Copper Canyon tours
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About Copper Canyon Tours
We have been the largest tour operator of Copper Canyon tours for more than 13 years. This is a spectaular trip that not many people know about. Mexico’s Copper Canyon tours are trips onboard Chepe train. A train journey that is the most impressive tourist experience of all Mexico.
The Chepe Route is a trip that has everything: culture, landscapes, luxury, gastronomy, mysticism, nature and adventure. From the moment you start your trip to El Chepe, either from Chihuahua or Los Mochis, your journey will be full of surprises. In El Fuerte you will find a beautiful colonial magic town where legendary cultures such as the Mayos live. In all Copper Canyon train tours you will meet the Tarahumaras, also known as Rarámuris, a beautiful and ancient culture.
The Tarahumaras are one of the Mexican indigenous cultures that preserve the most pre-Hispanic traits and traditions. Their way of life is truly admirable! Many Tarahumara practice bartering and still live in caves. The Tarahumaras are also known to be the strongest long-distance champion runners in the world. They can run with their sandals up to 100 kilometers without stopping through the mountains.
You will be amazed not only by their way of life but also by their crafts that they offer you on the Copper Canyon train tours. In terms of nature and landscapes the Copper Canyon train tour is simply unbeatable. You will be able to see: ravains, mountains, rivers, lakes and canyons full of flora and fauna. The views will leave you speechless.
But when to do Copper Canyon tours?
The change of seasons makes the trip attractive throughout the year. In winter you will see the white mountains, in the dry season you will see them golden and in the rainy season you will see the Copper Canyon in green. The adventure part is also splendid. At Barrancas del Cobre or Divisadero station there is a park with the most famous zip lines and cable car in Mexico. Fly between the ravines at a speed greater than 130 kilometers per hour on zip lines longer than 2 kilometers.
The Copper Canyon tours are also full of luxury and comfort. The best hotels on the Chepe train route have rustic and boutique styles. You will be able to enjoy and rest while you observe the beautiful landscape and feel the peace of the mountains. You can also satisfy your most demanding gastronomic tastes with the food of the region. Delicious dishes from Sinaloa and Chihuahua that include the famous burritos and mariscadas. There are plenty of reasons to make Copper Canyon tours, what is missing are reasons not to do it.
The Copper Canyou Tour Explained
Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range contains a series of enormous canyons known as Copper Canyon. The canyon’s copper-green walls give it its name, and it’s a popular destination. The Chepe (Ferrocarril Barrancas del Cobre) connects the region through 80 tunnels and 40 bridges. It is a world-renowned train. Urique Canyon may be seen from Divisadero, a photo stop on the railway. There is a unique landscape in Mexico’s Chihuahua state known as Copper Canyon. It’s renowned for its breathtaking scenery and plenty of outdoor activities. Copper Canyon, despite being referred to as the “Grand Canyon of Mexico,” is a combination of six different canyons, each of which has a combined length that is four times greater than its northern neighbor.
Hiking, mountain biking, bus, or riding a horse are all options for exploring the Copper Canyon. However, the most common form of travel is The Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico (commonly referred to as Chepe), an exclusion premium train service that travels between Chihuahua City and Los Mochis through Canyon Urique, a range of rugged mountains that has led some to declare it the most picturesque railroad journey in North America. It serves as both a convenient mode of transportation for locals and a tourist attraction. The railroad development was delayed by a lack of funds and the difficulty of building a train across such high terrain until 1961 when it was ultimately finished. Six hundred and fifty-two kilometers (405 miles) of railroads have 39 bridges and 86 tunnels in total. This trek, which takes 15 hours to complete, brings you past sleepy towns and breathtaking canyons. Locals from the Tarahumara region set up shops along the rail line to sell anything and everything.
As a national monument, Mexico established Copper Canyon National Park to safeguard and conserve this remote area. The park consists of four municipalities: Batopilas, Bocoyna, Guachochi, and Urique. Copper Canyon’s original occupants are the Tarahumara or Rarámuri. The Rarámuri population is believed to be between 35,000 and 70,000 people. For most of the year, Rarámuri resides in the cooler upland areas, but as temperatures drop, they move deeper into the canyons. Rather than risk losing their way of life, they’ve opted to live in places that are too remote for city inhabitants to visit, far enough away from the main road to be alone and unconnected.
