8 Day Best Value Tour Arizona and Mexico
Four times bigger than the Grand Canyon, Mexico's spectacular Copper Canyon is the backdrop for part of this extraordinary trip, as you travel over soaring bridges on the Train in the Sky.
Our adventure map
Four times bigger than the Grand Canyon, Mexico's spectacular Copper Canyon is the backdrop for part of this extraordinary trip, as you travel over soaring bridges on the Train in the Sky. Cross the Sonoran Desert and less travelled regions of Mexico as you learn about cultured pearl farming, silver mining and the beautiful art of Mata Ortiz pottery.
Day by day
First Day we visit Santa Ana, Hermosillo then stay over in San Carlos
This morning, meet with your Travel Director and travelling companions between 7 - 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn, Phoenix Airport North. Due to your early morning (8 a.m.) departure, pre-trip overnights are available at the hotel. Begin your adventure by crossing the U.S. Mexico border and see the great Sonoran desert open up before you. Keep an eye out for giant saguaro cacti-one of the few places they grow wild. After stopping for lunch in the small town of Santa Ana, travel on to Hermosillo to see the lovely colonial Cathedral and the Government Palace, its walls bedecked with murals depicting the history of the Sonoran region. Arrive in San Carlos where the desert meets the glittering Sea of Cortez. Relax and settle in at your waterfront resort on the beautiful Sea of Cortez. (L)
Hotel: Marinaterra Hotel and Spa
Second Day enjoy San Carlos Sightseeing and Free Time
Board your private boat for a scenic cruise on the Sea of Cortez and keep a lookout for dolphins, seals, and exotic sea birds, such as the blue-footed booby and the great blue heron. Afterwards, take a scenic drive through stunning desert gardens, home to massive cacti and stop at Mirador Esce´nico, rated by National Geographic as one of the "Top 10 Ocean Views." This afternoon is free for you to relax or explore the marina and shops. (CB)
Hotel: Marinaterra Hotel and Spa
Third Day more San Carlos then we head to Alamos
This morning, visit the first cultured pearl farm in the Americas and learn all about pearl oyster farming, grading and quality selection. Next, travel south through rich farmlands to the foothills of the Sierra Madre and the quaint town of Alamos. A living museum, the city's cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings. This evening, enjoy the local flavours of Mexico while dining with your travelling companions in a traditional setting. (CB),(L),(D)
Hotel: Hotel Alamos Bonito
Fourth Day Historic Alamos then we journey to El Fuerte
Enjoy an Iconic Breakfast in a 200 year old restored, colonial house where Chef Teresita Shannon shares her love of the region through the food and stories she tells. After, stroll the streets of Alamos as your Local Specialist brings the town's history to life. Visit some of the restored mansions built when Alamos' silver mines were among the richest in the world. After lunch, journey farther into the Sierra Madre to the town of El Fuerte. Tonight, experience ancient dances from the Yaquis. See the popular deer dance and other traditional Mexican folk dances. (IB),(L)
Hotel: Torres del Fuerte
Fifth Day Board your Rail Car to the Copper Canyon
Mexico's Copper Canyon-four times as large as the Grand Canyon of Arizona-looms large in the culture and imagination of this proud country. Board your rail car and start your journey aboard the Train in the Sky, "El Chepe," travelling from sea level to 7,500 feet (2,285 metres) in less than 150 miles (240 kilometres), passing through tunnels and over soaring bridges. Engineers and labourers spent nearly 100 years laying tracks into this rugged terrain, and now the spectacular views make it one of the world's most exciting train journeys. Pass alongside the jagged Barranca Septentrion and Urique Canyon as you travel into the heart of Copper Canyon. Disembark at your hotel, situated right on the rim of the canyon. (CB)
Hotel: Divisadero Barrancas
Sixth day we explore the Copper Canyon
Spend the entire day exploring this dramatic area, one of the greatest natural treasures of North America. Learn about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as the Copper Canyon or Barrancas del Cobre. Meet the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon's caves for thousands of years and view the tribe's arts and crafts. An optional gondola ride down the canyon is available this afternoon. (CB)
Hotel: Divisadero Barrancas
Seventh day its onto Guerrero then bustling Casas Grandes
Travel to the logging village of Creel via Oteros Canyon to the village of Guerrero, where a stop is made for lunch. The area is rich in culinary resources and apple orchards. Then, travel on to the bustling city of Nuevo Casas Grandes. This evening, see local artisans who have adapted ancient traditions into a modern style called Mata Ortiz with a Local Specialist. Watch master craftsmen design fire pots and the techniques learned over several generations. (CB),(L)
Hotel: Hacienda Casas Grandes
Eighth Day we tour Paquime then return to Phoenix
Today, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paquime, a great trading centre in the 14th and 15th centuries before the Spanish conquest of Mexico. See ceremonial mounds, the House of the Cross (believed to be a temple and observatory) and the House of the Serpent, where animals were raised. Continue across the Chihuahua Desert into the U.S. arriving back in Phoenix at approximately 6:30 p.m. depending on border crossing and traffic conditions. Due to your late arrival, overnights are available at the Hilton Garden Inn, Phoenix Airport. (CB),(L)
6 Continental Breakfasts (CB)
1 Iconic Breakfast (IB)
5 Lunches (L)
1 Dinner (D)
- Alamos: Stroll the cobblestone streets viewing restored mansions and Spanish colonial buildings. Iconic Breakfast in an ancient, colonial house where Teresita uses local and foreign ingredients to offer an interesting menu with an international touch.
