Riding to Copper Canyon

Another visitor testimonial:

One of the most awesome things about getting old is the more time you have to do things. We are not strangers to Adventure Holidays on our Motorcycles having ridden the Baja and most every Road in the Western US and Canada.

Given our history our decisions to take another trip on our bikes usually starts with a simple statement “Let’s Go Too Copper Canyon”

As Canadians we simply do not possess the Fear or prejudices our American friends in the Southern US have pertaining to Mexico. We have been advised many times to not ride in Mexico, the cartels, drug lords, murders etc. is enough to scare off most Americans however we have to tell you we have only had positive experiences during all of our Mexican Adventures. San Diego to Los Cabos, Rocky Point numerous times, San Carlos and now 1100 km to Los Mochis arriving at Camp David and not once have we experience anything other than warm, welcoming, hospitable wonderful Mexican people.

In planning our Canyon adventure the security of our motorcycles is of course a concern so finding a suitable place to store them while touring the Copper Canyon on a Train was a high priority. Listen it’s still Mexico and like any strange country (City) you just wouldn’t leave your bike unattended for days. There are places in Canada, Calgary that I wouldn’t leave my bike overnight so the same precautions must be taken when travelling in Mexico.

Copper Canyon has been in our discussions for a few years and we decided to just do it. We departed Phoenix at 8am, we now numbered six for this Mexican Adventure.

After some extensive Goggling we made arrangements with David Warner who resides in Ville Del Ahome about 15 minutes outside Los Mochis. Our decision was driven primarily through the need for safe Motorcycle Storage however at the conclusion of our Tour it became evident that Camp n David offered much more. David’s secured compound not only offered us security but was a beautiful 2.5 acre resort, extremely clean; great food and made all the arrangements for our actual Copper Canyon Experience.


David is well connected with some great people and facilities, something you appreciate once you experience this for yourself. Basically we simply showed up at David’s and everything else was arranged for us. Delivering us to the Train and being greeted at our predetermined destinations everything worked perfectly. All of our hosts were awesome, the food was terrific, rooms were better than expected and in one case I would have to say spectacular.

We want to thank David and his associates for delivering an Excellent Adventure in Copper Canyon.

Brian Morrison

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From Sunny Wiard:

We had a trip of a lifetime thanks to you. Our friends will never understand when we tell them about it because it can only be experienced. We felt like we were being treated like royalty by everyone involved. Thanks for making it happen.

You will be happy you picked me as your tour guide also !”

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Come on down, it’s as safe as can be!

Another visitor testimonial:

012This was one of the most fascinating getaways we have ever experienced, and it far exceeded our expectations. It began at Dave Warner’s expansive hunting lodge, set beneath a coconut grove. Since we are from Southern California, we had spent a night in San Diego, within walking distance of the Otay Mesa border crossing.  The next morning we parked at a secure lot, two blocks from the border.  We walked across into Tijuana and stopped at the immigration office for a tourist card.  But we never found a bank to pay for it and, fortunately, no one ever asked to see it.  We took one of the waiting cabs to the Tijuana Airport, where we caught a Volaris flight to Los Mochis. When we arrived, we saw a “Campo David” sign with a cab driver, as Dave had promised.  The cab ride cost $45 when we arrived at Campo David.  We enjoyed all the sights at the lodge, which included several dogs, a monkey, an exotic bird. Dave’s several friendly helpers included his cute adopted son, age 6.

The next night was spent at a rustic but quite comfortable lodge, Paraiso del Oso, near a village whose church dates back to 1680 but which didn’t have electricity until just ten years ago. Our guide, Victor, took us on two fascinating tours of the environs.  The views of Copper Canyon were breathtaking. The third night brought us to Mansion Tarahumara, with staggering views of the canyon. This hotel was first-class in every way, from the food, to the views, to the tours and charming host, Maria.  Not far below the hotel, cave and cliff dwelling Indians still live and welcome visitors. Also, at Divisadero, which is the farthest point of the trip, there is the longest zip line in Mexico. We loved it—and we are in our seventies.

The journey from one place to the next has to be one of the greatest train rides in the world, both because the scenery is stunning and  because the train route itself is an engineering marvel. We advise sitting on the right (south/east) side going up and the left (south/east) side going down for the best views. Try to get a seat with long windows in front of you.  If you aren’t assigned these seats, the conductor will change you over if space is available. 

When we arrived back in Los Mochis, the van was waiting to return us to the lodge. A big delicious breakfast was served the next day before we were delivered back to the airport. 

