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10 Day Copper Canyon: Mexico & Tucson with Chihuahua

10 days with Gate 1 Travel   Rating: First Class

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DAY 1, Saturday - 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, Sunday - Cross the Border into Mexico, Nuevo Casas Grandes
Depart early in the morning from Arizona and cross the border into Mexico, Bienvenidos! Stop for lunch en route. Drive through parts of the Chihuahua Desert, the largest in North America. Nuevo Casas Grandes, is home 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. Tonight, a festive Mexican-style reception followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3, Monday - Mata Ortiz Pottery, Chihuahua
Today visit the Pottery Village of Mata Ortiz. The entire pueblo of Mata Ortiz creates outstanding handmade, coiled pots or ollas, following centuries old methods along with contemporary works of art. Here, enjoy a demonstration of Mata Ortiz Pottery, one of the finest and most innovative ceramics in the world. The on-site galleries showcase the best in handmade Mata Ortiz pottery. After lunch depart for the City of Chihuahua, capital of the State, and pivotal in the history of both Mexican Independence and the Mexican Revolution. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 4, Tuesday - Chihuahua City Tour, Travel to Posadas Barrancas, Tarahumara Indians
Tour Chihuahua’s historic downtown this morning, visiting the Plaza de Armas, Palacio Municipal, and the home of Pancho Villa. After, depart for 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 5, Wednesday - 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 6, Thursday - Scenic Train Ride 
Time to relax this morning or explore the Canyon Rim on your own. After lunch, depart Posadas Barrancas aboard 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 rail line, an engineering marvel, took almost 100 years to build in this very difficult and rugged terrain. Descend into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains to El Fuerte, traveling from almost 7,500 feet to sea level, while passing through numerous tunnels and over spectacular soaring bridges with awe-inspiring views. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 7, Friday - El Fuerte City Tour, Los Alamos, San Carlos
A morning tour of El Fuerte before departing for Alamos, a designated National Monument. This charming city's cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings. After lunch, travel through the rich farmlands of Sonora, before arriving 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8, Saturday - Cruise on the Sea of Cortez, Pearl Farm 
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. After, 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. 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 at your Farewell Dinner, 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 9, Sunday - Ruins of Paquime, Cross the Border into United States
Today, an early morning departure traveling north, to cosmopolitan Hermosillo. View the lovely colonial Cathedral and the Government Palace, decorated with multicolored murals portraying the history of the Sonoran region. Continue through the Sonoran Desert with its long stretches of flat scrub and unusual organ-pipe cacti before you re-enter the USA through Nogales, Arizona. (Breakfast, Lunch)

DAY 10, Monday - Return Home 
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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
  • Discover the Archaeological Site of Paquime, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Demonstration of Mata Ortiz Pottery, one of the world's most innovative ceramics
  • Travel on an Aerial Tramway that descends over 4,500 feet into the Copper Canyon
  • Meet the Tarahumara Indians whose way of life has not changed in 1,000 years
  • A breathtaking "Train Ride In The Sky" takes you into the magnificent Copper
  • Travel to picturesque El Fuerte, the "Gateway to the Copper Canyon"
  • Stroll the streets of the colonial city of Alamos, a designated National Monument
  • Tour the Guaymas Pearl Farm, the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas
  • Scenic Private Boat cruise on the shimmering Sea of Cortez
Tucson: Four Points by Sheraton Tucson Airport
Nuevo Casas Grandes: Hotel Hacienda
Chihuahua: Wingate by Wyndham Chihuahua or Hotel Mirador
El Fuerte: Posada Del Hidalgo Hotel
San Carlos: Marinaterra Hotel & Spa or San Carlos Plaza Hotel Resort
  • Passport information for all passengers must be submitted before documents can be issued.
    Accommodation Details:
    Accommodations in San Carlos will be at the San Carlos Plaza Hotel Resort for the May 19, May 26, Sept 1, Sep 15, Sep 29, Oct 27, Nov 24, Dec 1 departures. 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.