COPPER CANYON ADVENTURE
Available Space | 16 (2 groups of 8)
Length | 4 nights, arrive Oct. 16; return to El Paso Oct. 20 for start of core.
Hotel | Holiday Inn & Suites (Copper Canyon), Hotel Mirador at Posada Barrancas (Barrancas, Chihuahus) Best Western Lodge (Creel)
Highlights | Include breakfast on the train, hikes to indigenous Rarámuri (also called Tarahumara) communities, cable cars and zip lines in the canyon and hotels right by the canyon’s edge
Physical Ability | Difficulty: Level 2-3 (moderate-difficult, with some rugged hiking and optional thrills)
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.
Take a six-hour ride on El Chepe, the legendary train through Mexico’s Cañon de Cobre (Copper Canyon), and explore the remote region’s caves, towns and adventures.
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 some time to reach the remote, rugged Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon). 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 to the Holiday Inn & Suites and dine at the hip Nour Bistro.
Check out of the hotel around 5am and depart for El Chepe, the famed train through the Copper Canyon’s six major canyons, countless geological obstacles and the rugged Sierras. Along this 387-mile stretch the train rumbles over 37 bridges and through 89 tunnels as it climbs from the coast to mountaintops 7,954 feet above sea level. You’ll have breakfast onboard the train during the six-hour ride through some of the canyon’s most scenic territory. You’ll leave the train and have a late lunch at the Hotel Mirador at Posada Barrancas, where you’ll be spending the night.
Walk along the canyon and visit Cueva del Chino, a small Rarámuri (Tarahumara) community in the canyon. Learn about the Rarámuri culture and customs. Hang around the canyon edges for sunset, followed by dinner at the hotel.
Check out of the Hotel Mirador and depart for the Copper Canyon Adventure Park (Parque Aventura), where a cable car travels high above the canyon floor from the entrance to a viewing point. The park also has several zip lines and an aerial walkway through treetops for thrill seekers—one activity per person is included in the tour. There are walking trails along the edge of the canyon and into the forest and plenty of miradores (lookout points). You’ll have lunch in the park’s restaurant.
The activity continues with a visit to the Rarámuri community in Cusárare and a potentially slippery 1.8-mile hike to a 100-foot-tall waterfall. Then it’s on to Creel, a former logging town and one of Mexico’s Pueblos Mágicos (Magic Towns). Check in at the Best Western Lodge at Creel, followed by dinner of pizzas loaded with cheese from Mennonite communities and regional craft beer.
Check out and travel along the canyon, stopping to visit an indigenous community, an 18th-century mission, an inhabited cave and several valleys with rock formations resembling monks, mushrooms and frogs. You’ll have lunch in Creel.
Wander around Creel’s plaza, museum and shops before the four-hour ride back to Chihuahua city. Dinner is on your own. Your hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott Chihuahua, has a bistro and room service.
There’s time for a quick tour of Chihuahua’s historic district’s grandiose Colonial architecture, Cathedral, plaza and museums before the mid-morning departure for El Paso. Chihuahua city and state were critical headquarters and battlegrounds during the Mexican Revolution of 1910; Pancho Villa launched many a battle from here. On the way to El Paso, 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 El Paso in late afternoon.