Retirement; like your parents, but way cooler
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
El Chepe Train through the
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
For years we had heard of the Copper Canyon in
our good friend,
Ray Gaines, and
always wanted to to take a train ride
through these series of canyons and ravines. Some say this is the most
scenic railroad trip on the continent.
The tracks pass over 37
bridges and through 86 tunnels,
rising as high as 7,900 ft above sea level near Divisadero, the continental
So off we
Map of our itinerary
This is a map of our itinerary. We bought
one-way tickets ($25USD each person) from Guadalajara and flew to the city of Chihuahua, to begin
our train trip the next morning.
Aerial view of Chihuahua's mountains
and ravines from our plane
It was a short, 2+ hour flight, arriving
in Chihuahua at about 3pm. We got into our hotel, and since we were leaving
on the train the next morning, we needed to figure out how to get tickets.
Our trip began at 6 a.m, but the
office didn't open until 8 a.m.
El Chepe Train station, Chihuahua,
So off we zipped on this beautiful
afternoon to the El Chepe station to see what the scoop was. It was a good
thing, because by this time it was after 4 p.m. and the station closed at 6
The schedule and pricing for El Chepe
Since El Chepe is an important transportation system for
locals as well as a tourist attraction, there are 3 levels of pricing.
Regional Turista also known as El Chepe Express, is the highest price of the
options offered. Apparently, all meals are included with your ticket purchase on
decided previously that we would go on the Regional Economica. The
locals take the Economica Social.
an example of the pricing, our first stop was Creel. On the Express, that
ticket costs $83USD, on the Regional Economica, that same trip is $48USD.
For the locals, the price is under $9USD.
Our train tickets, first leg
Here you see Billy's and my tickets to
Creel (for 860 Pesos each), leaving Chihuahua at 6 in the morning, destined
to stop in Creel. Time to arrive is 11:47a.m.
Schedule of train stops, times and
days of operation
The train goes in two directions.
Beginning at the city of Chihuahua on the way to Los Mochis,
and coming from Los Mochis, ending in Chihuahua.
Chihuahua to Los Mochis runs Mondays,
Thursdays and Saturdays.
From Los Mochis to Chihuahua the train
runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
No trains run on Wednesday.
If our first stop is at Creel, the next
time we can pick up the train going in the direction of Los Mochis is Monday
at 11:47 a.m.
Cathedral in Chihuahua, Mexico
After getting things sorted out with our
tickets for the days, times and prices, we walked around looking for
someplace to eat. Past the Cathedral, we found a little taco stand who had
people waiting waiting in line for their meal.
This was a good sign!
So we cross the street and check it out.
Man at the grill
making our tacos and grilled
Apparently, this is a popular hangout, so
we ordered some eats.
The boys got tortas (sandwiches) and I
decided on tacos.
Making a different kind of taco, gyro
We see these spinning stacks of meat all
over Central America. Depending on what kind of meat is stacked, the flavors
change. Meats can range from lamb, chicken, beef and pork.
This spiral is pork.
The cook turns on the blast of fire in
front of the round, and the meat sears. Then with an amazingly sharp knife,
he quickly slices the crispy edges off and whacks a tiny piece of the
pineapple on top for a contrasting flavor.
He catches it all in the tortilla that he
holds in his left hand.
Everything was delicious and it was just
what we needed, because We. Were. Hungry.
Akaisha boarding El Chepe
We were told to arrive at the train
station at 5:30 in the morning in order to board at 6 a.m.
Here I am, roaring and ready to go!
Woooooo wooooo!! Chugga chugga chugga!
Typical train car on the Regional El
The train car was empty and in pretty
good condition. Since we had no assigned seats, we could sit anywhere
Seats were comfortable and roomy and you
could get up and walk around anytime during the trip.
Clean dining car
On our particular train at the Regional
Economica level, we had a separate dining car. You could purchase
burritos, hot Nescafe coffee and a few other modest things to eat or drink.
During the trip,
vendors would board selling cut fruit, tamales, sodas, cold drinking water,
and other foodstuffs.
Billy and Akaisha waiting for El Chepe
Yup. This is what we look like at 6 in
the morning, guys. Enthusiasm for the trip is written all over our faces.
the trip through the Copper Canyon
Another map of El Chepe route through
the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sinaloa
Here is another colorful map of the train
route, with the cities and states of northwestern Mexico marked.
We started our trip in Chihuahua, at the
top right of the map, outside the green highlighted area. Our first stop is
Creel, marked in the upper center of the photo, inside the green section.
This was our distance for the first day, about a 6 hour ride.
The train in the yard at 6 a.m.
It's dark at 6 a.m.! But exciting,
nonetheless, to be traveling by train through mostly wilderness.
The train station was busy and full of
families taking the trip. Since this train is also the main transport in the
area, I am supposing that many were visiting other family members living
elsewhere. It's an easy, affordable way for these locals to travel.
First stop, Creel!
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha