Multi-Day Tour

Copper Canyon Hiking Trip - Lower Rio Urique Wilderness (10 days)

Journey Mexico

El Fuerte, Mexico To Chihuahua, Mexico

Valid for Departures Now Through: 01 Jan 2099


Day 1
El Fuerte, Mexico
None None

Fly into Los Mochis and transfer to El Fuerte. In El Fuerte, we will stay at the Hotel El Fuerte near the beautiful central plaza. You will meet your guide, James Santiago Barnaby, upon your arrival at the hotel. (Dinner Included)

Day 2
Creel, Mexico
El Fuerte, Mexico
None None

Today starts with a train ride into the Sierra Madre to Est. Creel and an early morning transfer to the train station. We'll catch the 1st Class Express "Chepe" on the Chihuahua al Pacifico railway. This is one of the finest train journeys in the world. The train climbs 7200' into the Sierra Madre Occidental, crosses 37 bridges, and passes through 86 tunnels. You'll travel through sub tropical thorn forests and then rise into the pine forests by way of the Barranca Septentrion. Along the way, you will see deep canyons, waterfalls and Tarahumara ranchos. At El Divisadero the train stops for 15 minutes where you will be able to view the Barranca del Cobre and the Rio Urique 4000' below. At this stop, there are many brightly dressed Tarahumara women who will be selling handcrafts. We'll arrive in Creel about 5 PM and transfer to Margarita's Plaza Mexicana. In Creel is a 24 hr. ATM and you can, also, call the U. S. (Brekfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 3
Batopilas, Mexico
Creel, Mexico
None None

Today, we go from the high sierra to the canyon floor by van. After breakfast, we load the van and head for Batopilas via the only paved road crossing the Copper Canyon from north to south. At Samachique, we leave the asphalt for the long, dramatic, and winding descent from the high pine forest to the sub tropical thorn forests of the Barranca Batopilas. Hang on to your hats and grab your cameras! We'll stop at La Bufa, an abandoned mine site, to prepare a "discada" over an open fire. We arrive in the historic and very friendly mining pueblo of Batopilas in the afternoon, giving us time to explore it's cultural and historic beauty. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 4
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

Today, we go from the canyon floor to the high sierra by foot. We leave Batopilas at 1600' elevation and, with packstock, we gradually climb over 7 miles to an elevation of 5800', arriving at a beautiful oak and jarrilla studded campsite, which gives us a rare view into the river bottoms of both the Rio Batopilas and the Rio Urique. Along the way are powerful vistas in all directions of the thorn forests, oak and pine biotic zones, the majestic Mesa Yerbanis, the needle of Cerro de la Aguja, and the rugged mountains of Sinaloa, which break away to the coastal lowlands. You will arrive in a region of extreme beauty. This nights camp is in a stunning location on Mesa San Jose, and we will share a meal with the people who work the lands of this high altitude mesa. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 5
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

Today, we hike through the high pine forests. Following the ridge which separates the Barranca Batopilas and the Barranca Urique, we rise into extensive pine forests and pass through the small rancho of El Algarin. The air is permeated with the scent of pines and a beautiful epiphyte, known as Toje, decorates the forest with it's pink blossoms and you might, even, encounter a white orchid. We reach our highest elevation today at 7600' and then descend into the Lower Rio Urique Wilderness and camp this evening on Mesa Larga among oak trees. Our camp is unique in that it is a very small finger mesa which falls away steeply on three sides into the rugged Canyon Piedra La Cuesta with it's 2000' headwall at the summit. Coyotes are often heard howling in the distance. The sunsets are incredible, and the views up and down the Barranca Urique are awesome. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 6
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

This day is the descent to the Rio Urique. We descend 3000' to the rancho of Piedra la Cuesta where a small creek is encountered and followed a short distance until we climb 500' through El Pasito. From this pass is our first closeup and personal view of the Rio Urique, a boulder strewn run of the river and our white sand beach campsite at Charco de los Burros Muertos at a sweeping bend of the river at an elevation of 1500'. You will be able to enjoy a huge, deep swimming hole and float lazily downriver through the rock gardens as the trail dust from the past 2 days melts away. On many occasions, military macaws have been seen on the cliffs above camp. This is a complex biotic zone of Magpie Jays, Trogons, Streakedback Orioles and many more bird species. The plant life is no less spectacular with it's Amapa Lilac and Amarilla, Palo Blanco, Pochote, the unusual Papache with it's edible, viscous "chocolate" and the large cactuses Pitahaya, Cardon and Bisnaga. Tonight we relax around a driftwood campfire. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 7
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

Today, we hike the Rio Urique. We follow the Rio Urique upriver through the thorn forest and beautiful riparian habitat. This is a shorter day of hiking with a very gradual ascent, stunning views of the river, and a crossing of a suspension bridge at Vado de la Cueva on our way to another wonderful beach campsite at Playa Agugerada. The swimming hole here is even larger than yesterday's and has two monumental boulders from which you can jump into the river. For those who would like, there is an optional 2 hour hike into a watery, narrow slot canyon, which has very different plant forms from the open canyon of the Rio Urique. In the evening, we will have another driftwood campfire as we enjoy our last night camping in the wilderness.(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 8
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

