Everything you need to know about El Chepe train: the only passenger train in Mexico

Navigate the wonders of Mexico’s El Chepe Train. Our guide offers essential travel advice, stunning destinations, and insider tips for an unforgettable rail adventure.

The El Chepe train is the only passenger train in Mexico. It is located in Chihuahua and most visitors come here because of the Copper Canyon.

You will find many resources about our trip to Chihuahua in this blog to better plan your trip. In this post, I will give you an idea of how to get on the El Chepe Express in an all-inclusive package.

There are two types of trains in El Chepe: First is the Chepe Express, which is the fancier train and the Chepe Regional, a cheaper version and is the mode of transportation that locals use.

This article contains the routes, prices, and itinerary for each of the Chepe Express train rides.

Note that all the prices in this article are all-inclusive (airport transport, hotel, food, ground transportation) but do not include your flights and tips for the guides.

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💲El Chepe train ticket prices

El Chepe train ticket prices depend on the couch you want to avail. There are three classes to choose from and note that prices may differ depending on the route you want to take.

First-class (from $980 USD)

Food and non-alcoholic beverage are included onboard and you will also get access to the bar, terrace, and the dome restaurant called Urike.

chepe express

Chepe Express first-class hotels

Accommodations differ per class. Here are the hotels you will stay in if you avail first class:

  • Chihuahua: Hotel Boutique Central or Courtyard Marriot
  • Creel: Hotel Quinta Misión oR The Lodge al Creel
  • Barrancas del Cobre: Hotel Posada Mirador oR Hotel Divisadero
  • Cerocahui – Hotel Misión or San Isidro
  • El Fuerte – Hotel Posada de Hidalgo o Torres de El Fuerte

Executive Class (from $890 USD)

This does not include free food and drinks onboard but Chepe Express Executive Class guests can access the bar and the ground floor of Urike Restaurant.

el chepe train

Chepe Express executive class hotels

Here are the hotel options for executive class:

  • Chihuahua: Hotel Encore Ramada or Quality
  • Creel: Hotel Parador de Alma or Villa Mexicana
  • Barrancas del Cobre: Hotel Divisadero or Misión Tarahumara
  • Cerocahui: Hotel San Isidro or Paraiso del Oso
  • El Fuerte: Hotel Torres de El Fuerte or La Choza

Tourist Class (from $835 USD)

Food and drinks on board are not included in Tourist Class. You can only access Kori Restaurant and not Urike.

Chepe Express tourist class hotels

Below is the list of the hotels for El Chepe tourist class ticket:

el chepe train tickets
  • Chihuahua City: Quality or Fietsa Inn
  • Creel: Villa Mexicana or Real del Bosque
  • Barrancas del Cobre: Misión Tarahumara or Posada Barrancas
  • Cerocahui: Paraiso del Oso or Hotel Jade
  • El Fuerte: Hotel Rio Vista or La Choza

To reserve your El Chepe train tickets, click here.

🚆 4 recommended El Chepe train routes

El Chepe train route #1: Ardilla (3 nights, 4 days)

The Ardilla route goes from Los Mochis, El Fuerte, Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Creel, and ends in Chihuahua. You will have one day to explore each of these areas and hop in/off the train.

el chepe train

Below are the prices for this route:

First Class
Executive Class
Tourist Class
Single room
Double room
Triple room
Quadruple room
Minors (3-11 years old)

Departure days

  • Los Mochis to El Fuerte: Thursday and Sunday
  • El Fuerte to Divisadero: Friday and Monday
  • Divisadero to Creel: Saturday and Tuesday
  • Creel to Chihuahua City: Sunday and Wednesday

El Chepe train route #2: Gato Montes (3 nights, 4 days)

The Gato Montes route: Los Mochis – El Fuerte – Barrancas del Cobre – Creel – Los Mochis. This route is ideal if you don’t want to go to Chihuahua City and depart/arrive in Los Mochis.

The train ends in Los Mochis at 5:00 PM so if you are flying out from this city, better take a night flight or stay the night and fly the next day.

First Class
Executive Class
Tourist Class
Single room
Double room
Triple room
Quadruple room
Minors (3-11 years old)

Departure days

  • Los Mochis to El Fuerte: Thursday and Sunday
  • El Fuerte to Divisadero: Friday
  • Divisadero to Creel: Saturday and Tuesday
  • Creel to Los Mochis: Sunday

El Chepe train route #3: Puma (5 nights, 6 days)

The Puma route is a more extensive route and is available in both Chepe Express and Chepe Regional. The route goes from Chihuahua City – Creel – Barrancas del Cobre – Bahuichivo – El Fuerte – Los Mochis.

el chepe train

You will get to spend the first night in Chihuahua City and there will also be a day tour. It’s pretty much the same as the first two routes but the Puma includes a stop called Bahuichivo.