We did not change any dollars into pesos.  Instead, we took plenty of US fives and ones for buying souvenirs and for tipping.  The only time we might have needed pesos was on the plane ride back to Tijuana.  A very nice fellow passenger was kind enough to buy us a cup of coffee with his Mexican change.  In fact, people were enjoyable everywhere we went, and we felt safe at all times.

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Happy Visitors

Here are two very nice ladies that rode the bus down from Tucson, enjoying all my hummingbirds . Lots to see and do on the Copper Canyon tour. Come on what are you waiting for ?


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Another happy visitor!

We’ve received this testimonial from a recent visitor:

Throughout our tour arranged by David Warner, all went as it was described in the website.  We were met at the airport in Los Mochis.   A large sign saying "Camp David" as soon as we entered the airport left no cause for concern. 

Camp David itself is clean, comfortable with a very friendly David and his wonderful help.  The food was wonderful.  We were taken by van to the train station.  This is a real plus as the train leaves before dawn. 

The train ride itself is fabulous, with beautiful scenery, comfortable seats, a dining car and a bar car.  I didn’t want the ride to end.   We had fun talking with other tourists and with the very knowledgeable and friendly crew. 

Our first stop was at the Hotel Paraiso del Oso in Cerocahui.   Again we were met at the station and taken directly to the Hotel.  The Hotel was  charming and very comfortable.  Doug made us feel very much at home, and we truly enjoyed the tour to the rim of Uribe Canyon as well as the tour of Cerocahui and the boarding school for the little Tarahumara Indian girls.  Again, the food was great.

On the train again, only for about an hour this time, and we arrived at our destination of two nights, Mansion Tarahumara.  We loved the dining area and we were thrilled with our room which had a great view of Copper Canyon.  WE did have to climb a bit to arrive at our room.  To us it was worth it.  However, there are several rooms closer to the main lodge.  The food again was great.  We were served lunch as soon as we arrived.  At this site, we took a walking tour of some Tarahumara homes, a ride on the brand new cable cars, visits to various lookout points in the canyon, and a wonderful driving tour with Jorge to a valley where the Tarahumara live in community.  We loved our time with the staff at Mansion Tarahumara.  We were then escorted back to the train station for the 8 hour trip back to Camp David. 

We had a wonderful day at David’s beach house on a beautiful and pristine beach.  One of the highlights for us that I did not expect is that the area around Los Mochis is so agricultural and we saw lots of Mexican countryside on our drives to and from the beach. 

My husband and I were taken in the van to Los Mochis airport and on our way home.  We truly did feel safe while we were on David’s tour.  We enjoyed all the people that we met on our trip, particularly the couple that we were on the tour with.  At each place on the tour, we were expected and warmly welcomed.  The Copper Canyon area is truly awesome.  There are no ATMs so I would suggest that you take cash is small amounts.  I would have liked to buy a little more from the Tarahumara women, but I did not have many 1, 5 or 10 dollar bills. 

In all, we could recommend this tour and we are really glad that we finally got to Copper Canyon!

Come on down and enjoy the fun!

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Some Recent Visitors

Here’s a couple that flew in from Tijuana to enjoy the beach as well as 4 nights in the Canyon. Come on while you can !!

Here's a couple that flew in from Tijuana

John and Carol Ann drove down here from Yuma for their trip to the canyon then took the ferry over to the Baja and back to Yuma. Any which way you want to come is OK with me!


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More happy guests

More happy guests, and it’s time for you to be one. Come on time is running out!

Hi Dave, just wanted to let you know we got ‘home’ to Bucerias safely and now are cleaning out the dust. Thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality and a great tour you organized. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and will recommend it highly.

Gord and Linda Schneider

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More pics of visitors

A very nice group of people that enjoyed the Copper Canyon and a few drinks before dinner here at Camp David. It’s safe and fun so come on down for a vacation of your life.

Very nice people

Boy, let me tell you, was this ever a FUN group of tourists that had a ball here and in the canyon too! Safe, fun, and affordable. What are you waiting for? Call or email me today to start your own fun vacation.

A fun group of tourists

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Yet Another Happy Camper!

Hi Dave,

Now, that we are back already from our incredible trip for a week, we are still dreaming and reminicing about the good time we all had with you and your affiliated organisations on the Copper Canyon.

Everything worked out like clockwork and we thank you very much for organizing this memorable event. Please extend our thanks also to Bernicia who took care of us so well!

