TUCSON, Ariz.--Sierra Madre Express is expanding its offerings
beyond the Copper Canyon.
The firm, which has operated soft-adventure rail journeys
through northwestern Mexico's remote Copper Canyon region for the
past 10 years, will launch a seven-night colonial cities train
program in celebration of the new millennium.
With two departures offered in January 2000, the itinerary will
highlight historic locales that retain the flavor of Mexico's
Spanish colonial era-- Guadalajara, Guanajuato, San Miguel de
Allende and Queretaro.
"We thought it would be a wonderful way to bring in the new
millennium, combining the old with the new," said Patricia
Rondelli, director of sales and operations for Sierra Madre
The company will use the same train it operates on the Copper
Canyon route: five fully refurbished and restored cars originally
built from 1947 to 1951. "Our tours are designed to recreate train
travel as it was in the golden years," Rondelli said.
The 44-passenger train features sleeper and lounge cars, and a
combination dome and diner car. The train is stocked with American
food and purified water, and alcoholic beverages are included in
The colonial cities program will incorporate one night in
Tucson, two nights aboard the train and five nights in the featured
destinations. The majority of the trip will feature train travel,
although a short portion will be operated aboard a motorcoach.
The program will travel between Tucson and Mexico City, and both
southbound and northbound departures will be offered. The train
will pass through the Sonoran Desert, the front range of the Sierra
Madre Occidental Mountains, and the high plateau of central
During stops in the colonial cities, passengers will stay at
historic hotels including Camino Real in Guadalajara, Parador San
Javier in Guanajuato and Hacienda Antigua Galindo in San Miguel de
The itinerary will feature two nights in Guadalajara, one night
in Guanajuato and one night in San Miguel de Allende.
Excursions will take participants to Tlaquepaque, an artist's
community near Guadalajara, and the historic city of Queretaro. The
fully escorted program will offer opportunities for guided city
tours in each colonial locale, as well as free time to explore the
Rondelli said the colonial cities train tour will mainly target
senior travelers, who make up the majority of passengers on the
company's Copper Canyon rail tours.
Based on the success of the two millennium programs, Rondelli
added that Sierra Madre Express will consider implementing more
colonial cities departures.
The southbound departure from Tucson is scheduled for Jan. 8 to
15, 2000 and the northbound departure from Mexico City is set for
Jan. 16 to 23.
A two-night extension also is available for Mexico City. The
add-on package includes accommodations, transfers and a choice of
tours spotlighting attractions such as Mexico City's historic
center, the archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan or the floating
gardens of Xochimilco.
The trip is priced starting at $2,700 per person, double,
including train and motorcoach transportation, accommodations, most
meals, sightseeing, gratuities and transfers.
In the Copper Canyon, remaining 1998 departures for Sierra Madre
Express' train adventure are scheduled in September and December,
as well as throughout 1999.
Special New Year's tours also are available.
Sierra Madre Express, Phone: (800) 666-0346, Fax: (520)