Copper Canyon – the way back (east to west)

The Regional Train leaves Chihuahua at 06:00 and we were on it. Once settled in, luggage put away and seats located, we moved to the dinning car and enjoyed our pancakes or eggs (and chocolate cake?) as we watched the apple orchards zip past. We had about 7 hours until our stop in Posada Barrancas.

At about 2 pm we arrived in Posada Barrancas, a very small town located on the edge of the canyon. We were staying at the Mansion Tarahumara Hotel and they had a shuttle bus waiting for us at the train depot. Pay the extra for the upgrade to a canyon view room (unless you are afraid of heights) the view is stunning as the rooms are almost right on the cliff’s edge. Breakfast was included in the room price. You must reserve your lunch and dinner spots if you are eating at the hotel and all costs are charged to your room account.  There really is no other option nearby for meals. We were there for 2 dinners. There is no menu for dinner, everyone gets the same. The first night’s dinner was a salad, meatballs, noodles and a dessert. The second night we had chicken, vegetables, rice and a dessert. We paid 250 pesos/meal, drinks were extra.

The hotel looks like an old castle
View from the room
Sunrise from the room
One of the trinket vendors at the hotel
More Raramuri cave dwellings

Posada Barrancas is the home to Barrancas del Cobre Parque de Aventura. Or Copper Canyon’s Adventure Park. The reason we are here. http://www.parquebarrancas.com/

The adventure park offers walking trails, mountain bike trails, ATV trails, the worlds longest zip line, a 7-zip line/ 2 suspension bridge loop, and gondola ride from one side of the canyon to a peak in the middle along with a restaurant and lots of vendors with souvenir trinkets. The hotel has a shuttle service that takes you right to the park, it was about a ten minute drive and includes your entry fee for 130 pesos.

As a group, we spent 6 hours at the park arriving at 9 am, we called and had the shuttle pick us up at 3. All of us walked and took the gondola (2.7 km long) 3 of us did the 7-zip line/ 2 suspension bridge loop and 2 of us did the longest zip line.

Barb and I did the 7/2 loop. We were fitted with a harness, helmet and backpack in which we would carry the zipline equipment from line to line. Once equipped we were given a quick lesson in safety and braking in both Spanish and English and it was off to the first zip line. All of the lines cross some portion of the canyons and one is about 1000 meters above the canyon floor. Two of the ziplines were over a kilometre long, one of them they had us ride double. If you open your eyes the views are amazing. The suspension bridges also cross some deep ravines and yes, they swing and move but you use your zip line harness and are clipped into a safety cable. Some people moved very quickly across and some moved very slowly but everyone made it.

Ready to go
One of two suspension bridges
Just you, a cable and a long way to the canyon floor
The start of the long zip line is on the right, restaurant on the left
Preparing the next basket
Helping parents with the sales

All of us did lunch and most of us bought trinkets. Then back to the hotel for dinner and a Canasta card tournament amongst us. An awesome day was had by all.

The next morning, we went for a walk around the town prior to our departure on the train. We found the grocery store, the small ferreteria (hardware) store, gas station and the museum. I did mention the town was small right. The museum, that’s what it said on the sign, was closed but in our limited Spanish we were able to convince the neighbour to call the lady who runs the museum and she came and opened it up for us. It was less a museum and more a store with some cool stuff including fossils, gemstones, local art works and crafts. Some of the group were even exposed to an ancient blessing ritual which involved chanting, holding hands, water flung at them from a branch and being sprayed with some aerosol air freshener. Based on the bags that were carried out by members of our group I’d say it was worthwhile for the lady to come and open up the shop.

We were shuttled to the train station after lunch for the 1:50 train so there was time to kill at the station. The problem is its basically an open platform. What little covered area there was, was being used by the locals trying to sell trinkets. Normally this would not likely have been an issue. Today, however there was a cool wind blowing and it started to rain. Approximately 50 people are now trying to get themselves and their luggage into covered area maybe 10 feet wide and 30 feet long and mostly occupied by trinkets spread out on the floor. Everyone was happy when the train arrived as scheduled.

The group. The dog failed guard dog school miserably

This was our last day and a long haul. We were on the train from 2pm until our 9:45 arrival in Los Mochis. The trains are very comfortable with reclining seats and washrooms in each car. The ability to go to the dinning car for meals or just snacks breaks up the ride and it did not feel like 8 hours of just sitting. Upon arriving at Los Mochis 4 of us caught a cab back to our boats in Topolobampo. About a 20-minute ride. The other 6 caught a bus back to Mazatlan arriving at 5 in the morning. That must have felt like a long day.

It was a spectacular trip with scenery so different that what most think of when they think Mexico. We highly recommend a trip to the Copper Canyon, we enjoyed it very much!

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