In the heart of the Sierra Madre and Sierra Tarahumara lies Mexico's Copper Canyon. Four times the size of the Grand Canyon, and made up of over 20 mountains and canyons, it offers supremely dramatic landscape experience.
The Copper Canyon railway took almost 100 years to build and was recently upgraded. Its tracks go up from sea level to almost 8,000 feet, crossing some of the highest bridges in the world, passing through 87 tunnels and a mile long, 360 degree spiral. The train ride will take you from the tropical coast to deserts, through ravines, mountains and forests. Consider riding from the west (Los Mochis) towards the east (Creel and Chihuahua City), which takes advantage of daylight hours and provides the best views from your car.
Copper Canyon is an ideal destination for groups seeking soft adventure through traditional Mexico. Combine your trip with a beach getaway in the costal resort of San Carlos, a great destination for diving, boating, and fishing in the Sea of Cortez. In nearby Guaymas, you'll find outstanding shopping in an authentic setting with the feeling of old Mexico. Most take a bus (with frequent departures) from San Carlos to El Fuerte to catch the train.
Once aboard the train, you can stop at little towns for overnight and side trips along the way. You can take a loop trip or take alternative transportation back from the final stop in Creel. The journey on the first-class express takes about 13 hours and you must book your tickets in advance. For those who want to experience this magnificent area without doing their own planning, a wide variety of package tours are also available.