It took over 100 years to build; it cost millions and millions of pesos. It traverses canyons, rivers, waterfalls; there are tunnels and bridges that are true modern day marvels.
Once only occupied by the local Tarahumara Indians, this special place opened up to us in the modern world in 1961. Originally built to move products from the Sea of Cortes to the Midwest of the USA, El Chepe, the train also affords us as travelers the opportunity to see all the once hidden treasures in the Sierra Madre.
Our journey begins in the seaside town of Los Mochis, Sinaloa. We board the train and head up the canyon from Sea Level to around 4000 feet. Bahuichivo is our first night in the canyon. We will take a bus into the Tarahumara land of Cerocahui. This is a small town with a rich history. Walking through the town and meeting the folks who live there will take you back to a gentler time.
Boarding the train the next day takes you to the rim side village of La Posada or Divisadero. This is the place where the true immensity of the canyon unfolds in front of you. Open your curtains in your rim side room and watch the sun come up over the massive canyon just outside.
Just a few minutes from your accommodations at La Posada is the new adventure park just recently opened in 2010. This is where you can actually ride in a gondola on an epic 8 minute ride into the canyon. If you are super adventurous you will want to ride the world longest zip-line right into the canyon below, there are actually 7 interconnecting zip-lines running in this part of the canyon, for hours of zip lining fun.
The final stop in the actual Copper Canyon complex is the lumber mining town of Creel, Chihuahua. We are now at 7500 feet above sea level. The town is easy to walk around and of course shopping is abundant here. It is here where you can take day tours into the canyon to places like The Valley of the Mushrooms, the Valley of the Frogs, visit Tarahumara families that still dwell in caves. It is an amazing place.
Mexico’s Copper Canyon is a bucket list item. You will come away from this trip with a new description of beauty, intensity and marvel. If you get the chance to go, do not pass it up.
This article is brought to you by the Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, www.sonoranresorts.mx, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales and Marketing.