Private Journeys

Mexico’s Copper Canyon Railway and Baja Coast

11 days from £2,570pp

Mexico

ShutterStock ©

Essentials

Transport

Two domestic flights (one on Aero Calfia’s Cessna or Caravan fleet; Los Mochis to el Cabo flight is on a jet taking 2.5hrs), 3 train journeys.

Accommodation

In Mexico City your hotel is well-located in the historic centre. The accommodation on the Copper Canyon route consists of mid-range properties perfectly positioned for hopping on and off the train.

The hotel in San José del Cabo is a charming hotel in a, owner-operated, Spanish colonial house with a distinctive Mexican style.

Meals

Breakfast daily; dinner day 4; full board day 5.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 30 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

11 days, 9 nights: Mexico City 2; Chihuahua 1; Creel 1; Posada Barrancas 2; El Fuerte 1; San José del Cabo 3.

Currency

The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 will cover food, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay more.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $10 per person for a half day and $20 for a full day for guides and half that for drivers.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

This holiday is suitable for people of all ages including children. The rail trip does not present problems for people of limited mobility but there are some steps to be negotiated. There is a minimum age for solo ziplining. Young children can be accompanied on the zip by a guide.. 

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Climate

In Mexico City and the mountains towns the climate is temperate all year round and, because of the altitude it never gets too hot. Temperatures can drop to freezing in Mexico City over the winter months.

The weather in the canyon varies according to altitude. Evenings can get very cold in the canyon when temperatures drop below zero, especially in Jan-Feb and there may be snow on the rim. The valley floor has a tropical climate.

On average, the warmest months of the year are Jul-Aug, during which time the daytime high temperatures will generally hover around the upper 20°s C and lower 30°s C. The night-time temperatures during these months will drop to the 20°s. From Apr-Sep, the canyons are not only hot, but they also are very humid. The oldest months are Jan-Feb.
The rainy season in the Copper Canyon is from June through September. During this time everything in the canyon is green and lush.

Baja California has 300-360 days of sunshine a year, year round temperatures in the 20°s and 30°s C tempered by sea breezes, and little rain. The sea is colder on the Pacific side because of cold currents.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring practical, comfortable clothing and a light-weight jumper. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants in Mexico City, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.

Strong, comfortable shoes or trainers are advisable and you should bring insect repellant, sun block, sun glasses, and swim wear.

Please get in touch with the JLA office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccination

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Country info

When is the best time to go to Mexico?

It’s a year-round destination. Over half the country enjoys temperate highland weather, while the coasts are mostly sunny, hot and relatively humid. The northwest has an arid desert climate. Elsewhere most rain falls from Jun to Sep though precipitation can be expected up to Nov. Hurricanes are possible around the Gulf of Mexico and Yucatán Peninsula Jul - Nov.

What is the official language of Mexico?

Spanish and indigenous languages.

What is Mexico's official currency?

Mexican peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have to ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave leave UK, and amounts are limited to about £100.

What is the time difference between Mexico and the UK?

GMT -6 hours and - 7 hours in Southern Baja California and the Copper Canyon.  

What other countries combine well with Mexico?

A visit to neighbouring Belize, where there are luxury eco-lodges, superb diving and snorkelling all embraced in British Caribbean cultural heritage.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Mexico?

Independence Day, 16 Sep Celebrations throughout the country.
Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, 1 - 2 Nov. Celebrated throughout the country.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified

Included Excursions

  • Teotihuacan and Guadeloupe shrine, Mexico City
  • Zipline and cablecar tour
  • Elephant Rock, Jesuit Mission and Cusarare waterfall

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified

Included Excursions

  • Teotihuacan and Guadeloupe shrine, Mexico City
  • Zipline and cablecar tour
  • Elephant Rock, Jesuit Mission and Cusarare waterfall

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

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Real Latin America Experts

  • Jamie Swan
    Jamie Swan - Travel Consultant

    Jamie backpacked across Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil before joining us; he has a degree in politics and is also a keen sportsman..

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Consultant

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is an invaluable part of our Group Tours team.

  • Evie Oswald
    Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant

    It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.

Meet the team