Does an off-the-grid getaway in a temperate climate sound good right now? If you’re looking to kick off your year with an unplugged holiday in an unexpected destination, book a stay at Cusarare River Sierra Lodge, a simple hacienda-style lodge in the Copper Canyon region of Mexico’s Chihuahua state.
Here’s the scoop:
Cusarare River Sierra Lodge is about 400 miles south of El Paso, Texas, and 175 miles southwest of the city of Chihuahua, where the international airport has direct flights to Dallas, Houston, Denver, and many cities in Mexico.
A popular way to explore this region is by train; the scenic Copper Canyon Train known as El Chepe stops in the nearby town of Creel. Copper Canyon Expeditions offers a variety of tours and transportation services and can help you organize your travel around the region.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
Cusarare River Sierra Lodge has a long block of guest rooms, with the dining room and bar area at one end of the building. The guest rooms are simple, with carved, dark wood furnishings and thick wooden ceiling beams.
On the beds are thick wool blankets or quilts. This region in the highlands of Mexico’s state of Chihuahua can get chilly, especially at night.
The guest rooms, which have no electricity, are lit with kerosene lanterns. Staff light the lamps before dark, so when you return to your room, it’s bathed in a warm glow.
The water in the tiled baths is hot for showers — have you ever showered by lantern light? — and the lodge provides terrycloth robes, as well as bottled drinking water for guests. Rooms also have wood stoves that the staff will light when the temperatures drop.
There’s no Wi-Fi in the guest rooms, although you may be able to access the limited internet service from the dining area if you desperately need to get online.
Cusarare River Sierra Lodge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner to guests, primarily homestyle Mexican dishes, like chiles rellenos or hearty stews, often served with beans and rice. The staff in the dining room and throughout the property are Rarámuri, a local indigenous people.
Cusarare River Sierra Lodge is about 30 minutes south of Creel, one of Mexico’s “magic towns,” which acts as a gateway to the Copper Canyon region.
The lodge offers several excursions, including a scenic hike to a nearby waterfall about two miles from the property.
A short drive from the lodge is the historic San Ignacio Mission, which dates back to the 1700s. Near the mission is Valle de Los Monjes, where you can hike among the unusual rock monoliths that jut upward toward the sky.
You can also use the lodge as your base for exploring Copper Canyon. Allow about 90 minutes to drive between the lodge and Copper Canyon Adventure Park, where you can zip line across the canyon and still be back to your remote, off-the-grid lodge in time for supper.
Even though you may be off the grid a bit at the Hacienda, you can still book your hotel online. Try Travelocity or other OTA’s for the best rates.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Visita Chihuahua, the state tourism organization, in partnership with Cusarare River Sierra Lodge, hosted my stay for review purposes.