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Mexico’s Copper Canyon

Mexico’s Copper Canyon is considered the most scenic rail trip on the continent. Many describe it as more spectacular than the Grand Canyon. 
This string of breathtaking canyons wind through the Sierra Madre Mountains, and are home to a vibrant tapestry of landscapes - from the immense cliffs that tower overhead and plummet to a seemingly bottomless abyss below, to the fertile green valleys and fragrant orchards, and to wind-blown crops and desert sands. This amazing journey traverses 37 bridges and 86 tunnels, and crosses interlocking canyons that are deeper, narrower and longer than any in the Americas.

The rail portion of our tour will take us through the Sierra Madre Mountains aboard the Chihuahua Pacifico Regional Railway (known as El Chepe). The construction of this comfortable, well-appointed train is considered a masterpiece of Mexican engineering. In addition to admiring the views, we will experience the indigenous cultures and visit archaeological sites and charming colonial towns with their uniquely talented artisans. 

Tour Highlights:
• Chihuahua and the Pancho Villa Museum    
• El Chepe Train through the Sierra Madre Mountains    
• Copper Canyon Adventure Park    
• Dramatic Cable Car ride through the canyon     
• The beautiful colonial town of El Fuerte    
• The spectacular Urique Canyon     
• Creel, known locally as the “Magical Town”   
• Ancient Paquime - a UNESCO World Heritage Site    
• Traditional lunch with a local Mennonite Community    
• Grutas Nombre de Dios Grottos (Name of God Grottos) 

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Chihuahua with a change of planes in Mexico City. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
On this morning’s city tour we see the Government Palace, the Cathedral and the Quinta Gameros Museum, which boasts some of Mexico´s finest modern art, as well as historical exhibits. Later we visit the Pancho Villa Museum, dedicated to the Mexican Revolutionary General who was also touted as a Robin Hood, bandit and womanizer.  
We travel by coach to Divisadero, where we will enjoy our first spectacular canyon views. Later we will have a guided tour of the canyon rim, and learn about the area’s history and habitants. 
Today we visit the Copper Canyon Adventure Park for a guided tour around the various   look-out points, followed by an opportunity (for the adventurous), to step across a suspension bridge which traverses a beautiful canyon. Today’s highlight will be a dramatic cable car ride through the canyons, followed by some free time to enjoy the panoramic views. 
Today we depart for the colonial city of El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa. Along the way we make our way through deep tunnels and cross breathtaking canyon bridges that offer dramatic views of the Sierra Madre Mountains.  
This morning we enjoy a relaxing boat ride in the tranquil waters of the El Fuerte River, followed by a guided walking tour of the town with its charming cobblestone streets and hidden alcoves. We will visit the church, the bustling market and the museum. Later we travel to the native village of Capomos for a show of folk dance by the indigenous Mayo people.  
We make our way to the beautiful bay of Topolobampo on the Pacific Ocean for a wonderful cruise. Keep your cameras handy for possible sightings of colourful local birds and dolphins. Then we visit Maviri beach where we may swim in the ocean or relax on the beach. Lunch today will be in a local restaurant that features fresh seafood.  
We journey to Cerocahui, and this afternoon we make our way to Gallego Mountain for a spectacular view of the Urique Canyon, the river and the old mining town. En route we will drive through a series of beautiful Tarahumara valleys and canyons.
This morning we have a guided tour of Cerocahui that includes the old Jesuit Mission and school for the Native Tarahumara girls. Then we proceed by coach to Creel, considered the doorway to the Tarahumaran culture. The Tarahumara people call themselves “Raramuri” which means “runners on foot”. The afternoon is at leisure, and you may stroll around the village, known locally as a “Magical Town”.
This morning we enjoy a very scenic tour to Arareko Lake, the Valley of the Mushrooms, the Cusarare Waterfall and the San Ignacio Mission. We will also visit some fascinating caves - home to Tarahumara families. Afternoon at leisure.
We transfer by bus to Casas Grandes, en route visiting a Mennonite community in the city of Cuauhtemoc where we enjoy a traditional lunch with a family that makes their own delicious cheese, cold cuts, fruit preserves, bread and cookies.
We visit the Juarez Colony, a Mormon community with strong American influence. The Juarez Academy was built in 1904 and has a gleaming white marble temple. Then we continue to the town of Mata Ortiz, famous for its wonderful ceramics.
We visit the archaeological site of Paquimé, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of a highly civilized ancient civilization. Multi-story buildings, efficient hydraulic networks and plazas prove it was a city built by culturally developed people. We continue to Chihuahua.
We depart for a tour of the fantastic ‘Name of God’ grottos to explore the incredible rock formations underground. Following the grottos, we will visit the ruins of the Quintas Carolinas - ancient haciendas in the state of Chihuahua. This evening is our Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight home, via Mexico City.
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