We have done this small Copper Canyon Travel Guide to introduce you to this spectacular destination. To help you live and plan one of the most memorable trips to Copper Canyon onboard of ”El Chepe Train”.
Tours like this give visitors contact with people and nature. During your Copper Canyon travel experience you will feel the land. The spectacular views will amaze you, the food will delight you, and the culture of the place will show you a different perspective of life.
The Copper Canyon tour allows you to see the desert of Chihuahua, the mountains of Copper Canyon and the Pacific Ocean in the Sea of Cortez.
You will make this tour inside a symbol of progress, luxury and comfort, known as ”El Chepe train”. El Chepe train crosses the Copper Cayon and is one of Mexico’s most reknown engineering achievements.
This small Copper Canyon Travel guide will help you plan your trip to Copper Canyon and imagine what you will do during your trip
A unique trip in the world
Since 1961 the “Chepe train” has connected the City of Chihuahua, the capital of the state, with Los Mochis, Sinaloa.
The railroad is an outcome of the Industrial Revolution and a symbol of human progress. Building the train route was a great achievement of engineering in the time.
This small Copper Canyon Travel Guide also intends to let you know that you will not only be crossing the mountians. You will be riding history! Today the railroad travels with passengers that enjoy the Copper Canyon views.
During the trip you will be crossing the Sierra Madre Occidental. Around 700 kilometers (435 miles) crossing more than 80 tunnels and 35 bridges. Being one of the most spectacular and passionate engineering train routes of the planet.
Today two trains cross the Copper Canyon:
- El Chepe Express train – This train is mainly for tourists and has three classes.
- El Chepe Regional train – This train is mainly for local commuters.
All cars of both trains have huge windows for passengers to enjoy the outside views. If you want to know more about the differences between the trains read: Chepe Express vs Chepe Regional Train
It is also very useful to read Chepe Express: Everything you need to know.
How many days to I need to do the tour of Copper Canyon?
We advise doing Copper Canyon in at least 5 days, the most popular choice is to do it on 6 or 7 days. But why?
There are 4 important touristic stops along the route which are:
- El Fuerte – A colonial town near Los Mochis where travelers usually start the tour.
- Bahuichivo/Cerocahui – In this stop travelers can do the tour to the “Cerro del Gallego”. This is the point where you can see the highest canyon, the Urique canyon.
- Barrancas del Cobre/Divisadero – All tours stop here. It is where the Hotel Mirador is and also the Copper Canyon Adventure Park. Not stopping here would be like missing the best part.
- Creel – This Tarahumaran town is one of the most popular attractions of el Chepe train route due to the beauty of the natural surroundings. Also here is where tourists have a most deep conection with the Tarahumaran culture.
If you you the tour in 5 days you will have to miss one of the stops. Usually Bahuichivo or Creel.
With a 6 day tour and above you can see all the main attractions of the Copper Canyon tour.
You can read more about the route in Chepe Route: What is the route of El Chepe?
Where to start and where to end?
Lately, most of tourists start in Chihuahua and end the tour in Los Mochis because the airport of Chihuahua has more flight connections.
We recommend to start and finish on a different endpoint. For example start in Los Mochis and end in Chihuahua or viceversa. In this way you see more things and do not do the same part of the train route twice.
The difference of starting in Chihuahua or Los Mochis is mainly the order in which tourists see things. Another difference is that the part from Chihuahua to Creel can be done by the train Chepe Regional or by van.
Many tourists want to jump on the train as soon as possible. Most tours starting from Los Mochis have a train experience the second day.
Why should I book this tour with a travel agency instead of planning all by myself?
The main reason is because the logistic of the tour is complicated due to the train schedules and stops.
- Not all days the Chepe Express runs from Los Mochis to Creel or viceversa.
- Not all days the Chepe Express runs from Creel to Los Mochis
- Not all days the Chepe Regional runs from Los Mochis to Chihuahua
- Not all days the Chepe Regional runs from Chihuahua to Los Mochis
- The train schedules change oftenly…
You have to match the train schedules with the reservation of the hotels and tour for each stop.
Is it safe to travel to Copper Canyon?
This is a very common question done by our friends from USA and Canada. Mexico has a very bad reputation related to safety. News in US and Canada about Mexico are usually about bad things.
But Mexico is a big country and may places are very safe. For example, Washington in the US is known to be a more insecure place than Merida (a big city in the Peninsula de Yucatan in Mexico).
Although we cannot guarantee that it is 100% safe, we know that it is very safe.
Why making a tour to Copper Canyon?
The experience of travelling aboard the “Chepe train” and making the tour to Copper Canyon is spectacular, it is considered as one of the most amazing scenic train tours in the world.
During the trip you will not only enjoy of breathtaking views from the train but also of delicious gastronomy, ancient cultures, and boutique hotels. Also ecotourism and adventure in Copper Canyon Adventure park where you can fly between the canyons at more than 60 miles per hour.
Check out this photo of the oldest couple to do the zip line adventure: Broadston Family in Copper Canyon