Canyons of Arizona and Mexico

Canyons of Arizona and Mexico

  • Grand Canyon
  • Copper Canyon

Arizona’s Grand Canyon and Mexico’s Copper Canyon are natural wonders unparalleled in the rest of the world!

We begin in Arizona – legendary for its endless sunshine, warm and dry climate, unrivalled natural beauty, the fascinating Old Wild West, Spanish and Indian cultures and easy-going lifestyle. We will stay in:

• Scottsdale – located in the Valley of the Sun, so named for its 4,000+ hours of sunshine annually. Enjoy its historic Old Town center with its world-class shopping, art galleries and dining options.

• Flagstaff – gateway to the majestic Grand Canyon and mesmerizing Sedona Red Rocks territory.

• Tucson – home to the lush Sonoran Desert.

After Tucson we cross into Mexico – a country of beautiful scenery, glorious weather year-round and friendly people. Northern Mexico is the ultimate frontier land: vast cactus-strewn deserts, craggy mountains and breathtaking canyons. The cultural heritage of Northern Mexico is also diverse: cowboys, revolutionaries and bandits have, over the centuries, all left their mark. A highlight of the tour is Copper Canyon – a labyrinth of seven canyons deeper and covering an area four times larger than the Grand Canyon. We will follow in the footsteps of the Spanish Conquistadors who explored this region, staying in:

• San Carlos – desert landscape with dramatic hills.

• El Fuerte – brightly painted colonial houses ooze historic character; gateway to some of Mexico’s most amazing natural, cultural and historic wonders.

• Posada Barrancas – following our journey on board the 1st class Copper Canyon or “Chepe” train.

• Creel – homeland to the Tarahumara natives known for their multihued dress.

• Chihuahua – an intriguing city with a strong sense of identity, known for its unique and pleasant norteño character. There are grand colonial buildings, beautiful plazas and numerous cafes and museums.

The natural and cultural richness that you will encounter on this unique tour will surely be a once in a lifetime experience.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1: Departure / Scottsdale

We fly to Phoenix (via Philadelphia), and transfer to our Scottsdale hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.

Day 2: Scottsdale

On our tour of Phoenix and Scottsdale we will admire the natural beauty of the desert and mountains while we discover the local history and architecture. Included will be a walking tour of Old Town Scottsdale - rich with art galleries, boutiques and cafes as well as original buildings like the Little Red Schoolhouse, Blacksmith shop and Saloon!

Day 3: Canyon Lake / Goldfield Ghost Town / Scottsdale

Morning at leisure. This afternoon spectacular scenery awaits as we drive along the Apache Trail into the Superstition Mountains for an old-fashioned boat ride on Canyon Lake. View the strange rock formations resembling people and animals, and listen to the salty riverboat captain’s fascinating yarns of the area and its legends. Our informal dinner with music at the Mining Camp restaurant takes us back in time to the mining days!

Day 4: Grand Canyon / Flagstaff

We visit the Grand Canyon, one of the Great Natural Wonders of the World. The canyon is 15 miles wide, a mile deep and formed over millions of years by the erosion of the Colorado River. The most wondrous aspect of the canyon is that the walls change hue all day with every change of light. There are plenty of scenic lookouts. We overnight in Flagstaff for the next two nights.

Day 5: Oak Creek Canyon / Sedona Red Rocks / Flagstaff

We first visit Oak Creek Canyon with its marvellous strands of red rocks, and beautiful streams and valleys. Then, nestled amid striking red sandstone formations is Sedona – a lovely artist colony town that bustles with art galleries and various alternative medicines and practices on display.

Day 6: Tucson

We travel to Tucson, stopping en route at the Musical Instrument Museum - a unique museum with state-of-the-art technology allowing one to hear the sounds of more than 10,000 instruments from all over the world.

Day 7: Tucson

Our tour of this area includes a stunning tram ride in the Sabino Canyon, a visit of the beautiful Saguaro National Park and the Sonora Desert Museum - both a zoo and a botanical garden with over 1,200 species. There will also be plenty of stories of Wyatt Earp, “Doc” Holliday and gangster John Dillinger to entertain us during our touring.

Day 8: San Carlos, Mexico

We cross the border into Mexico at Nogales, stopping along the way in Santa Ana and Hermosillo (where we visit the Cathedral and the Government Palace with its famous historic murals). We arrive at San Carlos Bay and enjoy a “Bienvenido a México” reception before dinner.

Day 9: San Carlos

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! Then we visit San Carlos’ renowned “Mirador Escenico” – a site ranked as one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Views from Land to Sea. Lunch will be at the hotel poolside with time to relax and visit the Marina shops, followed by a seaside, sunset dinner!

Day 10: San Carlos / El Fuerte

We take a guided walking tour through San Carlos’ cobblestone streets and hidden alcoves, visiting the city’s historic fabled mansions that have been restored to their original glory. Later we proceed to the charming town of El Fuerte – known as the “Gateway to the Copper Canyon”. This evening we enjoy a performance of traditional, native dances followed by a regional dinner.

Day 11: Posada Barrancas / Copper Canyon Train

We transfer to the Copper Canyon train station for our full-day excursion. This is one of the most spectacular train rides in North America. We enjoy lunch aboard the train, later arriving in Posada Barrancas. A cultural presentation of the Tarahumara Indians will be seen prior to dinner.

Day 12: Posada Barrancas

Today we learn about Tarahumara Indian arts and crafts, and visit the rim of the canyon to take in the views. Later we have the opportunity to board the new Copper Canyon dramatic aerial tramway, allowing us to descend to the Canyon and experience amazing rarely seen views. There is time today for some optional activities: hiking, horseback riding or just relaxing. Your Tour Manager will offer suggestions.

Day 13: Casa Grandes / Creel

We transfer by coach to Creel via Oteros Canyon, and visit Arareko Lake and the Valley of the Mushrooms rock formations.

Day 14: Chihuahua

We travel to the city of Chihuahua, which played a pivotal role in the Mexican Revolution. En route we will visit a Mennonite colony and Museum. Experience the role this community has had on Mexican culture in the region. In Chihuahua we will visit the Plaza de Armas, Palacio Municpal and the home of Pancho Villa. Our Farewell Dinner is this evening.

Day 15: Home

Adios Mexico, as we fly home via Dallas!

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Cost per person: $5197
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