There is one Canyon that is grander than the Grand Canyon. The Copper Canyon. Also referred to as Barranca del Cobre in Spanish, the Copper Canyon is a group of six canyons in the Mexican south western part of Chihuahua Region, at a place specifically called the Sierra Madre Occidental.
The six Canyons are formed by six rivers that later merge to form the majestic Rio Fuerte that drains into the Sea of Cortez. The Copper Canyon system is larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. As if to outshine its northern cousin, the Canyons' walls are copper green in color and this is where their name was derived.
In the 17th century, the Spanish conquistadors wanted to spread their influence up north and thus began exploration. As fate would have it, they discovered silver in the lands owned by the Raramuri tribe. They eventually conquered the tribe and forced them into the silver mines. The small resistances that they put were quickly quelled and they were forced to the undesirable lands on the Canyon Cliffs. To this day, the Copper Canyon is the ancestral land of the Tarahumara - a name given to the Raramuri people by the Spanish.
The Sierra Tarahumara Occidental region boasts diverse flora and fauna species. Among the most common vegetation in the region include; Andean alder, poplar, pines, oaks, Mexican Douglas-fir Palm trees, brushwood and scrubby trees among others. Common wildlife includes the Cougars. Due to deforestation, Mexican wolfs and imperial wood peckers became extinct.
Among the common tourist activities in Copper Canyon include; hiking, biking, driving or horseback riding. To get around, most people opt to use the train (Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico) that runs through the main canyon, Canyon Urique, between Chihuahua and Los Mochis.
If you are a nature buff, you can enjoy scenic views in the Copper Canyon National Park that straddles Batopilas, Bocoyna, Guachochi, and Urique municipalities. Overall, the Copper Canyon is one of the most visited tourist destination in Mexico. Tourists always venture into the Canyon before they go to sunbathe on the Caribbean Coast to the east or surf on the Mexico's Pacific Coast to the west.
For more information on tours of the Copper Canyon or the Grand Canyon, please contact a Travel Specialist at North South Travel today