Kind regards,

Knud and Burghilt Hammerbeck

What are you waiting for sign up now for the BEST OF THE BEST WITH CAMP DAVID!

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Some good advice

A recent visitor wrote us to provide a bit of good border-crossing advice.

Hello David;

Thanks for the wonderful send off at the end of our trip. A trip that we will remember forever. Both Lana and I agree that it is the most remember able trip that we have every been on. The chicken and straw berries did a good job in tying us over until we got to SD.

The motel we stay at in SD is the Padre Trail Inn on Taylor. There are really interesting shops and super Mexican restaurant right across the street. Old Town is a mere five minute walk. And a main transportation link is the same five minute walk. Rates are excellent, rooms are clean. Includes a continental breakfast and parking. I have parked there for two weeks without cost.

Just to let you know that we arranged for a cab at the airport to take us back SD. The driver was great and spoke English. The taxi gate at customs was closed for over and hour so we had to wait on the US side until he got over to pick us up. I would suggest that anyone using this service have a phone number to call back to dispatch should the flow of crossing the border be interrupted. Or maybe if the cabbie had our cell number he would have called us to let us know of the delay. Luckily we had a taxi number to call to find out why he did not show when expected.

Will always think of you and your family with the very kind hospitality. It would be a pleasure to recommend your trip package.

Kindest regards,

Karl and Lana

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Update for 13 Mar

Here we have a very happy group. Two that just got back from the copper canyon on the left from Palm Springs and the other five are from Phoenix just heading to the copper canyon tomorrow morning after a day at the beach today. Breakfast FIRST!!!

A happy group at breakfast

Lunch at the beach !! Fresh grilled corn on the cob and extra large shrimp, all you can eat!!

All you can eat lunch

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A Great Copper Canyon Tour Review!

The following is a testimonial from a recent visitor:

We booked our tour of Barrancas del Cobre through David Warner’s Copper Canyon Tour. David was extremely helpful both via telephone and email with making all of the arrangements we needed for a fabulous 8 day and 7 night vacation. The total cost for the entire trip was $1600 per person. This included a round trip cross-border taxi ride, round trip airfare from Tijuana to Los Mochis on Volaris Airlines, the taxi ride from the Los Mochis airport to Camp David, 3 nights with all meals at Camp David, First Class round-trip train tickets as well as rooms, meals and tours during our 4 days and nights in the Copper Canyon. You can’t beat this deal anywhere!!!

David and his wife Beranice (Berne) greeted us with open arms to their Shangri-La home in Ahome, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Camp David

Berne is a GREAT cook, the rooms are spacious with very comfortable queen beds, large private bathrooms with nice hot showers – a welcome treat after a day of travel.

Camp David

Actually the day of travel was a snap!  Charley of Transportes Terrestre whisked us through the border to the Tijuana Airport without a hitch.  By the way we’ve never seen a more spotless taxi.

Charley of Transportes Terrestre

The Tijuana Airport was beautiful and clean.  Volaris Airlines was equally nice, on time, clean and very comfortable.  In Los Mochis, David had arranged for our taxi and the driver was waiting for us outside of  Baggage Claim with a sign saying Campo David.  A short drive past field after field of corn, tomatoes, potatoes, sugar cane and so much more…

Green Fields

…and there we were at Camp David – a paradise!

Camp David

On Day two we went to La Playa and enjoyed a walk on the beautiful sandy which we had all to ourselves.  We saw dolphins playing in the waves and collected numerous shells including a sand dollar.  Berne fixed us grilled FRESH (picked that day) corn, Sea of Cortez shrimp and salad.  A beautiful relaxing day!

 La Playa


Day three began early so we could catch the Chepe Train to our next stop Cerocahui, Chihuahua, Mexico.  The train ride took us from the valley across the El Fuerte River   NOTE:  ASK FOR A SEAT ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRAIN!  The majority of the views are from that side and the sunlight is perfect on the trip from Los Mochis to Barrancas del Cobre.

Journey to Barrancas del Cobre

What a fantastic sights on the Chepe Train from Rio El Fuerte to the beautiful mountains surrounding Cerocahui.

Mountains surrounding Cerocahui.


We were greeted at the train station by Hugo who took us to the Paraiso del Oso Lodge.  On the ride from the train station we asked if there were bears in the area.  Hugo laughed and said no.  The name of the Lodge came from the rock formations looming over the site.  There he is “Yogi Bear” clear as a bell watching over us from our room.

