Copper Canyon, Mexico, Our Way–Part 4–Riding El Chepe Through the Canyons

We arrived in Bahuichivo in the late morning.  After walking around we decided there was little of interest there and decided to get on the train for the scenic ride.  We rode from Bahuichivo west down to El Fuerte.  The scenery was as fantastic as we had hoped.

Our little white school bus had arrived in Bahuichivo on the canyon rim about 11:00 in the morning.  Since we were able to make the canyon traverse from Batopilas to Urique via four wheel drive, we found ourselves two days ahead of schedule.  We had the opportunity to stay in Bahuichivo a night or two if we wished.  We went to the train station to check the schedule.  The El Chepe train left for Los Mochis at 2:30 in the afternoon.  We needed to decide before then if we wanted to stay.  After walking around the very small town for an hour or so we decided that we would pass on the charms of Bahuichivo and take El Chepe that very day.  During our walk we saw a group of heavily armed men move some large packages from a house into their vehicle.

When we went to the train station we found that only the first class train was running that day.  The second class train is actually just a few second class coaches that are added to the train on certain days.   IMG_1452

El Chepe is not the cheapest way to travel through the canyons.  Our fare from Bahuichivo down to El Fuerte cost about $50 per person.  But the tourist trade is what is keeping the train running and we felt good about supporting this.

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We waited a few hours at the Bahuichivo stations for the train to arrive.  As the arrival time got closer, several bus loads of tourists arrived from nearby resorts.  Apparently, no one stays in Bahuichivo proper.  Most tourists are staying in nearby resorts in Cerocahui.  Their hotels give them rides in minibuses to the train stop in Bahuichivo.

The train was about 45 minutes late, and we were worried that we would be traveling through spectacular scenery after sundown.  But we optimistically boarded the train, and were assigned seats by a conductor.

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As we boarded the train we got our first glimpse of “gringo” tourists.  Yes, as expected most tourists who were visiting the area were staying on the canyon rim and taking the train.  About a half hour into the ride, we started to see the really wonderful scenery.

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Yes, the scenery is just spectacular!  The sun was getting low, but we had wonderful views until we exited the canyons just east of El Fuerte.  The views are fantastic from your seat, but to get the best views and to take pictures, just go to the viewing areas in between the train cars.

We didn’t want to take the train in the dark all the way to Los Mochis, so we disembarked El Chepe in the dark at El Fuerte, and took a taxi in the dark to the center of town.

Next up–Copper Canyon Our Way–Finale–El Fuerte and Topolobampo

 

 

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