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Staying at Entre Amigos

Since 1975 Entre Amigos has been the place to stay while making day hikes in our area or to just relax and absorb the spectacularly beautiful setting. We try to find out what our clients have in mind and do what we can to make that possible. After you have arrived (it is very hard to do this until you are actually here) we can help you arrange for guided day trips or for longer hiking, camping, and fishing trips. Everyone staying at Entre Amigos has access to a kitchen and shares whatever we have in abundance from our gardens (usually November through March) and trees (lemons and grapefruit most of the year, other things seasonally). For people wanting to learn something practical we offer or can help arrange classes in cooking and other homestead skills such as stone fence construction and making and using adobes and bricks. People considering staying with us should be aware that our toilets are outhouses. We have five: three composting toilets and two that flush.
About Reservations

Our experience is that first-time reservations seldom work out as planned, and it is very rare that we don’t have plenty of room available. If this will be your first time at our place, just show up, and there will be room for you. The only exception to this is the week preceding the first Sunday in March. During that week we guarantee camping space, but if you want a room or space in the hostel and you haven’t stayed with us before, you will have to just show up and take your chances on a first come first served basis. If you have stayed with us before, let us know when you will be arriving, and we will save your favorite spot for you. We don’t take deposits.
Our Prices (2014-15 Season)
50
Guest House
50
2010 House
45
Room #1
15
Bed in the Hostel
10
Camping
*per Person per Night
Prices are in US Dollars. We prefer being paid the equivalent in Mexican Pesos. Prices include access to a kitchen and whatever we have in abundance from garden and trees.
About Urique and the Copper Canyon

About Urique

Urique is a town of some 1,600 people found in the mountains of the sierra Tarahumara in northwestern Mexico. The town is situated in the bottom of a canyon, alongside a river with the same name (the canyon, the town, and the river are all called Urique). The area is beautiful because of the mountains that surround the town, and because of the exotic flora and fauna. The canyon is the deepest in North America, and many think it is also the most beautiful. It is part of a system of canyons that covers many kilometers in the state of Chihuahua and that many call the Copper Canyon. The complete system is deeper and much more extensive than the Grand Canyon of Colorado.
About the Canyon

The canyon is located north of the Tropic of Cancer; but because it includes low lands, between 500 and 700 meters (1,500 and 2,300 feet) above sea level, and the surrounding mountains are very high, the bottom of the canyon has a tropical climate. Nevertheless, the land is dry and rocky, and since there is almost no level ground, agriculture is very difficult. In the winter it is cool in the mornings, but at mid-day it is usually warm or even hot. In the summer it is as hot as in the tropics, and the temperature can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Centigrade). The difference is that in the true tropic it rains abundantly, almost the whole year, and here it only rains from (late) June to September, and generally only in the afternoons. The plants are exotic owing to the tropical climate, abundant in the summer and scarce the rest of the year, and most of them are tough and spiny. There is fruit such as mangos, avocados, bananas, guavas, papayas, citrus fruit, and some very tasty wild fruit: pitayas, papaches, guamuchiles. The most common trees are mesquite, sycamore, palo blanco, various types of wild fig, and many others that have local names. To a great extent the fauna has disappeared from the canyons, except for the birds, many of them exotic: macaws, magpie jays, humming birds, thrushes, cardinals, orioles, and tanagers. There are also frogs, toads, lizards, and many kinds of snakes. There are too many insects to list, but the ones that most impress outsiders are the scorpions, tarantulas, and wasps.
About the People

This is the country, even back country, and there isn't much in the way of organized entertainment. There is some fishing, and everywhere you look is scenic. People often remark that this is a Mexico from many years ago, like being in an old black-and-white issue of the National Geographic. The people are generally very friendly, talkative, and at least as interested in the tourists as the tourists are in them. It is a good place to absorb the culture and practice Spanish.
Places to stay in Urique

Besides Entre Amigos, there are three hotels and at least two other places that rent rooms. Each of the hotels have their own restaurant, and there are other places to eat as well. Chiro Ramirez offers camping in a very pretty spot, and there are places along the river where people can camp for free.
Getting to Urique

Public Transportation

If you are coming from the west (like from El Fuerte or Los Mochis) you will need to take the train to Bahuichivo and then continue on the route bus to Urique. On days when there is a second class train the bus waits for it before leaving for Urique, so if you take the first class train, not only will you pay twice as much for a ticket, you will spend at least an hour in Bahuichivo waiting (with the bus) for the second class train. If you are coming from the east (like from Chihuahua or Cuauhtemoc or Creel) you can also take either the first or second class (if there is a second class train that day) train to Bahuichivo and continue to Urique with the route bus the people coming from the west take, as described above. Or you could take buses all the way. If you are coming from the east, you can take a Noroeste intercity bus to San Rafael, then a smaller local Noroeste bus to Bahuichivo, where you then take the same bus everyone else takes to Urique.
Driving from the West

If you are driving from the west, there are at least two options. One of these passes through Chinipas and Temoris to Bahuichivo. From there you go through Cerocahui to Mesa de Arturo, where you turn left just before entering Mesa de Arturo. The other driving option from the west goes from El Fuerte through Choix and Tubares and Mesa de Arturo, where you take a right turn to Urique after passing through Mesa de Arturo.
Driving from the East

If you are driving from the east, the usual route is through Creel and San Rafael to Bahuichivo, then onwards through Cerocahui to Mesa de Arturo, where you turn left just before entering Mesa de Arturo. Shortly after San Rafael you have the choice of taking either the low road or the high road (which is currently being redone and paved). The low road goes through Cuiteco. It is shorter than the high road and generally considered a more picturesque drive, but most people use the high road because it is usually in better condition and is at least 50% paved at this time Spring, 2014). There is another option from the east. You can drive to Batopilas and then onwards to Urique. This road has been there for several years and is usually open, but it is considered a difficult drive.
Please note: these roads will put both vehicle and driver through their paces. Conditions vary depending on weather and time of year and by how recently the road has been maintained. It is a good idea to ask about road conditions before setting off, and if your vehicle doesn’t have good clearance and a standard transmission, you will probably be doing yourself and your vehicle a favor by leaving it parked in the city while you proceed otherwise. That said, all sorts of vehicles have made it, everything from VW bugs to a Mercury Marquise. I suspect that Marquise was never quite the same thereafter.
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