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Barrancas del Cobre
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
 
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The region called Barranca del Cobre is located in the middle of the Sierra Madre in northern Mexico. The Barranca del Cobre is known as Copper Canyon. This canyon or gorge ("barranca") is part of a region covering 65,000 km2 (25,096 mi2). This region also contains the canyons of :

Name
Municipality
Depth(m/ft)
Point of view(m/ft)
Elevation of the river (m/ft)
Urique
Urique and Batopilas
1,870/6,135
2,370/7,776
500/1,640
Sinforosa
Guachochi and Batopilas
1,830/6,004
2,528/8,294
700/2,297
Batopilas
Batopilas
1,800/5,906
2,498/8,196
700/2,297
Candameña
Ocampo and Uruachi
1,640/5,381
2,540/8,333
900/2,953
Chinipas
Chinipas
1,600/5,249
1,998/6,555
400/1,312
Oteros
Maguarichi and Uruachi
1,520/4,987
2,220/7,284
700/2,297
Del Cobre
Bocoyna, Urique and Guachochi
1,300/4,265
2,300/7,546
1,000/3,280

Barranca del Cobre (photo taken while hiking last summer)

     



     Right picture : Barranca del Cobre (photo taken while hiking last        summer)

 

 

 

 

HISTORY

El Chihuahua-al-Pacifico

In 1861, Albert K.Owen imagined this unbelievable railroad track to link the southwestern part of the USA to the sea of Cortès. The goal was to reduce the cost of sea transport by reaching the Pacific by land. From 1875 to 1879, he proposed different projects to the Mexican government. He obtained the concession to build a railroad from Piedras Negras to Topolobampo, with an extension to Mazatlán, Presidio Alamos and Ojinaga. This is a 920 km (672 mi) railroad from Ojinaga to the Texas border. The rail line of “Kansas City Mexico Oriental Railroad Co.” was finished in 1914. The construction on the Mexican side started in 1902 but the Revolution delayed the work close to Chihuahua. According to the legend, Pancho Villa, first an outlaw, then a revolutionary and now a national hero, would have worked to build this railroad. In 1918, Ojinaga was finally linked to Chihuahua (at km 268). In 1930, it was possible to go to Creel.
septentrion river

In the course of time, world famous engineers and solid backers looked into the question of buiying a railroad and realized that the task would be difficult. The history of this railroad can be read like a chronicle of bankruptcy, like a novel whose personages are utopian dreamers, desperate private investors and break-neck engineers or mechanics. Everyone agreed that the Occidental Sierra Madre couldn’t be defeated; because of the average altitude, in this area being 2,300 m (7,546 ft) and a labyrinth of gorges reaching a depth of 1,700 m (7,557 ft) made the task impossible. It would take substancial funds and logistical effort to complete.

Left picture : septentrion river




In 1940, Mexico became the owner. It got all the rights of the lines operated on its territory by foreign companies; thirteen years later, after testing the existing superstructures, the Mexican engineers announced that they were ready to relaunch the company. It was in 1953; the "big challenge" started. No attempt was made, before, to build the section of railroad that crosses the West Sierra Madre on 110km (160 miles) from Creel to San Pedro in Sinaloa State.

The “difficult “task needed 8 years to be completed. It required 37 bridges, 86 tunnels and countless ramps hooked to the walls of the canyons. The new line reached Los Mochis located 25 km (16 mi) from the small harbor of Topolobampo by the Pacific. From Chihuahua to Los Mochis, there are 653 km (406 mi) and 920 km (672 mi) to Ojinaga.
"El Chepe"
On November 23rd, 1962, the line was inaugurated by President Alfonso López Mateos. The construction of the railroad lasted 90 years. It cost one billion of US dollars. The Mexican “ Express Orient" crosses 87 tunnels and 39 bridges (respectively 86 and 37 in 1961) and climbs to 2461 m (8074 ft) in a few hours.

     Right picture : "El Chepe"

Today, the Chihuahua-al-Pacifico, whose name was chosen in 1961, remains the most surprising railroad in the world. It is a legend.

