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Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Baja Sur

If you are looking for a different kind of holiday then the Copper Canyon, Mexico is the destination. You need time, but as I discovered on my recent familiarisation trip, the effort is hugely rewarding, and you can relax and pamper yourself in a 5* luxury beach resort on Baja California afterwards.

The Copper Canyon is a vast network of canyons and valleys with the highest point falling in the region of 8000ft and said to be five times the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. A charming train journey takes you through tunnels, over bridges and past sparkling lakes, but the famous train is just the tip of the iceberg. Nothing quite prepares you for the spectacular view on arrival to El Mirador Hotel – a view which you can enjoy from the privacy of your own balcony from sunrise to sunset.

Take time to delve deeper into the maze of canyons – visit historic towns such as Batopilas, founded in the early 17th Century and the first town to receive electricity after the capital. A boom in Silver mining meant large fortunes were made, and a remote and elegant colonial town was established. Sadly the fortunes ran out, and today a faded grandeur remains, with a community stronghold of some 2000 people who survive through trading with neighbouring communities and subsistence farming.

Tarahumara Indians are the indigenous group in this area, usually seen weaving baskets from pine needles. The Tarahumara’s are famous for their endurance running and many families still live in caves within the canyon.

Steppes can arrange a visit to the Copper Canyon by private driver and guide. Alternatively a number of incredible multi day treks can be organised, and are no doubt one of the best ways to visit this striking region. Combine a trip to the Copper Canyon with a few nights on the beach at one of the superb resorts in southern Baja to unwind in style. If you travel in February, you will be able to tie in some fantastic whale watching on the Baja’s Pacific Coast.