Local residents disagree on whether or not tourists should be welcomed in Copper Canyon. In order to attract tourists, some communities accept government funds for road building, restaurant construction, and lodging construction. Rarámuri communities tend to live in rural areas in order to keep themselves secluded from city life. As a result of the harsh environment, their way of life has been spared many threats. Animal products such as cows, chickens, and goats, along with game and fish caught in freshwater bodies of water, make up the majority of their diet. Corn is the primary component of the Rarámuri diet (maize).
Rarámuri people are well-known for their prowess in long-distance running. To get around the canyons where they reside, they run continuously for long periods of time. There is a race called rarajipari held in the Rarámuri hamlet that is particularly well-liked by the inhabitants.
A trip to the Copper Canyon is amazing. In awe of the Copper Canyon’s six canyon network and its seductive copper hue, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stumbled onto one of nature’s best-kept secrets as you stand atop its majestic cliffs. Three-quarters of a million square miles of the Western Sierra Madre are covered by the Copper Canyon, commonly known as “Barrancas del Cobre.” Compared to the Grand Canyon in the US, Mexico’s Copper Canyon is larger and deeper. Tarahumara or Raramuri indigenous people, who call themselves Raramuris or Tarahumara, live in a secluded and mysterious habitat maintained by a harsh mountain range. The Copper Canyon Train, which traverses one of Mexico’s national treasures, allows us unparalleled access to the canyon’s breathtaking views and rich history. You can’t go to Mexico’s Copper Canyon without riding the Copper Canyon Railway, which is a must-do experience.
About the Copper Canyon Train
Known as the “Chepe,” the Chihuahua al Pacifico railway gives one of the most breathtaking train rides in the world, with breathtaking views of the Copper Canyon region. As it winds through Mexico’s highland heartland, the Pacific coast, and every terrain in between, this 420-mile engineering marvel pass through 86 tunnels and 32 bridges.
It begins in Los Mochis, which is located at sea level and continues through pine and oak highlands to Divisadero, which is located at a higher altitude than any other town in the Copper Canyon region. At Divisadero, which means “lookout point,” the train reaches the canyon’s brink. On a Copper Canyon tour, this is a stunning site that should not be overlooked. After dropping off passengers in the Chihuahuan desert, the Copper Canyon train makes its way back to Los Mochis over the green plains.
History of the Copper Canyon Railway
From the initial idea to the last spike, the Copper Canyon Railway project took almost a century to complete. Albert Owen first proposed the railroad in 1872 as a way to connect the United States’ midwestern states with the Sea of Cortez’s Bay of Topolobampo. The Mexican Revolution, many bankruptcies, and the Great Depression ruined any progress toward this goal.
Following a government takeover, the railroad was sold to the Mexican government, which began to work on it. In 1961, the first Chihuahua-to-Los Mochis train arrived. As a result, Albert Owen’s original vision was rendered obsolete by the completion of the Panama Canal at this point. Therefore, the government resorted to tourism to make the construction of the train profitable. For the first time, tourists may visit the Copper Canyon, a place formerly only accessible to the indigenous Tarahumara.
Experiences to take in this tour
1. The Tarahumaras
Indigenous people in Chihuahua were contacted by the New Spaniards who arrived in the Copper Canyon region in the 17th century. The New Spanish saw America as a new opportunity to mine for gold and silver, as well as to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. The indigenous people’s word for men, Rarámuri, inspired the New Spanish to coin the term “Tarahumara” for the people they encountered. The rushing people, according to some experts, maybe the literal translation of this word. The Hispanics discovered silver in the area of the Tarahumara tribe in the 1700s. Some of the miners were enslaved. Small rebellions by the Tarahumara were met with little success. They were eventually evicted off the more desirable land and forced to live on the cliffs above the canyons.
2. Copper canyon train ride
There are bridges that span deep ravines and hug the cliff faces of mountains as the route winds its way through some of Mexico’s most difficult terrain. It takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside you’ve ever seen. The first-class express tour of the Copper Canyon takes about four hours(4). Despite the fact that it’s a wonderful experience, you must book it in advance.
