8 Days/7 Nights ~ Motorcoach & Rail
February 21 – 28, 2017
Testimonial from 2016 passenger: “I honestly thought this tour was so well directed that it needs no improvements. The meals were “5” Star. I’m sure I gained 5 lbs. The accommodations were great and in such historic places. Garry is an excellent driver, so polite. Guide Juan gets my highest recommendation. Every aspect of the trip was well timed and carried out. So attentive to his passengers’ needs (diet, mobility). His knowledge of places and facts was great.”
Journey to the canyon four times larger than the Grand Canyon! Departure available from Yuma.
The Barranca del Cobre, or Copper Canyon in English, is a destination unlike any other! Located in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, the canyon is actually a group of six distinct canyons joined together in the Sierra Tarahumara range. This system of canyons is four times bigger than the Grand Canyon. The Copper Canyon was formed in Sierra Tarahumara’s western portion by six rivers which drain in that area. The six rivers merge into the Rio Fuerte and empty into the Cortez Sea.
There are two types of weather in the canyon. At an altitude of 8000 feet, the mountain peaks are snow-capped in winter. Meanwhile, the canyon’s bottom regions have subtropical weather. This area is the home to the semi-nomadic cliff dwellers, the Tarahumara Indians, the least acculturated Amerindians.
The “Train Ride in the Sky”, providing the only access to the wilderness, is probably the most dramatic railway journey in the Western Hemisphere.
Escorted Package Includes
- Round trip deluxe motorcoach travel from Yuma, Arizona
- 7 nights accommodations
- 2 nights San Carlos
- 1 night Alamos
- 1 night El Fuerte
- 2 nights Posadas Barrancas
- 1 night Nuevo Casas Grandes
- Hotel porterage
- 22 meals: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Services of English-speaking local guides
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Scenic Private Boat cruise on the shimmering Sea of Cortez
- Tour the Guaymas Pearl Farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas
- Stroll the streets of the colonial city of Alamos, a designated National Monument
- Travel to picturesque El Fuerte, the “Gateway to the Copper Canyon”
- A breathtaking “Train Ride In The Sky” takes you into the magnificent Copper
- Meet the Tarahumara Indians whose way of life has not changed in 1,000 years
- Travel on an Aerial Tramway that descends over 4,500 feet into the Copper Canyon
- Demonstration of Mata Ortiz Pottery, one of the world’s most innovative ceramics
- Discover the Archaeological Site of Paquime, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Day 1 – Yuma / San Carlos, Mexico
After a morning departure from Arizona, cross the border into Mexico at Nogales. Travel through the Sonoran Desert and journey on to Hermosillo to view the Cathedral and famous murals depicting the history of Sonora at the Government Palace (time permitting). Enjoy the sunset at your waterfront resort in San Carlos. Marinaterra Hotel & Spa, San Carlos. Your luxury accommodations include internet access, television, telephone, hair dryers and in-room coffee makers. The hotel has a pool and spa, and there is a sandy beach nearby.
Day 2 – San Carlos / Sea of Cortez Excursion
Today’s highlight is a Sea of Cortez excursion. We lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the bay. Afternoon leisure time provides an opportunity to enjoy the beach and pool at the hotel. Perhaps plan an optional fishing excursion for tomorrow morning. Marinaterra Hotel & Spa, San Carlos.
Day 3 – San Carlos / Aduana / Alamos
Visit a cultured pearl farm in Guaymas for a guided tour. After lunch at the hotel, travel south to the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and the colonial town of Alamos. Enjoy sight-seeing during the three-hour drive through the agricultural heartland of Sonora, and the cities of Obregon and Navojoa. Check in to a beautiful colonial hotel in Alamos. All rooms have private baths and air conditioning, and are decorated with antique furnishings. Later, enjoy dinner and a folkloric program.
Day 4 – Alamos / El Fuerte
Alamos’ colonial history is brought to life on this morning’s guided walking tour. A designated National Monument, the city’s cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Colonial and Spanish buildings. Visit fabled mansions that have been restored to their original glory. After lunch, journey into the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains to the town of El Fuerte. This evening, enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Hotel Torres, a beautifully restored mansion built in the late 1800’s. All rooms have elegant decor, private bathrooms and air conditioning. Hotel Torres del Fuerte, El Fuerte.