On June 11th, 1987, Chihuahua-al-Pacifico became part of the national train system. In December 1997, it was privatized. It was back on operation in February 1998.

How to get there ?

approaching Los Mochis
Los Mochis airport is located 15 min from downtown between the Pacific and the city. The flight from Mexico City lasts 2 hours. The city has 250,000 inhabitants. It is very hot in summer.


Left picture : approaching Los Mochis

If you fly from Mexico City, you can take a low cost company (not every day) or Aeromexico on the morning. Then, you can ride a bus to El Fuerte (2hour trip and $70). The company Azules has a sale office in El Fuerte, opposite the Guerrero Hotel. There are buses every hour from 6 AM to 8:15 PM.
In El Fuerte, take the local bus opposite the hotel at 7:30 AM (1st class) and 8:30 AM (second class) to the train station ($10). When riding the train, if you leave from El Fuerte, you won’t have to get up so early compare to Los Mochis.


GEOGRAPHY

Barranca de Oteros The sceneries and climates of the Sierra can be very different depending on where you are : the plateau is located from 1,900 m to 2,300 m (6,234 to 7,546 ft) of altitude and the gorges ("barrancas") are a lot lower. Some of these gorges are ones of the highest in the North-American continent. The deepest one, the Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon), can reach a difference of altitude of 1,800 m (5,906 ft). The region is very green. It really contrasts with the deserts of Chihuahua, only a few hours away from Creel. There is water everywhere. There are many waterfalls. The most impressive, Basaseachi Waterfall is 246 m (807 ft) high. This natural park covers a 65,000 km2 (25,096 mi2) surface. It is 30 million year old and is one of the biggest canyon and gorge ensembles in the world.

      Right picture : Barranca de Oteros

Nice view of wild nature from the train

 

 

Left picture : Nice view of wild nature from the train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding "El Chepe" ... Che as Chihuahua and Pe as Pacifico...

locomotive of "El Chepe" with the Zócalo of Creel in the backgroundFollowing the advice of many tourist guides, we started our trip from the West. We flew from Mexico City to Los Mochis, and then took a bus to El Fuerte, located 80 km (50 mi) further. We didn’t regret this choice. Why ?

Left picture : locomotive of "El Chepe" with the Zócalo of Creel in the background

The most beautiful landscapes are between El Fuerte (80 km or 50 miles from Los Mochis) and Creel. If you leave early, you will enjoy the sceneries and the wild nature, turn after turn. If you leave Chihuahua on the morning, you will be there in the afternoon or evening; it will depend on how late the train will be (it is very often late). In summer, you often start the day with good weather and end it with clouds and storms. If you are at the best places on the morning, you will have more chances to get nice pictures.
The route Los Mochis-El Fuerte is flat, without any interest. Try also to get a seat on the right side of the train and try to stand by the doors with an open window on the top. However, it might be crowded !


Choices of classes :
1st class : train with air conditioning, restaurant, bar, customized service- daily train, departures at 6 AM.
Second class train: it leaves one hour after the first class train but not every day since January 2009. (It should be daily again sometime during this year). The fare is half price compared to first class. It is also more typical (there are more locals).....There is basic food on board. Your choice depends on your tastes and money. Both trains are clean. The second class train is an old first class train with an interesting atmosphere.
Daily in First class - 3 times a week in economy class

"El Chepe" Los Mochis-Chihuahua : Tuesdays/Fridays/Sundays - 6:00AM-09:35PM (second class).
Chihuahua-Los Mochis:Mondays/Thursdays/Saturdays - 6:00AM-09:30PM (second class).
Information and reservations : (614) 439 72 12 - 01 800 12 24 373, chepe@ferromex.com.mx or www.chepe.com.mx
Departures from Los Mochis at 6AM for first class and second class (same schedules and same rates from Chihuahua or from Los Mochis)
First class fares : Los Mochis-Creel (6AM-3:45PM) : $1251 - Los Mochis-Chihuahua – (6 AM-9:00 PM) : $2288.
Second class fares : Los Mochis-Creel (6AM-3:45PM) : $788 : Los Mochis-Chihuahua - (6 AM-9:35 PM) : $1442.
Fares updated January 2014

