A journey through the Copper Canyon is truly a must for all passionate travelers. Combining riveting adventure with a reprieve from the demands of the modern world, the Copper Canyons offers a gorgeous setting for a marvelous escape.
Carved from the legendary Sierra Madre mountain range in the state of Chihuahua, a colossal network of six interweaving canyons make up what is known as the Copper Canyons, or Barrancas del Cobre in Spanish. Some of these canyons run deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon by a margin of over 1,000 feet. While the Copper Canyon seems to lack the status of the Grand Canyon, this Mexican treasure suffers no shortage of natural beauty. It is simply pristine. Teeming with wildlife, much of the striking landscape of the Copper Canyons has remained virtually unexplored and unexploited.
DAY 1 – Phoenix – Tucson – San Carlos
Morning departure from Phoenix / Tucson, AZ. After crossing the border into Mexico at Nogales, we arrive at Santa Ana for lunch. From there, we are on our way to Hermosillo, where we visit the Cathedral and the Government Palace to view the famous murals depicting the history of Sonora. Arrival in San Carlos Bay is by sunset at our hotel for the night, the Marinaterra Resort. Welcome to Mexico reception hosted by your Tour Director before dinner. (L D)
DAY 2 – San Carlos
After a relaxed breakfast, we board a private boat for a scenic cruise on the Sea of Cortes – keep a lookout for dolphins, seals, whales, and exotic birds such as the blue-footed booby and the great blue heron. After we return we will visit San Carlos’ renowned “Mirador Escenico”, a site ranked as one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Views from Land to Sea . Lunch at the hotel poolside. Time to relax and visit the Marina shops. Later in the afternoon we depart for our seaside, sunset dinner. (B L D)
DAY 3 – Alamos
We will depart from San Carlos after breakfast. Our first stop is at the Guaymas Pearl farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas. Here you will learn about the pearl oyster farming, pearl grading and quality selection. Next we travel south through the rich grain farm lands and to the foothills of the Sierra Madre, finally arriving at the quaint city of Alamos. A living museum, the city cobblestones streets are lined with beautiful Spanish Colonial Mansions. This evening immerse yourself in the local culture at dinner with a colorful spectacle of music and folk dancing by performers in traditional customs. Overnight at Casa de Los Tesoros, La Mansión or Casa Encantada (B L D)
DAY 4 – El Fuerte
After breakfast take a guided walking tour through the cobblestone streets, visiting the city’s historic, fabled mansions that have been restored to their original glory. We spend are last lunch at the hotel, soaking in our last few hours in the city that is a national historic landmark. Next we journey to the charming El Fuerte, known as the gateway to the Copper Canyon, arriving at Hotel Torres del Fuerte by early afternoon. Here we will enjoy a performance of traditional, native dances followed by an unforgettable, regional dinner. (B L D)
DAY 5 – Posada Barrancas ~ Copper Canyon Train
Early in morning, we transfer to the Copper Canyon train station in El Fuerte, boarding at 8:00 a.m.. The Copper Canyon Train or “Chepe” is one of the most spectacular train rides in North America, lunch onboard the train, we will be arriving at Posada Barrancas by mid-afternoon. Your hotel for the next two nights is the Hotel Mirador. Tarahumara Indians culture presentation before dinner at the hotel. (B L D)
DAY 6 – Posada Barrancas
Today we have time to view and interpret Tarahumara Indian arts and crafts, visit the rim of the canyon and enjoy the surroundings. This afternoon we have the opportunity to board the new Copper Canyon aerial tramway, allowing us to descend to the Canyons and experience amazing rarely seen views. There is time today for some optional activities: hiking, horseback riding or just relaxing. (B L D)
DAY 7 – Casas Grandes
After breakfast, on board our motorcoach we will transfer to Creel via Oteros Canyon. After lunch, we descend from the mountains onto the Chihuahuan Desert and the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. Tonight we have Mata Ortiz pottery demonstration and our farewell dinner. (B L D)
DAY 8 – Tucson / Phoenix
Before leaving Nuevo Casas Grandes, we visit Mexico’s northernmost archeological site at Paquime, where the ancient Grand Chichimeca civilization erected their truncated pyramids and adobe multistory apartments. We travel through the plains and cattle country of Chihuahua before reentering the USA at Douglas, AZ. Arriving in Phoenix around 7:00 p.m. (B L)
Named for the color of its walls, the Copper Canyon spans a huge area, much of which is solely accessible by the Copper Canyon Railway. This feature earns the trip through the canyon a reputation as the world’s most scenic train ride. Covering a distance of over 400 miles, the trip takes 16 hours one way and is broken up into overnight stops along the route.
This railroad line was built starting in 1870, running from Kansas, to Texas, and across the border to Chihuahua, Los Mochis and finally Topolobambo, one of the largest natural harbors in North America. The railroad was completed 91 years later when the tracks joined at Temoris Station on the southwestern edge of the canyon in one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Today’s route through the Copper Canyon takes passengers from sea level to an elevation of over 8,000 feet, through 86 tunnels, and across 39 bridges. The longest tunnel on the course measures nearly 6,000 feet, while the highest bridge sits 340 feet over the Chinipas River.
Enjoy a brief scenic overview of a Copper Canyon Mexico tour that A Closer Look Tours offers. Rick Najera, The MEXICO Report correspondent, shows you what it’s like to ride the Copper Canyon Train and Railway while taking in the beautiful panoramas of the Copper Canyon countryside. We hope you enjoy this virtual tour of traveling on the El Chepe train into Mexico’s Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico.