This quaint village set along the banks of the Rio Fuerte and surrounded by large vegetable farms and orchards, is an alternative departure point for Copper Canyon visitors and a tourist destination for sportsmen. Its history has been closely tied to the area’s rich silver mines. It was a station on Spain’s fabled Camino Real trade route. A Franciscan mission was built in 1590 and in 1610 a riverside fort erected to protect the settlement from Indian attacks guards the Crown’s silver haul from local mines. The city’s history is closely linked to nearby Alamos in neighboring Sonora state. Both towns shared administrative control over a vast region of northwest Mexico. El Fuerte has become a base for some of Mexico’s best year round large mouth and black bass fishing. The area is also ideal for bird hunting. In the town’s center is the colonial cathedral, Sagrado Coraz