     Right picture : "El Chepe"


In order to help with your photos, we present the journey Los Mochis-Creel-Chihuahua by kilometers :

Map of the route posted in El Fuerte station
KM 920 : Departure of the train from Los Mochis – You will notice, all along the railroad, the different kilometers starting from KM 920 since the complete railroad from Los Mochis to Ojinaga is 920 km (572 mi) long. You will also notice the number of the tunnel on the right at each entrance. The train will go from altitude 20 m to 2,440 m (65 to 8,005 ft) in few hours.

KM 839 : Arriving in El Fuerte – Departure from El Fuerte after a 5 min stop. The train crosses palm groves, sugar cane, orange and watermelon fields.

 

Left picture : Map of the route posted in El Fuerte station

 



KM 779,5 : Crossing the longest bridge of the route (498.5 m or 1,635 ft long) over El Fuerte River. This bridge is called Aguacaliente (hot water).

El Fuerte on Aguacaliente Bridge

     

 

Left picture : El Fuerte on Aguacaliente Bridge

 

 

 

 

KM 754,6 : Tunnel n° 86 – 2,000 m (6,562 ft). It is totally dark. This “hole” pierced in the mountain is called "Tunnel of the thieves", probably because of the disreputable personages who often took this road. It is the last tunnel built.  
septentrion river


     


      Right picture : septentrion river





 

 

    


Chinipas bridge
KM 748
: Just out off Tunnel 83, you are fascinated by an abyss. You are like hanging several hundred meters above Chinipas River. Chinipas Bridge is the highest in the route. It is 102m (335 ft) high and 234m (768 ft) long.


KM 748-708 : The train climbs several hundred meters on a precipitous route, along Septentrion Canyon. The tunnels N° 72 and 82 are 238m (781 ft) long; the tunnels 71 and 78 are 177m (581 t) long; the tunnels 66 and 70 are 195m (640 ft) long.

 

Left picture : Chinipas bridge

 


KM 722 - Ornelas : there are many avocado, papaya and mango cultures.

Map of the route posted in El Fuerte station KM 719 : Banana Tree Waterfall; a banana tree grows in the middle of the waterfall.

KM 717-709 : Here are several tunnels (64-65-53-63-52-51-50); the longest is 349 m (1,145 t) long. At KM 710.8, there is Mina Plata Bridge (106 m or 348 ft).


KM 707,8 : Here is Santa Barbara Bridge (218 m or 715 ft) over Río Mina Plata, affluent of Río Septentrion.

200 meters (656 ft) further, you arrive to the village of Temoris at the altitude of 1,026m (3,366 ft). This is a mission founded by the Jesuits in 1677, called Sainte Marie-Madeleine of Temoris. The name "Temoris" comes from Indians who lived in this area. This is the place where the line was inaugurated by President Mateos in 1962.

     Right picture : Map of the route posted in El Fuerte station

The part of the route from KM 748, when arriving to Temoris, is really spectacular because of the many bridges and tunnels. The gorge is 1,600 m (5,250 ft) deep with the Septentrion River flowing through it.

Crossing Septentrion River and arriving to Temoris by train  KM 707,6 - 704,7 : The ride up after Temoris is very impressive because the railroad follows a two zigzag 180° turn in the mountain in two minutes... It is unbelievable !


KM 704,7 : The "Perla" is the name of a technical exploit : it is a 1,000m (3,281 ft) long tunnel. The scenery which is on your right when entering the horseshoe shaped tunnel is on your left when leaving it. Two minutes later, you can see three sections of zigzagging rail at the same time.


Left picture : Crossing Septentrion River and arriving to Temoris by train


KM 704 : There are Temoris Waterfalls; there is a commemorative sign telling that the construction teams of Chihuahua and Sinaloa met there in 1961.

