In Mexico City is a well-located and good quality Holiday Inn, with all the facilities you’d expect from this superior chain of no-nonsense business and leisure hotels. The hotels on the Copper Canyon route are acceptable medium class 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.
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
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, 2 – 5.5hrs per day.
Breakfast daily; dinner day 3; full board day 4.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 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
9 days, 8 nights: Mexico City 1; Chihuahua 1; Creel 1; Posada Barrancas 1; El Fuerte 1; San José del Cabo 3.
Included in the journey 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.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso.
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.
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, and possibly some travellers’ cheques (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. 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.
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.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
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.
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
Pack for hot weather with summer-weight loose, comfortable clothing including shorts and trousers (bear in mind that you have to get in and out of Zodiac boats). Brings sun-protective headgear, swimwear, smart casual for the evening, fleece, light sweater or jacket for cool evenings, wet weather gear: umbrella for tropical downpours, rain-cape or coat, comfortable non-slip footwear including stout walking boots or shoes and consider bringing aqua socks for snorkelling etc. Long sleeved shirts and long trousers are advisable for on shore excursions as you may encounter insects including mosquitoes. There’s no need to over-pack: On board the cruise ship there is a laundry and dry cleaning service.
Sun block and insect repellant are essential. Don’t forget your sun-glasses, binoculars, camera, charger and memory cards. Some items can be bought in the on board boutique, including branded and unbranded T shirts and sweatshirts, scent, souvenir mugs etc. Remember to pack any personal medication (carry it in cabin luggage on the flights). A small first aid kit with blister pads, aspirin etc may come in handy. The ship has a medical centre.
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. 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. Clients with a different nationality should refer to our Briefing Dossier and check with the Mexican Consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US, you will need to fill in an ESTA application online at ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be applied for by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.