HORSE 'N' HIKE
BY HORSEBACK, BY FOOT OR COMBINATION TOURS

(Note: Half-hour or full-hour massage is available by appointment following rides)

In and of itself, Creel is a meeting place of visitors from around the world. It is not only the gateway to Copper Canyon (more precisely, the canyons); but for those of you who want to consider limitations of time, age or physical condition, along with interests that center around particular sites of archaeology, history, culture or flora discovery, our day rides out from and back to Creel are tailored to such issues as these. We offer one-hour to full-day rides wherein you may choose to dismount from your equine transportation for a healthy walk; or you may choose to graciously decline your horsemobile altogether, and hike some of our trails and foot paths.

Despite the legendary sweet nature and small, accommodating size of many of our horses, to some visitors, the notion of being on a horse for even an hour may be daunting. Fear factor and arthritis aside, many visitors simply prefer the hike to the horse. For those of you who fit into this category, rest assured that you will most likely find yourselves hiking at a pace in step with our horses! Each ride or hike begins from Hotel Cabaña Del Aventurero and returns for either lunch in Creel at one of the fine restaurants and/or evening meal at Cabaña Del Aventurero where hot showers and beautifully designed rooms or cabanas await you. For information on cost of accommodations, please write, call or e-mail us. You may also choose a different hotel in Creel.

WHERE WE'LL TAKE YOU

1. Valle de las Ranas, Valle de los Hongos, Cueva de Sebastián y Misión de San Ignacio. Approximately two hours.

2. Valle de las Ranas, Valle de los Hongos, Cueva de Sebastián, Misión de San Ignacio y Lago de Araréko. Lunch at the lake.* Approximately three hours.

3. Valle de las Ranas, Valle de los Hongos, Misión de San Ignacio, Lago de Araréko, y Valle de los Monjes. Lunch at the lake.* Approximately five hours.

4. Cañon de Tararécua y Cascada de Rukiráso. Lunch on the rim. Approximately five hours. (Option to hike the short distance down into the canyon to view the petroglyphs)

5. Valle de las Ranas, Valle de los Hongos, Misión de San Ignacio, Lago de Araréko, Cañon de Tararécua, y Cascada de Rukiráso. Approximately seven hours

6. Rio Otéros. Approximately four hours.

7. Termales de Recohuata. Approximately eight hours. (This day trip is also offered as an overnight ride or hike, which offers nighttime languishing in the hot springs.)
*this ride may be substituted with a new, yet undiscovered (by modern man ) hot spring which necessitates an overnight at the spring

COSTS: All tours cost approximately 70 pesos an hour, excepting those that include meals and/or overnights with camping and meals.


WHERE WE GO, WHAT WE SEE, WHAT WE DO

Other than our tours directly into Tararécua Canyon and/or the hot springs, our rides/hikes take us into the San Ignacio Ejido in which Parque Araréko dominates the landscape. This natural scenery displays incredible human and animal rock formations, many over 150 feet in height, some much higher. These granite formations create a sense of mystery and spiritual symbolism, which, combined with their inspiring settings along the natural valley and corridor, will amaze and stimulate your curiosity.

Lake Araréko - A 40-hectares body of water, the lake is surrounded by pine trees, a boat dock, and lovely rocks on which to sit, view and lunch-munch. A Tarahumara handicraft store is on one shore of the lake where often ladies with their children will invite you to buy their handcrafted wares. Photo-taking should always be by permission; and it is considered polite to offer a small recompense for the privilege.

San Ignacio Mission - Built at the beginning of the 20th Century, this mission has become the site of the beautiful Tarahumara ceremonies, including Semana Santa (see Horseback Rides)

Valley of the Monks - this small side canyon, part of what is called Araréko, is the site of enormous granite columns resembling a gathering of monks. In the small box canyon where they reside, one is easily transported to a time and place of great and mysterious ceremony, of gatherings around a fire, and offerings and prayers to the deities.

Valleys of the Frogs and of the Mushrooms - appropriately named, these locations, easily reached by a short hike or ride from Creel, offer a perspective of Tarahumara life, of their relationship to all that exists in the natural world, and of their daily itineraries of working the corn fields, tending their sheep, weaving their crafts both functional and sellable.

Sebastian's Cave - Here we will be invited to witness a true Tarahumara cave home in which all daily activity takes place. Historians have known for centuries that many Tarahumara choose to continue to live in these natural homes carved by nature. Not only are they seasonally comfortable, they are well-camouflaged from warring tribes, and they offer the secluded privacy so important to these quiet people.

Tararécua Canyon - This site offers cool, pine-forested riding and hiking as well as a spectacular ride through the canyon's mouth through which flows the widening San Ignacio River. It is in this canyon that many log cabin homes of the Tarahumara stand; and flocks of sheep, small and grunting groups of pigs and chickens will stop chewing long enough to sound their alarms at our passing, followed by the inevitable barking dogs that prefer we not interrupt their siestas.

Rukiráso Waterfall - Sometimes not a waterfall at all, but more of an immeasurable amount of falling water, this waterfall is best viewed from a high, precipitous rock ledge that overlooks the canyon. It is in this canyon, by way of an old, old trail, we may hike down (horses must stay above) to interpret the petroglyphs mysteriously painted along the rock walls leading to the bottom.

Recohuata Hot Springs - These thermals, some of many that exist throughout some of the more northern of the Copper Canyons, are now providing hydro-power to places above. While camping at the thermals has been a highlight of this ride or hike, with camping overnight especially rewarding, Norberto has discovered a new (to most people) hot springs, wider, deeper and more extensive and at a slightly greater distance from Creel. It is at these springs one may be truly alone to languish in the muscle-softening waters, camp under the skies and experience a night of wonder before returning to Creel the following day. While this ride is a mite bit tough on the horses, it is not recommended that you hike it. Take the leap of faith, and ride one of our horses! You won't regret it.

Otéros River - This river runs in one of the eight Copper Canyons by the same name. It is accessible by Creel, mostly in a wide river valley, and positively beautiful at any time of year. There will be river crossings on this ride or hike, so if you plan to hike, wear hiking sandals in which you can cross without de-shoeing, or boots with high, waterproof tops. Swimming suits not necessary!