This town is in the heart of the Copper Canyon and was named after the ex-governor, Enrique C. Creel in 1907, the year that the railroad from Kansas City to Mexico and the Orient made it to this area. You can see a bust of Creel in the main plaza. The original name, given by the Raramuri, was Segorachi. There is a fantastic view of the town at the Cristo Rey mirador on the hill that you can get to by walking from downtown and you’ll find an interesting church with neogothic type structures just off the main plaza.
The Post Office and Police Station on in the Municipal Building across from the main plaza and there are lots of little restaurants everwhere, including a Pizza del Rey with balcony overlooking the plaza and a wood fired oven pizzeria in front of the Best Western Hotel at the end of the main street Lopez Mateos.
Creel is a fantastic place to hang around in for a day or two as there is much to see in the area such as Valley of the Mushrooms, Frogs and Monks, Lake Arareko, Cusarare area, Recowata Hot Springs, Rukiraso Waterfall and Divisadero. All these places are within 45 minutes or less of Creel and they can all be visited by walking, horseback riding, renting a scooter, bike or ATV or by taking a day tour from The 3 Amigos on the main street in Creel.
To have a look at the accomodation you can choose from in Creel, on any Amigo Trails trip, just follow that link above. One should always plan at least one full day in Creel, if not a few more, depending on what you wish to accomplish while here. Horseback riding is available as well as scooter and bike rentals that you can enjoy on any Amigo Trails tour if you just ask us to be sure to include time for those activities when building your trip.
When we build your Copper Canyon vacation package, we’ll add in as many sights and stops as possible in order to logistically maximize your vacation time. Creel is always included on just about any Customized Trip that we build as there is so much one can do in the general vicinity and it is very lovely.
San Ignacio, located only 3 kms outside of town, this area is host to the rock formations of the Mushrooms, Frogs and Monks, as well as Lake Arareko. You can see all of this area by walking, biking or taking a scooter around the dirt roads that encircle the area. The whole trip through this area is only about 22 kms. San Ignacio Mission is here and although it is usually locked these days, the area in itself is very nice to visit. A small entrance fee must be paid directly to the Indians to cross onto their land if you come by day tour, bike or scooter. All Amigo Trails day tours to this area will include the entrance fee.
Lake Arareko – This lake is man-made and was originally intended to be the reservoir for Creel. Its name, Arareko, means “horseshoe” in Raramuri. You can rent row boats here or the more popular Paddle Boats and fishing here for Black Bass is a local favorite.
The Lake is located just 8kms from Creel, either down the main highway or by the back roads through the Valleys Area. It is wonderful to explore the entire Valley’s Area by renting a bike from The 3 Amigos or if you prefer easier and faster mobility, then you can rent a scooter instead. Either way, cruising around the area on the back roads makes for a lovely day where you can see the Indians up close as they wash their clothing, tend their goats or you can see them just walking down the road.
There are now public bathrooms at the Lake and you’ll find various BBQ pits around it too. The locals love to come here on the weekends to cook out, swim and fish. It is traditional to bring enough food to give away some of it to the passing Raramuri Indians who may ask for something to eat so bring a bit more than you may need if you plan to barbecue. A small entrance fee must be paid directly to the Indians to cross onto their land if you come by day tour, bike, scooter or ATV. All Amigo Trails day tours to this area will include the entrance fee.
Valley of the Monks – The name in the Raramuri Indian language is “Bisabirachi”, which means “valley of the erect penises”. The locals have renamed it Valley of the Monks to be a bit more politically correct. This valley is amazing, as the name suggests, it is filled with enormous and tall rock spires that are truly fascinating to look upon. It is located just 8kms from Creel down the back road. A small entrance fee must be paid directly to the Indians to cross onto their land if you come by day tour, bike, scooter or ATV. All Amigo Trails day tours to this area will include the entrance fee.
Valley of the Mushrooms and Frogs – Located just next to the San Ignacio Mission, this area is aptly named after the rock formations that look surprisingly like mushrooms and frogs. You can get here by walking, biking or vehicle tour. It is only about 4 kms from Creel. A small entrance fee must be paid directly to the Indians to cross onto their land if you come by day tour, bike, scooter or ATV. All Amigo Trails day tours to this area will include the entrance fee.
Recowata Hot Springs – This very popular hot springs is just 22 km from Creel. It sits at the bottom of a small canyon called Tararecua and can be reached by a tour via The 3 Amigos. You can also rent a bike if you like but the last 3 kms are straight down a switchback, cobblestone road that is really rough to ride. There are 7 concrete pools and it is the closest hot spring that is easily accessible to Creel. The water temperature is around 98 degrees year around so it isn’t terribly hot but it is nice in the spring and summer. You can walk down the switchback road to the bottom in about an hour and a half, or you can also take some of the trails if you prefer, cutting off a bit of time as you go but they are steep with lots of scree so do be careful.
The Raramuri Indians were given 10 Polaris type vehicles to drive people up and down the 3kms switchback, cobblestone road. The vehicles hold 5 passengers with seatbelts and a space in the back for ice chests, and gear. The cost to ride up or down is $60 pesos per person. Usually, if you want to go down with the vehicle, they will load in as many people as possible, well beyond the 5 passenger limit, but coming up is different as you can request a ride up at any time and if you are the only ones going, then you have the vehicle to yourself. It is WELL worth the cost of the $60 pesos to ride back up as you’ll be tired and the driver will stop and point out a few interesting rock formations as you go along. We recommend hiking down and riding up. Be sure to take the $60 pesos per person with you down to the bottom of the springs as you have to buy your transfer return ticket down there. A small entrance fee must be paid directly to the Indians to cross onto their land if you come by day tour, bike, scooter or ATV. All Amigo Trails day tours to this area will include the entrance fee.
Hiking/Biking Trails – you’ll find lots of hiking and biking trails all over the surrounding Creel mountains. The La Onza Inernational Bike Race is held here once per year in the summer so finding biking trails is not difficult. There are trails that are simple and easy to both walk and bike, and others that are difficult and slippery for the more advanced bike rider looking for thrills.