Mexico's Copper Canyon & Colonial Cities

El Chepe Train, Copper Canyon
10 Days from $2,408 per person

Four times bigger than the Grand Canyon, Mexico's spectacular Copper Canyon is the backdrop for part of this extraordinary trip along with the picturesque, historic landscapes and cobblestone streets of Colonial Mexico.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... relaxing in the comfort of El Chepe Train, the most awe-inspiring train ride imaginable, over bridges and through tunnels, climbing 7,900 feet. Soak up the spectacular views of Mexico's Copper Canyons surrounding you.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Welcome to Phoenix. Get settled in at your hotel before gathering with your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at 6 p.m.
    hotel:Hilton Phoenix Airport
  2. Begin your Mexican adventure with a short stop at the beautiful Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish mission founded in 1692. South of the border, the great Sonoran Desert opens up before you. Stop in the small town of Magdalena de Kino, a picturesque city with historic landscapes and cobblestone streets, inhabited by Tohono O'odham natives and Pima Alto Indians. Visit the Church of St. Mary Magdalena, City Hall with its colorful murals, and the house of Miguel Latz with its beautiful garden. Arrive in Hermosillo later this afternoon. This evening, enjoy a Regional Meal at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, RM
    hotel:Hampton Inn by Hilton, Hermosillo
  3. Visit Hermosillo's lovely colonial cathedral and the Government Palace, its walls bedecked with murals depicting the history of the Sonoran region. Your journey then takes you to Guaymas, on the Sea of Cortez, for a visit to a local pearl farm where you meet a Local Specialist to learn about pearl culture. In the late afternoon, arrive in Alamos, an enchanting colonial silver mining town. It is also designated as a “Magical Town” (Pueblo Magico) and is located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, where the Sonoran desert meets the tropics. Arrive at your resort, set in 3 long-standing colonial mansions and a sugar mill. This evening, enjoy a folkloric dance performance and cocktails before dinner is served at the hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Hacienda De Los Santos Authentic Accommodations
  4. Meet a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour to see some of the grand mansions of Alamos. Afterward, enjoy some free time for further exploration, maybe visit the local museum, or do some shopping. Before leaving town this afternoon, visit the local graveyard with extravagant tombs from the 18th and 19th centuries. In the afternoon, travel to El Fuerte which is also acknowledged in Mexico as a “Pueblo Magico” (Magical Town) for its historical, architectural, and cultural contributions. Your hotel is set in a beautiful colonial mansion, built in 1890 by a wealthy family who spent five years and 100,000 gold pesos on its construction.
    hotel:Posada del Hidalgo
  5. Board the world-famous Chihuahua al Pacifico “El Chepe” train and head into the Sierra Madre Mountains. After taking almost 100 years to build in this rugged terrain, this rail line is considered to be an engineering marvel. Travel from sea level to 5,900 feet (1,800 meters) in less than 150 miles (170 kilometers), passing through tunnels and over soaring bridges. This rail excursion, voted “Most Exciting Train Journey in the World,” takes you along the precipitous Septentrion and Urique Canyons into the heart of the Copper Canyon, over four times as large as Arizona's Grand Canyon. Disembark in Bahuichivo and transfer to your quaint hotel in the picturesque village of Cerocahui, located in a high fertile river valley of apple orchards and vineyards. After lunch at the hotel, visit the boarding school Tewecado, founded in 1941 by the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor to extend their mission to the remote culture of the Tarahumara Indians.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Mision Cerocahui
  6. "Cerro del Gallego Urique Lookout," provides the most sweeping view of the Copper Canyon. Standing at a 7,500 feet (2,285 meters) elevation, gaze into Urique Canyon, the deepest canyon. View the mining town of Urique, nestled below along the river. Stop at a home and meet a Local Specialist for a demonstration of local basket weaving techniques. Then transfer to the train station where you re-board the train for the journey to Posada Barrancas. Poised like an eagle's nest at the canyon's edge is your hotel, situated near the highest point of the canyon, surrounded by pine trees. Your room offers a private balcony with awe-inspiring scenery of the Copper Canyon. After some time to relax, join a spectacular walk along the rim of the canyon.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:El Mirador
  7. Today experience the crossing of the canyon in a spectacular cable car ride, one of the highest in the world, to a breathtaking viewpoint from which you can marvel at three of the main canyons, including the Copper Canyon itself. Enjoy magnificent views of Tarahumara Indian ranches in this expansive canyon system. For lunch, enjoy a picnic with the local specialty, Discada (mixed meat dish), set in a scenic location overlooking the impressive canyons. Enjoy an original Tarahumara dance performance and, when available, meet the actual Tarahumara Running Champion. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy the canyon on your own before dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
  8. Leaving the Copper Canyon, travel to the small town of Guerrero, where Alma Casavantes and her husband Paco Cabrera welcome you for a unique Be My Guest experience. Enjoy an exquisite meal of traditional foods and share stories of the history of their family and of growing up in this part of the Chihuahua Desert. Visit the tiny village of Mata Ortiz and meet a Local Specialist on local pottery. See local artisans who have adapted ancient traditions into the modern style called Mata Ortiz. Watch master craftsmen design and fire pots while learning the techniques accumulated over several generations. This evening, head to the Hacienda de San Diego, a grandiose estate formerly belonging to Don Luis Terrazas, a wealthy rancher who at one time owned most of the land in the state of Chihuahua. Visit the old hacienda and enjoy dinner in this historical place.
    meal(s):FB, BG, HD
    hotel:Hacienda Casas Grandes
  9. Visit the prehistoric adobe complex of Paquime, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great trading center in the 14th and 15th centuries before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Afterward, the journey continues to the Sotol Factory Don Cuco. Sotol is a drink unique to Chihuahua, made from the desert plant of the same name, and is somewhat like tequila. Don Cuco is a family institution dating back three generations where you will see how sotol is fermented and distilled, taste samples and enjoy a simple lunch with your hosts. Continue across the Chihuahua Desert into the U.S. and arrive in Tucson in time for your Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, FD
  10. After breakfast, bid adios to your newfound friends and depart Tucson for the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or extend your stay at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals

Meal Summary

9 nights' accommodations, 9 full breakfasts, 5 lunches (including Be My Guest), 7 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay in the foothills at the Hacienda De Los Santos in Alamos.

Be My Guest

  • Dine in Guerrero with a local family and traditional meal.

Local Specialist

  • For sightseeing in Guaymas, Alamos, with Urique basket weavers and Mata Ortiz ceramicist.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Orientation of Hermosillo and Alamos
  • Visit historic El Fuerte, Cerocahui, Paquime, Posadas Barancas and Mata Ortiz.
  • View Copper Canyon
  • Scenic drive through the Chihuahua Desert
  • Iconic train journey through Copper Canyon aboard the Train in the Sky
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
5 Feb 17 14 Feb 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
5 Mar 17 14 Mar 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
2 Apr 17 11 Apr 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
10 Sep 17 19 Sep 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
15 Oct 17 24 Oct 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp
5 Nov 17 14 Nov 17 checkmark $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$2,675 $2,408 pp

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $825.

Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico must have a current passport or passport card that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Mexico.

  • The currency in Mexico is the Peso.  You can pay with your debit or credit card at many places and the most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks.  We recommend bringing an extra credit card and informing your financial institutions of your travel plans before leaving the country. 

  • We suggest bringing a variety of comfortable, lightweight clothing that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellant and sunscreen will come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Waiters and servers in Mexico also depend on tips. It is appropriate to tip 10 - 15% percent at restaurants, though not expected in taxis. 

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.


  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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