The first inhabitants of the city were “Los nahoas,” nomads who came from the north of the continent over 2,000 years ago. During the post-classic period, the city was occupied by indigenous Zacatecos and their contemporaries, the Tepehuanos, from the south-east of the Valle del Guardiana to the Nombre de Dios.

The birth of the city is due to the ancient minerals from the Cerro del Mercado, named after its discoverer, the captain Ginés Vázquez de Mercado.

The Spanish conquistador Francisco de Ibarra completed travels of exploration in the year 1554, where he discovered a large extension of territory in the north-east part of “New Spain” and was named Governor of the Province by Virrey Don Luis de Velasco on the 24th of July, 1562.

Once Francisco de Ibarra was named the Governor of the Province, he began with explorations of his new investment. He founded new cities and traveled through the extensive territory and found the province that was baptized with the name “Nueva Vizcaya” in remembrance of the place where he was born. He later founded the city of Durango on the 8th of July, 1562.

After a few years, the Valle del Guardiana had been discovered by Ibarra. It was an expansive valley, rich in humidity, and had two rivers that crossed through it. Blessed with many mountains, where, besides the timber that he could use, there were animals to hunt and fish in the river. Also, there were places where mines existed. These were the reasons to choose Valle del Guardiana and to establish the head of his government.

Our Identity:

At one time found at the site, called Valle de San Juan by one of his captains, Alonso de Pacheco, with a group of soldiers that made a line to the Nueva Villa or “New Village”. Following the custom of the Spaniards that founded the city, Alonso de Pacheco, followed all of the received orders from de Ibarra. He proceeded to identify the site where the Plaza de Armas should be placed—in the center of Nueva Villa. To the north, he indicated the location for the first church that was of the Asuncion [Assumption], and to the south, the palace of the governors. To the east and south, the sun was shared among the first inhabitants.

Alonso de Pacheco ignored the name Ibarra placed to the new Villa, he started to call it “de Guardiana” [the Guardian] for the valley that it was surrounded by. Ibarra did not want the new city to have elements that could disturb its development. So he used his talent and Christian spirit and humanity to give a hand to the natural givers of clothes and food. He also offered to help them lift their homes in the village and to make a ditch to bring water from the “Ojos de Agua” [Eyes of Water] located to the west of the valley. All of the work Ibarra had paid for to the Indians and the villagers who were helping him.

La Villa was especially fertile, with a need to be cultivated in circular formations, so Ibarra gave so much of it to the villagers such as natural foods, tools for farming, and during the first year, Francisco de Ibarra helped maintain them while they cultivated the first harvest.

The foundation of the city, the first act officiated by Frey Diego de la Cadena, was celebrated in accordance with tradition on the south-eastern corner that are now the streets of “5 de febrero y Juarez”, which assisted Ibarra, his captains, and villagers.

Afterwards, it had the solemn act of being officially founded. At any place around the “Plaza de Armas” they awarded in first place, the author Sebastian de Quiroz, who sat down in front of a table and read the act of founding while standing. Before him, with their gala uniforms, Francisco de Ibarra and his captains; and together with them was Ensign Martin de Renteria, carrying the banner that had accompanied the conquistadors. To one side of them was Ana Leyva de Pacheco, who was the first woman from Spain to arrive to Durango.

Since that day, the Villa has been called “Durango,” in memory of the small motherland of its founding. Its name wants to say “Far beyond the water.” Today, the city of Durango is a dignified place where one can live, count on the rich historic past and challenges that motivate them for a better future, for the same reason it is a place with limitless possibilities.



The city of Durango is located in the north of the country and the western-center of the plateau Mexican. Durango is located between the 22-40 and 26-50 parallels of northern latitude and between the meridian of 102-25-55 and 107-08-50 of western latitude in relation to Greenwich latitude.

Located to the north of the cities of Canatlan and Panuco de Coronado; to the northeast of Guadalupe Victoria; to the south of Pueblo Nuevo and Mezquital ; to the east of Nombre de Dios and Poanas, and to the west of the cities of Pueblo Nuevo and San Dimas.


The city of Durango has a territory with a surface size of 10,041 square-kilometers. Its greatest longitude is 520 kilometers and 480 kilometers east to west.

Hydrography / Waterways

Various seasonal currents have courses of water that pass close to the city. The river “El Tunal” flows from the Sierra Madre Occidental to the south of the valley. It is the most important water current in the valley, its volume of water has been reduced by the construction of the “Presa Guadelupe Victoria”, located in the canyon that flow into the valley of the Guardiana and built for the storage of the water and irrigation for times of drought. It is the largest body of water in the region.

The “Acequia Grade” [Large Ditch] traveled through the center of the city, the original location of the town was chosen near the ditch in order to supply the town with water. However, today the current is a stream located underground, with the exception of when it rains. The riverbed was confined to a tunnel that ran below the “Bulevar Dolores del Rio” and that crossed with the tunnel at “El Arenal”.

The river “La Sauceda” runs through the portion of the north of the valley and its heading does not pass through the city. Its current merges with the river “El Tunal” also at the “El Arenal”.


The temperate climate in the western portion or of the mountain range, the annual median temperature is 15 Celsius and the annual median precipitation or rainfall is 1,600 millimeters. In the eastern region, the annual median temperature is 19 Celsius and precipitation is 600 millimeters, which makes the climate one of the most pleasant and acceptable for visitors in the city, those find the city as a place to live tranquilly, without problems except for the occasional extreme temperatures.