CHIHUAHUA’S MAGIC TOWNS
Available Space | 8
Length | 4 nights, arrive Oct. 16; return to El Paso Oct. 20 for start of convention
Hotel | Copper Canyon (Holiday Inn & Suites), Riverside Lodge Hotel (Batopilas), Courtyard by Marriott (Chihuahua), Hotel Mirador at Posada Barrancas
Highlights | Highlights include visits to indigenous communities, a cable car ride through the canyon and a tour of Chihuahua city.
Physical Ability | Level 2-3 (moderate-difficult, with some rugged, slippery hiking, long drives and optional thrills. Not suitable for those prone to motion sickness)
Disclaimer: Tour is subject to change based on number of participants. Organizer reserves the right to cancel the tour or change the tour itinerary if necessary. Deadline for cancellation to be determined with guidance by SATW.
There will be no refunds for the pre- and post-tours as those funds go to the entities providing the trips.
Two of Chihuahua’s Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns) are located in the Copper Canyon, far south of the border. Stunning and fascinating, Batopilas and Creel are recognized for their cultural, natural and historical attributes.
IMPORTANT ITINERARY NOTES:
– Participants will need to arrive in El Paso by noon on Oct. 16. The convention hotel will have a reduced rate if you need to spend the night before the tour on Oct. 15.
– Attire: Comfortable shoes, jacket for cool nights, hat
– Bring passport and Global Entry/SENTRI card for card readers at the border
It takes considerable effort to reach Batopilas. Your tour departs El Paso in early afternoon and arrives in Chihuahua city, capital of the eponymous state, in the evening. You’ll check in at the Holiday Inn & Suites and have dinner at the hip Nour Bistro.
Have breakfast, check out and board transport for the three-hour ride to the Copper Canyon. You’ll visit the indigenous Rarámuri (also called Tarahumara) village of Cusárare and work out the kinks with a 1.8-mile hike to the 100-foot-tall waterfall. At the Cusárare River Sierra Lodge, enjoy a lunch prepared by local Rarámuri women.
From high in the Sierra Madre, you’ll ride for about four hours past villages, forests and ravines down a twisting series of switchbacks to the Colonial silver mining town of Batopilas. Laid out along Rio Batopilas, the town is famous for 19th-century vividly hued haciendas and mansions, leafy plazas, stone bridges, and an elaborate aqueduct from the mining boom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Check in and dinner at the Riverside Lodge Hotel.
After breakfast, you’ll tour the tiny town of Satevo and the triple-domed white mission church dubbed the “lost cathedral.” Wander the ruins of Hacienda San Miguel, a 16th century, medieval-style castle, and visit the still-operating 19th-century stone aqueduct. Stop by the Batopilas Museum to see artifacts from mining days and shop in town for Rarámuri handicrafts. Box lunches are provided.
It’s another four-hour drive on winding roads to the top of the canyon and the Hotel Mirador at Posada Barrancas. You should arrive with time to catch the sunset views. Check in and dinner at the Hotel Mirador at Posada Barrancas.
Check out and transfer to the Copper Canyon Adventure Park for a breathtaking cable-car ride through the canyon. The park also has several zip lines and walking trails. From here it’s on to Creel, a former logging town with a Wild West feel. Stop at the San Ignacio Mission and Lake Arareko before heading to valleys with spectacular rock formations. A late lunch includes pizzas loaded with cheese from local Mennonite communities and regional craft beer.
Settle in for the four-hour drive to Chihuahua city. Dinner is on your own. Your hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Chihuahua, has a bistro and room service.
Your hotel, the Holiday Inn, has a restaurant and the city has Uber if you want to venture out.
There’s time for a quick tour of Chihuahua’s historic district, with grandiose Colonial architecture and museums galore before the mid-morning departure for El Paso. A stop at Villa Ahumada for burritos and quesadillas breaks up the four-hour drive.
Arrive in Juárez and cross the border (bring passport and Global Entry/SENTRI card). Arrive at the convention hotel in El Paso in late afternoon