Copper Canyon Train

Copper Canyon & Batopilas Tour - Spring 2009

7 days by bus, train, and van to Creel and Batopilas - $1,230
Departs March 15, 2009
(Fall Date: October 13, 2009)
Highlights: Fantasy hotel in Batopilas; gourmet meals with wine; exciting descent into the canyon; visit “The Lost Cathedral”; specialised guide.

March 15-21, 2009

By train, bus and minibus toChihuahua/Creel/Batopilas. Return to Presidio
A first-class tour with a small group led by Jim Glendinning

March 15, Sunday.

We assemble in the lobby of the Holland Hotel, Alpine 7.30 a.m. and
drive 90 minutes to Presidio. Breakfast at El Patio restaurant.
Taxi to Ojinaga and board our private van. Arrive 1:00 p.m. in Chihuahua City where we meet our guide Santi and transfer to the four-star Quality Inn Hotel downtown. Buffet lunch.
City tour: Cathedral, Pancho Villa’s house, Government Palace, residential areas, Aqueduct and Quinta Gameras museum.
Dinner at a downtown restaurant. Glenn Willeford, former Texas sheriff, author and historian who lives in Chihuahua, will speak about Pancho Villa as well as current affairs.

March 16, Monday.

Taxi to rail station for 6.00 a.m. departure. We eat breakfast on the train while it heads west, passing many apple orchards as we approach Cuatémoc, home to Mexico’s Mennonites. Gaining elevation, we reach Creel, cool and crisp at 7,690 feet by 11:30 a.m. Transfer 13 miles to Sierra Lodge, a rustic jewel of rich-toned, varnished logs set in a pine-scented valley overlooking Cusarare Falls. After lunch we take an easy hike through the woods to Cusarare waterfall. Margaritas and live music await us before dinner.

March 17, Tuesday.

Riverside Lodge, interior

We meet Ivan, our guide for the next three days. After a good breakfast of huevos mexicanos, our van descends 5,000 feet through Basihuare Canyon with photo stops to admire the views and for a picnic high on a ridge overlooking Batopilas canyon. Dropping steadily, we leave behind oak and pine trees, pass through a deciduous zone and end up at 1,620 feet in lush vegetation of tropical plants.
We arrive late afternoon in Batopilas, once the site of La Mina Nevada, one of Mexico’s largest silver mines. We check in at the historic fantasy hotel Riverside Lodge, formerly the home of Batopilas’ richest merchant. After dinner, there will be time to stroll the narrow, cobbled streets, listen to the sound of the river, and admire the three centuries old architecture.

March 18, Wednesday.

"The Lost Cathedral" at Satevo
(Luc Novovitch)

After breakfast, we leave for the mission church at Satévo, known as “The Lost Cathedral”, down-river four miles. We can hike all- or part-way, or take the van. The triple-domed church with a single bell tower and whitewashed walls was built by Jesuits in the 17th century. We will hear about the church’s history and take cold drinks before returning to Batopilas. Lunch will be on our own. A map of restaurants will be provided. Afterwards we can relax among bougainvillea, kumquat and avocado trees in one of the hotel’s courtyards or visit local shops, which have a surprising selection of merchandise. Dinner with wine at a local restaurant. Overnight in old-fashioned splendor at the Riverside Lodge.

March 19, Thursday.

Batopilas Plaza

This morning we cross the Batopilas river to the ruins of Hacienda San Miguel, headquarters of Alexander Shepherd’s Batopilas Mining Company. The premises are now overgrown by brilliant bougainvillea, but you will nonetheless get some idea of the size of this mighty enterprise developed by “Boss” Shepherd in the early 1900’s. We continue up-river to the aqueduct, another of Shepherd’s innovations, with possible sightings of mackaws, cuckoos and squirrels. Picnic lunch at the river’s edge, and a chance to swim in the clear, running water.

March 20, Friday.

We head back to Sierra Lodge in the mountains in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to Creel for shopping and sightseeing. On return, we visit at the remarkable new Loyola Museum of religious paintings near to Sierra Lodge or take a short hike to see cave paintings. Margaritas and live music before dinner.

March 21, Saturday.

An early start, then we drive four hours, with stops, directly to Chihuahua pausing in the plaza of the small town of Santa Isabel for a picnic lunch. We catch the 1:00 p.m. bus from Chihuahua, and drive back via Coyame over the mountains to Ojinaga, arriving around 4.00 p.m. We take a taxi back to Presidio to rejoin our cars. Expect to be back in Alpine around 8.00 pm. Our adventure in Copper Canyon is over.

Included in the price:

Seven breakfasts, six lunches, six dinners. Wine with many meals. Seven nights accommodation (sharing). Guide service the whole time in Batopilas. Tours as specified, with entrance fees. Tour escort for the whole trip. Transportation by train, taxi, minibus and public bus.

Not included:

Tips, insurance.

Price: $1,230 per person.

Single room supplement: $270. Deposit of $200 per person by January 15, 2009, balance of $1,030 by February 1, 2009. Cancellations may be made up to 02/01/09 without penalty. After September 1, the deposit is forfeit. After September 25, the whole amount is forfeit unless a replacement is found. Please make payments to Jim Glendinning, 904 N 11th Street, Alpine, TX 79830. I will then send details regarding tourist cards, insurance, what to bring/wear and souvenirs.


Email or phone Jim Glendinning for more information and space availability.            432.837.7320