Hispanic/Mexican Influence Itinerary


Set on the U.S./Mexican border, Cochise County's neighbors to the south have strongly influenced our county, its culture and heritage. 



Searching for the elusive Seven Cities of Gold, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set about his quest in 1540. The Coronado National Memorial, part of the National Park System, commemorates Coronado’s exploration of the southwestern U.S. From his expedition came the discovery of the Grand Canyon, the Rio Grande in Texas and the northern Hopi villages. The land for the Memorial was carved from U. S. Forest Service land.


As one of Cochise County’s gateways to the state of Sonora, Mexico, Douglas is a charming, busy border community. With more than a century as a key player in the region’s history, it maintains an excellent relationship with its cross border city, Agua Prieta.


Douglas’ neighbor to the south, Agua Prieta is a bustling shopping area for tourists and southern Arizona residents. Saddlery and boot-making are highlights of the local craftsmanship, along with handmade pottery, blankets and other goods. Agua Prieta’s Mexican port of entry is open 24 hours a day and is less congested and a bit more laid-back than others.


The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate is the most intact example remaining of a once extensive network of similar fortresses that marked Spain’s influence in what is now Arizona. The land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which protects this fragile legacy. Established in 1776 by an Irish mercenary, Hugh O' Conor, for King Carlos III of Spain, the presidio was never completed. Only a stone foundation and a few remaining adobe walls mark the location of an isolated and dangerous military station.


Note: To protect irreplaceable fossils and artifacts found within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, removal of fossils and prehistoric and historic artifacts is illegal and prohibited. Possession and the use of metal detectors within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is prohibited.

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