If you have never visited this place in Mexico. I suggest you grab the first opportunity you get to visit this beautiful place. Copper Canyon is a natural wonder which is four times larger than Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
This place is full of cultural journeys and scenic, which is located in the state of Chihuahua which is the capital city of the state.
This place is becoming famous by times and has adapted a “soft-adventure” type attraction which also offers the visitors with an opportunity of hiking, bike riding, and watching nature and birds.
If you go through a map, you will see a trek which looks like a simple train trip between the Chihuahua. You know what, the copper canyon has another name that might be “Sierra Tarahumara”.
which covers an area of 64,000 sq. km. The interesting thing to know about this canyon is copper was never mined in great quantities here.
Let me tell you some things about Copper Canyon
If you want to see a stunning piece of engineering. You should visit the copper canyon railway which was opened in 1961, after the decades of construction.
It was designed to connect Mexico’s central desert area and Chihuahua to the Pacific Ocean.
The length of this railway line is about 390 miles and it crosses thirty-nine bridges and six tunnels.
The first stop of this track is at Los Mochis and then rise to an altitude of about 8,000 feet.
The amazingly designed railway track when crosses the deep ravines on bridges, the views from here can take your breath away.
How to get here?
You can take a sixteen-hour journey on the train from Chihuahua to Los Mochis. In which you can get a beautiful landscape that makes you wonder how difficult it must be for the engineers to build a railroad track in here.
The other option is to fly to Los Mochis or Chihuahua airport which is the easiest and convenient way of getting here.
Choosing the best direction
You can start your journey in a convenient way by getting a ticket to First Class Express train that makes several stops before getting to its final destinations.
Which can give you an enormous number of shots for your collection.
There are many guided tours that you can get, but it can cost you much, so if you have a value of money then skip the guided tour and explore it by yourself.
There are two main terminals points; Chihuahua and Los Mochis, and the better starting point are Los Mochis as it sits in the south-west of Chihuahua and the most dramatic scenery is closer to it, so the better option would be this one.
Exploring the Glorious Scenery of Copper Canyons
The most pleasing journey that you can take in Mexico, starts between the Los Mochis and Creel. You can experience one of the dramatic scenery in this long journey from Creel to Chihuahua City.
Passing Los Mochis: A Coastal City of Mexico
This city of Mexico is situated about 310 miles from the northwestern state of Sinaloa. Los Mochis also known as the “place of turtles” is an important industrial port on the Pacific. According to the tourists, there is too much little to do or see here.
The main source of attraction in this city is exploring La Paz where you can go by ferry and getting the Western Terminus for the famous Copper Canyon Train Journey.
You can take a stop at Los Mochis and enjoy some of the quality time by eating delicious seafood that is always available anywhere in Mexico.
There is another option of getting a flight to Los Mochis and then transfer from the airport to El Fuertes, which is an amazing colonial town inland from Los Mochis.
The choice is yours!
El Fuerte: The Next Stop to Exploring Canyons
El Fuerte is known for its silver miles in the northwest of Mexico. This town is last Latin American spot for the dry tropical forests.
Stay for more than one night as it is worth staying and explore the unique subtropical countryside.
If you didn’t start your trip at Los Mochis on the train, then this could be the starting point of your journey.
If you stay here, you can discover the history of this city, as there was an old fort in this city but only a replica of the fort stands here. which can be found at the summit of Mirador.
You can climb up by the hill and experience one of the astonishing views.
A Spanish conqueror named Francisco de Ibarra found this city in 1564 and for some years it was the capital city of Sinaloa due to its importance in colonial times.
You can explore some colonial buildings that include a plaza, church and palace.
It’s worth a stopover for a day, due to its colonial atmosphere that makes this one of the nicest towns on the train journey.
Exploring Bahuichivo and Cerochaui
An interesting thing to know about Bahuichivo is that it is a train depot, not a town as this place was never found before the train line was built.
There is a small town named Cerochaui which is a source of attraction for the visitors.
The major population centre for the Raramuri population is the Cerochaui which is filled with the colours of country culture.
You can spend a few hours in this town by eating something special in its restaurants or buying some snacks from the small shops.
If you want to explore deeper into the canyon, then Cerochaui is the right place as it is an old colonial hamlet.
There are many hotels which offer you a spectacular view and all of them are arranged into the canyons so that you can easily access the canyons.
