One of the world’s great train trips is through Mexico’s stunning Copper Canyon over the storied Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway. Many companies offer Copper Canyon tours but most are flawed in that there are long segments and days by bus, or on Mexican airlines in and out of small airports. Even worse, some offer only a cursory view of this spectacular natural wonder, four times the size of the Grand Canyon and featuring 37 bridges and 86 tunnels.
We have designed a showcase tour that offers up three days in the Copper Canyon and travels the entire route of the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway. Nicer still, our guests travel to Mazatlan and the start of our Copper Canyon trip not by bus or air, but in comfort and convenience aboard the superb ms Oosterdam of Holland America Line. By special arrangement, our guests enjoy a three-night ‘mini cruise’ from San Diego to Mazatlan, Could there be a nicer way to start a holiday?
Comfort is the byword of this program with many thoughtful touches and extras. A professional US tour guide is with you from start to finish, the hotels utilized are excellent, comprehensive sightseeing is included, and so that you may begin your trip without worrying about missed connections or delays, we begin with an overnight luxury hotel stay in San Diego so that you are ‘in place’ the day before the ship sails.
- Fully escorted by professional tour manager from start to finish.
- Overnight luxury hotel stay in San Diego the evening before sailing at the Sheraton including transfers from the airport or train station upon arrival and to the pier on sailing day.
- Rare three-night voyage from San Diego to Mazatlan aboard the superb ships of Holland America Line with two nights cruising the Pacific en route.
- Special party and events during the cruise including the swank Pinnacle Grill one day.
- Complete sightseeing daily while in the Copper Canyon is included as are all meals in the Canyon.
- The Copper Canyon by train with three days in the Copper Canyon with plenty of time to explore this wonder of the world. We traverse the line from El Fuerte to Chihuahua with short day trips on the storied Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway, not missing a mile of spectacular scenery.
- First Class hotel stays in El Fuerte, Divisadero, Creel and Chihuahua with all meals included.
- Overnight hotel stay in El Paso at the end of the tour including suite accommodations, cocktail party and Farewell dinner allowing easy connections home. A complimentary transfer to the airport or train station is also included.
Day 1 – Arrival San Diego:
Guests arrive in San Diego today and a complimentary transfer to the superbly located Sheraton is included with the balance of the evening at leisure.
Day 2 – Aboard a Dutch Liner at Sea:
All morning to sleep in or explore this lovely city with an afternoon departure for the pier and our ship. At 5pm, the whistle blows and we set sail for the Copper Canyon. While there are many ways one can travel to Mexico, we know of no more comfortable way to do so then aboard the superb ships* of Holland America Line, an elegant start to your holiday. (L, D)
Day 3 - Aboard a Dutch Liner at Sea :
All day at sea off the Coast of Baja California to enjoy ocean travel at its best. Holland America boast some of the finer ships afloat and you will soon agree. Among other features, our ship offers a unique a Culinary Arts Center, a fine health club and spa, a choice of lounges and our favorite, the excellent top of the ship Crows Nest Bar with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bow. Tonight is our welcome cocktail party as we steam south bound for Mazatlan. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Aboard a Dutch Liner at Sea:
A final day at sea cruising the waters of the Pacific before our arrival in Mazatlan. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Mazatlan:
We disembark in Mazatlan after breakfast and are soon on our way to charming colonial El Fuerte where we spend the evening in this charming town with a casual welcome dinner tonight. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - All Aboard!:
All Aboard! We depart this morning on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway, first begun in the
19th Century and taking almost 100 years to build. This epic rail line was begun in the late
19th century, envisioned as the shortest route between Kansas City and the Pacific Coast. It
took nearly 100 years to complete this massive engineering feat and today we travel through the
heart of the Canyon in daylight, crossing over 37 bridges, across ravines and through more than
86 tunnels. You will want to have your camera handy! This afternoon we arrive in the center of
the Canyon, breathtaking Divisadero, for an overnight stay in this amazing setting. Divisadero
is the center of the Copper Canyon which is four times larger and 280 feet deeper than the Grand
Canyon. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Urique Canyon Mexico:
This morning we feature a ride to a different point of view, Urique Canyon with a demonstration by
the native Tarahumara Indians who live much as they did 800 years ago. We enjoy lunch before
reboarding the train for the spectacular ride to the Creel, a fascinating town best known for its
Mission and cave dwellings. We overnight in Creel, a town many of our passengers consider
the highlight of the tour since it is so unspoiled. Creel was once a major lumber and silver mining town and is a little village of great charm and we have intentionally left plenty of free time here.
(B, L, D)
Day 8 – Chihuahua:
This morning a visit to the Tarahumara Museum and the Mission before we reboard the train this
afternoon for the short ride north to Chihuahua where we will stay the evening. (B, L, D)
Days 9 - El Paso
Chihuahua is famed for its beautiful Cathedral and we will visit it after breakfast before our short drive north to El Paso by modern superhighway. In El Paso, suite accommodations, a cocktail
reception and casual farewell dinner are features at the excellent Radisson (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Journey Home
Guests depart by train or air for home and breakfast as well as complimentary transfers to
the airport or train station are provided. Guests may also extend their stay in El Paso if they like, possibly visiting nearby Big Bend National Park, a popular destination for many of our passengers. (B)
The Copper Canyon, while a distinct Canyon in itself, is used to describe a complex of five
Urique 6,136 feet
Sinforasa 6,002 feet
Batopilas 5,904 feet
Copper Canyon 5,770 feet
Guaynopa 5,313 feet
Compare these Canyon statistics with that of the Grand Canyon at Hopi Point, 4,674 feet!
This tour is not operating in 2012. We recommend Vacations By Rail's Mexico's Copper Canyon
tour, departing on April 28, 2012.