For an adventure that combines stunning natural landscape and rich cultural offerings, one might look no further than the sun-drenched walls of Mexico's Copper Canyon, located within the Mexican state of Chihuahua. From its famous Mata Ortiz pottery to the largest crystals on the planet, from centuries of Tarahumara history to the rugged canyon terrain itself, Copper Canyon--at four times the size of the Grand Canyon--is truly one of the greatest canyons on Earth. A number of tours explore Copper Canyon, including Caravan, Canyon Tours, and California Native.
As part of a more comprehensive nine-day Mexico tour--visiting places like the Sonora Desert, Hermosillo, and El Fuerte--Caravan takes its clients through Copper Canyon for two days. Day four of the tour includes a rail journey, touted as one of the best scenic rail trips on the globe, through all five canyons collectively known as Copper Canyon. A box lunch is provided by Caravan. That night, your hotel room overlooks the rim of the canyon itself, where you can look out and over into the 7,500-foot abyss. Day five includes several short walks in the canyon area before re-boarding the train and heading back through the canyons one more time.
Caravan Tours Inc.
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
For the more environmentally-minded, consider going with Canyon Travel. Canyon Travel utilizes its own eco-friendly eco-lodges, staffed with local guides. Unlike other tours, which are often quite rigid and scheduled, a tour with Canyon Travel offers great flexibility and a variety of choices in terms of activities--from day hiking and walks to visits to historic and cultural sites. Canyon Tours offers the only accommodations located directly above the Canyon River, perched on the rim of the canyon. The group additionally prides itself on being able to show patrons areas that tourists regularly don't see.
900 Ridge Creek
Bulverde, TX 78163-2872
California Native offers several different tours, some designed for groups and featuring more set itineraries, others packaged more for the independent traveler. The larger, more scheduled tours typically last between seven and 14 days--with the option of add-ons--while the independent trips generally last between 4 and 11 days. California Native additionally offers transportation services not just in the Copper Canyon area or from Phoenix but also from Los Angeles and from El Paso. Tours explore both the rim and the bottom of the canyons and include interaction with the local Tarahumara Indians.
California Native International Adventures
6701 W. 87th Place
Los Angeles CA 90045
Article Written By William Jackson
William Jackson has written, reported and edited professionally for more than 10 years. His work has been published in newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, high-level government reports, books and online. He holds a master's degree in humanities from Pennsylvania State University.