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Typical Copper Canyon Tour   arrow

One of our recent guests talks about his experience.

Each of our excursions to Copper Canyon vary, but one is detailed below. This one is a cool season trip and in warmer seasons, El Fuerte is usually not included. In other trips to Copper Canyon, the towns of Temoris, Cuiteco, San Juanito, Batopilas, or one of the many other small towns may be included.

The typical Copper Canyon train trip…the incredible train experience with Dave Hensleigh and his team of local Mexican guides in Copper Canyon plus much more:

  • Unique experiences involving Norteño food, including dinners in local homes, Mexican chefs, traditional recipes, and adventures in the markets.
  • The historic and delicious Casa Grandes area, including Mata Ortiz pottery
  • Two nights in enchanting El Fuerte with its market, ceviche, organic farm, and petro glyphs.
  • A visit to Cerocahui, a lovely little town with nearby Copper Canyon vistas and waterfalls. From there, an evening trip to Urique at the bottom of the Canyon, past Tarahumara homes, and with the treat of a bowl of the local “agua chile.”
  • One night at Areponápuchi near the grandest views of Copper Canyon- come hungry!
  • Through the Mennonite plateau areas with the vast apple orchards and world famous cheese.  Try the local, savory pizza.
  • Chihuahua City–the Pancho Villa home, great restaurants, the 1700s cathedral.

Saturday, Oct 2 – Depart El Paso by 9 am and arrive late morning at Don Cuco Sotol in Janos. Later we arrive in Casas Grandes for the night near the Paquime ruins.

Sunday, Oct 3 –. Winding our way into the Sierra Madres, we drop into several little villages and then arrive at the relaxing, wooded Norítari near San Juanito- a unique cabin style hotel nestled high in the pines–with a gourmet cook. A great night to enjoy dinner, chat with the chef, and take a stroll.

Norítari– This unique 80-hectare site is dotted with cabins with fireplaces, private baths, solar lighting.  The nearby stream flows and the pines whisper. Enjoy.

Monday, Oct 4 – Up for coffee with a relaxing breakfast in the pines and off to catch the train at 11a. Perhaps a chance to shop in Creel- then board the train and head southwest up into the mountains. Winding our way into the Sierra Madres, we get our first whistle-stop, eye-popping view of Copper Canyon at Divisadero…and a great taste of the local food vendors.  At the Bahuichivo station we meet the jovial Alberto Lopez and take the short ride to the enchanting village of Cerocahui. We have the afternoon open to stroll the plaza and streets of “Cero” or hike to the local waterfall or just relax. Our hosts love to preserve local fruits and vegetables and always have a local dish cooking in the kitchen- there is even a wood strove!

Cerocahui– This quiet little town sits in a beautiful valley and is a great place to overnight. We stay right on the square- a perfect place to relax in the evening in the shadow of the ancient church.

Tuesday, Oct 5- We have a big day today as we will head for the bottom of the canyon down an exciting road to the tiny town of Urique. A highlight for lunch is “agua chile”- perhaps the most tasty shrimp dish you have ever experienced. We can watch Tita and her crew prepare this dish- including ingredients you have never heard of! We head back to the train and board for an afternoon journey through the heart of Copper Canyon. Have your camera ready. We arrive for a late dinner at a delicious local taco stand in El Fuerte and a two night stay–one of the favorite spots on the trip.

Wednesday, Oct 6 – We have the whole day to enjoy El Fuerte with its colonial buildings and delicious foods. Breakfast in the market (birria anyone?), then a float trip to see the birdlife and petro glyphs along the Rio Fuerte. Afterwards, a visit to the market, a long sit on the palm-lined fountained plaza, perhaps a visit to the organic farm, then dinner in a local hacienda with our host Evangelina. Food highlights here are the local ceviche stands, the meat tacos and soups in the market, and the local restaurants- some of the best on the trip.

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.

Thursday, Oct 7 – A last visit to the market for breakfast, then re-board the train for the tunnel- filled journey toward our evening destination, Areponápuchi (Posada Barranca station). Dinner with our hosts, Lolita Mancinas, as well as perhaps a walk up to 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.  We have plenty of time to look around….and to work off the delicious ranch food we will enjoy right in Lola’s kitchen.

Areponápuchi– … don’t expect the big city. This tiny place sits near the rim of some of the best views of Copper Canyon. From here you can walk or ride horses in and around the great canyon. Also a good place to pick up local souvenirs. Local vegetables and meats are a treat here- this is ranch country.

Friday, Oct 8 – 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 for the trip through the Mennonite agricultural area (vast apple areas and some of their delicious pizza for lunch) toward the big apple- Chihuahua City. Dinner together and perhaps an evening view of the gigantic cathedral in the central plaza.

Mennonites- They migrated here from Canada around 1922 and have transformed the high plateaus into some of the most productive land in Chihauhua. Still German speakers, they produce apples, oats, and dairy products- notably, the famous white Chihuahua cheese.

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. We have options here for dining in a home or to have a local chef cater at the hotel.

Saturday, Oct 9 – A hearty breakfast and time to look around Chihuahua City…then we head back up to El Paso for the night and fly the next day. (Options available to stay an extra day or two in Chihuahua…Also many of our trips include two days at the end in the Mata Ortiz area and Paquime near Casas Grandes)