The uniqueness of Alamos stems from its blend of Spanish colonial, Mexican and native Indian cultures and its small population of approximately 8,000 people. Its beautifully restored colonial architecture has a Moorish influence, brought by the 17th century architects from southern Spain.
The climate, due to its position in the Sierra Madre Mountains, retains cool, pleasant days in the winter, some hot days in the summer and rain storms during July and August. This climate mix provides sunshine year-round and breathtaking colors and shades. The area is also estimated to have 450 species of birds and animals and over 1,000 species of plants.
Besides the 8,000 Mexican Nationals, there are also approximately 250 Americans, Canadians and other foreigners residing in Alamos, offering a diverse culture. Their town named a National Historic Monument by the Mexican government, the people of Alamos take pride in the beauty and history of their small town.
Throughout the year, there are various festivals and fiestas celebrated by the locals. Upon visiting the Mercado, the Mirador, the Plaza de Armas, the Museo Ortiz Tirado, the Panaderia or by simply strolling the streets, you will surely get a taste of the local culture.
In 1531, Spanish conquistador, Francisco Coronado, entered the area of Alamos on his way to the North. Eighty years later, the Jesuits began constructing a mission here (completed in 1630) and laid the groundwork for a bustling economic center of Old Mexico.
In 1683, the discovery of silver dramatically changed the Spaniards view of the town and led to tremendous growth and wealth. By the 1780's, the population had boomed to 30,000, and the cathedral, La Parroquia de la Purísima Concepción, was constructed.
During its economic peak, the silver mines were responsible for making Alamos not only the richest town in Sonora, but also a worldwide leader in silver production. Many of today's restored mansions were constructed during this period.
In 1827, Alamos became the capital of Occidente (Sonora & Sinaloa), but due to Indian conflicts, floods and low silver production, the state capital was later moved to Hermosillo. Under Napoleon's reign, Emperor Maximillian's French troops took control of Alamos and once again made it the capital. The following year, Mexican rebel forces recaptured the city for good, forcing most of the wealthy landowners to flee.
By the 1900's, Alamos became a virtual ghost town because the silver mines were nearly tapped and the Revolution had driven many of the colonial landowners away. The town remained practically untouched for another 30 years until after the second World War, when Mexicans and Americans re-discovered the town and began buying the old silver baron mansions and restoring them. By the late 1960's, Alamos had become a hidden treasure.