 



*view during the crossing on the Septentrion riverFrom KM 703,2 to KM 692,6 : there are many bridges and tunnels not longer than 336m (1,102 ft).

 

      Right picture : view during the crossing on the Septentrion river

 

 

 

 

montée en zigzag depuis la gare de Temoris (5 minutes entre la photo précédente à gauche et celle-ci)

 

 

 

Left picture : zigzagging up from Temoris station (This photo was taken 5 minutes after the previous one)

 


Tablet- inauguration of the train in Temoris

     

 

 

 

 

      Right picture : Tablet- inauguration of the train in Temoris

 

 

 






View of Bahuichivo from the train
KM 668,7
: Bahuichivo Station. Here lies the entrance of the Tarahumara zone and, above all, the point of departure to go to Cerocahui (18km or 11 mi). It is believed that here the Italian Jesuit Juan Maria Salvatierra rang the bell of the church for the first time in 1681, to tell Huehueteotl, "the former Tarahumara God” that he had a Christian rival. In fact, the 40,000 Rarámuri ("the ones who run fast" in their language) integrated the Christ in their religion but they turned their back on civilization. Until now, they have been living in small groups, in caves, under cliffs. They grow peaches and apples in this valley.

     Left picture : View of Bahuichivo from the train

From Cerocahui, you can go on a dirt winding road to the gorgeous Urique Canyon. You will notice, for sure, the muddy waters of Urique River. The most beautiful view is from the top of Gallego Hill ("Cerro del Gallego"). There, the canyon reaches the record depth of 1,880 m (6,168 ft). It is fantastic again !


Bring good shoes because of the condition of the trail and also for your protection from animals including snakes. There are many species of birds living there.

It is not possible to go on this trail during the rainy season.

The abandoned silver mine shows the past. There was an intense activity in an inhospitable land where black bears, mountain lions, rattle snakes, wolves, ocelots and other rare species still survive.




KM 662,5 : Cuiteco is a small village only inhabited by Indians until the arrival of a mission lead by the Jesuit Salvatierra in 1684. The orchards on your right are growing a kind of wild apples which are the sweetest in the state.

KM 656,8 to KM 649 : there are many small tunnels.

KM 639,1 : The Bridge "Laja" is 212m (696 ft) long. You can take a nice photo on the right after the bridge.

KM 638,5 : The Tunnel n° 17, called "La Laja", is 461m (1512 ft) long.

San Rafael (photo taken from the train) KM 636,1 : In the village of San Rafael, you will experience a change of the train crew along with refilling of water and refueling.

 

 

     Right picture : San Rafael (photo taken from the train)

 

Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

 

 


 

Left picture : Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

 

Right picture : Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

 

 

 


     

 

 

 

 

Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

 


Left picture : Young Tarahumara children welcoming the train in San Rafael

From KM 635 to KM 533, you ride across a 100 km (62 mi) long forest. The train goes along the "roof" of the Sierra Madre at an altitude of 2,200 – 2,400 m (7,218-7,874 ft) to San Juanito.
During this journey, you will see the following points :

KM 626 : Posada Barrancas Station is where some tourists leave the train to stay at Mirador Hotel, dug in the rock. Tarahumara families live in the area.


Stop in El Divisadero KM 621,6 : Divisadero is a nice point of view of the canyons. There is a 20 min stop for you to discover what you already saw on post cards: Indian women selling craft and hot dishes and one of the most spectacular points of view on the gorges. The hotel Posada Barrancas, a few steps from the station, is built on the cliff and faces a gaping abyss flown over by vulture. A few steps from the station, there is a point of view of Urique Canyon, with Urique River flowing 1,200m (3,937 ft) down. The view is fantastic. You can rent horses at the hotel.

     Right picture : Stop in El Divisadero



You can hire local guides to ride horses on nice trails and do longer expeditions by mules in the gorges. You can go all the way to Urique and Batopilas.
If you have enough money, you can have a 15 minute helicopter ride for $850.


