Is Mexico's Chepe Express the Ultimate Slow Rail Adventure?

By Ivan PetrenkoApr 27, 2024 10:30 AMNews
Black train with light on during daytime
Black train with light on during daytime. Source: unsplash

Exploring Mexico's stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage from the comfort of a train is an unforgettable experience, and the Chepe Express offers just that—a unique journey through the heart of the Copper Canyon. Spanning 220 miles from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, to Creel, Chihuahua, this rail adventure is not only a voyage through breathtaking natural beauty but also a deep dive into the traditions of the Indigenous Rarámuri communities.

The Chepe Express, one of Mexico's few long-distance passenger trains, traverses a variety of terrains, including deserts, gorges, and rivers, via an impressive network of 37 bridges and 86 tunnels. The train provides three classes of service, ensuring comfort and spectacular views, particularly from the First Class panoramic windows.

However, the true essence of this journey lies beyond the rails. A flexible hop-on, hop-off ticket allows travelers to immerse themselves in the local culture and landscape at a leisurely pace. Highlights along the route include the world’s second-longest zip-line at the Copper Canyon Adventure Park, vineyard visits near the 17th-century town of Cerocahui, and tranquil kayaking along the Fuerte River.

But the most profound experiences come from engaging with the Rarámuri, known for their incredible endurance running. The Chepe Express provides a unique opportunity to learn from these indigenous people, whose traditions have thrived in the Sierra Tarahumara for nearly two millennia. Visitors can participate in cooking and weaving classes, explore ancient trails led by Rarámuri guides, and visit the Museo Tarahumara de Arte Popular in Creel to gain insights into the community's rich history and artistic heritage.

This journey aboard the Chepe Express is more than just a train ride—it's an educational adventure that respects and celebrates the natural environment and the indigenous cultures that have shaped this region. Whether you're zip-lining over vast canyons, learning ancient crafts, or simply soaking in the majestic landscapes from the train, the Chepe Express offers an unparalleled slow travel experience that might just be the ultimate rail adventure in Mexico.

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