“Yogi Bear”

This is totally a family run Lodge – built from scratch by Doug (Diego) Rhodes and his wife Maria (parents of Hugo).  It’s everything you would want a Lodge in the mountains to be!

Pariso del Oso Lodge


With the rooms heated by wood burning stoves, the lobby by a huge fireplace and lighting in the bar by kerosene lantern, the atmosphere was rustic and very romantic.  Hugo and his sister, who did the cooking, treated us as royalty.

The next day, Day four, Hugo took us on a grand tour of Cerocahui and Canyon Urique.  Cerocahui is a lovely Colonial town where we visited the church originally built in 1680 and refurbished in 1948.



Across from the church was a Catholic School for the local children.  This school also look in the local Tarahumara Indian children for free and provided the girls with room and board through the 8th grade.  Without this, any education would be impossible since it’s an average of a 1 day walk each way to the school.

Rador Cerro Gallegos (Overlook) was about a 1 hour drive from Cerocahui.  We had many opportunities for spectacular views along the way including the picture of Cerocahui above and this picture of a mango tree in the foreground with gorgeous rocky views in the background.

Rador Cerro Gallegos (Overlook)

But, the views from Rador Cerro Gallegos were breathtaking.  Below is the Rio Urique and city of Urique.

The views from Rador Cerro Gallegos

The views from Rador Cerro Gallegos

During a short morning hike near the Lodge led by Hugo’s nephew we turned to go back and Yogi was showing us the way.

Yogi was showing us the way

Upon our return, Hugo took us to the train station to continue our journey to the Posada Barrancas stop.  We were now at 7,200 feet in the town of Areponapuchi which means place of the eagles in the Tarahumara language – indeed!  We were promptly picked us up at the train station and taken to the Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo.  What an amazing place!

Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo 1

Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo 2

Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo 3

Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo 4

Hotel Mansion Tarahumara – El Castillo 5
Maria Barriga Villarreal, the owner, greeted us as family, welcomed us into her “home” and fed us lunch. Victor, the tour guide, then took us to our “Room with a View”.   What do you think?  Is this a view or what?

Is this a view or what?

Is this a view or what?

After settling in, Victor took us on a short hike near the hotel.

A short hike

A short hike

From here we could look up, and see our room!

From here we could look up, and see our room!

Our “View Room” was at 7,700 feet.  The lobby was at 7,200 feet.  So, my husband arranged to have our dinner and a bottle of wine brought to our room each night!  Our dinner overlooking the canyon at sunset became our daily romantic ritual.

What a view!

We could not have felt more welcomed by Maria and her staff at Hotel Mansion Tarahumara.  The PERFECT place to see Barrancas del Cobre.

The next morning, Day 5, we woke up before dawn in order to see sunrise over the canyon and what a sight it was.




Then down the mountain for our delicious breakfast of Mexican scrambled eggs & fresh fruit and off to Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico.

This lovely city also had its gorgeous views…

Creel, Chihuahua scenery

…and an ATM where we could get Pesos!  Now we were in search of items exclusive to this area – baskets, carvings, and beautifully colorful clothes.

Tarahumara Indian women

We did find several beautiful items here and also saw the beautiful “women” who make them.  The Tarahumara Indian women return to their village after 8th grade, marry and have children at 12-13 years old – Children having Children.  See the serious look of this Indian mother?  These women WORK from the time they’re a toddler until they attend school and from then on.  We saw very few Indian men in the area. Why? The men have to leave the area unless their family owns good land to farm (rare in this mountainous terrain).  Many of them take the 2nd class Chepe train to the Sinaloa valley.  There they find work as farm laborers earning $150 Pesos ($12 dollars) a day plus room and board to work the fields.  It’s a tough rough life but they always seem to migrate back to their villages and FAMILY.

From Creel we headed away from the canyons to the San Ignacio Arareko or Arareco (saw it spelled both ways) National Park.  Here we got to see a local Indian Village up close as well as many marvelous rock formations.

Ignacio Arareko National Park

The Indians very rarely own a vehicle or even a horse/mule.  They must carry everything on their backs for miles across very narrow paths on extremely rocky terrain as pointed out by our guide, Victor.

Rocky terrain

Next we drove to the Valle de Aaranas (Valley of Mushrooms) and Hongos (Frogs).

Valle de Aaranas (Valley of Mushrooms) and Hongos (Frogs)

Valle de Aaranas (Valley of Mushrooms) and Hongos (Frogs) 2

Valle de Aaranas (Valley of Mushrooms) and Hongos (Frogs) 3

We had a lovely picnic lunch at Lago Arareco (Horseshoe Lake).

