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At the heart of the Tarahumara wilderness in Mexico is the Copper Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world, with 64,000 square kilometers of mountains, valleys and cliffs. It was formed by volcanoes between 20 to 30 million years ago. The lava rock and ash have given the canyons their copper-like color.

The CHEPE is the only passenger train running in Mexico. It travels from El Fuerte to Chihuahua City, allowing its travelers to admire more than 20,000 acres of woods. Every day CHEPE takes around 250 to 300 passengers and 65 crew members.

The route from the Pacific ocean to the Chihuahua hills opened in 1961 and, from sea level, goes to 8000 ft. of elevation, crossing 39 bridges and 85 tunnels.

Even though CHEPE has had a fantastic restaurant for many years, I will always remember the trip of my childhood, before CHEPE added the restaurant. My mother prepared sandwiches for us that she wrapped in a paper napkin first, and then in foil.

I also remember drinking little sips of a very strong coffee that the captain of the CHEPE shared with my father.

CHEPE is a life experience and you create a bond with this very special train: a big machine that makes a lot of noise, like a pumping heart that will touch your soul.

For more information on touring Copper Canyon from the CHEPE train, and other spectacular tours of Mexico, call The Happy Quail at 520-404-2053.

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