Learn More About The Region
Before Your Copper Canyon Trip Begins
A: The Indians are correctly called The Raramuri. That is what they call themselves, so that is the name we encourage others to use as well. To learn more about them, just visit our Raramuri page.
A: In your final documents, you’ll find a plethora of information about the Chepe train, its inception, history and stops along the line. You’ll also be told what to expect for your particular situation but here is a brief overall introduction for all circumstances. You’ll also find more information on our Chepe Train page.
This is how the boarding process works on any Amigo Trails trip:
You will be sent your Chepe Train Tickets in your Final Documents email package after you’ve made your full payment. Your Chepe train tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and will come with each passenger name on each ticket for each leg of the train ride you are taking. Be sure to safe guard your tickets well as they are non-refundable if lost or stolen. Print out your train tickets and bring them with you to show to the conductor as you board the train.
A: Don't be ridiculous! Of course it is or we wouldn't be in business selling deluxe travel here, and we certainly wouldn't be living here ourselves. Amigo Trails is the only inbound, independent tour operator in the world with offices inside the Copper Canyon. This means that we live here 24/7, 365 days per year and know it best. This is also hopefully one of the main reasons that you are interested in booking a trip with us...because we are the only company in the world that truly knows the region and can give you the most in-depth and quality based trip possible.
If you prefer the hard numbers, then have a look below at these statistics to see how the rest of the world compares to Mexico. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Mexico sits at number 12 statistically for countries with the highest rates of overall crime, while the USA for example holds the number 1 position. If you look at per capita, Mexico falls even further to number 46, meaning that there are 45 countries out there, including the USA at number 22 with a higher overall crime rate than Mexico. If you prefer to compare country to country while looking at overall crime rates in general and prefer the most recent statistics from 2014, then you'll find Mexico ranked at 41 with many countries visited frequently by mass tourism with much more crime such as Namibia, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Haiti, El Salvador, Brazil and the American vacation haven of The Bahamas ranked at number 11. It is interesting to note that Mexico has been singled out to receive constant USA State Travel Warnings though many of these other countries with higher crime rates have not.
A: This will depend on where your trip is taking you exactly and what time of year it is. As general rule, if you are visiting both the Upper Sierra and the Lower Canyon Bottoms, then you should pack a variety of clothing and dress in layers. For example if you are starting your day in Creel in the upper sierra, but are heading for Batopilas at the bottom of Batopilas Canyon; put on a comfortable cotton t-shirt underneath, a lightweight linen shirt over that with perhaps a nice fleece pullover on top of that. This will get you through cool morning weather but allow you to take off layers throughout the day as it warms up or as you pass into another climate zone. If you are traveling during winter (Dec. through Feb.) you can also include a heavy coat onbtop of it all and even gloves and scarf to keep you warm on an overcast or snowy day in the upper sierra.
We find a panama hat or ball cap is excellent at keeping the hot sun off your face and neck. Visit our Weather Page to find more information.
We also recommend you check out the Accuweather website as you get closer to your trip dates.
A: We believe that tipping is a personal matter that should surpass country boundaries, employment positions and public opinion. Tipping is a way for you to get involved personally and to have a say about the service you received.
If you are pleased with your service and service provider, then you should give what you feel is an appropriate amount to express your satisfaction, based on your own personal perspective, whether it be $100USD (or pesos equivalent) or $1USD, or nothing at all. This is a personal decision that you must make based on your own beliefs and how you see the world and others in it.
However, if you feel you must have a guideline, then in your Final Documents package you’ll find we’ve attempted to give you a basic guideline for what may seem appropriate for various positions of service. Final Documents are sent out after your balance payment has been made.
A: While traveling in another country it is easy to become complacent, especially if the country in question has taken your currency from another country willingly in the past. However, do keep in mind that you will save money in the long run and look less like a tourist if you don’t run along forcing your dollars upon unsuspecting Mexican nationals. The Peso is the national currency here and should be the only form of money that you use while visiting Mexico.
