Back Roads of the Chihuahuan Desert & Canyonlands - 10 Day Tour
Explore Chihuahua’s Arid Desert, Rugged Canyon Regions & Meet People Who Live There
10 Day Guided México Exploration Tour
(includes day of arrival & departure)
from $3295 per person + air
Single Supplement +$495
If you are looking for a totally Off-The-Grid Travel Experience, then this tour is it!
Visit one of the strangest places on earth (Zone of Silence), marvel at the Milky Way under a dark desert night sky, hike in stunning canyon settings, visit a village of Rarámuris, sleep in a cave, relax in hot springs water, have lunch with a Mennonite family, and participate in an ancient cleansing ritual.
Enjoy this Back Roads of México journey as we’ll be immerse each day in nature’s outdoor rugged beauty found all throughout Mexico’s largest state; the state of Chihuahua.
Join us for this excellent adventure tour to the Chihuahuan desert and into the deep canyons of Chihuahua, México.
• Mystical Zona del Silencio (Zone of Silence)
• Soak in Natural Thermal Pools
• Desert Stargazing
• Participate in a Temascal & Fire Ceremony
• Desert Hiking
• Wind Ceremony
• Pancho Villa Museum
• Canyon Hiking
• Meet the Rarámuris (indigenous people)
• Sleep in a Cave (it's a hotel in a cave)
• Lunch with a Mennonite Family
• Stroll around Chihuahua City
*2023 Tour Dates
Sep 7-Sep 16 (Th-Sa)
Oct 5-Oct 14 (Th-Sa)
$3295 per person - double
* Includes day of arrival & departure.
** Prices in USD. Air not included in tour price.
Day 1: Welcome to Chihuahua
Arrive to the Chihuahua Airport and catch a taxi to the hotel in downtown Chihuahua City. The rest of the day is free to relax or go exploring. We will sleep here for 1 night.
Day 2: Orientation Breakfast / Zone of Silence / Thermal Pool / Star Gazing (B,L,D)
We will meet our host guide for breakfast where he will give us an overview of our upcoming tour.
Then get comfortable as we will have a 3½ hour drive to a place in the desert that you might call, Out of this World!
Strange things have happened here in the past and continue to this day. Be prepared! Our cell phones will not work, no internet, and compasses will just spin around and around. We'll be entering a powerful energy vortex area called the Zona del Silencio or in English, the Zone of Silence.
This region has been a magnet (pun intended) for meteorites which have crashed here in 1938, 1954, 1969, and 1970.
In fact, a US Athena Rocket was launched on July 11, 1970 from a US military installation in Utah and was supposed to travel to another military base in New Mexico. However, the rocket just shot past its programmed destination and crash-landed hundreds of miles south of New Mexico in … yep, you guessed it … in the Zona del Silencio in Chihuahua, Mexico.
Here is one more interesting fact; this Zone of Silence is located on the same parallel as the Bermuda Triangle, and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Coincidence? It's a mystery.
After arriving and having a nice lunch, we'll take a short drive into the Chihuahua desert to what looks like a cave or cavern. Inside there are natural thermal pools of water. Think of this place as one of Mother Nature’s “hot tubs.” It will be time to relax and unwind in the warm soothing natural hot springs water.
Afterwards, the sun will be just about ready to set and being in the dry desert, we'll have a great vantage point to watch it as it sinks into the horizon.
In the evening back at the lodge, a local knowledgeable person will guide us on a star watch. The possibilities of viewing our Milky Way galaxy is extraordinary here because of the very dry climate found in this region. There is little-to-no humidity and no urban lights to interfere with visibility. And since our specialty guide has lived in this area his whole life, he will also give us some insider’s knowledge of what this Zona del Silencio is all about, including its myths and facts.
For the next 2 nights you will stay at the Complejo Ecoturistico Zona del Silencio Lodge. It will be comfortable but rustic.
Day 3: Salt Ponds / Temascal Cleansing Ritual (B,L,D)
Salt is harvested here commercially by local families and we will take off to go check out the salt ponds located not far from our lodge. We'll learn how salt is harvested and find out about its many uses. A plus is that we will also get to meet some of the people from the local area who work to produce this valuable commodity.
One thing we'll learn is that wind has a very important role in the salt production process. Past down traditions include an actual Wind Ceremony which our local guide will demonstrate.
The rest of the afternoon is pretty much free to relax or explore on our own back at the lodge.
In the evening, get ready to participate in an interesting old tradition which is found throughout many regions in México as well as in many different countries in some similar form. We'll have the opportunity to participate in a Temascal Ceremony.
Think of a small hut or igloo-shaped structure where we will crawl inside and sit in a circle. Then very hot rocks are brought into the middle of our circle and water is poured onto the hot rocks. This of course now turns our cozy little hut into a hot steam room. Then add music and chanting about honoring the 4 cardinal points and we have the gist of a Temascal Ceremony.
It is a cleansing of the body, mind, and soul ceremony.
Day 4: Parral / Guachochi (B,L,D)
Ok, time to pack up and head back on the road. In less than a 2 hour drive, we'll arrive to the small town of Parral. This town has become famous in that one of the prominent Mexico revolutionary leaders by the name of José Doroteo Arango Arámbula was ambushed, shot and killed in a reign of gunfire as he drove down one of the streets in town.
