States: Sinaloa & Chihuahua, Mexico
Location: Copper Canyon - Northwestern Mexico
First Service: November 22, 1961
Distance Travelled: 415 Miles / 668 Kilometers
37 Bridges & 86 Tunnels
Total Time Travelled: Approximately 16 Hours
Peak Altitude: 2,400 Meters - 7,900 Feet
Snaking through the powerful mystique of six colossal, interconnected canyons is a phenomenal feat of engineering, fondly called the El Chepe train route. This 653 KM (405 Miles) scenic stretch takes 16 hours to travel in entirety, but the real adventure begins once one steps off the train platform and into the mysterious lands of the indigenous Raramuri peoples.
Construction of the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railway line began in 1898, but was abandoned due to landscape challenges vs the technological advances of that era. In 1953, construction was renewed and by 1961, the railroad was complete. Scaling the Sierra Tarahumara to an altitude of nearly 8000 feet at Posada Barrancas, and through a diversity of ecosystems, this railroad crosses over 36 bridges and through 87 tunnels. Today, there are two El Chepe Trains operating on this route – the El Chepe Regional, and the El Chepe Express.
Though most only come through the canyons for a few days, we highly recommend spending at least a week here. Maximize your experience here with a two week itinerary that will allow you a chance to full explore the canyons, whilst experiencing the local culture and learning about the Raramuri peoples.
We organize tours through the Copper Canyon for couples and small groups. Please contact us for more information on custom-designing your stay.