We go to this great place about every month or so…and more often as the days go by. Sometimes the trips emphasize food, or photography or whatever. This excursion is a full dose of the train along with the pottery and Paquime ruins areas north of the Sierra Madres…and as always, it is a small group experience…not just a trip.
Here are the details:
Authentic Copper Canyon Train Trip…not a “big bus” trip…not even close!
November 5-14, 2010
This 10 day, 9 night trip is out of, and returning to El Paso.
An incredible train experience in Copper Canyon plus much more:
- A visit to the sotol (like tequila) production places at Janos
- Mata Ortiz pottery and the Paquime ruins around Casas Grandes
- Many food treats (a taste of our Blue Corn Express culinary trip coming soon) including an overnight at Noritari, high in the Sierra Madres
- The remote village of Urique and the soaring cliffs of Copper Canyon
- Cerocahui- a lovely little town and visits to the Copper vistas, waterfalls, and a Tarahumara home
- Divisadero and the tiny ranchito Cabanas Diaz- come hungry!
- The Mennonite areas with the vast apple orchards and world famous cheeses
- Chihuahua City, with the Pancho Villa home, great restaurants, the 1700s cathedral…and a stay at the San Felipe el Real- a special boutique hotel in the historic district- always a fave with our guests!
Friday, Nov 5 – You arrive in El Paso. The airport is a good place to get pesos. Use the Travelex near the spot where you turn right to go to the baggage area. Check into your room at the Hawthorn Suites and dinner on your own. We will meet briefly at 7:30p for orientation and to get acquainted.
Saturday, Nov 6 – Breakfast at the hotel and we meet at 9a to head for Santa Teresa NM (20 minutes) to cross into Mexico. We are met by our friend Gus and his van for the short journey to Janos. We lunch in Janos and get a warm welcome and tour with Celso and Emma at Don Cuco Sotol. Sotol is THE drink of Chihuahua and is somewhat like tequila- but better! Then off in the afternoon to Casas Grandes and as the evening cools a stroll through the ancient Indian ruins at Paquime. We are welcomed at the incredible “Las Guacamayas”- comfortable, spacious, and food to die for. (Included meals:B,L,D)
Casas Grandes- Right on the edge of Casas are the Paquime Indian archaeological ruins- a UNESCO World Heritage site- and nearby is the tiny village of Mata Ortiz. The pottery from this area is very special and known around the world for its intricacy and character.
Sunday, Nov 7 – A relaxing morning with time to stroll the ruins or shop the little Mata gallery at Las Guacamayas and then we head southwest up into the mountains. Winding our way into the Sierra Madre, we drop into several little villages and then the relaxing wooded Noritari- a unique cabanas style hotel with a gourmet cook. A great night to enjoy dinner, chat with the chef, and take a stroll through the mountains. (B,L,D)
Noritari- This unique 80 hectare site is dotted with cabins with fireplaces, private baths, solar lighting- the nearby stream flows and the pines whisper. Enjoy.
Monday, Nov 8 – Breakfast at Noritari and then off to Creel to catch the train- with some time to shop around in Creel a bit. We board the train and get our first whistle-stop, eye-popping view of Copper Canyon at Divisadero. We are met at the Bahuichivo station by the jovial Alberto Lopez and take the short ride to the enchanting village of Cerocahui. We have a few minutes open to stroll the plaza and streets of “Cero”. Then off to the outlook and down to Urique for the night. (B,L,D)
Cerocahui- This quiet little town sits in a beautiful valley and is a great place to experience real Mexico. Our evening is close by at the bottom of the canyon near the river in Urique. The highlight here is “Agua Chile”- perhaps the most delicious shrimp concoction you have ever experienced.