Posada Barrancas (hotel)

Left picture : Posada Barrancas (hotel)

 

 

Young Tarahumaras in El Divisadero Station

 


     

     


     Right picture : Young Tarahumara in El Divisadero Station

 

arrivée à El Divisadero




 

Since we found the 20 minute stop too short, we decided to go back by bus and walk the 1 km (0.6 mi) edge from the hotel. This is where Barranca Urique, Barranca del Cobre, Batopilas, Oteros, Sinforosa and Tararécua meet. Urique Canyon is 600km (373 mi) long and 250km (155 mi) wide. It is four time wider than the Grand Canyon of Colorado in the U.S.A. There is also a genuine craft zone.

     
      Left picture : arriving in El Divisadero

Barranca del Cobre

 

 

 

       Right picture : Barranca del Cobre

 

 

 

Canyon Tararecua

 

     

     Left picture : Canyon Tararecua

 

 

 

Posada Barrancas (hotel) in the background

KM 602,3 : Pitorreal

KM 585 : "El Lazo"or “The Loop” is a loop inside the mountain. It doubles back so tightly in its ascent that the train actually crosses under itself.When exiting the tunnel, you can see the entrance of the tunnel above your head –it is truly an engineering wonder!


    Right picture : Posada Barrancas (hotel) in the background



KM 583 : Los Ojitos (the highest point on the railroad) is at 2,461 m (8,074 ft) ! It is gorgeous when the sky is clear !

KM 564,1 : CREEL has 6,000 inhabitants. It is located 356.5 km (222 mi) by train from Los Mochis and 296.6 km (184 mi) from Chihuahua

gare de Creel At the beginning of the twentieth century :

The small forest center of Creel, located at 2,330 m (7,644 ft) of altitude, was created in 1907 on the slopes of the Sierra, on both sides of the railroad. It looked like a village of pioneers. For some time, it was the end of the line. The wood coming from all over the region was expedited from here to Chihuahua. At the beginning of the wood exploitation, you could see a lumberjack camp and stacks and stacks of brut pine lumbers waiting to be loaded. It was a real sight during the train stop. "Creel" was named after the son of the American Consul in Chihuahua in late nineteenth century. This man supervised the construction of the line between Chihuahua and the Sierra Madre. The village was named in 1907.





Now :

Arriving in Creel 2 hours lateCreel ("pueblo magico") has been converted in little Eldorado of Wild West for twenty years. The tourists come for two reasons: meeting with the Tarahumara communities and hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and even camping. You can rent jeeps, ATV, minibus and horses. It is not only the entrance to Copper Canyon but also one of the best places concerning the tourist structure (hotels, restaurants, departures of tours...etc).

     Right picture : Arriving in Creel 2 hours late

Creel is a recommended stop. It is better to arrive there on Saturday in order to attend the Tarahumara religious ceremonies on Sundays.

Arriving in Creel Station

 

 


Left picture : Arriving in Creel Station

 

 

 

 



Allow 3 or 4 full days to visit the region of Creel :

Go to Basaseachi via a dirt road. (135km or 84 miles further, towards North-West). There is one of the most important waterfalls in Mexico (246 m high). Batopilas, a mine village, is 140 km (87 mi) south-east and Guachochi (south-east too), an important Tarahumara center. Allow from 2 to 3 days round trip for these two villages. In Napuchi, at km164, turn right onto the dirt road to Batopilas or stay on the left and the tarmac to Guachochi. There is a gas station at the crossing.

view on the church of Batopilas If you turn right, you will go through splendid sceneries going from 2,300 m (7,546 ft) of altitude to 500m (1,640 ft), between pine forest hanging from the walls of ravines, breathtaking canyon and arid areas. On the way down, stop at the "Mirador de la Bufa", at 1,300 m (4,265 ft) of altitude,(at KM27) to look at Batopilas River. Before arriving at the village, you will see cultures of palm trees, lemons, oranges, banana, mango and avocados. You will go from a humid and cool climate to a tropical one. Batopilas was founded in 1709 after the discovering of silver mines. It is at 501m (1,644 ft) of altitude and has 1,500 inhabitants. Most of the houses date from the mining time. The bougainvilleas and palm trees add charm to this village. It is a 5 or 6 hour detour (tarmac + a 65km (40 mi) dirt road). You can take a local bus (5h/6h trip) or an ATV with a tour (a little bit shorter).

