"Semana Santa (Easter) in the Copper Canyon"
The traditional Raramuri battle of Good vs. Evil
April 14-23, 2019
* Roundtrip, first-class passage on Chihuahua al Pacifico train, to see the best part of the rail scenery--twice!
* Viewing of the traditional Raramuri (Tarahumara) Easter Ceremonies at Guadalupe Coronado--they are unforgettable!
* Two nights on the canyon rim at Areponapuchic (close to Divisadero)
* A full-day visit to cultural and historical sites around Creel, including the Cusarare Waterfall, the Loyola Museum, Lake Arareko and the Mission San Ignacio
* The overlook at Cerro Gallegos, considered by many the best vantage point in the Copper Canyon, and the descent to the bottom of the Urique Canyon, deeper than the Grand.
* The village of Cerocahui, featuring the mission church and the Raramuri (aka Tarahumara) boarding school
* Time at the "Copper Canyon Adventure Park" (if desired)
* Three nights in Colonial El Fuerte, including the Fuerte River float and the exclusive CCA Riverside Lunch
* Available either fully guided or as an independent journey
Your Copper Canyon Adventures
Semana Santa (Easter) Custom Itinerary
The Traditional Raramuri battle of Good vs. Evil
Day 1: Arrive to Los Mochis (airport code LMM)
You will be met at the airport in Los Mochis by a representative of CCA and driven to colonial El Fuerte, about 1 1⁄2 hours away. There you will settle in at the Hotel Mansion El Serrano, a lovely hotel very close to the central plaza. Welcome!
Overnight (ON) @ Hotel Mansion El Serrano. (or equivalent)
Meals included: None
Day 2: Float on Fuerte River with our exclusive riverside Lunch
After breakfast, you will take a river trip with wonderful bird watching opportunities and a short hike to the "Cerro de la Mascara" (Mask Hill), a little-known petroglyph site featuring carvings anywhere from 800-2000 years old-their exact age is unknown. Little else is known about these carvings, but they are incredibly interesting and thought provoking. The exclusive Copper Canyon Adventures riverside lunch on the Fuerte River will be a special treat, combining great nature watching and a chance to examine the flora and fauna on the Fuerte River at Ocolomito with traditional cuisine served in a scenic riverside setting.
Your hosts will be Martha and Jose Luis Pina Acuna, two of the nicest people
you will ever meet, and some of the finest cooks, too! We are sure meeting
Jose Luis and Martha will be one of the many highlights of your CCA trip.
The family will be cooking and serving their delicious BBQ lunch, the mainstay of the Mexican “Domingo Familiar” or Sunday Family gathering.
This will be a great afternoon for naturalists, followed by a walking culture and history tour of colonial El Fuerte—450 and counting years young!
Don’t forget to visit the plaza tonight—it is the place to see and be seen in traditional Mexican society!
ON@ Hotel Mansion Serrano
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch (BL)
Day 3: The world-famous Chihuahua al Pacifico train - Areponapuchi
First-class train to Posada Barrancas, featuring the most spectacular portion of the train ride, including the Septentrion Gorge and the loops at Temoris. Enjoy some of the best rail scenery in the world right outside your window. On arrival, transfer to the Hotel Mansion Tarahumara, right on the canyon rim for great walks and exploration.
ON @ Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – Rim Rooms
Meals included: BD (lunch available for purchase on the train)
Day 4: Full Day around Creel – return to hotel
Today you enjoy a full-day tour of Creel and its surrounding historical, cultural and natural sites. Some of the areas you can visit today include the Tarahumara (Raramuri) Museum, Raramuri cave dwellings, lovely Lake Arareko, Cusarare Waterfall, and the historic San Ignacio Mission, one of the oldest in the Sierra, and home to a wonderful museum of religious art. If you like, you can also visit the Tarahumara Childrens Hospital and see the good work being done there.
ON @ Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – Rim Rooms
Meals included: BLD
Day 5: Three Canyons vehicle excursion – train to Cerocahui
AM: This morning you enjoy great vistas at the Copper Canyon Adventure Park, of three canyons-Urique, Copper and Tararecua-from overlooks at "Piedra Volada" (Flying Rock), with its spectacular overlook and moving stone, and Divisadero, an amazing overlook, the halfway point of the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad, and home to an open-air Raramuri Indian artisan's market.
At the Copper Canyon Adventure Park you can take a tram ride for a bird’s eye view of the canyon and the river below (on your own for about $25 round trip).
If you prefer more adventure, the park also has the second longest zip-line in the world. In this half-day excursion you will traverse several side canyons in 7 stations and walk over 2 swinging bridges. With the longest of the lines over a kilometer long with a depth of over 1000 feet, you are sure to never forget this trip! Of course, you are in good hands with specially trained adventure guides and state of the art equipment. (on your own for about $60 including the tram return).
