The Copper Canyon
Located on the Northwest Central Plain of Mexico, the state of Chihuahua is a land of magnificent scenery, including mountains, fertile valleys, canyons, forests, waterfalls and deserts. Its spectacular canyons are the biggest in North America. Home of two hundred tribes of native Americans for centuries, Chihuahua's most notable indigenous are the Raramuri or Tarahumara, who have preserved their cultural identity despite the intrusion of foreign customs. The state also offers pre-Hispanic ruins such as Paquime, the most important on the north of Mexico and Cuarenta Casas (forty houses) built into the cliffs. The most important cities in this state are Ciudad Juárez and El Paso in the border of the USA; Chihuahua city, which was home of the famous Pancho Villa, and the beautiful southern cities of Camargo, Delicias and Jimenez. It is said that in the sate of Chihuahua everything is extreme: the magnificent scenery, the impressive desserts, the soaring mountains, and the sheer canyons.
The Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre) is a series of gorges that consist of 20 canyons, four times larger than Arizona's Grand Canyon. With more than 1,452 km (900 mi) in lenght, the major barrancas -Copper, Sinforosa, Batopilas and Urique- provide craggy cliffs, sheer canyon walls and outstanding dramatic vistas. A natural and spectacular wonder, the Copper Canyon is home to the Tarahumara Indians in the mountains of Sierra Madre.
The breathtaking route of the famous Copper Canyon Railway (Chihuahua al Pacífico) includes several stops in the Barranca del Cobre, being the Divisadero the most spectacular one. The Copper Canyon Railway is considered one of the most scenic rail journeys in the country, running between Los Mochis at sea level and Chihuahua, climbing to 8,000 ft (2.4 km) at the highest point. Opened in 1961 the Copper Canyon is the major link that connects tbe mountainous, arid Chihuahua to the Pacific coast, including 39 bridges and 86 tunnels along 655 km (407 mi) of railway line.
The Copper Canyon railroad operates two trains during the day: the first special class train, faster, cleaner, and more comfortable and the second class, which is slower, more crowded, and dirtier. The trip on the first special class takes about 13 hours, and over three hours longer on the second class train, which stops frequently along the way.
Mexico Regional Landmarks
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Image supplied by the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Chihuahua