Mexico's Great Copper Canyon

Mexico's Copper Canyon
8 Days

Four times bigger than the Grand Canyon, Mexico's spectacular Copper Canyon is the backdrop for part of this extraordinary trip, as you travel over soaring bridges on the Train in the Sky. 

Cross the Sonoran Desert and less traveled regions of Mexico as you learn about cultured pearl farming, silver mining and the beautiful art of Mata Ortiz pottery.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. This morning, meet with your Travel Director and traveling companions between 7 - 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn, Phoenix Airport North. Due to your early morning (8 a.m.) departure, pre-trip overnights are available at the hotel. Begin your adventure by crossing the U.S. Mexico border and see the great Sonoran desert open up before you. Keep an eye out for giant saguaro cacti—one of the few places they grow wild. After stopping for lunch in the small town of Santa Ana, travel on to Hermosillo to see the lovely colonial cathedral and the Government Palace, its walls bedecked with murals depicting the history of the Sonoran region. Arrive in San Carlos where the desert meets the glittering Sea of Cortez. Relax and settle in at your waterfront resort on the beautiful Sea of Cortez.
    hotel:Marinaterra Hotel and Spa
  2. Board your private boat for a scenic cruise on the Sea of Cortez and keep a lookout for dolphins, seals, and exotic sea birds, such as the blue-footed booby and the great blue heron. Afterward, take a scenic drive through stunning desert gardens, home to massive cacti and stop at Mirador Escénico, rated by National Geographic as one of the “Top 10 Ocean Views.” This afternoon is free for you to relax or explore the marina and shops.
  3. This morning, visit the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas and learn all about pearl oyster farming, grading and quality selection. Next, travel south through rich farmlands to the foothills of the Sierra Madre and the quaint town of Alamos. A living museum, the city's cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings. This evening, enjoy the local flavors of Mexico while dining with your traveling companions in a traditional setting.
    meal(s):CB, L, D
    hotel:Casa de los Tesoros or Casa Encantada or The Mansion
  4. Enjoy an Iconic Breakfast in a 200 year old restored, colonial house where Chef Teresita Shannon shares her love of the region through the food and stories she tells. After, stroll the streets of Alamos as your Local Specialist brings the town's history to life. Visit some of the restored mansions built when Alamos' silver mines were among the richest in the world. After lunch, journey farther into the Sierra Madre to the town of El Fuerte. Tonight, experience ancient dances from the Yaquis. See the popular deer dance and other traditional Mexican folk dances.
    meal(s):Iconic Breakfast, L
    hotel:Torres del Fuerte
  5. Mexico's Copper Canyon—four times as large as the Grand Canyon of Arizona—looms large in the culture and imagination of this proud country. Board your rail car and start your journey aboard the Train in the Sky, "El Chepe," traveling from sea level to 7,500 feet (2,285 meters) in less than 150 miles (240 kilometers), passing through tunnels and over soaring bridges. Engineers and laborers spent nearly 100 years laying tracks into this rugged terrain, and now the spectacular views make it one of the world's most exciting train journeys. Pass alongside the jagged Barranca Septentrion and Urique Canyon as you travel into the heart of Copper Canyon. Disembark at your hotel, situated right on the rim of the canyon.
    hotel:Divisadero Barrancas
  6. Spend the entire day exploring this dramatic area, one of the greatest natural treasures of North America. Learn about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as the Copper Canyon or Barrancas del Cobre. Meet the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon's caves for thousands of years and view the tribe's arts and crafts. An optional gondola ride down the canyon is available this afternoon.
  7. Travel to the logging village of Creel via Oteros Canyon to the village of Guerrero, where a stop is made for lunch. The area is rich in culinary resources and apple orchards. Then, travel on to the bustling city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. This evening, see local artisans who have adapted ancient traditions into a modern style called Mata Ortiz with a Local Specialist. Watch master craftsmen design fire pots and the techniques learned over several generations.
    meal(s):CB, L
    hotel:Hacienda Casas Grandes
  8. Today, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paquime, a great trading center in the 14th and 15th centuries before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. See ceremonial mounds, the House of the Cross (believed to be a temple and observatory) and the House of the Serpent, where animals were raised. Continue across the Chihuahua Desert into the U.S. arriving back in Phoenix at approximately 6:30 p.m. depending on border crossing and traffic conditions. Due to your late arrival, overnights are available at the Hilton Garden Inn, Phoenix Airport.
    meal(s):CB, L

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
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 1 Dinner.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • See the historic murals on display at the Government Palace
  • Enjoy the seaside town, sitting along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, home to desert gardens and beautiful ocean views
  • Iconic Breakfast in an ancient, colonial house where Teresita uses local and foreign ingredients to offer an interesting menu with an international touch
  • Stroll the cobblestone streets viewing restored mansions and Spanish colonial buildings
  • Visit restored mansions built during the silver mining peak
  • See Mexico's Copper Canyon, four times larger than Arizona's Grand Canyon, from aboard the Train in the Sky, "The El Chepe"
  • Learn about the famous pottery made from local clay, formed by the potter's hand, and fired on the ground
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site with its extensive archaeological remains, evidence of the vitality of an ancient culture
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
4 Apr 17 11 Apr 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
25 Apr 17 2 May 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
2 May 17 9 May 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
16 May 17 23 May 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
29 Aug 17 5 Sep 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
19 Sep 17 26 Sep 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
26 Sep 17 3 Oct 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
3 Oct 17 10 Oct 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
10 Oct 17 17 Oct 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
17 Oct 17 24 Oct 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
24 Oct 17 31 Oct 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
7 Nov 17 14 Nov 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
21 Nov 17 28 Nov 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
28 Nov 17 5 Dec 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 pp
12 Dec 17 19 Dec 17 $1,395pp
$1,395 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 $3995.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $89 per person.

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.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 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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