Another day, you can go to Guachochi via the road to admire different points of view including "Mirador de Sinforosa" (just after Guachochi via a trail), the Tonachi Waterfalls and the Jesuit Mission built in the eighteenth century. In this region, you can also visit the Agua Caliente Hot Springs and the crystal clear waters of "Pozas de la Esmeralda". It is difficult to visit the area without a local guide.

On the way back, via the trail leading to Norogachi, you can visit the church of Norogachi (1690). It is more interesting during Holy Week.

     Right picture : view on the church of Batopilas


There are very attractive natural marvels close to Creel accessible even by bike.

"Los Hongos" Arakero Tourist Complex : entrance fees : $15 a day :
In this valley of Arareko, there is a set of rock formations called "Los Hongos" (mushrooms), "Las Ranas" (frogs), "La Montura" (saddle) and "Las Chichis" (breasts). They were shaped by erosion. On our way to these rocks, we stopped at the Misión jesuita del Ignacio, little plain church where many Tarahumara celebrations are held, including the Easter festivities.

Many Tarahumara live in the region, some of them in caves that you can visit. You can also buy craft on the premises......Try to help them !

Left picture : "Los Hongos"




"Las Ranas" 7 km (4 mi) west from Arareko, there is a mysterious valley known under the name of Bisabirachi or the valley of the Monks. There is a set of 40 to 50 m (130 to 160 ft) high rock columns. You can ride a horse or a bike to visit this valley.

     Right picture : "Las Ranas"

Arakero Lake, 7 km (4 mi) from Creel on the road to Cusáraré, is another place to go. You can rent kayaks or pedalos. On your way to Recowata Hot Springs, you will have a nice view of the Canyon Tararécua.

The Hot Springs have a temperature of 37°C (98.6°F) but you have to deserve them: you reach them via a 600 m (1,969 ft) change in altitude trail.
So, you need good shoes and a good physical condition !

Young Tarahumaras by Arareko Lake

There are many tours organized from the hotels of Creel and the mini travel agency located on the main plaza (choice of minibus, ATV, bikes and horses).

 

Left picture : Young Tarahumara by Arareko Lake

 

 

 




Caves inhabited by Tarahumaras

 

 

      Right picture : Caves inhabited by Tarahumara

 


church of San Ignacio

 

 

 

 

     

Young Tarahumara by Arareko Lake

 

     
                Above picture : church of San Ignacio

          Right picture : Young Tarahumara by Arareko Lake

 

 

 

 

Another natural attraction is Cusáraré waterfall (30m or 98ft high) surrounded by pine and oak forests. You reach it via a15minute hike. All along the trail, you will find Tarahumara craft booths. You also can go down to the waterfalls to take a bath... Going down is pleasant but remember that you have to hike up back (allow 15 extra minutes). The village itself is worth the detour.

the church of Cusáraré The Misión jesuita was built in the middle of the eighteenth century on behalf of "Los Santos Cinco Señores de Cusáraré". The church is now dedicated to the "Virgen de Guadalupe". It is decorated with Indian paintings. Many celebrations are held there, in particular in December.

 




     Entrance at $15 for the committee for the conservation of "las Riquezas naturales".

     Photos : on left, Cusáraré waterfall, on right, the church of Cusáraré

You can go, 20 km (12 mi) south from Cusáraré, to Tejabán via an uneven road where you have an impressive view of the Copper Canyon. From there, you can ride a truck or a car to go on the edge of Río Urique. We didn’t have time to do it.




