark on a journey, and let Concordia captivate your senses with its natural beauty and rich heritage.