One of Mexico’s most captivating trips is a trip down Copper Canyon. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you and your companions will cherish for the rest of your lives if you take the Copper Canyon train journey. A newer, more opulent train, Chepe Express, has taken its place as the most popular train for tourists. Commuters and tourists alike can ride the Chepe Regional between Chihuahua and Los Mochis, which has 13 stops. The Chepe Express only travels between Los Mochis and Creel, making three stops at tourist attractions along the route.
Every two to three days, the Chepe Regional and the Chepe Express run in the opposite direction of each other. They run on different days and time schedules so you will need to organize tour tour in advance. The Chepe Regional is an older train with modest amenities such as restrooms and a dining car, but it isn’t unpleasant. A bar car, a panoramic viewing vehicle, and a restaurant car are all part of the new Chepe Express.
Your plans, itinerary, and degree of adaptability will all play a role in determining which train to take. Because neither train runs every day, you’ll need to organize your vacation well in advance.
3. Chepe Express Luxury train
Experience one of the most spectacular train rides globally and discover one of Mexico’s great wonders. From the mountain to the Sea of Cortez, you will cross on board the Chihuahua al Pacífico Railway, also called “Chepe”, the rugged western Sierra Madre range. The Chepe train route is considered one of the Wonders of Mexican Engineering due to the complexity of its construction. Along the way from Chihuahua to Los Mochis, you can make some stops to discover the attractions that this amazing train ride has to offer: fascinating Raramuri valleys, adventure parks, boutique hotels, diverse vegetation, waterfalls, tunnels, bridges, and canyons.
- Panoramic views: Each train car offers very large windows so that you can appreciate an amazing view of the valleys and ravines. The last wagon of the Chepe Express first class has a terrace bar with large sliding windows that will give you the feeling of being part of the impressive landscape. The new Chepe train service allows you to travel from regional tourist class, which is the most affordable, to First Class, which is the most luxurious. Enjoy impressive views of different altitudes and climatic zones. The coastal plain is characterized by dry forests, cacti, and low jungle. Then you will be able to appreciate an area with tropical vegetation. The pine and oak grow at an altitude of 1,100 meters.
4. Copper Canyon Mexico tours
Barranca del Cobre, or Copper Canyon, is a desert region in northwest Mexico that is home to some of Mexico’s most breathtaking natural scenery. There are twenty canyons in the Copper Canyon area, which were built over time by six rivers. Copper Canyon’s terrain, vegetation, and fauna are all distinct from those of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, despite the fact that the two areas are sometimes contrasted. It is located in Mexico’s wilderness, the Copper Canyon. As the Tarahumara people, descendants of the Aztecs, have done for thousands of years, they continue to live a basic existence in these canyons. Visitors to the Copper Canyon Train Ride can now buy their crafts and snacks from them.
If you’re looking to get a taste of the Copper Canyon, you can take a train ride from Los Mochis to Chihuahua City or vice versa, although you can make all the route in one day, the best way to it, is taking at least a 5 day tour itinerary with stops in the main attractions and tows on the way.
Modern engineering is on display in Copper Canyon’s railroad. After decades of construction, a railroad linking the Pacific Ocean with Mexico’s central desert territory and Chihuahua was completed in 1961.
The train line spans 408 miles (656 kilometers) and includes 86 tunnels and 39 bridges (the longest of which is almost 500 meters long) (the longest over 1,500 meters long).In order to get to Chihuahua City, the route begins at sea level in Los Mochis and then climbs to an elevation of about 8,000 feet (2,500 meters). At times, it is teetering on the edge of mountains and crossing deep ravines on bridges. If you’ve ever seen anything like it, this is the road for you.
The entire train route takes around thirteen hours if you ride it all the way through, but most tourists get off at least two times and spend at least four nights in the middle of the canyons. Traveling this route is an experience not to be missed. The best way to do this trip is to book it in advanced with a local tour operator. The peak: During the travel seasons of October to March, Easter, and Christmas/New Year, it is strongly recommended that you purchase your train tickets well in advance.
