Sunday, October 14, 2012

Bus US to the Copper Canyon, Mexico

Tufesa Bus Cross Border from Tucson to Los Mochis
Bus services offer several ways to travel from the USA to the Copper Canyon.  Two bus route options from Tucson, AZ will be covered in this page.

     The buses reach the Copper Canyon Train terminal cities where trains run daily trips the 400 miles of mountain and canyon between the Mexico Pacific Coast town of Los Mochis and the inland, Central Mexico City of Chihuahua.  You can make the train trip from either end
     To start at the western end of the trip, bus from Tucson AZ through Nogales, Mexico to Los Mochis, on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.   (Bus Info)
     To start at the eastern end of the train trip, shuttle from Tucson AZ to Douglas Arizona/Agua Prieta, Mexico and bus 340 miles to the City of Chihuahua Mexico. (Bus Info)

Train Trip From Western Side
     From Phoenix and Tucson Arizona, the Tufesa Bus offers cross-border, first class service to the town of Los Mochis, 500 miles south of Nogales on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.  At Los Mochis, the Copper Canyon Train starts its run east for 400 miles from the Pacific Coast through the Copper Canyon, and into the City of Chihuahua in North Central Mexico.

Los Mochis
      Los Mochis is a good place to start the train trip for those that want the longest possible train ride.  If it is your choice to travel east from Los Mochis, the best seats for viewing will be on the right side of the train as you face forward. 
On certain days, two trains leave from Los Mochis, a first class and a second class.  The first class train leaves around 6:00 am.   The second class train could be a few cars hitched to the first class train or a second train which runs on alternate days. (schedule)  Second Class train seating cost about half as much as first class and varies little except that there is no dining car on the second class train and, if it is a separate train it will make more stops and arrive later.  A good dining experience is offered on the first class train for those that like train dining.
     A better option for those that don't need the full train ride is to bus into the town of El Fuerte, 50 miles inland from the Pacific Coast City of Los Mochis.
 El Fuerte is a well preserved colonial town that offers a train station for the CHEPE train line where you can buy tickets. 

El Fuerte
El Fuerte is a nice colonial town with good hotels and parking at the train station for those driving.  The train will leave Los Mochis around 6 am and arrive at El Fuerte at 9 am.  
         Good hotels in El Fuerte, a small museum, and a nice zocalo make El Fuerte a good base for the copper Canyon trip.  The fact that the train leaves El Fuerte later in the morning makes it more convenient.  You don't miss much by starting in El Fuerte; the first 50 miles of track from Los Mochis to El Fuerte is through flat farmland offering little to see.   After leaving El Fuerte the train starts to climb into the mountains and the scenery gets interesting.

     For those driving to El Fuerte, find overnight parking with the family at the “camp ground” beside the El Fuerte train station.  The family charges 100 peso per night for parking.  They live at the site and they lock the gate after the evening train arrives from Chihuahua, sometime between 7:30-9:30.  See Copper Canyon Train Schedule

     For those driving from the north, watch for the turnoff to El Fuerte near the border of Sonora State on Route 15.

El Fuerte By Bus
Arriving from Nogales by Tufesa Bus, you will reach the small Los Mochis Tufesa Bus Station.  Buses serve from there, south to Guadalajara and north to Phoenix and Tucson.  From the Tufesa station find the local bus, (second class bus) that reaches El Fuerte.  From the Tufesa bus station taxi to the Hotel America or walk to the Mercardo  Independencia where you will find the second class bus to El Fuerte on Inpendencia Avenue.

     The CHEPE Copper Canyon train, Mexico’s last regularly scheduled passenger train, leaves El Fuerte at 9 am and starts to climb into the mountains.  It will reach the center of the Copper Canyon area in mid afternoon.  The train will stop at three villages that are most popular with visitors where lodging is offered: Posadas Barrancas, (Areponapuchi)  El Divisidero, and the Village of Creel.

     The train reaches Creel at between 4:00 and 4:30 in the afternoon.  Creel offers a variety of lodging options and tours to the various Copper Canyon Villages and sights. (See second class train and save)

Creel offers an ATM machine but they are scarce. It is best to bring peso in small denominations.  The towns in Copper Canyon are small towns and no one will have change or be able to convert dollars or Euros. 

Next Page, The Towns of the Copper Canyon

Post a Comment