First off, let me state that this writer gets the heebie jeebies when he’s close to the edge of a cliff.
Being in the Copper Canyon area for the last month, my stomach has been the home of many butterflies!
To top this off, they have a great viewing area at Divisadero, a lookout about 44 KM from Creel. This is not the deepest part of the Copper Canyon, but it’s deep.
For this writer to go to the edge of the Copper Canyon to take pictures, is to have a butterfly convention in my stomach. But, the views are breathtaking and worth the effort to quell the shakiness I feel.
Then I’d been told about a gondola ride that goes across the canyon – hundreds of feet high – maybe a mile or two. Thinking to myself, “Who would be dumb enough to do that. Look at the roads, and the poor maintenance of same!” “Look at the government buildings – the maintenance is done by the same organization! What would a gondola ride be like after seeing the quality of work that the Mexican government does?”
Well, this is not going to happen again, anytime soon. If one is in the Copper Canyon, with a chance to go OVER the canyon, well, let’s do it!
I doubted this decision, I really did. Once you look at the pictures of where the gondola goes, I hope you, the reader, can relate to the courage that was mustered in order to hop on the gondola and take off with only a few cables holding me up in midair!
But I took it and it didn’t come crashing down. The gondola operator is in the car with you. So, he has the same incentive as I do on this trip – arrive alive!
It’s a 10 minute trip to a small mountain in the middle of the Copper Canyon. You can walk around the mountain top – it’s maybe a football field size of an area. The views are astounding. The Copper Canyon area has been getting a lot of rain – so the river at the bottom of the canyon is wide and deep.
The views into and around the Copper Canyon area – you can see for miles. Blues, yellows, green – lots of green. I was there in the latter part of the day (the ride stops at 5PM), and the clouds were billowy with a threat of rain. So, shadows, the colors, the height – it was great.
The Eco-adventure park also has zip lines going over a shorter stretch of the Copper Canyon. This is a small canyon that has been formed by a small stream that runs down the canyon wall during the rainy season. I’d say about 400 to 500 yds. long for the line.
Personally, even in an enclosed car, I was not feeling really great. I think a zip line trip would have put me over the edge! But, you now know that it’s there, if you’re the adventurous type.
They also have an open air seat that will take you to the same destination as the gondola ride. It’s for one person and it’s on pulley’s just like the gondola, but you are in an open chair, similar to a snow chair that takes you up a ski slope.
For the adventurous (and the much more physically fit) they have mountain bike riding and hiking into and around the canyons.
For the kids they have a playground which includes a small rock climbing structure, swings, teeter totters, a bungee type trampoline and a train ride around a parking area.
There are areas set up for picnics and viewing the canyons.
A restaurant is located inside the eco-adventure park, along with snacks available throughout the area.
At the Divisadero viewing area there’s the Hotel Divisadero – which runs $690 pesos per night. (The exchange rate is 12.5 pesos per dollar) They have a beautiful restaurant that overlooks the Copper Canyon, but I believe it is only open for the guests of the hotel.
They do have a bar area that is open to the public. It, too, has two or three windows that overlook the the copper Canyon with magnificent views! (I included a picture looking out of the bar area)
The local Tarahumara sell there handicrafts around the Divisadero viewing area, You can purchase baskets, necklaces, shawls, walking sticks, pottery and a variety of other items. There are stalls set up in the area to buy almost anything you would want as a souvenir.
The Hotel Divisadero offers tours like most hotels in the area. Horseback riding, tours of the waterfalls in the area, the different towns, etc. All come with the appropriate price tag.
Is it worth the trip to the area?
Further up from Hotel Divisadero, there are cheaper hotels, but one thing I did not notice were any restaurants. So, if you’re thinking of staying in the area, just make sure you make arrangements for meals. I’d say you could find something in the 200 +++ range just west of the Hotel Divisadero.
If your staying in Creel and make the trip, you could easily see and do most everything in the area in the morning or afternoon. This is true if you decide NOT to go mountain riding or hiking.
The gondola is definitely worth the $10 for the ride – it’s a 10 minute ride there and they allow you to stay 20 minutes on the mountain top.
I’m sure glad that I decided to spend some time in this wonderful area of the Copper Canyon!