Jan 14, 2006, 12:53 PM
Post #17 of 20
OK, for YOU, Ed & Fran! It was the experience of a lifetime. No the first class 'Chepe' train doesn't compare to the Glacier Express in Switzerland, but it was still wonderful, nonetheless. If we ever do this again, I'd recommend starting in El Fuerte. You'll pick up a couple of hours more sleeping time and besides that, the scenery doesn't kick in until El Fuerte. If starting the trip from the West (highly recommended for daylight hours viewing), be sure to reserve a seat on the right side of the train as this is the side with the most scenery.
We really wanted to see the Basaseachi Falls area but it was too dry. All the more reason for a return trip!
We didn't experience snow but again, the locals indicated that they were experiencing a dry winter. It was very cold, though...expecially in Creel area! At the bottom of the canyon in Batopilas, temps were about 30 degrees warmer. Amazing.
Los Mochis -- 1 night
Santa Anita Hote (standard tourist hotel)l. Breakfast included but it didn't matter because we had to catch the 6am train. Free internet service in 'business center'. I arrived here from previously spending five weeks in Guanajuato (capital), Morelia, and Guadalajara. My friend flew in from Chicago.
Posada Barrancas (cerca de Divisadero) -- 2 nights
Hotel Mansion Tarahumara (Thanks to Tony Burton's article!)
All wonderful meals included. No it's not on the edge, but it's a short hike to the vista. And WOW, what a view! Lots of caves, plenty of Tarahumara. Two nights is more than enough time here.
Creel -- 3 nights
Best Western "The Lodge in Creel" (one night)
Limited breakfast included
Sierra Lodge (two nights) All meals (great) included. This hotel was hotel was located about 5-10 miles outside of Creel, smack in the middle of a Tarahumara community. Within hiking distance from Cascada Cusarare. No electricity, but plenty of Keroseine lighting and hot water. It was 15 degrees farenheit outside but a huge fireplace kept us warm inside! A great experience.
Creel itself was nothing special. Plenty of tourists. We did notice that the Tarahumara in the Creel area were nowhere near as shy as they were in the Posada Barrancas area.
Batopilas -- 3 nights.
Hotel Real de Minas (one night).
Hotel Riverside Lodge (two nights). This was like staying in a museum. Plenty of old books, antiques and history here. The owner of Hotel Real de Minas manages this hotel.
The ride down to Batopilas was more excting than the train ride. If you're one to get motion sickness easily, be sure to take your meds. This trip is not for the faint of heart.
Creel -- 1 night.
We altared our plans and returned to the Sierra Lodge for one more night -- we loved it THAT much.
Chihuahua (ciudad) -- 3 nights.
Hotel San Francisco (Now a Quality Inn). Standard, business hotel, no meals included. However, a full restaurant on premises. Free internet service in business center. Some of the best damn steak houses I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. Recommended restaurants: Calesa for steaks. El Retablo for Mexican (gorgeous interior) and Los Mezquites for steaks. El Retablo and Los Mezquites have same owner.
Ed & Fran, this is rather rushed and if I'm forgetting anything -- or you have more questions, just ask! I'll check in again later.
(This post was edited by tonyburton on Jan 14, 2006, 8:21 PM)