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“Copper Canyon Adventures”
Review of Copper Canyon

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San Diego, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
51 helpful votes
“Copper Canyon Adventures”
Reviewed July 4, 2007

We just returned from a 10 day trip through Copper Canyon. We did the trip through Les Mahoney at Coppercanyonadventures.com. Les is an American who sets you up with local independent guides to take you on a personalized tour wherever you want to go and whenever you want it. He worked with me on a phone call and several e-mails to build and itinerary to fit our group of 5 persons with ages ranging from 11 to 83 years old. Then he gave me a total price that included almost everything (a few meals not included and tips not included for some things). It seemed expensive to me but considering the fact that we had a personal guide for 10 days, I sucked it up. I had to pay the whole thing up front which was scarey, but it worked.

When we arrived in Topolobampo by ferry, we were met by Cristina Narcio we took care of everything for the next 10 days. Cristina lives in Los Mochis, speaks good English and knows everybody along the Copper Canyon route. Every evening she would discuss the plans for the next day and we would make some changes to fit our needs when it was possible. You can't change the time the train leaves but you can change the hike you will take. Cristina was like a member of our family. She took all the burden of organizing things. She did everything to make us happy. When someone in our group asked for some weird thing at dinner time, she would go into the kitchen, talk to the staff and come out with it.

I am accustomed to being the trip organizer and leader. I have never used a personal guide service like this before. Copper Canyon is the kind of place where a personal guide is very helpful if you fit into this criteria. You don't want to take a big inflexible group tour. You don;t want to waste time and comfort trying to figure things out by yourself as you arrive in different places. And if you can afford it! You can just book hotels and then have them provide guide services and transports. This will probably work but it will not be flawless like our experience with Cristina. My mother cried when Cristina left us at Chihuahua Airport.

Copper Canyon was a wonderful trip. It was better than expected. It was awesome! You can send me a note if you want more info on our adventure.

19 Thank RoadTripp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
25 helpful votes
“Copper Canyon Tour”
Reviewed March 12, 2007

We have just returned from a trip to the Copper Canyon in Mexico. We booked the trip with Les at Copper Canyon Adventures (www.CopperCanyonAdventures.com). They advertise "The trip you want, when you want it." It was the trip we wanted when we wanted it and we could not have asked for anything better. Three couples travelled with a guide, Carlos, on the El Fuerte River and the Chihuahua el Pacifico Railroad train and hiked through the countryside. We travelled by van to Batopilas at the bottom of one of the canyons. In addition to the modern conveniences we had at times, we also ate by kerosene lantern and heated our room with a wood stove. We even had the surprise of meeting the student sponsored by one of our group through Copper Canyon Adventures. Flawless travel plan, spectacular scenery, and one of the best and most informed guides we have ever had anywhere.

13 Thank hawleycahall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
217 helpful votes
“tourism in the Copper Canyon”
Reviewed December 22, 2006

I'm a tour guide and have led many tours to Copper Canyon for several years. My groups always stay in Balderama Hotels in El Fuerte and the Mirador in Posadas Barancas. I've also stayed in Divisadero. I've noticed reviews on this board from independent travelers who at times felt slighted or ignored when traveling to some of the hotels that I feel are far superior to anything else around. Tourism in the Copper Canyon region is still fairly new and they have built their business on catering to tour groups. I've noticed many times on the Chepe train and at all hotels there is a certain pecking order. Certain tour groups that bring much business gets preferred seating on the train, and choice dinner and room locations at many hotels. This happens all the time. There have been times where the train was horribly short on seats, or the dining car didn't show up. This is all about the 'adventure' of being in Mexico. I mention this to you because I've noticed many times the independent tourist sometimes get lost in all the confusion and are unable to communicate with staff at trains or hotels. This happens to me even though I bring hundreds of people to these hotels every month. Copper Canyhon is more of an adventuresome location and needs to be approached with that in mind.l The Mirador is probably the most spectacular hotel you or I have ever stayed in, but yes the staff at times can seem rude and disinterested. That is a rare exception but its part of doing business in Mexico. I often pay for a guided tour when indeed the guide doesn't show up and I end up giving the commentary.
With all that being said this is probably one of the last remaining communities of untouched civilization in North America. The opportunity to witness the Terahumara indians and interact with communities still pretty removed from most western culture is still an opportunity you should avail to yourself. The scenery is spectacular, though different than what most people envisioned. Should you do it independently? Yes, if you are willing to hire a local guide for parts, or do a lot of research beforehand. If your willing to be a little adventuresome I think its a very worthwhile experience. I only do this with organinzed tours but I know many people would prefer to spend more time than what is afforded on an organized tour. I appreciate that. I think my motivation in writing this is the fact that when you read the 'reviews' of many wonderful hotels the 'independent' traveler has commented on feeling neglected. While you may wish to not make reservations and do things on the fly, this is not one of the locations where that is easy to do. All hotels have very few rooms, and with the popularity of tours and tour groups, you seldom have the luxuary of picking and choosing where and when you wish to stay. If you approach this region with the sense of adventure that I try to forewarn my people for you will be richly rewarded by a truly memorable travel destination and bring home some wonderful memories of a kind and gently people.

