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Chepe Train: Across Mexico’s Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon Views
Chepe Train Stop At Divisadero

The Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre in Spanish) is a nature lover’s paradise. You will not only witness some of the world’s deepest canyons, but you can ride through them on one of the greatest and last Latin America’s passenger rides, the Chepe Train.

Located it the Sierra Madre Occidental, in Chihuahua, this popular hiking destination has a great landscape diversity, from the subtropical depths of the canyon to the alpine vegetation at the top.

Near Creel
Lake Arareco

About The Chepe Train

The Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, known as Chepe Train, links the city of Chihuahua to the city of Los Mochis, next to the Pacific Ocean. The track goes through 86 tunnels and over 37 bridges, rising as high as 2.400m (7.900 ft) above the sea level.

The first express class train runs once daily in both directions, while the economic class runs only three times a week. Check the timetable and fares at the official website.

Once daily!
Chepe Train Schedule

Main Copper Canyon Sights

Even though you can do the whole ride in once (it takes about 16 hours), I recommend doing several stops. This way, it is possible to get down, explore the canyon and continue with the train ride the following day. Some popular stops are:

  • El Fuerte. Colonial town named after the 17-th century fort built on the top of a hill.
  • Urique Canyon, the deepest of all canyons. Get down at Bahuichivo station and head to Cerocahui. From there, explore the area and even take the scenic road to Urique, at the bottom of the canyon.
  • Posada Barrancas. Zip-lines, hikes along the rim and horseback rides at Parque Barrancas attraction Park.
  • Creel.
  • Basaseachi Waterfall.
Chepe Tran, Mexico's Greatest Train Ride
On Board Chepe Train

READ MORE: Monterrey: Visit On A Budget


Creel is a pleasant railway town in the middle of pine forests. It is an interesting place. Apart from being the center of the Copper Canyon tourism, it is not rare to see Tarahumaras (indigenous group) and even some Mennonites from the surrounding local communities. There are many places around, but you should not miss:

  • Valley of the Monks. Only a few kilometers from Creel, it is easily reachable with a mountain bike. The surprising landscape is due to the erosion of the rocks. For millions of years, wind and rain shaped these sculptures! It is said they look like monks, however, I’m not that sure about that.
  • Cusarare Waterfall. A bit further away than the Valley of the Monks, you need a good physical condition to reach it with a bike. Otherwise, several town tour operators could take you there.
  • Lake Arareco. A U-shaped lake surrounded by unusual rock formations and refreshing pine forests. Many Tarahumara communities around.
Do You Actually Think They Look Like Monks?
Valley Of The Monks At Creel

Basaseachi Waterfall

Copper Canyon’s most impressive sight. The tallest waterfall in Mexico (with all-year-round water). You can trek to several viewpoints, and even go to the bottom of the waterfall.

TIP! If you happen to be there around the rainy season (June to September) go to Piedra Volada, a seasonal waterfall twice taller than Basaseachi!

Imagine How It Must Look Like During The Wet Season...
Basaseachi Waterfall

Where To Stay In Chihuahua

Paqui Bed & Breakfast is a chilled-out, family hostel in Chihuahua. Manuel, the owner, is super passionate about the city and will give you many tips on what to do around. Both the dorms and the private rooms are sunny, big and clean. However, the breakfast (continental and Mexican style) stands out from the rest. I particularly loved the hammocks backyard; a great hostel to meet other travelers!

A Travelers Meeting Point
Paqui Bed & Breakfast

More Information

Have you ever done any epic train ride? Tell me in the comments?

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