Copper Canyon Yuma Departure

8 Days/7 Nights ~ Motorcoach & Rail

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 passenger’s 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 El Fuerte
  • 2 nights Posadas Barrancas
  • 1 night Chihuahua City
  • 1 night Nuevo Casas Grandes
  • Hotel porterage
  • 22 meals: 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 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
    • Travel to picturesque El Fuerte, the “Gateway to the Copper Canyon”
    • A breathtaking “Train Ride In The Sky” takes you into the magnificent Copper Canyon
    • Special Features
      • 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. After a short drive, arrive at Santa Ana for lunch.  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

After a relaxed breakfast take a private boat for a scenic cruise on the Sea of Cortez – keep a look out for dolphins, seals and possibly whales, in addition to exotic birds such as the blue-footed booby and the magnificent frigate bird.  This morning also visit the Guaymas Pearl Farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas.  Here you will learn ab out the pearl farming, pearl grading and quality selection.  Afterwards visit the Mirador Escenico en route back to the hotel, rated by National Geographic as one of the top ten ocean views in the world.  Lunch is back at the hotel with time to relax and visit the Marina shops.  Dinner at a local restaurant.   Marinaterra Hotel & Spa, San Carlos.

Day 3 – El Fuerte

Depart San Carlos after breakfast.  Travel south through the rich grain farmlands and past the foothills of the Sierra Madre arriving to El Fuerte by early afternoon.  This evening, immerse yourself in the local culture with folk dancing by performers in traditional costumes.  Overnight at Hotel Torres del Fuerte or similar.

Day 4 – Posada Barrancas

Early morning arrive at the train station, boarding at 8:00 a.m. for the most spectacular train ride in North America.  We have a 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. Arrive at Posada Barrancas by mid-afternoon.  Your hotel for the next two nights is the Hotel Mirador or Hotel Divisadero.  Enjoy a Tarahumara Indian cultural presentation.

Day 5 – Posada Barrancas

Today we have time to view and interpret Tarahumara Indian arts and crafts, visit the rim of the canyon and enjoy the surroundings.  Opportunity to board the Copper Canyon aerial tramway, allowing us to descend halfway into the Canyons and experience great views.  Spend time with the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon’s caves for thousands of years.  There is time today for some optional activities: hiking, horseback riding or just relaxing and enjoy where you are.

Day 6 – Chihuahua

After breakfast, board the motorcoach to travel through Creel via Oteros Canyon, passing over the Continental Divide.  Lunch is along the way.  Arrival to Chihuahua City in the afternoon and tour the downtown “Centro Historico.”  Visit the Francisco Villa Museum, dedicated to the life and history of Mexican Revolutionary Fransco “Pancho” Villa before dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 7 – Nuevo Casas Grandes

This morning travel across the Chihuahan Desert to reach the city of Nuevo Casas Grandes.  Lunch at a local restaurant in Old Casas Grandes.  Afterwards, visit Mexico’s northernmost archeological site at Paquime, where the ancient Gran Chichimeca civilization erected their truncated pyramids and adobe multistory apartments. Tonight enjoy a Mata Ortiz pottery demonstration and a farewell dinner with your new travel friends.

Day 8 – Casas Grandes / Yuma

After lunch, depart back to Arizona.  Travel through the plains and cattle country of the state of Chihuahua before reentering the USA at Douglas, AZ.   Arrive home late evening.

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 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 disembarkation 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 and is not included in the tour price.

$1650 pp/do, $1950/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 if in operation, 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.

February 17-24, 2020

March 2-9, 2020

A $200 pp deposit is required at time of booking.

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:

A Closer Look Tours


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.