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.
We will have dramatic views of all of this from our comfortable car on the Chihuahua Pacifico Regional Railway. Nicknamed ‘The Chepe’, this comfortable, well-appointed train runs from the city of Chihuahua to the state of Sinaloa. Its construction is classified as a masterpiece of Mexican Engineering. As we relax and take in the views, we will learn about the indigenous cultures and unique archaeological sites around us.
We begin and end our tour in the state of Chihuahua - Mexicos largest, covering over one-eighth of the country´s territory. We will also visit the state of Sinaloa, and enjoy ‘El Fuerte’ - one of the most charming colonial towns in the country with its colourful gardens and towering palms. As well as the spectacular canyons and vistas that will take your breath away, we will also experience the fascinating local history, uniquely talented artisans and colourful local traditions. All in all a guaranteed unforgettable experience!
Day 1: Departure / Chihuahua
We depart for Chihuahua with a change of planes in Dallas. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
Day 2: Chihuahua
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.
Day 3: All Aboard! Divisadero
This morning we board the “Chepe” train, with breakfast served in the dining car. Upon arrival in Divisadero we will transfer to our hotel and 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.
Day 4: Divisadero
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.
Day 5: All Aboard! El Fuerte
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.
Day 6: El Fuerte
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.
Day 7: El Fuerte
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.
Day 8: All Aboard! Cerocahui
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.
Day 9: Cerocahui / Creel
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”.
Day 10: Creel
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.
Day 11: Casas Grandes
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.
Day 12: Casas Grandes
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.
Day 13: Chihuahua
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.
Day 14: Grutas Nombre de Dios / 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.
Day 15: Home
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight home, via Dallas.
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