I specialize in Copper Canyon train tours- it is my only destination. My team in Copper Canyon is the best.
Here are some keys we have learned about travel there:
1. Give it at least 10 days. There is so much to experience. And even with 10 days, you have to choose among many good options
2. Do the small towns. Temoris, Cuiteco, Batopilas, Cerocahui. There are so many. Don’t miss them and keep your eyes out for local festivals, eateries, personalities, etc.
3. Eat the food. Norteno food is special. Catch Lola in Areponapuchi, the market in El Fuerte, Veronicas in Creel.
4. Hang out the window. Don’t spend your time in your seat on the train. Get to the open windows. Another good spot is in the bar car or dining car.
5. Ride a horse. This is a great way to get out along the rims of the canyons and see some local scenery. It is cheap and fun. In Arepo ask for Jilo Mancinas.
6. Get a guide. Time and time again I meet people on the train who have trusted the commercial sites on the internet and have planned a trip that misses some of the prime spots. Companies like mine will get you to the places that you will truly enjoy and will solve the little issues that come up along the way.