When people first think of Mexico they usually daydream about picture perfect beaches, ancient Mayan ruins and colourful Day of the Dead celebrations. While Mexico is rightfully famous for all of these things, what usually comes as a surprise is that Mexico also has a series of massive canyons in the Sierra Madre region that when combined are significantly larger than the Grand Canyon!
We spoke to Gate 1’s Fern Speechley who recently set out to explore this rather unique region on Gate 1’s 10 Day Copper Canyon: Mexico & Tuscon tour.
What was it about Mexico and this tour that made you want to go on the trip?
I have been to Mexico once before and fell in love with the beautiful scenery, rich history and the loud and vibrant culture so when the opportunity came up to explore the North which was relatively unknown to me I was very intrigued.
What was the highlight of the trip?
The highlight was definitely exploring the region of Posada Barrancas and the Copper Canyon. Even though I had read that it was larger than the Grand Canyon in Arizona I was truly blown away by the scale and beauty of these interconnected canyons. Our accommodation provided stunning views of the Canyons and we were treated one night during sunset with a double rainbow. The aerial tram ride was a fun inclusion that allowed you to descend 4,500 feet into the centre of the Canyons. I’m usually not a fan of heights but I can assure you it felt very safe.
What was your favourite meal or what food did you have that you really enjoyed or felt was very authentic?
If you love Mexican food you will not be disappointed by the variation and flavoursome options on this tour. I think I ate around 15 tacos on this tour, I couldn’t get enough. My favourites were the carnitas I had in Alamos and the marlin fish tacos in San Carlos. It was also great to try regional specialities like chile el relleno – a roasted pepper stuffed with mince. Pico del gallo and margaritas are also served in abundance!
How was your tour guide?
Charly our tour guide was fantastic. He had a great knowledge of the destinations we visited, was super helpful and made sure everyone was having a great time and knew the plan for the days activities. Arturo our bus driver was also very considerate, helping everyone get on and off the bus, and tackled the tight turns of the Copper Canyon with ease.
How did you find the accommodations on your tour?
I thought the accommodations were well located and of a high standard. My favourites were the cute former colonial mansion we stayed in in El Fuerte, the mountainside Hotel Mirador with a balcony looking out over the Copper Canyons and the Marinaterra Hotel in San Carlos which had a great pool and was right next to the marina.
What was it like touring as a solo traveller?
The great thing about joining an escorted tour is that I got to meet some amazing people and other travellers who were also travelling on their own. There wasn’t any point on the tour where I felt left out or lonely as there was always someone to chat to. Everyone was so friendly and inviting. Plus who doesn’t love having a room all to themselves!
What did you enjoy the most about the Gate 1 escorted tour?
I really enjoyed the itinerary, the balance of sightseeing and down time and how well the group gelled together. The visit to a native Mayo village just outside of El Fuerte was also a great unexpected highlight that everyone enjoyed. On the visit we watched a traditional deer dance and participated in a tortilla making demonstration.
Want to Experience Mexico for yourself?
If you’re interested in this tour or Mexico you can browse our website for a whole range of options to suit your preferred travel style and budget. If you book a Gate 1 Mexico tour by the 31st of December you can save $200 per person when you quote the promo code BGMEX200A. Simply quote the promo code at the time of booking to receive the discount. Call 1300 653 618 if you have any questions and we look forward to welcoming you to Mexico soon!