The peso fluctuates daily and can be at a completely different rate in the evening than where you found it in the morning. I’ve found that it is best to buy pesos once you are inside Mexico as the Mexican banks keep up with the fluctuation better than the international ones such as in your home town. Even from bank to bank in Mexico, you’ll find a several points difference at times as they struggle to keep current. So, long and short of it is, if you MUST purchase some pesos before you leave in order to feel more comfortable, do so at your bank but don’t convert a ton of money. Convert maybe $50USD or so to tide you over until you can hit an interior bank in Mexico. You’ll find ATM’s almost everywhere, except the most rural towns and those ATM’s will give you pesos when you use your foreign cards in them. I’ve also found that is a good idea to keep about $3,000 pesos on me at any time just in case I come to a town where the ATM machine is out of order, or is nowhere to be found. Some travelers will prefer to have more on them in case they wish to add in a flight over the canyon or some other optional activity along the way.
A: The Magic Town or 'Pueblo Magico' is an initiative led by Mexico's Secretariat of Tourism (SECTUR), in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, to promote a series of towns around the country that offer visitors a "magical" experience – by reason of their natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. The Mexico Tourism Board acknowledges that México´s magical element, and not only its sun and beaches, is what keeps many tourists coming back. Thus, they created the 'Pueblos Mágicos' program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique and historically significant.
The Copper Canyon region includes 3 Magic Towns; Creel & Batopilas, both in Chihuahua State (a third Magic Town in Chihuahua State is Casas Grandes - not in the Copper Canyon), and El Fuerte in Sinaloa State. Though El Fuerte is not part of the Copper Canyon itself, it is the start of the train line and where all our Copper Canyon trips begin.
To see all Magic Towns in Mexico, just follow this link.
A: No, not in this region. Even in the bottoms of the canyons where it is sub-tropical, mosquitoes are really not a problem, though it is good to have a bug repellent on hand, as a rule, though you may not need it.
In El Fuerte, Sinaloa, there is a problem with a bug called a 'no see-um', which is a very tiny flying insect that they can't seem to get rid of. They do not bite everyone, but those they do bite are left with mosquito like swellings around the bite. We recommend that you arrive to El Fuerte with repellent already applied, because if you are one of the unlucky ones that they are attracted to (we do not know what attracts them exactly), then they will find you quickly. Once you are out of El Fuerte, you are pretty much out of bug range.
In the upper sierra such as Creel, Divisadero and Cerocahui, we do not have those sorts of bugs due to the altitude.
A: Yes, all hotels we use on our trip packages provide hairdryers, with the exception of the Batopilas hotel.
The Batopilas hotels are quite rural so therefore do not provide hair dryers as standard like most hotels do.
The hotels in Batopilas also do not generally use 3 pronged outlets, nor polarized outlets as a rule so if you need to bring a hairdryer with you, do be sure you have a non-polarized 2 prong hairdryer, or bring an adapter for it.
A: The hotels we use in Creel and in Chihuahua do provide microwaves and mini fridges. The others do not.
We use a variety of specialty hotels in order to give you an immersive and well rounded experience. Each hotel is quite different from the next, and all are very comfortable and add extra value to your trip experience.
Have a look at our Accommodations page to see all the hotels we have hand-picked for your comfort on our trips.
A: No, there are many places on your trip that may not have cell or internet coverage. As the train travels through Septentrion Canyon, there will be lots of places without coverage. As you travel throughout the canyons by private vehicle, you will also experience many places that do not have coverage. You will be without cell phone and internet service, both, in the old silver mining village of Batopilas and on the way down there.
You can count on coverage only in the towns in the upper sierra, but even those places may only have sketchy services as this area is still very rural and coverage is not always sufficient for the large numbers of people who visit this region and the few towers and connections that provide signal.
This however is a good thing as you really should be relaxing on your trip and being forced to unplug for a few days may be just what the doctor ordered for your own best interest. So sit back, try to relax and remember what it was like to be free and untethered on your Copper Canyon trip.