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10 Day Copper Canyon: Mexico & Tucson (Tuesday Departure)

10 days with Gate 1 Travel   Rating: First Class

Click for Dates and Prices DAY 1, Tuesday - Arrive in Tucson
Arrive in Tucson. Tonight, an orientation by your Tour Manager introduces you to the exciting journey that awaits you in Mexico. After a Welcome Drink with your fellow travelers, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 pm on the day of arrival. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 5 pm on Day 1 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible.

DAY 2, Wednesday - Cross the Border into Mexico, San Carlos
Depart early in the morning from Arizona and cross the border at Nogales into Mexico. Traveling south, a drive through the long stretches of flat scrub in the arid Sonoran Desert with its unusual organ-pipe cacti. Linger in the small town of Santa Ana, highlighted by a beautiful church built in the early 1900s. Enjoy your first Mexican lunch before traveling on to cosmopolitan Hermosillo. View the lovely colonial Cathedral and the Government Palace, decorated with multicolored murals portraying the history of the Sonoran region. Arrive in San Carlos, a fishing village, and resort community perched on the Sea of Cortez, known for its crystal-clear warm waters and beautiful sunsets. Tonight, a festive Mexican-style reception followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3, Thursday - Cruise on the Sea of Cortez
Board a private boat this morning for a scenic cruise on the shimmering Sea of Cortez; a highlight of the day! Conditions permitting, you may see turtles, pelicans, dolphins, or even sea lions. Afterwards, continue to Mirador, a popular viewpoint over the Gulf of California where you can view the beautiful terrain of the region. Return to the hotel for lunch. The afternoon is yours to relax at the pool, suntan on the beach, or shop to your heart's content. This evening, enjoy a night of traditional Mexican cuisine and entertainment at a local restaurant. Savor a three-course meal before being treated to live music. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4, Friday - Cultured Pearl Farm, Colonial City of Alamos
Today, a fascinating tour of the Guaymas Pearl Farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas, and an ongoing research facility of pearl producing oysters. Here learn about the specialized art of pearl oyster farming, grading, and quality selection. Then, an opportunity to view the finished products of pearls in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Next, travel through the rich farmlands of the Sierra Madre mountains to the quaint old silver town of Alamos. This charming city's cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings. Dinner tonight is highlighted by a music and dance cultural presentation by costumed performers. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 5, Saturday - Walking Tour in Los Alamos, El Fuerte - Gateway to the Copper Canyon
A morning stroll in the streets of Los Alamos with a local guide who introduces you to the history of this colonial city, a designated National Monument. Its elaborate mansions, restored to their original glory, date back to a bygone era when the silver mines here were among the richest in the world. After lunch, journey into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains to picturesque El Fuerte, often referred to as the "Gateway to the Copper Canyon". The afternoon is at leisure to explore this beautiful small city with its attractive central plaza studded with palm trees. In the evening, a performance of traditional folk and native dances followed by a dinner of local favorites. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 6, Sunday - Train Ride into Copper Canyon, Tarahumara Indians, Posadas Barrancas
In the early morning, board a railcar and begin the astonishing journey on the Chihuahua al Pacífico railroad, considered one of the most dramatic railway journeys in the Western Hemisphere. The "train ride in the sky" takes you into the Copper Canyon, four times the size of the Grand Canyon. The rail line, an engineering marvel, took almost 100 years to build in this very difficult and rugged terrain. Ascend from sea level to almost 7,500 feet, passing through numerous tunnels and over spectacular soaring bridges with awe-inspiring views. Arrive in Posada Barrancas, on the rim of the Copper Canyon, your home for the next two days. In the afternoon, meet the reclusive Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe, whose way of life has changed little in over a thousand years; their ancestors lived for generations in the canyon's caves. Learn about their natural remedies from a local medicine woman and view the tribe's unique baskets and striking crafts. Dinner together at the hotel. (
Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 7, Monday - Aerial Tram into the Copper Canyon
Join the interesting discussion this morning on the interpretation of the unique Tarahumara Indian arts and crafts with a local expert. Then, get ready for your visit to the rim of the Copper Canyon. Embark on an aerial tramway that takes you across the canyon, descending almost 4,500 feet into the center to experience its grandeur; a truly breathtaking experience. The rest of the day is spent exploring this dramatic area, one of the greatest undiscovered natural treasures of North America. Hear about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as the Copper Canyon or Barrancas del Cobre. Share stories of today's fabulous adventure tonight at dinner. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8, Tuesday - Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz Pottery Demonstration
Depart Posadas Barrancas. Stop for lunch en route, before departing for the remote city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. Here, enjoy the afternoon demonstration of Mata Ortiz Pottery, one of the finest and most innovative ceramics in the world. The entire pueblo of Mata Ortiz creates outstanding handmade, coiled pots or ollas, following centuries old methods along with contemporary works of art. The on-site gallery showcases the best in handmade Mata Ortiz pottery. Farewell Dinner in Nuevo Casas Grandes on your last night in Mexico with your newfound friends and Tour Manager. (
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9, Wednesday - Ruins of Paquime, Cross the Border into USA
Today, an early morning departure for a visit to Mexico's famous archaeological site of Paquime, undoubtedly the most important ruins in Northern Mexico, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the 14th to 15th centuries, the city was a major trading center, before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. View the maze-like adobe remnants and the ceremonial mounds in a broad valley with panoramas to distant mountains. Walk by the House of the Cross, believed to be a temple and observatory, and the House of the Serpent, where animals were raised. The site's impressive Museo de las Culturas del Norte displays important relics that tell the story of Paquime. Drive through parts of the Chihuahua Desert, the largest in North America. Your adventure in Mexico ends with lunch in Agua Prieta before you re-enter the USA through Douglas, Arizona. (
Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 10, Thursday - Return Home 
Depart Tuscon for your return flight home. (
All This Included
  • 9 nights accommodations
  • Hotel porterage
  • 23 meals: 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of English-speaking local guides
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Scenic Private Boat cruise on the shimmering Sea of Cortez
  • Tour the Guaymas Pearl Farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas
  • Stroll the streets of the colonial city of Alamos, a designated National Monument
  • Travel to picturesque El Fuerte, the "Gateway to the Copper Canyon"
  • A breathtaking "Train Ride In The Sky" takes you into the magnificent Copper
  • Canyon
  • Meet the Tarahumara Indians whose way of life has not changed in 1,000 years
  • Travel on an Aerial Tramway that descends over 4,500 feet into the Copper Canyon
  • Demonstration of Mata Ortiz Pottery, one of the world's most innovative ceramics
  • Discover the Archaeological Site of Paquime, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tucson: Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport
San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas: Marinaterra Hotel & Spa
Alamos: Casa de Los Tesoros, La Mansión or Casa Encantada
El Fuerte, Sinaloa: Posada Del Hidalgo Hotel or Hotel Torres del Fuerte
Estacion Posada Barrancas: Hotel Mirador
Nuevo Casas Grandes: Hotel Hacienda
  • Passport information for all passengers must be submitted before documents can be issued.
  • Accommodations in Alamos will be in either Casa de los Tesoros, La Mansion or Casa Encantada.
  • Triple rooms consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway.
  • This active program, includes long drives, covering a good amount of ground each day. In return, you will be rewarded with frequent stops at fascinating sites. Expect up to four hours walking on some touring days. A few early wake-ups as well as two long bus rides (transit to and from Mexico) are necessary to cover the territory. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. The altitude throughout the program varies and may be a consideration for those who have heart conditions or are otherwise affected by height.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Gate 1 Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.