railroad travel: mexico by train
In 1873 the railway Mexico City-Veracruz, a milestone in the railway history and industrial development of the country, was inaugurated. Since then the railway network has expanded and nowadays Mexico has 27,000 km of railroads. Those who love traveling by train might be slightly disappointed to discover that today railroads are mostly used for the transportation of goods while a large number of bus companies are in charge of the transportation of people.
There is, however, one Mexican route that is on the wish list of all railway fans: The Chihuahua Pacifico Express, best known as Chepe. This train runs through the Copper Canyon and definitely offers one of the most spectacular train rides in the world. Its uniqueness lies in the outstanding landscapes along the route. The Copper Canyon is an extensive canyon system in the western part of the Sierra Madre of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The area is four times bigger than the Grand Canyon in the United States, and holds many breathtaking sights. The climatic and scenic differences between valleys rich in tropical flora and mountains covered by pine trees make this trip a unique experience.
The constructions along the railroad track are also a masterstroke: 36 major bridges and 87 tunnels lead you through the 480 km route from Los Mochis to Chihuahua. In a stretch of 195 km there is a vertical drop of 2,100 meters. The entire complex was built in the course of 20 years and many interesting tricks were used in its constructuion. In the railway station Témoria, for example, two curved bridges are used to reverse the direction, and in the 'Lasso' at Pitorreal a full circle of railway tracks was constructed.
Not only does a visit of the Copper Canyon involve a ride in the Chepe train but the whole area is a paradise for hikers and mountain bike lovers. Deep gorges, waterfalls, hot springs, lakes and bizarre rock formations await the traveler. One can also find many sites inhabited by the Tarahumaras, one of the most fascinating indigenous groups in Mexico who have managed to keep their origninal customs und culture throughout the years.
Mextrotter offers unique individual trips:
- Attractive routes and programs that show you the most important sites. Our customers usually start their trip at El Fuerte in order to avoid the city of Los Mochis and the ride to El Fuerte, neither of which is of great interest.
- You can choose to ride in the comfortable first or second class of the Chepe but if you want to meet the locals and perhaps talk to the Tarahumaras or the woodcutters who use the train as a means of transportation you can choose to ride in third class.
- Reliable local partners offer excellent field trips and options for hiking and mountain biking.