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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

El Chepe Stops in Creel, Mexico

in the Sierra Tarahumara of the Copper Canyon

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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We're on the El Chepe train, riding from the City of Chihuahua towards Los Mochis. Our first stop is Creel.

Founded in 1907 as a railroad depot on the Chihuahua–Pacific line, one hundred years later Creel has become a Pueblo Magico. This is Mexico's version of a World Heritage site.

Creel is over 7,640 feet high El Chepe Copper Canyon, Mexico

Creel is over 7,640 feet high

Here you see the coordinates of the city of Creel, Mexico, and its location on the El Chepe rail trip. In the lower right hand side of this plaque, you'll notice the marker of "Pueblos Magicos" a distinction that every chosen city and town in Mexico wears with pride.

Two train tracks touch in the town of Creel, Mexico El Chepe Copper Canyon

Two train tracks touch in the town of Creel

 

 

 

 

The town of Creel is all about the railroad. The track runs right through the town and the railway station is just one block from the main street. Tourists come and go, and locals travel between cities along the way.

We found ourselves walking along the tracks at several points during our short stay in Creel.

Downtown Creel, Mexico, El Chepe train, Copper Canyon

Downtown Creel

Creel was historically a logging town, but tourism has become the primary job source over the last 20 years. Tours, hikes and horse riding through the Copper Canyon as well as to the Basaseachic Falls (the 2nd highest falls in Mexico) are attractions. 

Here you see a gift shop, a small hotel and a place that rents off road vehicles for touring.

Murals are common in Creel, Mexico El Chepe Train, Copper Canyon

Murals are common in Creel

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The indigenous Rarámuri live here as well, selling their handicrafts. The men are distinctly known for their long distance running ability.

You will note the obvious depiction of the El Chepe, the Basaseachic Falls, the cable car at Divisidero, an old church and some rock formations, all tourist attractions in the area.

Some locals hanging out in downtown Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

Some locals hanging out in downtown Creel

We visited a local restaurant on this street, called Lupita's several times. It had good home cooking, at a decent price and the locals recommended it.

Notice the food cart past the last bench here. Street food all over Mexico is notoriously good.

An indigenous Rarámuri woman looks off into the distance, Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

An indigenous Rarámuri woman looks off into the distance

It is our experience that the indigenous all over the world just love bright colors and patterns. Their clothing often reflects a happy and whimsical style - not that these people don't have a difficult, down-to-earth style of living.

The Raramuri are also called Tarahumara and when the Spanish came in the 16th century, these Tarahumara retreated into the Sierra Madre.

Indigenous woman in Creel, Mexico with cell phone Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

Adapting to a modern lifestyle?

Most of the Raramuri still practice their traditional herding lifestyle, living in natural shelters such as caves or cliff overhangs. Some have small cabins of wood or stone.

Raising cattle, sheep, and goats, almost all Rarámuri migrate in some form or another in the course of the year.

But all of that doesn't keep this woman from becoming a digital goddess!

A native woman and child in downtown Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

A native woman and child in downtown Creel

Even though the culture is a traditional one, we saw many of these indigenous with cell phones. Who could they be calling? Each other? Their husbands out in the field while the women were in town shopping?

Was the woman letting her husband know the current price that goats or cows were fetching?

(Do you think she uses emoji?) ;-)

What websites could she possibly be researching?

All these questions, and today, no answers for me!

Colorful weavings were sold in town at the Plaza, Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

Colorful weavings were sold in town at the Plaza

Again, a festive mixture of patterns and colors seem reflective of any of the indigenous we have seen all over the world.

These shawls show some distinctive geometric symbols that most likely have spiritual or community meaning in their culture. In Guatemala, some of the textiles have animals and totems woven into them, telling a story, or displaying their beliefs.

Rugged buildings in the center of town, Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon El Chepe train

Rugged buildings in the center of town

A 10 minute walk from our hotel was El Centro, where we purchased our meals and extra drinking water.

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This style of building is reminiscent of the Wild West of our own nation. The poles are holding up rooftops built for cover from rain or searing sun, and to tie one's horse while you go shopping or have a brew inside.

The concierge at our hotel Hacienda Bustillos, Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

The concierge at our hotel Hacienda Bustillos

We stayed 2 nights at our hotel for about $33USD per night. The quoted price was about $39USD nightly, but we bargained for the better deal.

Our concierge really enjoyed her job and was both helpful and good natured. Our next stop was El Fuerte, and I had a hard time getting the exact number to the hotel where we were choosing to spend the night the following day.

I explained my problem to this young lady, and she took care of it right away, making reservations for us.

Pricing for Hacienda Bustillos, Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

Other pricing as marked

This very clean hotel offered larger rooms with kitchens or for families. At this writing, the Mexican Peso to the Dollar is about 18+/-.

You can find out the current rate here at this currency exchange link.

sign in Creel, Copper Canyon, El Chepe train

Confused?

 

 

 

 

I love signs like this! Welcome to my world.

Being directionally challenged, this is the way I see maps and exotic locations in the world.

Point somewhere and say "315 kilometers."

Who would know otherwise, right?

I certainly wouldn't!

The train station at Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon, El Chepe Train

The train station at Creel

We had great weather on this trip - BLUE skies and dry.

I know some really enjoy fog, mist, even rain, but for us, sun and low humidity is our favorite!

The day we arrived, this place was packed. Families meeting other members of their clan, vendors with items for sale, taxi and tour drivers were waiting in the parking lot, and shouting up at this station to get people into their vehicles.

You couldn't tell by this photo now, but the place was very chaotic when the train stopped.

The city sign in the center of town Creel, Mexico, Copper Canyon El Chepe train

The city sign in the center of town

The "in" thing to do these days in Mexico is to have your photo taken at the city's colorful sign. Whether it's Chapala, Morelia, Comitan or elsewhere, each city has a beautiful and cheerful sign displayed in town.

Next stop, Divisidero by bus, then on to El Fuerte, home of the legendary ZORRO!

 

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About the Authors

 
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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