Lago Arareco (Horseshoe Lake)

There,  we met up with 3 Indian children selling their wares.  We had just finished shopping in Creel and had no small change – WORD OF ADVICE:  ALWAYS HAVE A POCKET FULL OF SMALL CHANGE!  We did have plenty of food and they were all hungry so we shared our wonderful picnic of sandwiches, fruit and chicken.

Indian children

Indian children 2

What do you see?

Pedras de Elefanto

Pedras de Elefanto? Si!

Then it was back to our room with a view and another romantic dinner with a gorgeous sunset and a full moon over the canyon.

Another beautiful sunset

Another beautiful sunset

The next day’s adventure, Day 6, was in Parque de Adventura, Barrancas del Cobre.  This park is only 2 years old and is still under construction.  What they’ve done already is magnificent.  There’s a Reception Building with a gift shop and eating area.  In the center of the floor is a giant window to the crevice which is actually an Indian burial ground the building is over.  Attached to the building is a Tram that crosses by cable half way across the canyon and a Zip line for those that are more adventurous.  In addition there are miles of safe walkways along the canyon’s edge to capture numerous spectacular views.

Parque de Adventura 1

Parque de Adventura 2

Parque de Adventura 3

Parque de Adventura 4

Parque de Adventura 5

Upon exiting the Tram in the middle of the canyon, we were greeted by a local Indian playing one of their locally made violins or fiddles.  Victor demonstrated how to dance to the music.

Local Musicians

Dancing to the Local Musicians

Soon it was time to return back to the Canyon’s Rim.  Here you can see the building spanning the crevice.

Canyon tram

Now for those wonderful walkways and spectacular views!

Great scenery 1

Great scenery 2

Great scenery 3Great scenery 4

This is a famous “Balancing Rock”!  Though it’s forbidden, many people have stood on and rocked this bolder – quite a balancing act on the edge of a canyon.

Balancing rock

Yes!  This is the way to the next viewing area!   You can see through the floor.  I hung on for dear life to the cables as I crossed!

Scary walkway

A view well worth crossing the bridge for!

A view well worth crossing the bridge for!

Day 7, now it was time to head back to Ahome.   Victor took us to the train station where three Indian women awaiting passengers to buy their wares.  Their vibrant, colorful clothing as well as their intricately woven baskets totally captivated me,

Vibrant, colorful clothing 1

Vibrant, colorful clothing 2This baby girl captured my heart!

Sweet baby

Here comes the Chepe Train!

Chepe Train 1

Chepe Train 2

Chepe Train 3

On the return trip we did ask for a seat on the LEFT SIDE of the train to capture the views.  The sunlight however was dwindling rapidly so capturing good photos was difficult.

View from the Chepe train 1

View from the Chepe train 2

View from the Chepe train 3

View from the Chepe train 4

Though we arrived quite late, Berne was there with her niece to pick us up at the Train Station in Los Mochis and drive us to Ahome where a comfortable bed awaited.

Day 8, Our flight didn’t leave Los Mochis until 5:00pm so we had a relaxing day visiting with David, Berne & Bronson Warner and…

Visiting with David, Berne & Bronson 1

Visiting with David, Berne & Bronson 2

Visiting with David, Berne & Bronson 3

…just enjoying the weather.

Beautiful weather

They were kind enough to let us use their washer and dryer so we’d have clean clothes for our trip home – one less chore to worry about upon our return.  Then it was a quick trip to the beautiful Los Mochis Airport and an easy flight on Volaris Airlines to Tijuana.  In Tijuana we walked outside of the airport at Baggage Claim, turned right, walked a short block to the Transportes Terrestre Taxi Window and requested Charley.  They of course had our reservation and radioed for Charley.  He picked us up in no time and took us to the border.  Here we went through the turnstile and entered back into the United States.

After waiting in the Custom’s line for about 15 minutes, we made it through Custom’s without any problems.  Then it was another blocks walk to the First Bank’s parking lot where Transportes Terrestre has a reserved parking space.  Charley whisked our luggage back into the van and off we went back to the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel in San Diego.

Thank you to David Warner at Camp David, Diego Rhodes at Paraiso del Oso and Maria Barriga Villarreal at Hotel Mansion Tarahumara for giving us the trip of a lifetime!

Dennis & Dianne Walker

Dennis & Dianne Walker
Manteca, CA

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