How To Make Your Trip To Copper Canyon Mexico Easier
You’ve probably heard about the train trip through Copper Canyon in Mexico. The Chihuahua Pacifico, “El Chepe” for short, is the only passenger train in Mexico. It winds its way through the Copper Canyon system which is bigger than the Grand Canyon in the US. It is increasingly becoming a tourist magnet. On our train ride, there were tourists from the US, France, Italy, Germany, and Mexico. You can fly to El Paso and then drive to the city of Chihuahua, spend the night there and then board the train early in the morning, like 5:30 a.
Don’t worry, you can get a hot breakfast on board. There’s a dining car and also a bar. The Copper Canyon train runs between Ojinaga (north) and Los Mochis, in the state of Sinaloa, near the Sea of Cortez, but passenger service begins in Chihuahua City. Your Copper Canyon train trip will take you from sea level to more than 8,000 feet as the train cuts its way through the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Reports vary (and we didn’t count) but there are over 75 tunnels, and over 30 bridges. The views are spectacular, covering all types of terrain – farmland, Indian dwellings, hills, canyons, rivers, springs, waterfalls – you’ll see it all. You can stand between cars for a better view, fresh air, and great photographs. This is truly a photographer’s dream trip, but great for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts as well. The train always stops at the town of Divisadero so passengers can get out and see the view. As the name would suggest, Divisadero is at a dividing point between the Atlantic and Pacific watershed. You can see down three of the canyons: Cobre (copper), Urique, and Tarahumara. You’ll also want to do some souvenir shopping. The Tarahumara Indians sell their crafts and there are also food stands. The Copper Canyon railroad was begun in the late 19th century but because of various problems, not completed until 1961.
The entire trip takes around 15 hours. Worried about disorder? There’s a military guy with a machine gun on board, because I guess there used to be robberies. Well not any more! Since this is not a sleeper train, you can stay in hotels along the way where you may find trail rides, hiking, a van trip down the canyon, ATMs, local music, sights (like balancing rock), missions, food and shopping. Google “Copper Canyon” images and take a look at the photos. If this whets your appetite, here are some tips to make your trip easier: 1. Southwest Airlines flies to El Paso. That’s a no-brainer. We spent the night there, and then our guide drove us across the border to Chihuahua the next day. 2. Be sure you have a valid passport.
3. Use My Power Mall ( http://www.excideals.com ). For instance, when I clicked “Travel”, Southwest Airlines was right next to a place that provides quick passports, and you get a rebate on both. Then there were stores for buying the necessary vacation clothes, and then click over to a drugstore where you can get some Imodium. 4. Yeah, it’s a good idea to take something for turista, just in case. While you’re on My Power Mall you can also check for tours and accommodations. Wyndham is on there, Hyatt, Marriot.
Heck, BritRail Tours is even on there – 1000s of “stores” to choose from, rebates on all of them. 4. You’ll also need some special clothes for your trip, available at discount from 1000s of merchants through My Power Mall as well. Specifically we recommend: a. A hat or head covering, sunglasses, and good sunscreen. Think of it like skiing in Colorado. High altitude. b. Comfortable casual clothes, jeans, shorts, t-shirts are fine.
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