Treasure of Sierra Madre
Plan to go in late Fall or late Winter to avoid the intense heat of the summer months (120 degrees F)-and the rains.
Call the U.S. sales office of Copper Canyon Lodges in Auburn Hills, Michigan (1-800-776-3942). You're likely to speak with Suzanne McWilliams, who'll tell you everything you need to know about accommodations and who will offer to make all of your travel arrangements for you, including all associated plane, train and car reservations. She'll also send you articles and books about the Canyon and the people who live there.
If you choose to make your own plane reservations, which we did, you'll need to get yourself first to El Paso, Dallas or Tucson. From El Paso or Dallas, arrange a flight that arrives in Chihuahua before 2:30 p.m. and folks at the lodge will send a Chevy Suburban to pick you up and take you to Cusarare -- a four-hour drive. From Tucson, take a four-seat Cessna directly to Creel ($375 round-trip).
Excluding airfare, the trip will cost you $1,300 per person, plus any additional cash you may want to carry for gifts and other incidentals. The $1,300 package includes two nights hotel stay in Chihuahua, three nights each and all meals at the Copper Canyon Sierra Lodge (Creel) and the Copper Canyon Riverside Lodge (Batopilas), all transportation expenses (other than airfare) and guide services for daily hikes.
Bring along clothing appropriate for both Fall and Summer. This means you'll want everything from a jacket for cool evenings to shorts for hot days -- including a bathing suit for the hot springs. As for gear, make sure you bring hiking boots, a daypack, water bottles, a sun hat, plenty of suntan lotion, and more camera film than you think you could ever use in eight days.
Special Thanks to Copper Canyon Lodges for assisting with this story.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication