The Copper Canyon Semana Santa Trek operates during Holy Week, offering a once in a year opportunity to discover the customs, rituals and history of the Taraumara indigenous people, Raramuris.
This unique 10 day trip is operated during the amazing Semana Santa Holy Week. Discover remote Tarahumara villages and experience the preparation and culmination of the processions, dances, and rituals that mark this incredible amalgam of native Raramuri (what the Tarahumara indigenous people refer to themselves as) creation myth and Catholic tradition in the High and Low Sierra Tarahumara. Visits to logging outposts, frontier mining towns, and colonial cities are peppered with nights in traditional Tarahumara villages and rancherias. Our rugged hike culminates in the town of Munerachi on the walls of the Batopilas Canyon, where we will participate in the most intense night of celebration in one of the most traditional Tarahumara villages.
Chihuahua al Pacifico – Enjoy a first class train trip through the Sierra Madre Mountains
High Sierra – Explore these beautiful mountains by hiking through canyons and visiting several different villages
Batopilas – Visit the Batopilas area and find out why the “Lost Cathedral” of Satevo is still a mystery
Day 1: Arrival to Los Mochis and El Fuerte
Transfer to the charming colonial gateway to the Copper Canyon, El Fuerte. Check in to our beautiful historic lodge and then roam the cobble stone streets for a taste of old Mexico. Relax and wander this quaint and historical city. Meet your guide at 6:00 PM in hotel lobby for dinner and details on next day’s departure.
Day 2: Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad to Creel and Cusarare
All aboard the world famous Chihuahua al Pacifico train trip into the Sierra Madre Mountains. This comfortable first class train leads us through dozens of tunnels and over countless bridges with exceptional opportunities for taking pictures or just enjoying the view. We arrive mid-afternoon to Creel and transfer to The Sierra Hiking Lodge at Cusarare. A Mexican dinner awaits at the lodge and a chance to brief with the guide about the hiking days into the canyon that follow.
Day 3: Day 1 Trek
Transfer by vehicle to the trail head for the start of our intrepid hike. Starting out traversing the rolling hills of the High Sierra, we gradually climb and descend. Lunch is on the trail and then we arrive in the afternoon to Mapichi, where we will camp and spend the night. ½ day hike- 6mi. Elevation gain/loss: 1,200 ft/1,500ft. Overnight Wildcamping.
Day 4: Day 2 Trek
Continue up and out of this small canyon we cross the ridge of this mountain range with spectacular views and sprawling vistas. Descending from this broad Mesa, we will pass through the Lopez farm, another isolated Tarahumara family that continues to survive in the rugged canyon in much the same way his ancestors have for hundreds of years. After a pleasant lunch break in a shady nook, we continue a short while more arriving in Taxon on the edge of the mountain where we set up camp amidst the sprawling views of the Canyon. ¾ day hike- 6.8mi. Elevation gain/loss: 1,800 ft/1,320 ft. Overnight Wildcamping.
Day 5: Day 3 Trek
After a hearty breakfast, we will start our hike. A steep decent into the canyon awaits. We lose almost 2,000 ft as we watch the myriad of ecosystems and microclimates morph from high alpine forest to desert chaparral. Passing by a handful of native communities and small ranches, we are reminded of the beauty, simplicity, and difficulties of subsistence life in this challenging environment. We set up camp at Chinovo. ¾ day hike- 6.8mi. Elevation gain/loss: 700 ft/2,220 ft. Overnight Wildcamping.
Day 6: Day 4 Trek
Our destination is Munerachi, a larger community with a colonial mission established by the Spaniards, where we set up camp. This afternoon and evening, we will witness the traditional dancing and processions that mark the Semana Santa Holy Week. After a refreshing dip in the small river, it’s time for dinner and a well-earned nights sleep or if you’re caught up in the spirit of the week, continue into the night with the mystical Semana Santa festivities. Full day hike- 9.5mi. Elevation gain/loss: 800ft/1,780ft. Overnight Wildcamping.
Day 7: Day 5 Trek to Batopilas
Our last day hiking, we follow the Munerachi river down to Cerro Colorado and from there, down the home stretch on to Batopilas. Along the river, we will see two aqueducts, each built by the miners in the 1800s to work and transport the ore from the mines of Cerro Colorado and Batopilas. Our final hiking day is shorter as we enter the frontier town of Batopilas. Enjoying the perfect setting to end our journey here in the Canyon, we will have some free time to explore this historic mining outpost with an optional excursion to visit the lost Cathedral of Satevo. Dinner and relaxing in our lovely hotel. ¾ day hike- 10.5mi. Elevation gain/loss: 120ft/780ft.
Day 8: Batopilas and Satevo
After breakfast, we will have a chance to further explore the Batopilas area as we hike to the “Lost Cathedral” of Satevo. While not truly a cathedral, its ornate grandeur is still a mystery and conjure up the image of a great religious center. Here, too, we will see the preparations for Easter as a constant flow of Tarahumara indigenous inhabitants come bringing their offerings, demonstrating ritual dances, and the unique intertwined story of native and catholic Easter stories. In the afternoon, we wander the streets of this historic mining town with free time to visit the ruins of the Sheppard Hacienda, lounge by the river, or have a beer with the locals. We’ll spend the night back at our lovely hacienda.
Day 9: Batopilas and Creel to Chihuahua
After breakfast, early morning finds us beginning the incredible climb, by van, out of the Batopilas Canyon up a spectacular array of switchbacks to our mid-day stopping point, Creel, the frontier logging outpost turned tourist center for the Copper Canyon. After lunch and some perusing the local crafts cooperative, we continue on across the high plains of the Sierra Tarahumara on to Chihuahua. We will arrive in the early evening to this important cultural and economic center of Northwestern Mexico. We will be free to spend the night on the town for our farewell fiesta.
Day 10: Departure from Chihuahua
Transfer to Airport for onward flights.
This trip can be customized for a private journey in the month of Easter.
Our custom-tailored journeys start from $600 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.