Day 1: Arrive Chihuahua City
See GATEWAY for current routing. On arrival, transfer to hotel. City tour (time permitting) includes Pancho Villa's Home/Museum.
Day 2: Chihuahua City - Copper Canyon (Divisadero Area)
All aboard the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad for your journey past Mennonite farm and orchard lands before starting the spectacular climb to 8,000 ft in the Sierra Madre. After crossing the Continental Divide 3 times through tremendously varied terrain, the train arrives (6:00AM-2:10PM) at the Divisadero Area. The next depot, San Rafael, is our destination. On arrival transfer on a private road over 6-miles of breathtaking scenery to the Tarahumara owned "Uno Lodge" for 2 nights. Perched on the rim of a promontory this lodge affords the only panoramic river views of any lodge in the area.
Day 3: Copper Canyon (Divisadero Area)
The Uno Lodge is perched at the very rim of a large promontory that extends into the canyon offering unrivaled 180-degree vistas. Participate in a walk to a nearby waterfall and study the biological richness of this major ecosystem, ranking high in biodiversity, including the world's most varied species of pines and oaks, and its' unique endemism of species. The tripod mounted powerful spotting scope is a very popular attraction in the dining area of the lodge. Hikers will experience one of the most outstanding day hikes in North America viewing voluminous quantities of volcanic rocks folded over older Cretaceous and Sedimentary layers that have all been deeply and roughly incised by the river erosion. Also explore a cave with a Mogollan Archeological ruins, probably a satellite site to the great Paquime Civilization. Enjoy evenings around an outdoor fire and under starlit skies miles away from electric lighting - lodge is solar powered.
Day 4: Divisadero Area
View and photograph the canyons from a variety of overlooks on a canyon rim drive and visit to the Divisadero outdoor market area. Observe local Indians weaving their aromatic pine-needle baskets in a myriad of designs before the transfer to the depot and the afternoon train to the colonial town of El Fuerte (2:25PM-7:20PM) and the Rio Vista Lodge for 2 nights.
Day 5: El Fuerte
With an emphasis on natural history, experience the diverse bird life and the verdant tropical forest on a tranquil boat excursion along the river (additional birding upon request) including a stop along the shore to explore a nearby hill with ancient and well-preserved Nahuatl Petroglyphs. This afternoon, stroll through the quintessential colonial plaza with its towering palms, browse in the colorful market and view ornate colonial architecture as you learn of both the past and present significance of this historic center. Sight-seeing with our exclusive native guide.
Day 6: El Fuerte – Cerocahui
Morning train (9:05PM -1:10PM) for return trip into the Sierra Tarahumara range, enjoying optimum daylight travel on the most scenic part of the railway. On arrival at the depot our exclusive resident guide, and native of Cerocahui, will meet and transfer you to the intimate Porochi Inn lodge. This lodge is a partnership project with the Ejido of Porochi. An afternoon trek to remote Tarahumara Rancherias for a kindred visit with several Indian families engenders an authentic cultural insight uniquely available to our small groups.
Day 7: Cerocahui - Urique Canyon Descent
Morning departure on an expedition through dense ponderosa pines and past high mountain vistas en route to the Cerro Gallego rim. From this lofty precipice, look down over 1 mile into the Urique Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America, and home to the provincial Tarahumara settlement of Urique. Founded in 1690 along the banks of the meandering river, Urique was totally isolated until connected by a switchback mountain road in 1975. Descend the canyon by hiking or by vehicle beginning in a conifer forest and continuing through oak and tropical deciduous forests, ending in a riparian habitat at the canyon bottom. Opportunities abound to spot Military Macaws, Black-throated Magpie-Jays, and the elusive Eared Quetzal.
Day 8: Cerocahui - Chihuahua City
Visit a Tarahumara school and the 17th Century gold-domed Jesuit mission church before the transfer to depot for the train to Chihuahua City (1:10PM - 10:25PM). On arrival, transfer to hotel.
Day 9: Depart Chihuahua City. Morning transfer to airport or bus terminal.
Price Includes: Lodging for 2 nights each in Chihuahua, Cerocahui, EL Fuerte and Divisadero; "Express-Class" train service; sight-seeing as specified; 21 meals; all transfers between airports / hotels / bus terminals / depots; taxes and customized documents.
Also see tour packages in:
North America Mexico Local Culture Railway Trips