How are the people of Chihuahua like?
They are known for their hospitality and their good disposition to welcome travellers and foreigners into their city; the locals are usually enterprising and hardworking citizens that have well-rooted Mexican traditions and the pride for their land, their customs and, of course, for their tortillas and spicy sauces as well.
In other cities of the state, such as Juarez, the influence of that coming from "across the river" (meaning the United States) is notorious; here, rather than Mexican, what is predominant is a Hispanic identity. This strong root is complemented by the warmth of its inhabitants, their curiosity for their neighbours from the north, their easy grin and their patience and understanding treatment towards foreigners.
Which are the working hours at offices and shopping malls?
As is the case in most of Mexican cities, public and private offices usually open their doors from 9:00 hours till 13:00 hours, and from 15:00 hours till 19:00 hours.
Working hours at the markets or tianguis (close to a dozen) and at the fabulous Central de Abastos with its 120 vending stands, are from 6:00 hours till 17:00 hours. On the other hand, shopping malls usually open their doors Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 hours till 20:00 hours; only a few establishments work on Sundays.
Will I have any problem in communicating with my country?
No, in Chihuahua, like in any city of Mexico, it is pretty easy to communicate abroad through the public phone booths located on the streets, avenues and shopping malls, from where you can complete national and international calls using - in most of the cases - the card called Ladatel (for sell at a variety of commercial establishments).
International phone calls in Mexico are more expensive than in other countries; therefore, it is not a bad idea to consider calling collect. Another option is to call from your hotel room, though if your maxim is to save all you can, this option is not recommendable; the cost is higher than at a public phone booth.
Regarding access to the Internet, there are numerous cyber cafés in the city, in which you can access the web at reasonable prices; likewise, ever more hotels offer this service to their guests.
Is it easy to drive in the City of Chihuahua?
As is the case in almost all the capital cities of Mexican states, the increase in the automotive park in the past few years has generated serious traffic problems in the main avenues downtown.
Chihuahua is no strange to this sort of problem and the roads presenting the worst traffic jams during rush hours are Universidad, Tecnológico, Independencia, Las Americas and Ocampo Avenues, amongst others.
Traffic jams are a common thing in Juarez City as well, being its most clogged routes Tecnológico and Ramon Rivera Lara Avenues.
Travellers wishing to drive should avoid rush hours (at 8:00 in the morning, at noon and at nightfall) in as much as they can. One should also beware of the sudden "bursts of recklessness" that apparently attack other drivers, many of whom seem to utterly ignore traffic rules.
What do I need in order to rent a car?
A valid driver license and a credit card; these are the basic requisites to rent a vehicle in Chihuahua, city in which international firms such as Avis, Budget and Hertz operate.
If you are planning to rent a car, verify it is in perfect technical conditions, and that its papers are in perfect order.
Where can I purchase handicrafts?
There is more than one place where you can acquire flashy creations of the Tarahumara artists, who create great pots, dishes, glasses and cups made of clay, besides wooden carved figures, textiles, embroideries and music instruments, such as violins and drums.
The tianguis (markets) working on Saturdays and Sundays at the entrance of the Centro de Abastos are perhaps the best place where to buy craftsmanship; they work from 8:00 hours till 15:00 hours.
Another well-recommended place is the House of Handicraft, located on 1101 Niños Heroes Street, Colony Centre, Chihuahua; telephone numbers: (52-614) 410-6073 / 437-1292. If you are in Juarez City, the best thing to do is to visit the Benito Juarez Market, between 16 de Setiembre and Progreso Streets.
How much voltage carries the electric power?
The electric power is of 110 volts and 60 cycles; the outlets usually have flat slots. In case you have appliances operating with other voltage, ask at the reception desk of your hotel for a proper transformer.