We are a small group of people who enjoy getting off the beaten path, and who believe that half the fun is getting there. We seriously love driving and hiking in remote Mexican canyons, and meeting interesting folks along the way. It’s a world apart, a land that time forgot.
We’ve been here since 1984 and have an intimate knowledge of the hundreds of miles of back roads and trails of the Copper Canyon. We’ve been featured in 73 publications including Esquire, Audubon, New York Times, Backpacker, Mexico Desconocido and National Geographic Traveler.
The website is designed to share our stories, our pictures, and practical information about the Copper Canyon—from the high country Tarahumara land to the bottom of the Batopilas Canyon, to the silver town of Batopilas.
The small hotels mentioned in this website were founded by Skip McWilliams, who wanted to create unique accommodations that fit in with the landscape. The high country Sierra Lodge is a rustic log structure with kerosene lamps and wood stoves, while the Riverside Lodge is a fabulously restored hacienda from a bygone era. Martin Alcaraz, who restored the Riverside Lodge, oversees the operation of the Sierra Lodge, Riverside Lodge and Real de Minas and lives in Batopilas. The hotels are owned and operated by Hoteles Sierra Madre S.A. de C.V., a Mexican Corporation in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Republic of Mexico.
Sierra Lodge Staff
Roberto Venegas Loya is your host at the Sierra Lodge near Cusaráre, in the high country Sierra. He lives on site and works in conjunction with the Raramuri (Tarahumara) Indians in the area to make the Sierra Lodge the special place that it is. Roberto is a consumate host and will see that your stay is memorable.
Monse Ramirez is such an asset for the Sierra Lodge! You can usually see Monse stacking fresh-cut wood in the guest rooms – so you can have a cozy fire each night. He handles the day-to-day upkeep and minor repairs that occasionally need doing. He’s been there for as long as I can remember! He always has a warm smile and is always happy to help with your Spanish.
Meals are prepared and served by the three beautiful Tarahumara women pictured here. From left to right: Moruca, Marta and Maria (Maria is the sister of Marta and nominated ‘Miss Cusarare’). Did you know they make all the tortillas at the lodge right from scratch and hand pat into those perfect circular shapes? Soups are always homemade and fresh, and so are the tasty entrees which may include chili relleños (stuffed chilis). The food is simple, local fare, and always served family style at the large dining table. Marta mixes up pitchers of cool hibiscus juice for the dinner table, and remember, margarita hour at the Sierra Lodge is always a party! Maria, Marta and Moruca prepare the traditional tequila drink and serve guests who may be keeping warm at the fireplace or mingling with other guests. Photo by Marco Ivan Fernandez. Check out his other beautiful photographs of Copper Canyon and the people who live here.
Riverside Lodge Staff
Martin Alcaraz is the manager at both the Riverside Lodge and Real de Minas in Batopilas. He is lively, fun, and is a gracious host. He is ever-present at both hotels and magically appears when assistance is needed! Martin has been affiliated with the Copper Canyon Lodges for many years.
Umberto Contraras works with Martin at the Riverside Lodge and Real de Minas in Batopilas. He does the daily maintenance so important to keeping the small hotels operating smoothly. A real asset!