Monday, December 31, 2012

Copper Canyon Villages Continued

  • Copper Canyon, Barrancas de Cobre
Copper Canyon at Creel Station
The trains traverse the high plateau on the north side of the Urique Canyon.  Copper Canyon is a huge area comprising 20 canyons that were formed by rivers that drain the Sierra Tarahumara, part of the Sierra Madre Occidental range.  West of Creel, the rivers flow west into the Rio Fuerte, which flows to the Pacific through the town of El Fuerte.  
El Fuerte is a good base for Copper Canyon train trips; kayaking, sightseeing and good hotels are available in this well preserved colonial town.

When is it best to visit Copper Canyon?

Copper Canyon weavers  Tarahumara 

Copper Canyon is located about 300 miles north of the Tropic of Cancer in a sub-tropical zone.  Due to differences in elevation, the villages within the canyon area experience huge diversity in climate.  In Winter there could be snowfall in Creel at 7841 feet elevation while in the village of Batopilas, at the bottom of the canyon, there would be tropical humidity with 80 degree temperatures.
  • October through March are considered the best times to visit. Christmas and Easter could be crowded as these are National holidays for Mexico. 
  • Bring cash in small denomination pesos.  Creel has a small bank and ATM.  The small villages will have little cash to make change and may not be able to convert Euros or Dollars.  Creel's bank will convert Dollars and Euros.  
  • Bring warm clothing for the higher elevations.  
  • Be prepared for the unexpected and the unconventional.  You are not likely to find air conditioning in the villages or other tourist comforts.  
  • Huge, remote, rustic, and frontier-like describes the Copper Canyon area.  Batopilas had its first auto road in the 1960s; you could find one ATM in a hundred square miles, Creel.   There is no direct road between Creel and El Fuerte or Los Mochis.  Although the more expensive hotels offer WiFi and satellite TV, the accommodations in some might not be plush, no TV, no wine list, no concierge. 
  •  Shop Lodging Chihuahua, Creel, Divisadero
  • Flexibility
Have flexibility in your schedule.  (several days flexibility on the backside of your trip)
You will be 200 miles or more from any large city and you will be in remote areas where a single road or rail line serves.
Include flexibility in your travel plans and you will make the most of your Copper Canyon visit.
Copper Canyon Villages, Page One                                                                                                           
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