Cultural Adventure Tours to Mexico

Mysteries of Mexico’s Copper Canyon

with Ralph Velasco


Tarahumara People • Landscapes • Culture • Food • UNESCO World Heritage Sites • Natural Wonders

(this trip, like that of our others, will only operate

when it is safe to do so and we’ve been cleared to travel)

Tarahumara Family in Divisadero, Copper Canyon, Mexico - Copyright 2012 Ralph Velasco
Cable car negotiating Copper Canyon, Mexico by Ralph Velasco.
Tarahumara Man in Traditional Clothing - Divisadero, Mexico - Copyright 2012 Ralph Velasco

August 4 – 12, 2022

(revised dates due to change in El Chepe train schedule)



Join us for a small group cultural tour of Mexico’s Copper Canyon.

At this time of year, at the altitude where we’ll be spending much of our time (7,000+ feet above sea level), the weather is almost always spring-like, with cool, misty mornings, crisp evenings, and daytime temperatures in the 70s. There are often short rain showers in the afternoon which offer incredibly gorgeous clouds, great reflections and the occasional rainbow and distant lightning storm.

In this very safe part of Mexico you’ll experience the natural wonders of lakes, waterfalls and gorgeous landscapes, along with the Tarahumara people and their extremely unique and interesting culture (many live in caves and cliff overhangs till this day).  You’ll also have a chance to taste some of Mexico’s most delicious cuisine and ride El Chepe both up and down the Copper Canyon.



“Copper Canyon turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.”

~ Caroline J.


“Excellent trip to get outdoors, the visual is almost unbelievable. El Chepe Train ride was much more modern and comfortable than expected.”

~ John R.

Enjoy Photography with Mexico as Your Backdrop

The photo opportunities are virtually endless as we wind our way among 3,000-foot cliff walls that are often described as a cross between Yosemite National Park and the Grand Canyon.

We’ll be experiencing one of the great train rides of the world as we take El Chepe from the coastal town of Los Mochis, up and back down the Copper Canyon in Mexico…we’ll ride it First Class both ways allowing for special access to VIP sections of the train.

Did you know that “Chepe,” as it’s locally known, is the only passenger train in all of Mexico?

Check out this video Ralph made where he introduces El Chepe and Copper Canyon:

  • “LOVED your presentation at The Refinery on Saturday!! You got me motivated to travel & I learned a lot!!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME and for sharing your gift!!”

    Carole Haner-Brackett Photography Basics Meetup participant
  • “Thanks again for such an amazing trip…my photography interest and appetite has completely grown since the trip and I have come back so invigorated and inspired.  I’m excited to learn more and begin to take some higher quality pictures.”

    Sarah Radka Cuba tour participant
  • “Thanks for a great trip.  All went smoothly and I had a great time.  I return a better photographer for certain and have a new perspective on what I see.  You offer a great product – smart itineraries, hotels and food choices…I look forward to another trip.”

    David Wild Morocco tour participant
  • “The fun, adventure and friendship with you means everything to us, along with a great photo or two along the way!”

    Brandon and Shea Mayberry Morocco and Spain tours participant
  • “Ralph, Morocco truly is magical!  Thanks for a beautiful two weeks!”

    Leslie Talley Morocco, Turkey and Cambodia tours participant
  • “Our tour leader Ralph was one of the most knowledgeable trip leaders I have experienced over the past 40 years. He is a very experienced photographer and generously shared his knowledge, talents and experience with us.  I think I learned more composition skills and believe I am a better photographer.”

    Larry Ehemann Central Europe, Cuba East and Romania tour participant
  • “I really liked the [small] size of the tour. It felt like traveling with friends from very early on, and continued to feel that way. That last hotel we stayed in, the one in Budapest, was such a treat! Those views were fabulous, and it ended the trip in style. Ralph is a good trip leader… He wasn’t hovering, but he did stop and give tips and I felt well-tended. The local guides were all outstanding!”

    Heather Hellier Central Europe tour participant
  • “Ralph is an engaging and knowledgeable photographer that puts his world class experience in your hands. This trip has been off the charts.”

    Steve Grove Travel photography class, Cambodia and Vietnam tour participant
  • “The photo critique alone [at the Photography Boot Camp] is worth the price of admission.”

    Shaune Kelly Photography Boot Camp, Cuba and Tuscany tour participant
  • “Great examples clearly demonstrated the points Ralph made.  His teaching methods made many things much simpler to understand.  I thoroughly enjoyed this class!”

    Brenda Hatcher Photography Boot Camp participant



August 4 – 12, 2022

(NOTE: dates revised due to change in El Chepe train schedule)


2022 Pricing

$4,199 per person in Double Occupancy

Please add $699 per person for Single Supplement if you’d like your own room throughout.


Please request the details of this trip by contacting us at This Link.

To register, you can pay with a credit card via PayPal (Click This Link to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into the PhotoEnrichment Programs, Inc. bank account at any Bank of America branch. Depositing a check affords a $50 per person discount. We’ll send you all the details if you’ll contact us above.

Your participation is not confirmed until completed Reservation and Terms & Conditions Forms, and payment in full, have been received.



  • Meals: all breakfasts and most other meals.
  • Airport transfers in Los Mochis, Mexico, and transfers to/from El Chepe.
  • First Class ticket for El Chepe with Lunch onboard and VIP access.
  • Overland transfer from Creel to Divisadero.
  • All hotel accommodations throughout the official trip dates.
  • Tickets for any entry fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Services of a local guide for certain activities in Creel and Divisadero.
  • All group tips for local guide, drivers, hotels and restaurants.