57 Thank davidgmg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cabo San Lucas
1 review
27 helpful votes
“What an amazing vacation... Highly Recommended”
Reviewed September 10, 2006

This trip was amazing.. I highly recommend it for all. We live in Cabo San Lucas and we took a small plane and stayed in Los Mochis for a night at Santa Anita. This hotel is very nice and the food was amazing. We had no definite plans so when we got to Los Mochis the hotel got a small package deal to take the train and go to Arepu (Barrancas). We stayed at the most amazing hotel called Posada Mirador. It sits right along a cliff, all the rooms have views and the food was the best part. AMAZING FOOD THE WHOLE TRIP but this hotel topped it off. We stayed there for two nights and took the the train north to Creel. We stayed at the Best Western for two nights. Nice hotel, nice rooms, not impressed with the food. Down the street there is a fabulous restaraunt called Tio Molcas. Highly recommend that. We did a nice tour from our hotel and saw Tarahamara Indians livng in caves, beautiful waterfalls, amazing rock formations. After Creel we went back south and stayed a night in Divisadero. Great view from hotel but not too impressed. The hikes you can do are the best there... such amazing views. We then went to Cerocahui for a night and missed the chance to go to Erique Canyon which is supposed to be the best sight in Copper canyon.. we stayed at the Mision nice and quiet, great service and food. we then went to El Fuerte and stayed in the nicest of the hotels called Posado Hidalgo... very nice and relaxing and the best food here at their restaraunt. The whole trip we winged and it would have been cheaper if we had made a more of a plan because you get cheaper deals but it was still worth every penny. I would definitely go back there with another couple or more friends.

27 Thank natty599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
44 helpful votes
“Copper Canyon, doing it the cheap way”
Reviewed June 22, 2006

- Biggest saving : take the second class train, which used to be the first class train a few years ago. No need to pay double for the first class one, the only remarkable difference is the restaurant wagon, very nice on the first class whereas it is just a bar on the second class one, still cooking some food simple though, like quesadillas o sincronisadas. The price difference will pay for all the places you will stay in...

- There are a few cheap and very decent hostels / hotels all along the way, from Chihuahua to Los Mochis

In Chihuahua, a brand new hostel, called Casa Chihuahua. Not a lot of people, rather family oriented, just cross the street from the station. Very quite area, center is at a mere 15 mn walk. 120 pesos a night. Giant screen to watch DVD's at night. Nice and helpful staff.

Chihuahua seems to have very few touristic attractions, but staying there 2 nights made us quite like the atmosphere. Cow-boys everywhere, boots and Stetson shops, nice Cathedral, and an interesting museum about Pancho Villa, which Mrs Villa herself maintained quite well until she died about 20 years ago. You feel like being invited to Pancho Villa's house as everythig is still there, from Pancho VIllas saddle, riffles, bed and kitchen.

In Creel, the famous Casa Margarita, prices starting from 80 pesos. including a breakfast and dinner.... Owned from a lady of the same name. Not as comfortable as the hostel in Chihuahua, but pretty busy, lots of folks from all around the world. A real hub, from where you can do many things. You may stay a few nights, as lots of tours are quite interesting. Creel is a typical western-like city build around the train station. The 4 daily trains arrival seem to be the unic attraction of the village. Surrounded by beautiful lanscape all around. Walk up to the "Christo Rey", from which the view on the city is quite nice and very panoramic.

Forget the private tours, too expensive. Take a public bus to Batopilas, and try to stay there 1 night, as the bus only comes back to Creel the following day. From 8000 feet at Creel, the bus takes an amazing 3-hours ride down to 2500 feet. Quite warm down there, but such a natural and gorgious place. Do not take pics from the Indians Tarahumaras before asking them, they can be pretty wild sometimes, although these people are pride, and remained very close to their roots. Some are very fast runners, and won a famous 100miles race in the USA

Urique can also be a nice place where to go, same heigh as Batopilas, same mad drive down to 2500 feeet., but we decided to choose Batopilas upon friends' recommandation as there seems to be more people there.

From Creel, take the first class to Divisadero, which is close to Creel (1 hour) so paying the extra charge for the first class is OK. The reason for that is that the train only stops 10 mn at Divisadero, also around 8000 feet, from where the point of view is simply amazing.
Taking the first class train allows you to let it go and wait for the second class train, about 1 and a half hour later. Plenty of time to eat delicious tacos cooked on site, and buy some Indian shoes, which look like old roman shoes, being laced around the leg.

You may choose the small village of El fuerte to sleep in, instead of Los Mochis. Firt reason is that El Fuerte is recommended by lots of travellers, as colonial style is quite beautiful. From the beginning of the 16th century. There is a hostel called Casa Pascola. Not big.

We decided to spend a bit more and went to the hotel Rio Vista, which was bult in the stables of a castle on a cliff above a large river, named El FUerte. Lots of water, as all we saw from CHihuahua until here was quite dry. Pretty nice private room, for 300 pesos. No TV though....

From El Fuerte, you may take a bus to Los Mochis, and do what u have to do at Los Mochis. There is a beach there, about 1 hours from the center with a taxi, called Maviri. Famous for its shrimps, but we did not go there. WE went to Topolobampo, outside of the city, where the Ferry to La Paz sails from. Topolobampo turned out to be not interesting at all, i may even say that we did not fell safe there.

We managed to find a cheap and clean hotel in Los Mochis, called Hotel Montecarlo. Was about 280 pesos the private room, i just can't remember exactly how much it was.

From Los Mochis, various options : down to Mazatlan, then Puerto Vallarta, Guadalaraja, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, then Mexico city. Others would take the expensive ferry (56 usd) and go to La Paz, Baja California then to Tijuana / San Diego. And some others would simply take a plane to Mexico City or takê the train back, to Chihuahua, then to Zacatecas.

Great train trip,. I am sure we will do it again. Very friendly Mexican people, excellent food and low hostel / hotel budget... Superb !

44 Thank Swissphil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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