Getting there & around
Travel between Creel and Chihuahua, as well as between Creel and Divisadero, may be more convenient via bus than train, as the trips are shorter and the schedules more flexible. The Autotransportes Noroeste bus station, across the tracks from the plaza, runs buses to San Rafael (M$48, 1¼ hours) via Divisadero (M$37, one hour) at 10:30am, 2:30pm and 6:30pm, and buses to Chihuahua (M$190, 4½ hours) at 6:45am, 9am, 11:30am, 1pm and 3pm. This is the nicer of the two companies.
The Estrella Blanca bus station, just north of Autotransportes Noroeste, has nine daily buses to Chihuahua (M$190, 4½ hours), passing through San Juanito (M$25, 45 minutes), La Junta (M$90, 2½ hours) and Cuauhtémoc (M$124, three hours) on the way. Estrella Blanca also has three daily buses to San Rafael (M$47, 1½ hours) via Divisadero (M$4, one hour) and Posada Barrancas (Areponápuchi; M$40, one hour); they depart Creel daily at 10:20am, 2:20pm and 6pm.
The local bus to Batopilas (M$180, five hours) leaves from outside Artesanías El Towi on López Mateos, two blocks south of the plaza, at 7:30am Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and at 9:30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
There’s now a paved road all the way from Creel to Divisadero and on to San Rafael. From San Rafael, there’s a new road connecting Bahuichivo, Cerocahui, Mesa de Arturo, Piedras Verdes, Tubares (there’s a new bridge over the Río San Miguel), Choix, and on to El Fuerte. Note that you will need a 4WD between Mesa Arturo and Tubares (about 70km). Or you could go from San Rafael to Álamos via Bahuichivo, Témoris and Chinipas, crossing the Río Chinipas, though this road is very rough and assaults have been reported on it, so travel at your own risk.
Creel’s train station is half a block from the main plaza. The westbound primera express train departs Creel at about 11:15am, and the clase económica at about 1:20pm (though it’s been known to arrive closer to noon); the eastbound trains depart at about 3:24pm and 6pm. However, times vary greatly and they are usually late.
Several places rent out bicycles, and the surrounding countryside has many places accessible by pedal power.
3Amigos Canyon Expeditions (456-00-36; www.amigos3.com; Av López Mateos 46) Half/full day M$90/150.
Casa Margarita (456-00-45; Av López Mateos 11) Half/full day M$90/150.
Umarike Expediciones (www.umarike.com.mx;) Half/full day M$120/180. Includes map, helmet and tool kit.