Day 1º: Arrive Phoenix.
Welcome to Phoenix! A complimentary transfer is provided to your tour hotel. Our representative is at the hotel late this afternoon to greet you and answer questions.
Hotel: Courtyard Marriott Phoenix Airport
Day 2°: Phoenix – Tucson – San Carlos.
Heading south, we stop in Tucson for passengers joining the tour. Crossing the border into Mexico, we travel into the Sonoran Desert, stopping in the small town of Santa Ana for lunch. From here, we journey to Hermosillo, where we view the cathedral and murals at the Government Palace. We arrive in time for sunset at our beachfront resort in San Carlos. There is time to relax before tonight’s Welcome Drink and dinner. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Marinaterra Hotel & Spa
Day 3°: San Carlos – Sea of Cortez Cruise – Alamos.
Today our Tour Director reveals a Hidden Treasure. We visit a cactus garden and find out more about these amazing desert plants. We then board a private boat for a scenic cruise on the Sea of Cortez, viewing a variety of marine life and learning about their habitat. After lunch at a waterfront restaurant, we visit the first modern cultured pearl farm in the Americas. We are taken on a guided tour of the farm and hear about pearl oysters, farming, pearl grading and quality selection. Next, we travel south through the rich farmlands of Obregon City to the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains and the colonial town of Alamos. Designated as a National Monument, the city’s cobblestone streets are lined with beautiful Colonial and Spanish buildings. This evening, we soak in the local culture at dinner with a colorful folkloric show. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Casa de los Tesoros
Day 4°: Alamos – El Fuerte.
Alamos’ colonial history is brought to life on this morning’s guided walking tour. We visit some of the restored mansions built when Alamos’ silver mines were some of the richest in the world. We also have the chance to meet local Mayo Indians and learn about their language, culture and customs. After lunch, we journey into the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains to the town of El Fuerte. This evening, we are personally welcomed by a member of the Torres family who will take us to the family’s beautifully restored mansion built in the late 1800’s. Here, we will be treated to a performance of traditional Hispanic and Indigenous dances followed by a delicious dinner featuring local Black Bass, just-caught in the El Fuerte River, and fresh local produce from a nearby farm. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Be My Guest dinner).
Hotel: Torres del Fuerte
Day 5°: El Fuerte – Copper Canyon – Posada Barrancas (2 nights).
Today we board our private rail car and start our journey on the “Train in the Sky” into Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Taking almost 100 years to build in this rugged terrain, this rail line is considered to be an engineering marvel. We travel from sea level to 7,500 ft in less than 150 miles, passing through tunnels and over soaring bridges. This rail excursion, voted “Most Exciting Train Journey in the World,” takes us along the precipitous Septentrion and Urique Canyons into the heart of the Copper Canyon, over four times as large as Arizona’s Grand Canyon. We disembark in Posada Barrancas, our home for the next two nights. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Mansion Tarahumara
Day 6°: Copper Canyon sightseeing.
We spend the entire day exploring this dramatic area, one of the last undiscovered treasures of North America. We hear about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as the Copper Canyon. We also spend time with the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon’s caves for thousands of years, and gain insight into their timeless traditions and culture. We then visit a local medicine man and discover the natural remedies used by the Tarahumara Indians. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Day 7°: Copper Canyon – Casas Grandes.
We travel to Creel via the Oteros Canyon before descending from the Copper Canyon into the Chihuahuan Desert and the city of Casas Grandes. This evening, we observe live pottery firing by local potters who have established the Mata Ortiz Pottery style, a recently established art form based on the ancient pottery tradition used at the archaeological site of Paquime. Later, we get together for a Farewell Dinner. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Farewell dinner).
Hotel: Hotel Hacienda
Day 8°: Casas Grandes – Paquime – Phoenix/Tempe.
Today we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Paquime, a vestige of the great Chichimeca civilization. Many of the ancient dwellings and pyramids have been excavated and can be explored. We then continue across the Chihuahuan Desert, back into the US and stop in Tucson before arriving back in Phoenix late this afternoon. (Full breakfast / Lunch).
Hotel: Courtyard Marriott Phoenix Airport
Day 9°: Depart Phoenix.
A complimentary transfer is provided to Phoenix International Airport. (Full breakfast).