Road tripping through Mexico

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of October 23-29, 1997
Hiking the trails in Kauai
Road tripping through Mexico
Exploring Alaska's Glacier Bay
Solo traveling in Patagonia
Justifying frequent, fun vacations

Road tripping through Mexico
Question: I am planning a road trip to Mexico and would like know where to go. My friend and I are both 18 and looking for places without a lot of people where we can do some outdoorsy sports.

Wilmington, NC

Copper Canyon lodges offer sweeping
vistas and a roaring good time

Adventure Adviser: If you promise you won't sue me if you get kidnapped by drug bandits, I think you should head to Copper Canyon. Two hundred miles south of the border in the state of Chihuahua, Copper Canyon is a little-known — but spectacular — sister to America's Grand Canyon.

The only downfall is it's hidden in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, which is where a lot of drug runners spend their days before making their dropoffs across the border.

If you are two women traveling alone, I'm inclined to steer you away from Copper Canyon, but if you have your mind set on a Mexico road trip, it's one of the closest and coolest sites in Mexico.

The Copper Canyon Riverside Lodge in the tiny village of Batopilas is the quintessential turn-of-the-century Mexican hacienda perched 1 mile down into the depths of the canyon. From the lodge you can hike in any direction over cliffs, mesas, and cactus-studded hillsides. For reservations call 800-776-3942.

Beyond Copper Canyon I'd definitely steer clear of the southern Pacific coastline, where the recent hurricane has left Acapulco and the surrounding countryside with serious threats of cholera.

My only other suggestions are San Miguel de Allende, a very hip artist and mountain-biking city in central Mexico and, what the heck, the southern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, where you'll find palapa huts galore for about $25 per night.

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