Tuesday, Nov 9 – After coffee, we vamos for the knockout views of Copper Canyon at Gallego. A visit to a Tarahumara home along the way. We grab late brk in Cero and reboard the train for the unsurpassed journey toward our evening destination, El Fuerte. Tunnels, bridges, canyons, mountains…have your cameras ready! Lunch on the train on your own. Arrive in El Fuerte for dinner…this place is known for incredible food! (B,D)
El Fuerte- A small town with a quaint (and delicious!) market and lots of colonial architecture. History, Indian culture, bird watching, and a palm lined plaza make this place a favorite.
Wednesday, Nov 10 – A full day of exploring the area- the wonderful colonial town with lots of opportunities for food and photography. A morning trip to the river for bird watching as we float and a walk through the local petro glyph site. Lunch on your own. The visit to the market here is a must, then dinner in a local home with our host Evangelina. (B,D)
Evangelina- This lovely lady with her brother and extended family live in one of the historic mansions off the square in El Fuerte. We often dine with them and get a full taste of some genuine Copper Canyon hospitality.
Thursday, Nov 11 - Board the train in the morning headed northeast for Areponapuchi (Posada Barranca station). Lunch on your own on the train and we arrive at the beautiful “Rancho” near the station. Dinner with our hosts, Armando and Herlinda Diaz as well as perhaps a walk up to watch the sunset over the vast reaches of Copper Canyon. “Arepo”as we call it, is officially “nowhere Mexico”. The area around Arepo gives us a good long look at Copper Canyon, and we have plenty of time to look around. (B,D)
Areponapuchi- Just call it Arepo and don’t expect the big city. This tiny place sits near the rim of some of the best views of Copper Canyon. From here you can walk or ride horses in and around the great canyon. Also a good place to pick up local souvenirs.
Friday, Nov 12 - Sunrise at the edge of Copper anyone? Breakfast and a walk down through a Tarahumara cave dwelling. Some last views of the canyon, then we catch our vans for the trip through the Mennonite agricultural area toward the big apple- Chihuahua City. Dinner together and perhaps an evening view of the gigantic cathedral in the central plaza. We check into the historic boutique hotel, the San Felipe el Real. Stroll the historic district and the vast market. (B,D)
Chihuahua City- This bustling hub for commerce has its roots as a mining and ranching center. Several fascinating museums (including the Pancho Villa home) gather around the towering 1700s cathedral. The food here is a bit eclectic and reflects the melting pot that Chihuahua has become. We have options here for dining in a home or to have a local chef cater at the hotel.
Mennonites- They migrated here from Canada around 1922 and have transformed the high plateaus into some of the most productive land in Chihuahua. Still German speakers, they produce apples, oats, and dairy products- including the famous white Chihuahua cheese.
Saturday, Nov 13- A hearty breakfast and some time to look around Chihuahua City. Then we head north, catch lunch in one of the delightful Chihuahua desert towns and arrive at our hotel in El Paso for the evening. (B,L)
Sunday, Nov 14- Breakfast at the hotel and we catch our flights for home! (B)
Pricing and details for November 5-14, 2010
- Trip cost is $1,449 double occ and $1,699 single occ.
- All hotels have private baths, hot water and linens and most have air conditioning- ones without air are in the mountains.
- Hotels range from 3.5 star range to simpler cabana style places in the small towns. All are secure, clean, and have comfortable beds.
- Price includes all transport to and from the El Paso airport, all Mexico meals except 4 (alcohol on your own), and all entry and guides to places in the itinerary.
- Arrangements can be made for guests to stay over for an extra day or more in Chihuahua City.
- Travel insurance including medical and evacuation coverage is strongly encouraged
- Your lead guide is Dave Hensleigh and we will also be accompanied by various local guides along the way
- Most guests bring $200 -400 USD in pesos for the 4 meals, incidentals, souvenirs, and small tips- primary gratuities are included.
- ACC will supply a bring list and an FAQ sheet to help you prepare for this trip.
- Cutoff for registration and deposit is September 1, 2010.
For more info, registration and deposit, contact Dave Hensleigh, email@example.com, 217.369.9897