- Copper Canyon Seasons: According to weather patterns, May and June are typically the driest months in the canyons. July to November, when the rains are most plentiful, is when the canyons’ flora is at its most vibrantly emerald green. Floral hues change from December to May.
The most vital piece of advice when planning a trip to Mexico’s Copper Canyon is to reserve in advance. Especially during peak months, this is not a destination where you can show up and expect to obtain a hotel room and a train ticket. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, thanks to the train ride, stunning scenery, and unforgettable memories.
5. Copper canyon railroad
The construction of this railroad marvel lasted about 90 years and cost 90 million dollars. Copper Canyon’s railroad is a spectacular example of modern engineering. To connect the Pacific Ocean with Mexico’s central desert territory, as well as Chihuahua, this railway was completed in 1961 after decades of work.
6. Copper Canyon Adventure Park
Copper Canyon Adventure Park or Parque Aventura is a place that has a 60-seater cable car that crosses the mountains and provides an incredible perspective. It also has the second-longest zip line in the world called “Zip-Ridder”. In addition, the Copper Canyon Adventure Park is definitely suitable for families with small children. Despite the fact that some of the activities are restricted due to safety concerns, a family can still enjoy a fun-filled day at the park.
- Hours of operation and charges: Copper Canyon Adventure Park is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day.
- The use of a cable car: Copper Canyon Adventure Park’s cable car travels 2,700 meters from the park’s entrance to a spectacular viewing point in the center of the canyon. Every 30 minutes (or 15 minutes in high season), there are two units on the route, and each journey takes roughly 10 minutes.
- Zip rider: At 2,530 meters long, it’s the second-longest zip-line globally, with a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour. The cable car takes you back to your starting point after you’ve completed the zip line. Getting to the zip line requires a 30-minute hike up an incline. The majority of visitors to Copper Canyon Adventure Park should be adults. This activity requires participants to be between 45 kilograms and 120 kilograms in weight and under the age of 65 years old to participate
- The Perilous Route: Only the best weather is suitable for completing the Via Ferrata. Rappelling, hanging bridges of various difficulties, a “Tarzan jump,” and 250m of semi-climbing are all included in this adventure. Because it is the -most difficult- exercise, it is only open to adults and lasts for around 2 hours. The ride’s rules stipulate that riders must be at least 1.20 meters tall and weigh no more than 120 kilograms. The Copper Canyon Adventure Park also features hiking and cycling routes. Children are welcome here as well.
- The Zip-line adventure: A trail of 7 ziplines and hangging bridges that take you to a magnificent viewpoint in the middle of the Copper Canyon.
7. Boutique hotels
Located in Chihuahua’s Copper Canyons, Hotel Mirador Barrancas del Cobre is the only hotel in the area with a panoramic view from every room. You’ll have 180-degree views of nature from your balcony, so get outside and enjoy it!
Both the Copper Canyon Adventure Park and the Posada Mirador are in excellent locations, just a short drive apart. The El Chepe railway, which runs from Chihuahua City to Los Mochis in Sinaloa through Barrancas del Cobre, stops nearby. El Mirador is the only hotel in the area where you don’t have to leave your room in order to see the canyons. Only a small percentage of the rooms in other hotels offer views of the canyon from the rooms.
Hotel Mirador, perched atop a cliff in the Copper Canyon and surrounded by pine trees, has won numerous accolades for its breathtaking views.
On the terraces of the hotel’s 70 rooms and suites, guests can watch eagles soar overhead or even right next to them. Rooms feature wood-beamed ceilings and a fireplace to keep guests toasty on chilly mountain nights. Each room’s simple design is accentuated by the view that serves as its centerpiece.
Each room includes a balcony that is set up with a table and two chairs. When the sun rises, it’s common to see people looking down the line and soaking in the beauty of the sunrise as well. Traditional tile flooring, adobe-looking walls, and massive wood beams adorn the interior of the sliding glass doors. Pillows are kept to a minimum, and the bedding is kept plain and white. There’s no use in competing with the natural exhibition of changing canyon colors as the sun moves across the sky. Basic toiletries and a Spanish-language TV are provided in the bathrooms. During the winter, guests can use the fireplaces, but most of the time, they aren’t in their rooms long enough to benefit from them. There is a wide-open area with a bar, an outside terrace overlooking the canyon, and a restaurant with large tables for sharing in which you will spend most of your time. On several night occasions, there is a live music duet in the enormous fireplace, as well as a roaring fire when the weather is cooler.
