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BARRANCAS DEL COBRE

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The train from Chihuahua to the Pacific Ocean appears to suffer while running over the abstract geography of Barrancas del Cobre (Copper's Gullies); therefore, each station, each small town - colonial or mining, always dusty - turns into a quiet place where to recuperate its strength and restart its reckless course through serpentine abysses with renewed impulse.

And the old "horse of iron" begins to devour the rails and sleepers in one of the most amazing railway routes in the world, an splendid route that allows for the admiration of canyons, lakes and cascades of the Barrancas del Cobre, a magical place chiselled by the persistence of time and the force of nature.

The indomitable geography of the gullies was originated 30 million years ago, when successive volcanic explosions tore the guts of the so called Sierra Madre Occidental. The huge amounts of lava and ashes generated by the eruptions were scattered all over the zone, turning in time into one of the most dazzling landscape environments in the country.

A natural space impacting not only for its powerful depressions (deeper than the mythical Grand Canyon of the Colorado River) and frightening slopes, but also for its upright mountains, splendid waterfalls, deep forests and the species of flora and fauna that inhabit the 600 kilometre long and 250 kilometre wide area comprised in this zone of the state of Chihuahua.

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BARRANCAS DEL COBRE - MEXICO TRAVEL AND TOURS
Barrancas del Cobre Travel
Attractions in Barrancas del Cobre
Lodging in
Barrancas del Cobre
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How To Get To
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Useful Information of Barrancas del Cobre
Due to the deep encasement of its depressions, the zigzag narrowness of its roads, the elegance of its mountains and the beauty of its lakes and lagoons, the Barrancas del Cobre is a proverbial scenery for the practice of sports, specially rock climbing and rappel, but also trekking, mountain bike and horseback rides, just to cite a few dishes of the adventure menu.

Though, to honour the truth, adrenaline outflows right after the trip begins. A thrilling though exhausting journey, more likely if you are a passenger on this centenarian train, hardened and monumental, that was built by the firms from the United States that exploited the mineral deposits of the area.

The train Chihuahua-Pacific is, undoubtedly, one of the best ways of knowing the Barrancas del Cobre. It does not matter if the journey takes 10 or 12 hours, nor if the stops take too long or if there are too many tunnels and bridges, the only important thing is to be delighted by the panorama or by the picturesque urban layout of the 12 towns located alongside the railroad.

Of colonial origin or surged due to the mining exploitation, the towns of the Barrancas del Cobre boast about their plain elegance of centenarian buildings and dusty little streets; though in spite of their dearly loved enchantment, the humane origin of these lands is not in the plazas or churches, but in the immensity of the Tarahumara Sierra, as this area is also known.

Regardless of their difficult landscape, the gullies were inhabited since pre-Hispanic times by several native groups (more than one hundred), who were decimated by the mistreatment of the Spaniards and the mestizos. There exist currently only descendants from the Tarahumaras, Tepehuaes, Pimas and Guarijios ethnic groups .

Among them, the Tarahumaras are the most numerous native population. They are also known as the Raramuris (men of agile feet) due to the speed at which they run. Because of the complexity of their territory, they live in isolated zones or on modest farms, engaged in hunting and agriculture. They visit the towns to sell craftsmanship only.

The Tarahumaras still maintain their old traditions and habits. Their religiosity is a sample of the syncretism between the pre-Hispanic and the western worlds, for they worship Christ and the Christian saints upon their altars, but also the old gods: Raienari (Sun) and Mecha (Moon). They use peyote, a hallucinating substance, in their rituals.

The train keeps bellowing through the sinuous railway of the Barrancas del Cobre. Their deep gullets do not cease to dazzle travellers, while the Tarahumaras continue to run quickly through the uneven geography. Time keeps on passing. Life goes on.

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