septiembre 12, 2018
El Chepe: Sierra Tarahumara by train
Evan Upchurch

All aboard El Chepe! Journey through the Sierra Tarahumara of Northern Mexico by train on the Chepe Regional or Chepe Express.

When is the last time you actually enjoyed the journey part of your travels? We are constantly subject to hearing, in one form or another, that life is about the journey and not the destination. Cliché as its sounds, nowadays travelers could benefit from experiences that focus on the journey, and not only the destinations.

The passenger train known as El Chepe is the perfect way to get back to the core of traveling — a way to journey throughout Northern Mexico, not just see it. El Chepe, whose name derives from the route it follows, Chihuahua-Pacific, is the only passenger train operating in Mexico since 1961. Its entire 653-kilometer route, beginning in the city of Chihuahua (or Creel) and ending in Los Mochis, Sinaloa (or vice versa), allows you get to know a part of Mexico that, unfortunately, most tourists overlook.

el chepe

Photo by Daniel Almazán Klinckwort

el chepe

Photo by Daniel Almazán Klinckwort

Once aboard the train, you will wind through the Sierra Tarahumara, in awe of the spectacular landscapes you never thought to associate with Mexico. This region mixes the nature and folklore of the Tarahumara (also known as the Rarámuri) culture, the Mennonite camps, the Bisabirachi Valley rock formations, the breathtaking panoramic views of Copper Canyon, and the towns that offer a mystic beauty like Creed, where you can witness the way of life and craftsmanship of the indigenous people from the state of Chihuahua.

El Chepe has two different trains available: Chepe Express and Chepe Regional, both providing excellent experiences but with important differences.

el chepe

Bar of the Chepe Express

The Chepe Express includes six passenger cars, a bar car and a restaurant (consumption not included in ticket price), as well as a terrace. With your Express train, you can get off at two stops without additional costs. However, you must specify the stop(s) upon reserving your tickets, and at each stop you choose, you must stay there at least one night and make your own hotel reservations. Hop back on the train the next day to continue the route. Tickets are available for First and Business class.

el chepe

Chepe Regional

The Chepe Regional includes four to seven passenger cars and a restaurant with an “À la carte” menu (consumption not included in ticket price). With the Regional train, three stops are available instead of two, and you must follow the same procedure as for the Chepe Express. Tickets are only available for Regional Tourist class.

If you plan on journeying on El Chepe during high season, that is to say July, August, December, and major holiday weeks like Easter, we recommend you book your tickets four months in advance.

Experience a different part of Mexico, in a different way. Hop on El Chepe and journey through the Sierra Tarahumara.

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