In the north of Mexico lies the beautiful, remote, rugged canyon system, generically-known as the Copper Canyon.
The largest of the canyons are Urique, Sinforosa and Batapilas which all plunge to depths of over 1,800 meters making them not only as impressive, but deeper than their better-known cousin across the border in the US.
Chihuahua al Pacifico Train
The area is most easily accessed by air from Mexico City to either Chihuahua or Los Mochis and the best way to see the Copper Canyon is by the famous Chihuahua al Pacifico (El Chepe) train that runs between the two cities, making numerous stops along its way. It is a magnificent feat of engineering — 480 kilometers of track have been laid incorporating 180 degree turns, 86 tunnels and 36 bridges to descend from 2,333 meters to sea level. It travels alongside parts of the Copper Canyon and is a real taste of adventure travel in Mexico.
The journey takes 16 hours to complete, but to appreciate the grandeur of the scenery and to enhance your trip we recommend setting off from the colonial outback town of El Fuerte, an hour from Los Mochis. From here board the train and spend several days exploring the region, staying in a couple of places along the train route, such as the tiny mission village of Cerocahui, where you can access magnificent viewpoints over the Urique Canyon.
The environment up here can be harsh with extreme weather conditions, especially between December and February when snow can fall.
Unlike in other parts of the country, the hotels in the Copper Canyon are far from luxurious with food, heating and service very much on the slow side, and few of the region’s Tarahumara Indians speaking English. Intrepid travelers find this all adds to the experience of Mexico at its ‘Wild West’ best.
Places to visit in Copper Canyon Area
Featuring heavily on our experiences of visiting Copper Canyon Area, these selected places are destinations that also prove consistently popular with our travelers. Our specialists can help you choose how to include them in your wider trip, based on your preferences.
Suggested itinerary featuring Copper Canyon Area
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Copper Canyon Area, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Copper Canyon Area
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Copper Canyon Area
Accommodation choices for Copper Canyon Area
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Copper Canyon Area. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Hotel Posada del Hidalgo is a beautiful colonial mansion located in the heart of El Fuerte.
Hotel Mision is located in a high fertile river valley of apple orchards and vineyards surrounded by the Sierra Madre in the village of Cerocahui.
The Hotel Mirador is situated in a fantastic location right at the edge of the canyon, near the highest point.