The itinerary on your Copper Canyon tour makes all he difference in the world. We have the very best in guides, our hotels and lodges are carefully selected to be the tops in local choices, and our itineraries are hand designed for you based on years of collective experience in the Sierra Madres.
Here are some basics:
- Usually we enter and exit through El Paso. This maximizes your time in the canyons and on the train. It also allows us to fully experience not only Copper Canyon but also Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Paquime and the Mennonite areas.
- We usually include the heart of the train line twice- in two different lights.
- One option with our Copper Canyon trips is to leave the country through Baja- a delightful way to end the journey.
Here is a typical itinerary from a recent journey:
Mar 3- Arrive in El Paso. The airport is a good place to get pesos. Use the Travelex near the spot where you turn right to go to the baggage area. Meet our van and we head for Santa Teresa NM (20 minutes) to cross into Mexico. We are off toward the big apple- Chihuahua City. Dinner together and perhaps an evening view of the gigantic cathedral in the central plaza. We check into the historic boutique hotel, the San Felipe el Real. Stroll the historic district and the vast market.
The journey– We get an introduction to Norteño food as we travel south through the high elevation of the Chihuahua Desert. Burritos and other delicious street foods will be ours to choose from in the little towns north of Chihuahua.
Chihuahua City- This bustling hub for commerce has its roots as a mining and ranching center. Several fascinating museums (including the Pancho Villa home) gather around the towering 1700s cathedral. The food here is a bit eclectic and reflects the melting pot that Chihuahua has become.
Mar 4– time for breakfast and look around town- then off to San Juanito by van through Mennonite country. Winding our way into the Sierra Madre, we drop into several little villages and then arrive at the relaxing wooded Noritari near San Juanito- a unique cabin style solar hotel with a gourmet cook. A great night to enjoy dinner, chat with the chef, and take a stroll along the stream through the mountains.
Noritari– This unique 80 hectare site is dotted with cabins with fireplaces, private baths, solar lighting- the nearby stream flows and the pines whisper.
Mar 5– We will relax or take a hike or perhaps van over to Creel for the morning- cool museum here. Then board the train late morning and head through the mountains to Cerocahui and the little San Ysidro lodge
Cerocahui– This quiet little town sits in a beautiful valley and is a great place to overnight. We will stay above town nearer to the majestic Gallego overlook.
Mar 6- We have time to go over to Gallego and perhaps down to Urique if we want. . Then we reboard the train for the unsurpassed journey toward our evening destination, El Fuerte. Tunnels, bridges, canyons, mountains…have your cameras ready! Lunch on the train on your own. Arrive in El Fuerte for dinner…this place is known for incredible food! (B,D)
El Fuerte– A small town with a quaint (and delicious!) market and lots of colonial architecture. History, Indian culture, bird watching, and a palm lined plaza make this place a favorite.
Mar 7 – A full day of exploring the area- the wonderful colonial town with lots of opportunities for food and photography. A morning trip to the river for bird watching as we float and a walk through the local petro glyph site. Lunch on your own. The visit to the market here is a must, then dinner in a local home with our host Evangelina. (B,D)
Evangelina– This lovely lady with her brother and extended family live in one of the historic mansions off the square in El Fuerte. We often dine with them and get a full taste of some genuine Copper Canyon hospitality.
Mar 8 – Board the train in the morning headed northeast for Areponapuchi (Posada Barrancas station). Lunch on your own on the train and we arrive at this tiny town and a local lodge- above the canyon- Mansion Tarahumara. Dinner, relax as well as perhaps watch the sunset over the vast reaches of Copper Canyon. “Arepo”as we call it, is officially “nowhere Mexico”. The area around Arepo gives us a good long look at Copper Canyon, and we have plenty of time to look around.
Areponapuchi– Just call it Arepo and don’t expect the big city. This tiny place sits near the rim of some of the best views of Copper Canyon. The new gondola and ziplines are a scenic thrill, and you can walk or ride horses in and around the great canyon. Also a good place to pick up local souvenirs.Horses are available here- huge views!
Mar 9– All day to enjoy ziplines, gondola, hiking, etc….and relax!
Mar 10 – Sunrise at the edge of Copper anyone? Breakfast and a walk down through a Tarahumara cave dwelling. Some last views of the canyon, then we catch our van to head for Casas Grandes As the evening cools a walk through the ancient Indian ruins at Paquime. Our home this evening is the lovely hacienda, Casa de Nopal.
Casas Grandes– Right on the edge of Casas are the Paquime Indian archaeological ruins- a UNESCO World Heritage site- and nearby is the tiny village of Mata Ortiz. The pottery from this area is very special and known around the world for its intricacy and character.
Food in the Casas area- This is the high desert area and truly ranch country. We will eat at an historic hacienda and savor the local restaurants.
Mar 11 – Plenty of time to explore the Paquime ruins, Mata Ortiz pottery, etc.
Mar 12– Relax as we finish what we may have missed. Leave Casas by 2 or 3p and drop into Janos on the way and get a warm welcome and tour with Celso and Emma at Don Cuco sotol. Sotol is THE drink of Chihuahua and is somewhat like tequila- but better…bring some home!
Sotol- This stop at Don Cuco will give you a full introduction (including a few sips) to this fine spirit from the enchanting Chihuahua area.
Mar 13– fly home
- Price for this trip is $1680 USD per person. Single room, add $300.
- This includes all guides, transport, food, and hotels in Mexico except your visa, 4 meals, gondola and zipline, and alcohol. I will supply an overview of expected personal expenses.
- Deposit is $500 per person.