  • Airfare to and from Los Mochis (LMM).
  • Items of a personal nature such as, but not limited to, baggage fees, laundry, Internet access where not provided, souvenirs, telephone calls, alcoholic beverages, and other items not specifically outlined as included in this Itinerary.
  • Fees for optional activities or meals.
  • Any additional tips.

“This was my first trip with Ralph which I found most informative as I had never travelled to Mexico before. Ralph is an excellent tour guide, his attention to detail is clearly of paramount importance because he takes pride in running a tight ship!”

~ Robert J.

“Loved it. I always felt in very capable hands with Ralph and Patrick. P.S. Patrick is wonderful. He is such a thoughtful and knowledgeable person. Hope I get to take a trip with him some day.”

~ Alice A.

“Wonderful experience and amazing to see the extent of Copper Canyon and the beautiful Tarahumara people…”

~ John Y.

“This was my first trip with [PhotoEnrichment Adventures] and I’m certain it will not be my last. Ralph and Patrick did a great job orchestrating interesting and challenging activities for us and selected excellent accommodations. I would recommend PEA’s trip to Copper Canyon to all my friends.”

~ Jim B.

“A brilliantly run trip by Ralph et al with superb logistics, wonderful cultural education, spectacular scenery, and excellent food! And the train ride was a gem, too.”

~ Gary K.

“I feel comfortable photographing all the native people on Ralph’s trip because he has been here before and they know what to expect from us tourists.”

~ Nancy E.

“The key thing about Ralph’s tours is that I do not feel like a tourist.”

~ Patrick M.

“Copper Canyon turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life.”

~ Caroline J.

“As a cultural tour guide, Ralph introduces you, and doesn’t sort of direct you, to the culture of Copper Canyon.”

~ David T.

“Excellent trip to get outdoors, the visual is almost unbelievable. El Chepe Train ride was much more modern and comfortable than expected.”

~ John R.

“This was my 3rd trip with Ralph. His tours are always well planned & organized. Ralph is calm, patient and very helpful. Copper Canyon is as spectacular as he describes; hiking to an amazing waterfall, zip lining Mexico’s longest zip line thru the Canyon or you can simply ride the cable car. The local Tarahumara people are shy, but warm and friendly. If you’re from the U.S., Copper Canyon is in your backyard, a highly recommended tour for anyone with a sense of adventure (or not).”

~ Silvia B.

“My trip to Copper Canyon, Mexico was really an eye opener. It is a destination that was never on my radar until PhotoEnrichment Adventures started going there. While there you get to see a side of Mexico that never gets mentioned. The landscape was beautiful and the rolling clouds made for great photos. Another highlight was meeting and interacting with the native Tarahumara people in their cave homes. They were very welcoming to us. We were able to go inside their homes and take as many photos as we wished.”

~ Patrick M. (3-time Copper Canyon participant and co-leader)


Ralph Velasco with Camera by Michelle Kate LaVigne


Ralph Velasco is a U.S.-based travel photography instructor, author and international guide who has organized and led over 100 international tours and more than 100 domestic tours in the United States.  His international trips have included Armenia & the Republic of Georgia, Egypt, Morocco, the Adriatic, Central Europe, Iceland, Bhutan & Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Spain, Portugal, Tuscany, Romania, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Turkey and other locations.

Ralph is an award-winning travel photography blogger, podcast host and public speaker, and for more than 13 years he’s been the Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures.  Recently he created a new travel brand called Alla Campagna Experiences where the focus is less on photography in each destination and even more about the culture, people, food, drink and other unique activities and experiences they have to offer, all while staying in unforgettable properties, such as private castles, wine estates, one-of-a-kind boutique hotels, villas and converted mansions, mostly in and around the Mediterranean.

Subscribe to Ralph’s YouTube channel, The Continental DRIFTER, as well as visit its accompanying travel blog at this link.  At The Continental DRIFTER you can expect travel advice, interesting stories, expert interviews and easy-to-use photography tips for Baby Boomers and Gen X travelers.

Now, invest in yourself…get out and travel!


Here is some additional information on Copper Canyon and our trip that we thought you would find valuable.

About El Chepe

The Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacifico, better known as El Chepe, is one of the great train rides of the world and it winds through Barrancas del Cobre (the Copper Canyon), one of Mexico’s many natural wonders.

The canyon gets its name from the copper color of some of its 3,000-plus foot walls (not because of copper mining in the region, as some people claim), which can be seen in all their glory from many vantage points along the route. Often compared to the Grand Canyon in the United States, Copper Canyon is more of a cross between the sheer cliff walls and alpine vegetation of Yosemite National Park and the deep and layered gorges of the Grand Canyon, but with a convenient train ride between them.

Each day El Chepe’s complete route in the northwest of Mexico travels from Los Mochis, in the neighboring state of Sinaloa, to the capital city of Chihuahua, in Chihuahua state (a second train does the reverse route).

Often referred to as the most scenic part of the journey, on this tour we’ll be experiencing Copper Canyon from Los Mochis, all the way up the canyon to approximately 8,000 feet above sea level in Divisadero and Creel, considered the gateway to the Copper Canyon. For a second chance to shoot the canyon from another direction, we’ll then ride El Chepe in the opposite direction, ending up back in Los Mochis.

Some facts about this remarkable railway journey include:

  • 86 tunnels
  • 37 bridges
  • Complete length: approximately 400 miles (660 km)
  • Maximum altitude: 7,900 feet (2,400 meters) at Divisadero
  • Construction started circa 1900
  • Completed: 1961

All activities and itinerary details are subject to change, but rest assured we’ll make every effort to provide a comparable alternative should changes to our schedule be necessary.

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