Today, we arrive in Urique. This is our last day on the trail, and we will hike about 4 hours along the Rio Urique, passing through the villages of La Laja and Guapalaina before we enter the 200 year old mining town of Urique. There will be time to explore and our stay will be at the Hotel Estrella del Rio. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 9
Chihuahua, Mexico
Batopilas, Mexico
None None

Today we travel from Urique to Chihuahua City, by van, climbing 6000' from the canyon floor to the high pine clad sierra. We will visit the beautiful old stone church on the plaza in Cerocahui and gradually make our way to Creel where we stop for lunch and the last opportunity to buy Tarahumara crafts. We cross the continental divide and pass the Rio Conchos, whose waters drain to the Gulf of Mexico. The road descends from the pine forests and onto the plains with it's Mennonite farms well known for apples and dairy products. Our stay is at the Hotel San Francisco in the heart of the city next to the plaza and the cathedral. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 10
Chihuahua, Mexico
None None

Departure for home.

Tour Features


Experiences have not been selected at this time


Follow the Urique River, which winds through the bottom of the rugged Copper Canyon floor.  This expedition style hike offers stunning views of the river, treks through narrow slot canyons, and visits to native communities perched on the canyon walls.


Copper Canyon:

Hiking through the stunning Batopilas Canyon with incredible views of the river and a crossing of a suspension bridge at Vado de la Cueva

Overnights in beautiful oak and jarrilla studded campsites

Visits to remote settlements of native Tarahumara and sharing the canyon trails with indigenous farmers and ranchers

Overnights in the historic frontier settlements of El Fuerte, Cerocahui, Creel, Chihuahua, and Batopilas

Train journey on the famous Chihuahua al Pacifico railroad from the pacific coast to the rim of the canyon. This train ride is a highlight in itself, showcasing the spectacular transition between the dazzling Sea of Cortez and the arid canyons of the Sierra Tarahumara.

About Us

Journey Mexico specializes in crafting unique, authentic and unexpected travel experiences for the discerning and sophisticated traveler throughout the Mexican republic.Whether you would like to travel to Mexico to explore Mayan ruins, relax in a hacienda, visit islands in Baja’s Sea of Cortes, search for handicrafts in markets, or adventure in the Copper Canyon, we take great pride in sharing Mexico’s natural beauty & rich cultural heritage in the company of our warm and welcoming people.2016 Virtuoso Peer-to-Peer Award Winner - "Best Destination & Experiences - In-Country Partner

Insider Tip

Ask us about the new culinary experiences we're developing; from haute cuisine, to locals only street food, we've vetted them and are excited to share Mexico's cuisine with your important clients!

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Reviews and Recommendations for Journey Mexico


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Family Trip

By: Deni170

Reviewed on: 02 Jan 2014

Our family trip to RIU Tropical Bay in Negril, Jamaica was great. Staff was nice and food was good. 2 minor problems: tour desk asked for vouchers, so I gave them my travel sheets and the return transportation to the airport got messed up. Regardless, we enjoyed the trip.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Trevino
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Highly Recommended

By: Lisa

Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2014

We went back and forth several times with Journey Mexico planning our itinerary and were very pleased with their responsiveness and obvious knowledge of the Yucatan Peninsula. They put together a wonderful tour with highly professional and knowledgeable driver/guides, and the hotel recommendations were excellent. They also followed up while we were traveling to make sure everything was satisfactory. Would definitely use them again.
Travel Advisor:  Rebecca Falkenberry
Not Recommended

Journese is no bargain

By: Tom

Reviewed on: 17 Mar 2014

Booking any travel program with any company should mean care free fun with no worries with what can go wrong next with the itinerary.  We travel often but this is our first trip with Journese.  It will be our last. Journese is out of date beginning with their systems, product, and customer service reps that lack basic knowledge.
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Delightful trip

By: Ginger

Reviewed on: 17 Oct 2014

Trip was well planned and accommodation were excellent
Travel Advisor:  Bettie Lee

Great Customer Service


Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2014

Upon our arrival in Mexico, Journey Mexico made it an easy trip. They had one of their employees with a sign outside the airport that greeted us, grabbed our luggage, gave us a folder of info of our contacts for our trip, and took us to our private transfer (we only had to wait a few minutes for the transportation to arrive). We left the airport with Journey Mexico within 10 minutes from us walking out of the airport. We arrived to the resort 25-30 minutes later - very easy! We had a little hiccup with the resort about what package we would supposed to receive. There was a miscommunication between the resort reservations and Journey Mexico. The resort and Journey Mexico hashed it out. During that process, we were being updated from Journey Mexico and our resort. Journey Mexico even sent a bottle of champagne to our room for the confusion which was a nice touch. Their rep even take you through the entire check in process at the airport for departure. Great customer service all week!

