La Noria and Puerta de Canoas
La Noria and Puerta de Canoas welcome visitors by offering a unique cultural experience, as they take their place as a great option among day-trip tours to Mazatlán´s surrounding villages.
These historical towns were established in the 1800’s. La Noria fiercely holds on to its traditions, as proven by its authentic adobe homes and its proud craftsmen, that have kept their saddlery industry intact through many generations.
Among other attractions, you can admire the San Antonio de Padua church, and take some time to browse and buy some of its original hand-made local crafts. You´ll also find a sign indicating the location of the Tropic of Cancer, which crosses its narrow cobblestone streets.
Puerta de Canoas is a small village known for its fresh basket-style cheese and delicious caramel candy. It was named after the fishing canoes that used to be made there. In its surroundings, you´ll find an agave-liquor processing site called La Vinata de Los Osuna, famous for its 100% blue agave liquor.
The village of La Noria is tucked-away at the foot of the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains, 22 miles northeast of the City and Port of Mazatlán. La Noria is a community that is overflowing with memories of historical grandeur. According to existing records, the first human settlers in this region landed here at the end of the 16th Century, with the first Spanish property owners in the region. These records also show that La Noria came to be so powerful, that for a long time it was a Municipality in its own right, and existing data confirms that it stayed that way until the year 1882. Moreover, historical records show that a small village within its precinct (called Veranos) was the scene of a bloody battle during the French intervention. The “invincible Napoleon´s Army”, then coming from the State of Durango on its way to the Port of Mazatlán, was defeated in this battle. Chronicles of the time state that the French forces were annihilated, and the few survivors were able to escape to the nearby village of La Villa de San Sebastián, currently known by the name of Concordia. This defeat really caused a negative effect on the proud Imperialist army, and was quickly and fiercely avenged with the burning of the village of La Noria, where French forces, eager to avenge their losses, killed many of Noria’s people indistinctly.
This village´s architectural heritage is Spanish Colonial, where you can still find old estates built with thick brick walls, high beamed ceilings and arched entryways, with adobe roof-tiles supported by huge ebony beams, which bring back the nostalgia of better times; its ample public squares, where locals sit on its heavy wooden benches each night to tell stories and exchange gossip. Its narrow, cobblestone streets have long witnessed happenings of great local importance. As you stroll through these streets, you get an imaginary sense of going back in time, and that´s why many say that, with the wind´s murmur and a little imagination, you might hear the distant noises made by mules loaded-up with gold and silver in caravans, led by mule drivers from the mines in the mountains, from long ago. But it´s not just a legend or tale. It is well recorded and documented how caravans had to pass through La Noria when they came down from the Durango, with their beasts of burden carrying fruit, sugar, fabrics and most importantly, precious metals, and how they used to stop to rest in this village before continuing their long journey to Mazatlán.
La Noria was famous for being one of the main producers of Mezcal, a Blue Agave liquor, in the region. Remains of large factories and processing plants are silent witnesses of this grandeur that have endured the test of time, and even though these facilities processed enormous quantities of Agave, today, all that remains are stills, ovens, chimneys, old warehouses and old wicker decanters that were imported from Germany. Local seniors attest, and existing records show, that even though the nearby mountains and hills were teaming with Agave plants, these were barely enough to supply the Mezcal processing plants.
La Noria is a village that fiercely sticks to its roots and traditions, which are handed down through their generations, like the secret of their tanning process and excellent saddlery work, which continues intact to this day. It´s interesting to observe how they handcraft beautiful saddles from scratch, starting with the saddle tree (framework) and the actual saddles including their roundups, finely carved and adorned, which are highly sought-after by riding enthusiasts. Their quality is such that saddles and sandals made in La Noria are well-known by locals and foreigners alike, and many make special trips to this village just to buy these exquisite works of saddlery and leather products. Many things may be said about La Noria, such as the fact that Mammoth and pre-historic animal bones have been found in its surroundings; that deep in its hills lie hidden countless treasures, just waiting to be discovered; that it is a haven for happy people that are forever in love with their regional band music, many of which have taken part in famous musical bands; but above all, we can´t fail to mention that it´s a magical place where many an arrogant woman, with her striking beauty, has made courting men sing the stanza “La Noria, my favorite town, a town where I fell in love for the first time”…