- Casas Grandes: Learn about the famous pottery made from local clay, formed by the potter's hand, and fired on the ground.
- Copper Canyon: See Mexico's Copper Canyon, four times larger than Arizona's Grand Canyon, from aboard the Train in the Sky, "The El Chepe".
- El Fuerte: Visit restored mansions built during the silver mining peak.
- Hermosillo: See the historic murals on display at the Government Palace.
- Paquime: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site with its extensive archaeological remains, evidence of the vitality of an ancient culture.
- San Carlos: Enjoy the seaside town, sitting along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, home to desert gardens and beautiful ocean views.
Aquarium Cove Snorkel
Gary's Aquarium Cove Snorkeling Trip. These waters are unbelievably clear and beautiful, filled with colorful fish and aquatic life. Discover the nearby Aquarium cove to explore, snorkel or just relax. Includes snorkeling gear and complimentary soft drinks. Total duration approximately 3 hours. (Minimum 4 guests)
Fishing in San Carlos
Our skippers know where the fish are so you can experience the thrill of bringing in the catch of the day! Fully equipped boats have everything you need including bait, rod and reel and tackle. Your experienced captain along with his deckhands will ensure the best fishing in the area. Catch and release or provide your bounty to local families. Complimentary soft drinks included. Total Duration approximately 4 hours. (Minimum 4 guests)
Beach-side Dining at Bonifacios Restaurant
Restaurant Bonifacios is located on Cotton Club Beach and offers an eclectic fusion of flavors inspired by Mexico's seaside lifestyle. Be seated beachside for a three course dinner including the famous libation "Baby Mango". Total duration approximately 2 hours. (Minimum 4 guests)
Copper Canyon Cable Car
Travel a short distance to the Adventure Park “Barrancas del Cobre”. The astonishing Copper Canyon Adventure Park is built on the canyon rim between Areponápuchi and Divisadero and features some of the world’s most profound canyon scenery. Board the teleférico (cable car) and travel downwards for 20 minutes, disembark and enjoy 360 degree views of the Copper Canyon. After viewing the natural beauty from the viewing platform, ascend to the top edges of the canyon walls. Visit the park center and see a fissure through the glass floor. Total duration approximately 2.5 hours. (Minimum 4 guests)
Regional Family Meal at Casa Diez
Experience a regional family meal at Casa Diaz. Doña Ermelinda is a great cook and loves to showcase her home style cooking. Watch as Doña Ermelinda, family and neighbors prepare and serve you their creations of the day. You will not know what is on the menu as there is no menu, however special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. Total duration approximately 3 hours. (Minimum 4 guests)
Traditional Mexican Buffet Dinner at casa Del Nopal
This evening after learning about Mata Ortiz pottery, why not stay a while longer in Old Casas Grandes and dine with your fellow travelers. A home cooked traditional family Mexican buffet dinner will be served in Casa del Nopal including wine or beer or soft drinks - 2 per person. Total duration approximately 2.5 hours. (Minimum 15 Guests).
Please note: Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Audio Headsets Provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
Luxury air-conditioned coach.
Hand-picked hotels, all tried and trusted.
Variety of Optional Experiences.
An expert Travel Director and separate driver.
All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes.
Guarantees, Bonds and Awards
- This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
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- Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
- ABTA protected
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