Yucatan Journey

By: Magritte's Hat

Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2014

When I decided I wanted to visit Mexico for the first time, I spent hours online trying to plan a trip. Luckily, I came across an article recommending using travel advisors. Because I took that advice, I now have countless bad photographs and good memories of a trip to Mexico. Stacy was able to arrange a trip for me after a couple of phone calls and a few emails that was better than anything I could have done myself. I experienced the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Merida, explored Mayan ruins (culminating with the awesome ancient city of Chichen Itza), and spent a few relaxing days on a sugar-sanded beach in Tulum. My guide was terrific and the hotels were clean and comfortable without being impersonal and generic. The whole trip was great. After over a decade of staying close to home, I think I'm going to be hitting the road more often; and I'm sure I'll be using Stacy's services again.

Great Service

By: mh123

Reviewed on: 09 Jan 2015

Journey Mexico provided us with great guides and drivers. They were always on time and very pleasant.


By: kerri

Reviewed on: 09 Jun 2016

they were on top of the logistic details. Very easy.

San Miguel

By: Bob

Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2017

All was good,timely,courteous etc
Travel Advisor:  Kay Jones

Review Journey Mexico


Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017

Journey Zmexico provided us with the best experience we could have wished for in the Copper Canyon. The logistics of the trip, including timing, transportation, lodging, food and guide services was outstanding. The only low point was the dining experience at the Best Western in Creel- the hotel was fine but the dinners were not to our liking and did not match the amazing food we had at all the other hotels. The high point was our guide Gustavo who was the most well informed and superb guide! We are so fortunate to have him as our tour guide-heads it a fabulous trip- forever grateful to him!
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley

Puerto Aventuras

By: Rita

Reviewed on: 13 Jan 2018

Nice people. House was in good location. A few items not in good shape, but overall comfortable. Staff responded to our questions and needs.
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley

True Campions of their Beautiful Country

By: Partridge Travels

Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2018

This was our second trip with Journey Mexico, and we were privileged to travel with the most wonderful guides! All of our drivers and guides have been professional, accommodating, knowledgeable, protective, and extremely well educated. I have heard and read so many negative stories about travel in Mexico, so the most important message I can convey to anyone considering travel with Journey Mexico is that I have never had to overthink my personal safety, and I have never felt as though I was in a place or situation that could be dangerous. Another great bonus about travel with their guides is that they know all the great places to eat (you will not get sick) and they are true gentlemen and will help you shop. Also, your Journey Mexico concierge (who is different from your guide), is a phone call away. Our concierge called us on our second night just to check in and see if we needed anything, which we didn't because our every need was already taken care of- they are first class!
Travel Advisor:  Whitney Shindelar

Luxury Interior Mexico

By: Kane

Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2018

Journey Mexico made our family of 4 Spring Break Trip to Interior Mexico a breeze. The drivers were all very professional and we felt completely safe with the adventure travel operators. It was the perfect mix of adventure family fun and luxury travel.
Travel Advisor:  Amanda Watkins



Reviewed on: 24 Mar 2018

Our hotel was perfect and in a lovely location. Our guide Louis was well informed and friendly. Cesar our driver was prompt and showed up exactly where we needed him every time. I was very impressed with the skillful coordination of our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Misty Jones

Journey Mexico in Mexico City


Reviewed on: 01 May 2018

Journey Mexico was very easy to work with and completely enhanced our trip to Mexico City. We had the same driver for both tours who was wonderful and our guide at the pyramids, Isaias, was extremely knowledgeable and really made the experience there. I cant imagine having done the pyramids without his insight and guidance. I would highly recommend Journey Mexico to any friends and family.
Travel Advisor:  Abby Michaud

Mexico City and Oaxaca

By: Jim

Reviewed on: 20 Oct 2018

Great tour operator!. Everything worked like clock work. Everyone from airport greeters, to drivers, to guides were gracious, friendly and knowledgeable. We especially enjoyed our Oaxacan guide, Gabriel. Warm, friendly, engaging and knowledgeable, he made our two day tour of Oaxaca an extremely pleasant and rewarding experience. We have every intention of returning to Mexico City and visiting Puebla. We will definitely seek out Journey Mexico for that trip!
Travel Advisor:  Timothy Krenzien

Journey Mexico

By: Sarita

Reviewed on: 18 Feb 2019

I would highly recommend Journey Mexico - superior accommodations selected. Knowledgeable travel guide, Ari, who had a love for Mexico and it showed. My driver Sergio was excellent - I felt very safe with his driving. I liked that Ari and Sergio also made suggestions and were open to changes in the planned itinerary - that is the sign of a true professional.
Travel Advisor:  Tiffany Figueiredo


By: Mexico Rocks

Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2019

Journey Mexico exceeded all of our expectations! All of our connections were prompt, destinations were amazing, arrangements were efficient. Tour guides were exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly.
Travel Advisor:  Christine Collins Bolus

Professional, Efficient, High Quality

By: Bonnie

Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2019

Journey Mexico was a great choice for our trip to Oaxaca. They made everything very seamless, and the guides were exceptional. My one issue was that our Journey Mexico appointed trip counselor called every night to reconfirm our next day's tour, and it was a bit disruptive. Otherwise, the cars, timeliness, quality of the guides and tours were all excellent. Highly recommend.
Travel Advisor:  Stacy Luks