Downtown Creel, admire the House of Craft which is also a museum displaying Rarámuri art.
You will discover the history of the village as well as the history of the construction of the railroad. There is also a black and white photo exhibition by Gérard Tournebize with texts by Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) –It is open Mon-Sat 9 AM- 6 PM, Sunday 9 AM-3 PM; entrance fees : $10.
In 1936, French writer Antonin Arthaud came to Mexico to meet the Tarahumaras. He was fascinated by this meeting. He was initiated to the ritual of peyotl by the sorcerer. He also lived in this region with Tarahumara communities.


There is lodging in Basaseachi, Creel, Arareko, Cusáraré, El Tejaban, Batopilas, Divisadero, Cerocahui and Guachochi. Get information in Creel.


Second part of the journey by train :


KM 561,8 : Tunnel n° 4 (1,261m or 4,137 ft long). It is the second longest tunnel on the route.

KM 533 : San Juanito has an altitude of 2,439m (8,002 ft). It was established when the train arrived in 1906. It is the coldest place in Mexico (-20°C or -4°F).

KM 477 : San Pedro Bridge (36.6m or 120 ft)

KM 455,1 : López Mateos Station – place of maintenance of the rails (the train trip lasts 3 hours between Cuauhtémoc and Chihuahua).

KM 450-422 : The large apple cultures are protected with nets in spring and summer.

KM 400,5 : Cuauhtémoc is named after the last Aztec emperor – It is the place of a big production of apples. It is inhabited by the Mennonites who settle there for business – There are 90,000 inhabitants and the altitude is 2,100 m (6,890 ft).

KM 400 : Place of the Mennonites : 1,373 families emigrated from Canada in 1921-1922. They brought with them their pets, building materials and farm machinery. They first built many wells and then windmills. They are famous cheese producers and they exploit the many apple orchards of the region (this is the economic pillar of the region). The villages that you see from a distance are the "camps" where they live. There are about 120 camps with their own school and teacher.
It is possible to visit the Mennonite communities. They kind of speak Spanish and a basic German. They are about 15,000 in the State.


KM 382 : The Bustillos Lake on the left is a natural lake

KM 359,7 : "Viaduco Aldana"Bridge is 100m (328 ft) long.

KM 349,2 : San Andres was founded by the Franciscan missionaries in 1696. It was named after their Superior San Andres de Osagiqui. Pancho Villa got married in this church.

KM 319 : After crossing the main road, the train enters the village General Trías, founded by the Franciscan missionaries in 1668. It was then called "Santa Isabel de Tarahumaras". The village was renamed in 1932 to honor General Angel Trías. This General was the initiator of the expulsion of the French from Mexico City in 1862-1863.

KM 303,3 : Palomas

KM 267,5 : Chihuahua is the capital of the biggest state in Mexico. It has an altitude of 1,420m (4,659 ft) – This is a small modern station without any interest –There is a hotel and a youth hostel opposite the station (convenient if you arrive late or leave early).


See the chapter about the Capital

Young Tarahumara children

 

 

       Right picture : Young Tarahumara children

 

 

 


young child in El Divisadero

 

 

 

 

Left picture : young child in El Divisadero

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing canyons by train

 

 

      Right picture : Crossing canyons by train

 

view from "El Divisadero"

 

 

 

 

Left picture : view from "El Divisadero"

 

 

 

woman at the entrance of the cave where she lives

     

 

     

     Right picture : woman at the entrance of the cave where she lives

 

 

Young Indian girls in the streets of Creel

 

 

Left picture : Young Indian girls in the streets of Creel

 

 

 

 

 

Young Tarahumara children

 

 

 

         Right picture : Young Tarahumara children

 

 



        



      Below pictures : hotel "Posada Barranca" on the cliff of El Divisadero

hotel "Posada Barranca" on the cliff of El Divisadero

 

 

 

Young Tarahumaras in Arareko Tourist Complex (under "Las Ranas")


 

     




     Right picture : Young Tarahumaras in Arareko Tourist Complex      
     (under "Las Ranas")

 

 

 

 

 

 

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