You can also enjoy some horse-riding that will take you through some amazing landscape, hidden areas of natural beauty and awesome waterfalls.
There is a chance of exploring Urique Canyon which is an old silver mining town, and you want to miss that chance.
A Night Stop at Posada Barrancas and El Divisadero
You should plan to stay here only for one night, and it is enough as these two stations are connected together and less than 2.5 miles apart.
On this station, the train stops long enough and allow the tourists to explore the entire area.
There are many hotels and the horse-back excursions into the canyons are also very popular. I really suggest you experience it, as it was the best for me.
You would see many Tarahumara Indians, selling their handicrafts which includes fine wood carvings, dolls, pine baskets and much more.
Buy anything special and unique to remember your visit, and only pay in cash, no credit cards!
The hotels of Barrancas and Divisadero have mini-buses, so don’t have to worry about your transport arrangement.
Experience the Mountain Biking and much more in Creel
It is an Indian village of Tarahumara with the population of 4,000, and the second-largest town in the district of Bacon.
It is the heart of the Copper Canyon train journey as it is full of pine forests and a lumber town.
You can experience the most amazing natural aroma of pine that fills around you, especially if you are visiting in the summer months.
Enjoy Amazing Nature Tours near Creel
You can get a bike and then go hiking in the mountains. There is a number of views available that includes a day trip to Cascada de Basaseachi. That is the tallest waterfall in North America and Recohuata which is old silver mining.
You can stay for more than one day, as many of these tours require long days.
You can also do some buying in the crafts shop, and if you have a shortage of cash in hand, then don’t worry, the facility of ATM is available in this little town.
The Chihuahua City: Impressive Historical Heritage
This is the prosperous and largest state of Mexico and also the last station that shows some true colours of the Mexican culture.
The main living of the city depends upon mining, timber, livestock and the assembly plants known as “maquiladoras”.
Chihuahua is Mexico’s cowboy country, so you will get to see a lot of men in boots and hats, and they look amazing in it.
You can experience some fine work of architecture that includes old colonial building, wide roads and its cathedral, which is famous by the way.
Another famous monument is the Pancho Villa, which is also a museum and reflects the history of some Mexican Revolution.
You can get to hear many remarkable stories, landmarks and building that have marked Mexico’s destiny. Museo Casa Redonda is one of the remarkable sites that you can visit to explore Chihuahua history.
When is the best time to visit?
There is no perfect time, as the climate in the region changes with the seasons. May and June are dry in Mexico, but from July to November is when the rain starts. The canyons show their deepest green flora. The flora’s colour changes in between the December and May.
I suggest you travel from July through September. As the number of visitors in these months are numerous and you can easily explore the Copper Canyons.
Some people say that this is the rainy season in Mexico but after raining, lighting and drenching downpours. It is gone and you can enjoy the hot days perfectly.
The main advantage to visit in this season is that you can get to see the lush green flora of canyons with hues of deep emerald green, and the rivers gushing and deep.
One thing more, you should avoid visiting canyons in the month of May and June. As they are the driest month and there is a problem of water shortages in these areas. Moreover, the land is arid, dusty, dry and less inspiring.
Some Productive tips for exploring Copper Canyons
Sometimes, it is difficult for the first timers to visit this unknown place. They have no idea about the trains and tickets, and where to stay, or what to eat and what to wear?
So, here are some tips that might help you in these conditions.
Take some comfortable clothes and shoes, if you are a lover of hiking. The shoes of yours must be comfortable with good strips.
Also take some winter clothes, or the clothes with lots of layers, as the trains are freezing due to air-conditioning.
Start your train trip from Los Mochis
If you want to experience some best parts of the canyons, then you should start your visit from the Los Mochis, especially in the winter months.
You can obscure some of the best views once the train reaches the western side of the canyons.
Always take a ride on Train
The best way to explore the Copper Canyons is riding by train and stopping at different stations as driving by the car can be a little bit expensive and also not comfortable.
Only buy the first class ticket that will cost you $160 only.
Avoid travelling alone
If you are travelling with a guide then this is a good option, but if you are a loner and don’t want a guide, then just avoid the non-tourist destinations around the Copper Canyon.
As it is a little bit dangerous and the paths aren’t well signed or recognizable. Try to stick to the sites and towns which are recommended by the guides.