The Copper Canyon & Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico

The highland scenery of this region is nothing short of spectacular. Northern Mexico does not lack for amazing attractions, but none compares to the Copper Canyon for sheer wow-factor, with its astonishing cliff-top vistas, towering pine-clad mountains and the fascinating culture of the native Tarahumara people.

A labyrinth of six main canyons covers an area four times larger than Arizona’s Grand Canyon system, and is deeper, narrower and much more verdant than its American counterpart. Tropical fruit trees grow in the canyon bottoms while the high ground is covered in alpine vegetation and, often, winter snows.

A handful of towns make convenient base camps for exploring the region. Creel is the largest and home to several recommended hotels. Further into the canyon system are Divisadero, Arepo and Cerocahui, all along or near the famous Chepe train route, and the more remote (yet readily accessible) canyon-bottom villages of Batopilas and Urique.