Feel the Power of Nature.
Feel Interconnected. Feel Alive.
Rancho Los Banos is located in northeast Sonora, Mexico, a mere 55 miles from the southeast Arizona town of Douglas and only 175 miles from Tucson (3:30 hours drive time to our ranch gate), the nearest and most convenient airport destination for both arrivals and departures.As seen in the picture above, we are located at the foot of the Sierra Madres, the Mexican Rockies, making for spectacular and wild scenery that is unique to the ranch. We are also located at the crossroads of two of the world's great deserts, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan, adding to the dynamic, diverse and exotic quality of the ranch. When at the ranch, you will see terrain, landscapes and vegetation combinations that cannot be seen in the US Southwest.
The Scenery and Fun at Rancho Los Banos
Enjoy some of the sights and memories this magical land offers.
From Douglas/Agua Prieta, driving time is roughly 1 hour, 45 minutes to our main gate, though this has nothing to do with the distance.The obvious contradiction in time and distance is due to the fact that while we might be only 55 miles from the United States, the ranch is about 20 miles east of the main highway, Mexico 17. On the contrary, we are miles away from humanity, miles away from ordinary.
While Mexico 17 -- a two-lane paved highway -- is in great condition, and it does not take long to travel this road, to access the main gate of the ranch, a vehicle must take a well-maintained though rocky and bumpy dirt road that must be taken at a slow driving speed (10-15 mph). This road was built in the early 1930s as part of the same project that constructed Angostura Dam. The workmanship and quality of the road-building is apparent and the road itself has withstood almost 80 years of summer rains, erosion and weathering. The road, however, is built in land that is very rugged and rocky, an inescapable fact in this part of the world. Once a year the road does undergo fixing, thanks to a grader that is rented to help maintain the road system.
Deviating from Highway 17 after 50 miles of driving, a vehicle enters a checkpoint run and operated by Grupo Mexico (Mexicana de Cobre), a large copper consortium with operations in the vicinity. This checkpoint acts like the ranchs personal security checkpoint, for no unauthorized vehicle can enter the region without express permission granted by ranch owners or Grupo Mexico. This benefit serves to add a sense of real protection to the ranch. An already isolated an unknown ranch thus remains free of unwanted people. From this checkpoint, then, the dirt road that will take you to Rancho Los Banos is a mere five minutes away.
Once on the dirt road, we must pass two ranches before we reach Los Banos. These ranches, in conjunction with Los Banos, give added security thanks to a system of gates, some of which are locked and cannot be opened by the general public. Only those ranchers which the dirt road gives access to their ranches have keys to these locks. It can thus be safe to say in full confidence that the ranch is hardly ever visited by unwelcome strangers or individuals. We go to great effort to protect the integrity of the ranch borders, as well as great effort to prevent unwanted entry in the land. From the beginning of the dirt road to your arrival at your lodge is roughly one hour and a half hours, usually going 10-15 miles per hour given the rocky and bumpy road. We see it as part of the adventure, an opportunity to slow down, take in the sights and scenery, and enjoy what will surely be the bumpiest ride of your life. This stretch is truly a magnificent off-road jeep ecotour. We also think it the price to pay for untamed, unspoiled, isolated and people free land. How else, if not to take roads less travelled in lands rarely seen, is one to get as far away from modern life as possible?
In our region, insecurity and violence are non-factors, non-issues. In addition, our family has an outstanding reputation of honor and integrity in the region, one based on years of trust and respect, generation after generation. We are Mexican citizens, with full cultural and language understanding. As such, and as our guests, you will be treated with honor and respect by anyone you might encounter on the way to the ranch. While at the ranch, you will not see another non-guest at all, spending your time surrounded by wilderness and serenity.
The vast majority of Mexico's citizens are honest, hard-working, kind, peaceful and moral individuals who only want to live in happiness and security. This is especially true of the people who call this region home. Most want an honest days wage for an honest days job, and most live life happily content with what they have. The people who live in this region are salt of the earth type of individuals, products of the land they live in.
In reality, the country of Mexico remains a dynamic and incredible country. It is as safe as you allow it to be. You will be as secure as you wish to be. The smart tourist is also a safe tourist. Millions of tourists flock to all corners of the country, with few reports of crimes being committed on foreign nationals. Yes, Mexico remains an underdeveloped nation, though not as much as people might think. Mexico, while not as economically wealthy as Europe or the U.S., nonetheless has amazing wealth.
This can be seen in its people, its cities, its beauty and its warmth. Mexico has its own set of priorities, some of which differ radically from those of the U.S. Here, we do not live to work; here, we work to live, to enjoy life, to take life slowly, to enjoy family, to enjoy our brief time on Earth. Mexicans are some of the nicest, most welcoming people on the planet. Our hospitality is well-known, as is our delicious food. In Rancho Los Banos you will see a Mexico that perhaps you did not know existed. You will see an added dimension to a country full of beauty. Only 55 miles away from the U.S. border, yet a world away. Come experience a part of Mexico that is as mesmerizing as anything the country has to offer. Rancho Los Banos is a Mexican gem waiting to be discovered.
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