First Class
Executive Class
Tourist Class
Single room
Double room
Triple room
Quadruple room
Minors (3-11 years old)

Departure days

The Puma route starts every Friday. Below are the detailed departure days:

  • Chihuahua City to Creel: Friday
  • Creel to Barrancas del Cobre: Saturday
  • Barrancas del Cobre to Bahuichivo: Monday
  • Bahuichivo to El Fuerte: Tuesday
  • El Fuerte to Los Mochis: Wednesday

El Chepe train route #4: Venado Cola Blanca (6 nights, 7 days)

A larger and more extensive El Chepe train route is the Venado Cola Blanca. The route goes from Los Mochis – Bahuichivo – Barrancas del Cobre – Creel – El Fuerte – Los Mochis.

el chepe train

This is ideal for those who want to stay longer in Creel. Most of the things to do in Chihuahua are in the town of Creel. It is advisable to stay at least one night here.

First Class
Executive Class
Tourist Class
Single room
Double room
Triple room
Quadruple room
Minors (3-11 years old)

Departure days

The Venado Cola Blanca route starts every Thursday. Below are the detailed departure days:

  • Los Mochis to Bahuichivo: Thursday
  • Bahuichivo to Barrancas del Cobre: Friday
  • Barrancas del Cobre to Creel: Saturday
  • Creel to El Fuerte: Tuesday
  • El Fuerte to Los Mochis: Wednesday

🧭 El Chepe Train Activities

Below are some recommended things to do in Chihuahua when doing the El Chepe train expedition.

Rappelling in Copper Canyon

el chepe train

💲 from $59 USD

This activity is done inside the Copper Canyon Park in Divisadero and you have to book it in advance. The rappelling is great for all ages and is safe as you will be accompanied by 2 guides.

You will go on a 48-meter rappelling in Copper Canyon and traverse through 5 suspension bridges with different degrees of difficulty.

Copper Canyon Zipline

💲 from $89 USD

el chepe train

This 2-hour escapade takes you soaring over the stunning landscapes of Copper Canyon, offering exhilarating ziplines and awe-inspiring suspension bridges.

If you want a more extensive ziplining activity, choose the “7 Ziplines” but if you want something easier, the Ziprider package is a great option. The prices are the same for both zipline activity.

Visit the Raramuri community

💲 from $49 USD

Discover the unique heritage of the Rarámuris with our Raramuris of Chihuahua Tour. Experience the rich culture and traditions of this indigenous community in Creel, offering a rare and authentic glimpse into their timeless way of life.

Visit the Valleys of Creel

💲 from $49 USD

Discover the enchanting Valle de Los Monges, marvel at the unique formations of Valle de los Hongos, and immerse yourself in the serene landscapes of Valle de las Ranas and Valle de San Ignacio.

🎁 Use the code INSIDER10 to get a 10% discount upon checkout on all activities in Chihuahua!

✨ El Chepe train tips

Chepe Express is better than regional

If you are going to do the El Chepe train trip, choose Chepe Express because it has a more luxurious feel and all the amenities that you need.

The Regional train is what we took first but it is a basic passenger train that people who live in Chihuahua always use as a mode of transportation. It is not a touristy train.

El Chepe train tickets change every year

The prices for El Chepe train tickets vary every year so you won’t really find the same prices.

We update this post regularly as we have direct contact with the El Chepe Train (we worked with them during this trip) so make sure to bookmark this post!

The El Chepe train tickets prices and tariffs are announced every year (January) so you need to start planning your trip by the beginning of the year.

Alternatively, driving the El Chepe route is more convenient and fun!

In the middle of our El Chepe train journey, we decided to ditch the whole route because it took longer and we wanted more comfort in our journey.

chihuahua road trip

We paid for a driver for 5 days and he was also able to take us to other parts of Chihuahua that the El Chepe train does not cover (i.e. Batopilas Pueblo Magico).

Get in touch with us if you want us to plan your road trip without taking the El Chepe train but enjoying the scenic landscapes at your own time.

⏰ How long is the El Chepe train ride?

el chepe train

The El Chepe train, officially known as the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, travels through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains in northern Mexico, connecting the city of Chihuahua with the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

The entire route covers approximately 653 kilometers (406 miles) and takes around 15-16 hours to complete. This journey showcases stunning landscapes, including the Copper Canyon, which is a major highlight of the trip.

Keep in mind that the actual travel time may vary depending on factors such as train type, stops, and layovers.

🛤️ What is the El Chepe train called?

The El Chepe train is officially known as the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway (Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico in Spanish).

It is a passenger train service that traverses the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains in northern Mexico, connecting the city of Chihuahua with the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

The name “El Chepe” is a colloquial term derived from the abbreviation of its official name, “Ch-P” (Chihuahua-Pacific).

✅ Is the Chepe Express safe?

The Chepe Express is generally considered safe for tourists and travelers. It is a modern train service operated by Ferromex, the largest railway company in Mexico.

The train provides comfortable accommodations, high-quality services, and picturesque views of the Copper Canyon and the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.

As with any form of transportation, it’s important to follow safety guidelines and be aware of your surroundings.

On the Chepe Express, passengers are advised to stay seated while the train is moving, avoid leaning out of windows, and follow all instructions provided by the train staff. Additionally, while traveling in Mexico, it’s wise to exercise general caution and be mindful of your belongings and personal safety.

