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Tiny Copper Canyon towns no one overnights in: Cusarare

Morning in Cusasare from the front porch of Berthas place.

Cusárare is one of those places that some people visit but very few experience overnight. This is a Tarahumara town and the local culture is awash in the distant Indian ways. People speak but are quiet and reserved. Colors are brilliant. Kids are smiley.

A baseball fan on the street in Cusarare.

We often visit this little village and usually stay overnight. Very few groups even visit this place – and definitely not overnight. Usually people come out from Creel for an hour or two to see the old restored mission and the murals at the museum. These are worth seeing. Just note that they are open 10a- 5p. There is a small charge to enter the museum. There are actually 100 or so paintings in the museum, not just the 12 that were rescued from the decaying church years ago.

In the back window of the old bus cafe in Cusasare.

 In the Sierra Madre

This little town was the setting of the important book, “In the Sierra Madre” by Jeff Biggers. Jeff and his wife spent a year here and he has written and insightful and accurate account of Tarahumara life and the issues they face. One way we know this is the town is because of his description of the weekend celebrations with basketball right beside this old converted bus. It serves as a makeshift cafe right on the main drag near the mission.

Tarahumara woman brewing Christmas tesguino on the street in Cusasare.

Bertha Paral with her little grandchild at her lodge in Cusarare.


There are several place to stay in the area around Cusasare. The Sierra Lodge is nice and also pricey ( like $95 per person USD with meals). It is out of town on the way to the waterfalls and you can follow the signs to get there. Also there is a new lodge just above town. I have not used this place and have heard it is moderately priced and clean.

We opt for the local and authentic and usually stay at Berthas. This place is through town, across the bridge and on your left by the stream. It is aqua blue colored and has a little footbridge to it. Bertha has 3 generations here and the hospitality is warm. In Winter it can be chilly but they have little wood stoves and lots of blankets.


Tesguino is a regular celebrative concoction in Cusasare. I was there with my wife a few days before Christmas last year and they had the barrels boiling in the middle of town. Three or four women were there 24/7 keeping the corn brew cooking and the target was to have it ready to go Christmas eve. The whole process takes about 5 days. I will write more about this with more pics in another blog soon.


The bus comes out from Creel and back twice a day or so…you will see it at the train or just ask. Also you can usually catch a ride. Along the way, stop for a look at Lake Arekako- especially nice in the mist in the morning.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Hello Dave,
    From one who dearly loves the Sierra Tarahumara, just a quick note to express my appreciation for your newsletter and approach to helping others discover the magic of the region.
    I’ll be making my way to Creel, riding from El Paso, a couple days in Batopilas, Chihuahua City and then back. If by chance you are in the area it would be good to meet.
    Skip Mascorro

  2. Diana Acosta says:

    Hello Skip!! Nice to hear from you again!!!!!!

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