Day 5 – El Fuerte / Copper Canyon / Posada Barrancas
Today, board your private rail car and start your journey on the “Train Ride in the Sky” into Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Taking almost 100 years to build in this rugged terrain, the rail line is considered to be an engineering marvel. Travel from sea level to 7,500 ft in less than 150 miles, passing through tunnels and over soaring bridges. Disembark in Posada Barrancas, your home for the next two nights. The Mirador Hotel is located on the Copper Canyon rim, and has been recognized by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine as one of the 10 hotels with the most stunning views in the world. Rooms open to balconies with magnificent views of the awe-inspiring scenery. Private bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The hotel is surrounded by pines, and appears to be etched out of the natural rock. Just outside your door, may walk to scenic overlooks, and shop for baskets and other Tarahumara handicrafts. Mirador Hotel, Posada Barrancas
Day 6 – Copper Canyon Sightseeing
Spend the day exploring this dramatic area, one of the last undiscovered treasures of North America. Visit the rim. Hear about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as the Copper Canyon. Spend time with the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon’s caves for thousands of years. A ride on the new aerial tram across the canyon is included. There is ample time for optional activities such as zip lining, hiking or horseback riding. Mirador Hotel, Posada Barrancas
Day 7 – Copper Canyon / Nuevo Casas Grandes
Travel to Creel via the Oteros Canyon before descending from the Copper Canyon into the Chihuahuan Desert and the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. This evening, observe live pottery firing by local potters who created the Mata Ortiz Pottery style. Later, enjoy a festive Farewell Dinner. Hotel Hacienda, Nuevo Casas Grandes is a modern 200 room hotel with TV, air conditioning, in-room coffee-makers and hair dryers
Day 8 – Casas Grandes / Paquime / Yuma
Today, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paquime, a vestige of the Chichimeca civilization. Many of the ancient dwellings and pyramids have been excavated and can be explored. Then continue across the Chihuahuan Desert, through plains and cattle country, before re-entering the U.S.A. at Douglas, AZ. Arrive home late evening.
The itinerary has been carefully constructed. The tour guide/director may deviate the time and routing due to weather, traffic or other circumstances.
Occasionally an alternate hotel of similar quality may be used. Room assignments are made at random. If you have special requests, please indicate when you make your reservation. Your requests will be forwarded to the hotels. There is no guarantee that all requests can be fulfilled.
To ensure fair and equitable seating for all tour members, seating on the motorcoach will be rotated once a day. Your tour director will explain the process.
Most hotels and restaurants are unable to make provisions for low-salt, gluten-free and other special diets.
Bottled water is carried on the coach, and distributed frequently. Purified water is provided in hotel rooms. All hotels and restaurants serve purified water and use purified water to make ice.
Escorted tour with English speaking guide includes deluxe motorcoach transportation, reserved rail car on train, 7 nights accommodations at best available hotels, all meals from lunch Day 1 to lunch Day 8, gratuities for hotels and included meals, taxes.
For Mexican entry and USA re-entry, a valid passport or passport card is required. Drivers’ licenses are NOT acceptable. Passport information must be submitted to Tour West America at least 30 days prior to departure. The Mexican National Migration Institute requires migrations forms be finalized in advance.
US currency accepted at hotels. Keep in mind that you will receive change in pesos. Local vendors and stores generally do not accept US currency. You may wish to bring Mexican currency for souvenir purchases and optional activities. Your tour director may be able to exchange small US denominations for Mexican pesos. Visa and Mastercard are accepted only at professional businesses. Optional activities such as fishing or zip lining cost $50 – $75 US dollars.
Climate varies from tropical to alpine. Plan your wardrobe accordingly and wear comfortable walking shoes. Formal or dressy attire is not required.
This is a moderate activity level tour. It includes walking tours and frequent disembarkations from the motorcoach. Sidewalks and paths may be uneven and inclined. Not all hotels are elevator equipped. This tour is considered inappropriate for some persons with mobility limitations.
Due to the isolation of the locale and the limited and quite recent tourism infrastructure, a journey to the Copper Canyon qualifies as a “soft adventure” in ecotourism, best enjoyed by the experienced traveler in reasonably good health. The high altitude and lack of special amenities, such as handicap accessibility, must be considered when booking.
The industry standard for escort/driver gratuities is $5 and $3 respectively per passenger, tour day.
Rate Freeze! Same as 2017.
$1600 pp/do, $1925.00 pp/single … Fully guided and narrated tour includes deluxe round trip motorcoach transportation, group picture, reserved railcar on “Chihuahua al Pacifico”, Sea of Cortez marine excursion, aerial tramway in canyon, folkloric and educational programs, sightseeing as described, 7 nights hotel accommodations, 22 (all) meals in Mexico, portage of 1 suitcase per person, taxes and hotel gratuities, Mexican entry visa.
Insurance available upon request.
Yuma Office, 333 S Main Street, Yuma, AZ 85364
CALL 800-706-8687 or 928-783-8888 TO SPEAK TO A RESERVATIONIST
Tour operated by:
RESERVATION AND CANCELLATION POLICY
For this tour, A Closer Look Tours cancellation policy applies. $200 per person is due when booking, the balance is due 30 days prior to departure. The $200 is fully refundable, minus a $20 service charge, up to 30 days before departure. After 30 days there is no refund. Passengers may wish to purchase travel insurance through Tour West America.