📍 Where does El Chepe train start?

The El Chepe train, or the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, starts in the city of Chihuahua, the capital of the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

The train travels through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, passing the stunning Copper Canyon, and ends in Los Mochis, a city in the state of Sinaloa.

The journey covers approximately 653 kilometers (406 miles) and takes around 15-16 hours to complete, depending on the train type, stops, and layovers.

🤟🏽 What does Chepe mean in English?

“Chepe” does not have a direct translation or meaning in English. It is a colloquial name for the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway, a passenger train service in northern Mexico.

The term “Chepe” is derived from the abbreviation of the railway’s official name: “Ch-P” (Chihuahua-Pacific).

It is a nickname that has become popularly associated with the train service, particularly the route through the Copper Canyon and the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains.

🆚 What is the difference between Chepe Regional and Chepe Express?

The main differences between the Chepe Regional and Chepe Express are the level of service, amenities, and the number of stops along the route.

The Chepe Express offers a more luxurious experience, targeting tourists who want to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Copper Canyon with enhanced comfort and convenience.

The Chepe Regional, also known as the First Class Chepe, was the original passenger service on the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway. It catered to both tourists and locals, offering comfortable seating, air conditioning, a dining car, and observation areas.

The Chepe Regional had more stops along the route, which allowed passengers to explore the small towns and communities in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains and the Copper Canyon.

The Chepe Express is a more modern and luxurious train service introduced in 2018. It targets tourists who seek a premium experience while traveling through the Copper Canyon. The Chepe Express offers three classes of service: Economy, Executive, and Luxury.

All classes feature comfortable seating, panoramic windows, and access to a terrace car for better observation of the scenic landscapes. The train also has a dining car, a bar, and other premium amenities.

The Chepe Express has fewer stops along the route, focusing on providing a faster and more comfortable journey.

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  1. Dear Trisha
    Do you know where the 2024 train timetables are published, please?
    Also could you please share the email of the booking people/office hoping to visit in March 2024. I am from Canada

  2. We arrive in Chihuahua on Thursday Nov 16 2023 at 12:05 PM and depart Los Mochis on Friday Nov 24 at 16:11 PM.
    Can you help us plan our Copper Canyon trip? Perhaps a trip similar to Puma #3 in your list. We are having trouble getting train tickets. Perhaps a driver or bus for segments of trip unavailable by train.

  3. Hi Trisha,
    I’m planning a trip to Chihuahua, Creel, Divisidero, Bachivicho, El Fuerte, fly out of los Mochis. We arrive on Wednesday night spend night in Chihuahua, we were planning on spending 2 nights in Creel, but now el Chepe doesnt’ leave Creel until Sunday am. Is it worth it to spend 3 nights in Creel to go on the Chepe from Creel to Divisidero, or what is the best mode of transportation to take from Creel to Divisdero on Saturday?

    1. Hi Letty! I spent two nights in Creel and it’s definitely enough. For 3 days, I think it will be a lot! What I can suggest is you stay 3 nights in Creel and in one of those days, do a day trip to Batopilas. I can recommend a driver if you e-mail me (contact page).

  4. Hey, great article. Could you please share the email of the booking people you went through hoping to visit in november thankyou

  5. Hi Trisha,
    Amazing article, so informative! Can you please clarify two things:
    1. Does the cost of the train ticket include hotel accommodation?
    2. Did you rent a driver for your full car journey only for a part of it? How much does a driver cost per day?

  6. Hello I’m from South Africa and I want to travel on lacheppe train in November for 2 kindly advise where do I book kindly advise

  7. Great information, but I can’t figure out how to book the express from Creel to Los Mochis adding stops for end of October 2023. Don’t want tours just stops and hotels. What can you suggest and how to book?
    Thanks, Molly

  8. Trisha would you please provide me with the booking office email.

    I am considering a trip in 2024.

    Thank you

  9. I also need the email address for the booking office of the train please. Want to book for 02/2024.

    Your article is excellent.

  10. Hi
    Is it possible to travel only from El Fuerte to Creel?

    Also, please provide email address to book the train ourselves. For travel in February 2024!!!

  11. Hi There,
    My name is Bill. Can I go to Los Mochies and buy a ticket right before the train leaves. Thank you.

    1. Hola, Ian! The train runs all-year-round but when I planned my trip in May 2022, the timetable was updated between February and March 2022. I do not know how consistent they are in updating but here in Mexico, businesses don’t really prioritize their online presence or websites, hence, we created Mexico Insider to clarify information. I can give you an e-mail address from the booking people that we worked with if that helps. She can speak English! Let me know and I will have our office e-mail you.

    2. @Trisha Velarmino,
      Hi Trisha
      Thanks very much for your helpful reply.
      Yes, please email address for booking people.
      We are planning to visit February 2023.
      Thanks again.


  12. Are there different trains for the various levels? Or, is it one train with all three? i.e. Express, Regional, and tourist are seperate or the same train with different cars?

    1. Hola, David! The Regional and Express Trains are different. We took both and I really recommend taking the El Chepe Express as it has a different route than the Regional train. I hope this helps!

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