Longest zipline in the world, the new “Zip-Rider” is a thrilling zipline, which enables people who don’t want to take the time nor the energy for the 7 stations, to still get a birds eye view of the canyon. You are harnessed into a special seat where you sit overlooking the canyon on a 2,545 meters (8,350 feet) long zipline, lasting 2 minutes and 20 seconds. You reach the velocity of at least 104Km/Hour (64 miles/Hour), the incline is 17% with a descent of 450 meters (1476 feet). At the end you walk up a short distance to take the tram airway back. You will experience thrill and an amazing panoramic view of the canyons. (on your own for $50, including the tram return)
In addition, there is the “Via Ferrata”, an obstacle course with rappelling, rock climbing and horizontal traverses that is an amazing test of outdoor skill, once again with the latest in safety equipment. (on your own for $45)
PM: This afternoon, you will take the first-class train to Bahuichivo. Once there, you will stay at the Hotel San Isidrio Lodge, located in a lovely mountain valley in the Cerocahui region.
After setting in at the hotel, there will be time for a short hike in the afternoon, to help you get to know the local area.
ON @ Hotel San Isidrio Lodge
Meals included: BD
Day 6: Good Friday – to the bottom of the Urique Canyon and Guadalupe Coronado for the Raramuri Easter Ceremonies
Today you will take a drive to Cerro Gallegos, generally considered one of the best overlooks in the Copper Canyon, on your way down to the bottom of the Urique Canyon--even deeper than the Grand Canyon. The views, and the drive, are amazing!
Your final destination today is Guadalupe Coronado, home to an old Catholic mission church, and the site of some of the most authentic Semana Santa celebrations in the Sierra. Painted devils rage against the forces of good in an all night spectacle of sight and sound. Unforgettable!
ON @ Camping - Meals included: BLD
Day 7: Holy Saturday/In Guadalupe Coronado for the climax of the ceremonies
The ceremonies conclude today with ceremonial wresting, the burning of the Judas effigy and the cleansing of the devils (symbolizing the victory of good over evil).
This afternoon we will return to the lodge, and also have a chance to see very different pre-Easter ceremonies in the village of Cerocahui. Although still infused with Raramuri spirituality, these ceremonies are more fully Catholic in nature—but nonetheless unique to the Raramuri.
ON@ San Isidrio Lodge.
Meals included: BLD
Day 8: Easter Sunday/Ceremonies in Cerocahui
If you wish, complete the Semana Santa experience with Easter mass at the beautiful church in Cerocahui. Construction of the gold-domed church at Cerocahui began shortly after the arrival of the Jesuits in 1679, but after the order was expelled by the Spanish King in 1767, the church fell into disrepair and ruinIt was not until 1939 that rebuilding of the church began, and it now is one of the most dramatic churches in the Copper Canyon region. The stained glass there is particularly interesting, as it has an unusual Asian connection that your guide will explain to you.
The balance of the day is free for hiking and further exploring the area with your guide.
ON @ San Isidrio Lodge
Meals included: BLD
Day 9: Free morning - train to El Fuerte
AM: Free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, with time after to perhaps hike up nearby rock formations.
PM: First-class train to El Fuerte. The timing of your return trip should provide some great photo opportunities, as you will be seeing the most dramatic part of the trip in the late-afternoon sun.
On arrival, transfer to the Hotel Mansion Serrano, your home away from home in the Copper Canyon.
ON @ Hotel Mansion Serrano
Meals included: BL
Day 10: Depart El Fuerte
Transfer to Los Mochis airport and departure.
Meals included: B
Thanks for experiencing Semana Santa with us!
Trip price includes:
The services of a professional, bilingual trip guide,
Round-trip first-class travel on the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad, considered one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world,
Most meals, as noted, including the exclusive CCA Riverside lunch
Copper Canyon Adventure Park entrance ticket
All excursions: (including the Fuerte River trip to the Cerro de la Mascara petroglyphs, the walking tour of the Colonial town of El Fuerte, the full-day exploration around Creel, the Three Canyons vehicle excursion on the canyon rim, one night camping amidst the Semana Santa festivities in Guadalupe Coronado, including exploring Urique, and a tour of Cerocahui.)
All train station/hotel transfers upon your arrival in Los Mochis,
A detailed trip information package with maps and supporting documentation.
Trip Price (based on 4 adults traveling for 10 days): all prices are in US Dollars (arriving and departing on the same flight)
Accompanied by a personal bilingual guide throughout the trip:
$1995 per person, double occupancy
based on 6 adults in the final group (four have already signed up)
$1825 per person, double occupancy
based on 8 adults in the final group (four have already signed up) (Maximum group size)
$1725 per person, double occupancy
Not included in trip price:
Transportation to and from Los Mochis, where the trip begins and ends (but we can help you with airfare tips)
Tips for trip guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc (these can be added in for your convenience, if desired)
Optional activities in Copper Canyon Adventure Park: tram, zip-line or via ferrata.
Personal purchases such as souvenirs, handicrafts, snacks and alcoholic beverages.
Mexico tourist card ($23 per person added into the price of your commercial airline ticket).