8. Magical Colonial Towns (El Fuerte and Chihuahua)
- El Fuerte
Francisco de Ibarra, a Spanish conquistador and the first European to set foot in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, founded the city in 1563. In 1610, a fort was built to protect the Spaniards against the ferocious Zuaque and Tehueco Native Americans. Over the course of many years, El Fuerte functioned as a gateway to the wide northern frontiers of Sonora (Mexico), Arizona (Arizona), and California (California). With a history spanning more than three centuries, it was a major commercial and agricultural hub in Mexico’s vast northwest area. Silver and gold prospectors from the Sierra Madre Occidental’s adjacent Urique and Batopilas mines frequented El Fuerte, which served as a major trading center. After Sonora and Sinaloa were formed in Mexico in 1821, El Fuerte was chosen as the state’s capital in 1824. (reaching up deep into modern-day Arizona). It served as the capital of Sinaloa and Sonora for a number of years before the two states split.
Tourism is still a significant element of the local economy. El Fuerte hosts a number of “Fiestas” and “Holidays” that are marked by parades, pageants, and other forms of entertainment. It’s a hot spot for hunters and fishers, with a wide variety of animals in the foothills and the Rio Fuerte River running through the commercial district. Several hotels cater to both groups. Local petroglyphs can also be found just outside the city center. Another notable attraction in the state of Chihuahua is the Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon). From the Sierra Madre Occidental west, there are no direct routes to Copper Canyon.
Located in northwestern Mexico, Chihuahua City serves as the capital of Chihuahua. Historic buildings such as the 18th-century Palacio de Gobierno, a government structure with huge murals depicting Mexican history, make Chihuahua a popular tourist destination. The eastern terminus of the Chepe train, which travels through the Copper Canyon area’s green-tinged canyons, is located in the city.
- Colonial Center
The Cathedral of Chihuahua looks out over the bustling Plaza de Armas, where shoe shiners work their magic on the many pairs of cowboy boots and shoes that can be found throughout the city and the surrounding countryside. This is cowboy country in Mexico.
A pedestrianized avenue of stores, Calle Libertad, ends with two majestic buildings: the Federal Palace, which contains Chihuahua’s principal postal and telegraph offices; on the left, the back of the Government Palace. Within walking distance, you’ll find Plaza Hidalgo, dominated by a statue honoring Padre Miguel Hidalgo, a founding father of Mexico’s independence effort. The Government Palace’s main entrance can be found here.
Official government offices have been converted from the palace’s original design of an outstanding courtyard encircled by a maze of corridors and apartments dating back to the 18th century. Throughout the building, murals depicting Mexico’s struggle for independence can be found on most of the walls. Visiting the Palace takes at least two hours, making it one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. For many families, the Paseo de Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolivar was a Venezuelan who helped lead the South American independence movement) is a beautiful place to relax, dine, and drink.
- Adventure & Eco-Tourism in Chihuahua
In the immediate vicinity of Chihuahua, there are cities ranging from mountains to rivers to the Copper Canyon region. Trains from Mexico’s copper canyons stop in Chihuahua City, which serves as their eastern terminus. There are many places to start in the city for eco-adventure travelers, as the local government actively supports and promotes this type of travel. The Adventure Tourism Festival has been held in this area for nearly a decade.
Copper Canyon is one of the most beautiful destinations in Mexico, and the best way to visit it is by train. The experience is magical, and it will be one of the most memorable trips you can ever take. This trip is not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy nature, get bored easily, or need to be glued to your phone 24/7, then I don’t recommend you visit. A visit to Copper Canyon is to de-stress and disconnect from your daily routine, including phones and computers. As I mentioned above, this trip is pricier than an average trip in Mexico, but it’s worth it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Do it on your own or through an agency, but do it. You won’t regret it.