Copper Canyon 8 Days: Phoenix & Tucson Area Departures

8 Days/7 Nights ~ Motorcoach & Rail  

       Includes 22 meals

Journey to the canyon four times larger than the Grand Canyon!  This unique 8 day adventure offers top notch value and experiences. Book early — many 2017 dates are already sold out.

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.

Day 1 – Phoenix/ Tucson/ 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. Your tour director will host a “Welcome to Mexico” reception before dinner. (L, D)

Day 2 – San Carlos / Sea of Cortez Excursion

Today’s highlight is a Sea of Cortez excursion.  Look for dolphins, seals, exoctic birds such as blue-footed booby and great blue heron. Following a visit to a scenic vista and a local Cactus Garden, we lunch poolside at the hotel. Afternoon leisure time provides an opportunity to enjoy the beach and pool at the hotel. Perhaps plan an optional fishing excursion for tomorrow morning.  Tonight, our sunset dinner is at a restaurant that overlooks the sea.  Marinaterra Hotel & Spa, San Carlos. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – San Carlos / Aduana / Alamos

Visit a cultured pearl farm in Guaymas for a guided tour. Later, travel south to 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 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. (B, L, D)

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. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – El Fuerte / Copper Canyon / Posada Barrancas

MiradorToday, 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. (B, L, D)

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 hiking  or  horseback riding. Mirador Hotel, Posada Barrancas (B, L, D)

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. (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Casas Grandes / Paquime /Phoenix

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 early evening, about 7:00 pm. (B, L)

Travel Tips

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 dinner Day 1 to lunch Day 8, gratuities for hotels and included meals, taxes. Bring a packed lunch for Day 1.

For Mexican entry and USA re-entry, a valid passport or passport card is required. Drivers’ licenses are NOT acceptable. 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.

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.

Departure Locations: Chandler, Casa Grande or Tucson.

$1595 pp/do …           Fully guided and narrated tour includes deluxe round trip motorcoach transportation, group picture, reserved rail car 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, portage of 1 suitcase per person, taxes and hotel gratuities, Mexican entry visa.  $1895.00 single

Put down a $200 deposit per person to lock in 2019 rates


Insurance available upon request.

CALL 800-706-8687 or 928-783-8888 TO SPEAK WITH A RESERVATIONIST

Tour operated by:

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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. $100 is fully refundable up until 30 days prior to departure.  $100 is non-refundable.  Between 29 days and 72 hours prior – 50%.  Less than 72 hours to departure – 100% penalty.  No refunds for any unused portion of the tour. Passengers may wish to purchase travel insurance through  Tour West America.

Passport expiration must be at least 6 months after the final day of travel.