We may not recognize this person by his birth name but we most likely have heard of him. As a teen, he changed his name to Francisco Villa and eventually he became known as Pancho Villa.
There is a small museum in his honor in town near where he was assassinated. Our guide will lead us on a tour of this museum.
After lunch in Parral, it will be time to head west again on a 3 hour drive through some beautiful country with some very nice rugged scenic views.
Our destination will be the Kokoyame Mountain Resort located near the town of Guachochi. It is nothing fancy but has some spectacular views of the nearby canyons and hills right from the resort’s veranda. We will be staying here for 2 nights.
Day 5: Hiking / Free Time (B,L,D)
Rise and Shine! Grab some coffee, some breakfast, and breathe in that fresh backcountry morning air. Today is a day to go exploring on a nearby hiking trail to see some hidden waterfalls and just enjoy the great views found in this region of northern Mexico. This is a 2 hour hike covering about 2½ miles.
Later, we can relax on the veranda and maybe take a little siesta. That fresh country air combined with our morning trail hike can be a catalyst for a good afternoon snooze.
Or if some of us are still raring to go after lunch, we can head out once again with our guide to do some more hiking exploration. It's nice to have choices.
Day 6: Scenic Canyon Drive / Batopilas (B,L,D)
Once again, it is time to continue our journey. It will be about a 3½ hour scenic drive to our next destination. The road will be winding as we snake our way down through canyon country to the old mining town of Batopilas.
Silver deposits were discovered here in 1708. In 2012, Batopilas was honored to become one of Mexico’s designated Pueblo Mágicos or Mexico Magic Towns.
After lunch we will check in at a local hotel and then take a walk to where an old mining operation took place. Our guide will give us a history of how the town of Batopilas was created and grew in conjunction with the discovery of silver in the nearby hills.
The evening is free to stroll around town or just hang out and relax at our simple accommodations. This will be a 2 night stay here in Batopilas.
Day 7: Hiking / Meet Rarámuris (B,L,D)
After breakfast, our guide will lead us on an exploration 5 mile hike where we will be following a river that flows beside the town and through the canyon valley.
At the end of the hike, our tour vehicle will be to drive us to a small community called rancheria where we can meet the local indigenous people called the Rarámuris.
This rancheria only consists of about 20 homes. These people are hardy souls who have lived in these canyonlands for generations. Be prepared as they may have questions for us as much as we may have questions for them.
Then it will be time to travel back to town for lunch and a free afternoon to do as we please.
Day 8: Nonoava / Sleep in a Cavern (B,L,D)
Today our small group of travelers will pack up to start heading north. This will be the longest day of driving with the bulk of it (about 4½ hours) taking place in the morning. Our first stop will be the small town of Norogachi. Here we'll be able to stretch our legs and have a nice outdoor picnic lunch with a great view.
After lunch we'll only have about 2 more hours to go on our scenic drive to reach our destination for this day. It will be the small community of Nonoava. Here we'll check in at the Hotel Cavernas Risochi. The word, cavernas in Spanish means cavern or cave. As you might have guessed, we'll be spending the night sleeping in a cave. No worries though. There will be beds to sleep on.
FYI - There will not be any bats hanging or flying around above us.
However, rest assured that this will certainly be a unique overnight experience.
Day 9: Namurachi Canyon / Mennonites (B,L,D)
After an early morning breakfast and a short one hour drive, we will arrive at the Namurachi Canyon. This is a cool place as the rock formations may remind us of a cathedral. We will leave that image for your imagination to ponder. We'll go on a short 45 minute hike through this most interesting canyon region of Chihuahua.
Lunch is only 1½ drive away in the town of Ciudad Cuauhtemoc. Here we'll be invited into the home of a Mennonite family for a traditional lunch based on bread, cheese, sausage, and sweets.
During our lunch with them, our hosts will be more than happy to answer any questions we may have about their history, how they came to live in México, and about their philosophy/religion of living the way they do.
After saying our goodbyes, a short 1½ drive will bring our group back to Chihuahua City where we will check in to the same hotel as when we arrived.
In the evening our guide will meet up with us for one last farewell dinner in the city to once again enjoy each other’s company and to reminisce about our desert and canyon adventures together.
Day 10: End of Tour (B)
After breakfast, our tour will end. It will be time to head to the Chihuahua Airport for our flight home or to our next exciting destination.
Itinerary schedule is subject to change.
Tour Price Includes:
• 10 day / 9 night guided tour
(includes day of arrival & departure)
• Small group tour size of up to 12 travelers
• All ground transportation during guided tour days
• All activities as listed in the itinerary
• All entrance fees
• 9 nights of hotel lodgings
• 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
• All tips for all your guides & driver
Additional activities & meals not listed above
Trip interruption insurance
Group activities listed are subject to change.
Activity Level: Easy - Moderate
Maximum Group Size: 12
Suggested Minimum Age: 12 years
Arrival & Departure Cities: Chihuahua City / Chihuahua City (CUU)
Deposit: $350 USD per person
A Reminder -
There is no need to fret over how much to tip and of having the right amount of Mexican Pesos at the end of your tour. Tips are already included for all specialty guides as well as your main host guide.
If you would like to stay a few more days either before or after your tour with us and would like some assistance in making those plans, contact us.
We can design an independent travel experience based on what you would like to see and do. We can help you to arrange for local transportation, accommodations, and set you up with a local guide.