BMW R1150GSCreel, Mexico - Motorcycle Trip
October 2007

Creel, Mexico - Motorcycle Trip

October 2007
Cooper Canyon in Mexico


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The trip report and MAP are at the end as well the GPS track logs.

Motorcycle trip to Copper Canyon, Mexico. We stay at the town of Creel and from there got train trip to El Fuerte.

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Day 01
290 miles in 5:30 hours – average speed 53mph (with stops)
7.888 gallons at 38.79mpg
We departed to Mexico on our motorcycle BMW R1150 GS on Thursday after work. Our decision was to go on I-10 as much as we could on that afternoon/evening and then cross the border next morning and Sonoita looks good for our intentions. It’s a small town near a good access road on both sides USA and Mexico.
We rode for about 290 miles to Buckeye, Arizona and got an hotel there. Was not a good choice and if we go that direction again, Gila Bend or Ajo offer much better hotels at better prices. Buckeye looks like is a work town with very few options to sleep.


Day 02
570 miles in 15:00 hours – average speed 38mph (with stops)
9.038gallons at 39.04mph
Next morning we depart  7:00AM, got gas and went South to Gila Bend, had a good breakfast in Ajo and arrived at the border at 9:30AM.
Once there in Sonoita just check with the immigration office and got our visas (180 days) on the right side, cross the street to the left and pay the visa fee ($23 each) on the back, got $400 worth of pesos and in less then 30 minutes we were ready to go.

Less then 20 miles later and we stop at the first checkpoint. We were asked about our Temporary Import Permit for the motorcycle, but not for the visas. Cleared in less then 2 minutes. I didn’t stick the Temporary Import Permit on the windshield and that wasn’t a problem at any other check point, so if you don’t want that stick sticker on your windshield, I would not batter.

The first fee boot is about 135 miles from the border and it was $53 pesos (about U$5).

We rode Highway 2 until Santa Ana where we got Highway 15D South, going to Hermosillo. That is a very good road, well kept and we could make up time there.
Got gas about 40 miles before Hermosillo as well as some food for lunch and about 3:30 we were in Hermosillo.
Then I made a bad decision that was to keep going towards Yecora. The first hour and half was good road, but after that the Highway 16 became very windy and narrow, with many potholes and animals and trucks stopped and other dangerous traps and by 6:00PM when the night arrived we were middle way to Yecora.
There are no options for hotel after Tecoripa, (88miles before Yecora) and that stretch only took us 3 hours to complete, most at the dark since we pass Tecoripa already 5:35PM.

Note by one of our readers: " You state that in TECORIPA there were no hotel options available . This is definitely not true. I have checked the village and know of at least three places that rent rooms to travellers."

If you are going there, plan to leave Hermosillo not late then 1:30PM so you may be able to get Yecora on the dust.
When we got there you found a hotel (so-so) at the main entrance street there, could not find an open restaurant, so we went to a market, and bought some food to eat in the room.

Note by one of our readers: "You also say that in YECORA you could not find a restaurant. Here too I know that Motel Brisas and Hotel King have their own restaurants and there are at least two other eateries in town."

Day 03
225 miles, done in 11:30 hours Average Speed was 20mph (with stops)
5.804gallons at 39.97mph
3.247gallons at 40.65mph
We departed at 7:30AM and got gas at Yecora, what and up another bad move. I did have gas to ride many more miles, but that idea that we need to start the day with a full tank make me use that bad gas from Yecora who ruin the next 350 miles. I believe they had water on the tanks and after only 50 miles the bike start running pretty bad and I had no idle if under 1500RPMs.
We had breakfast near Yepachic in a very nice restaurant were you seat and order your food w/o any menu. Just ask the lady if she can do this or that…
Rigth after the breakfast we met some riders that were having problems with one bike that was not starting. It eventually would start and we were on the road again.
Stop at the falls in Basaseachic then continue from highway 16. There is a shortcut on a gravel road there that will reduce the trip in about 50 miles, but not sure how much time it would ad, so with my bike running badly I decided not to go there.
In Tomochi I got some more gas to see if that would improve my ride but it didn’t.
We arrived at San Juanito around 3:00PM and had our lunch there.
From there less then one hour and we were in Creel.
The good thing arriving early in a place is that you can search for a good hotel and after visiting few ones we decided for Margaritas Mexican Plaza hotel (beware that are two Margaritas hotel in town).
The have breakfast and dinning inclusive on the rate, so that was a good value for U$50.


Day 04
No motorcycle ridding today. We got the train to El Fuerte.
Next morning we decided to visit the town and then get the train to El Fuerte at 11:00AM. The train goes all over Copper Canyon, from 8500 feet to sea level and it’s an amazing experience. You have to do it.
It’s a very good train, with restaurant and bar with nice and comfortable seats and an astonishing view of the canyon.
We arrived at El Fuerte around 7:30PM, got a taxi at the railroad station that took us to the town (8 kilometres) and there we found a good hotel for the night, a good restaurant for fish and a good free dance show on the main plaza. Perfect evening.

Day 05
No motorcycle ridding today. We go the train back to Creel.
We got the train at 8:00AM back to Creel and could enjoy the views from Copper Canyon again.
We met nice people inside the train and the trip wasn’t long at all.

Day 06
90 miles in 6:30 hours, average 13 mph (with stops)
Today we rode to Lake Arareco and then to Divisadero, San Rafael and Possada Barrancas.
The views from Possada Barrancas are great and the food there, besides very expensive (U$50 for two, remember, we are paying U$15 to $20 most of the places) was good.

Day 07
390 miles 11:30 hours and average speed of 34mph (with stops)
7.728 gallons at 42.18mph
Today we start our way back home. Departing time was 7:30AM and again I didn’t get the gravel roads because the bike still bad, but as soon as the bad gas went through today, the engine was running fine again. For sure was bad gas in Yecora.
We rode without stops most of the day today. Had a quick lunch in Yecora around 1:30PM and by 6:00PM we were at Hermosillo. Got a very good hotel there and a fine dinner too.

Day 08
290 miles in 7:30 hours with average of 34mph (with stops)
8.782 gallons at 43.61mph – 383 miles with one tank.
8:30AM for our departing. We had less then 300 miles to do today, in a good roads, so no rush to leave the hotel.
We went to Puerto Penasco (Rock Point) that is a very tourist city by Gulf of California. There is a lot of development there and looks like many US Americans are buying apartments there. Fortunately it was empty and only few visitors were around. We had good food there and a so-so but expensive hotel (U$65).

Day 09
402 miles, 8:30 hours Average 47mph (with stops)
6.705 gallons at 38.77mph
We departed 7:00AM and hit Mexicali border around noon. After about 30 minutes on the line there, we were able to cross and had lunch at the MacDonald’s right on the border there. Then via Salton Sea, back home.

Our average spending was around $100/day not counting the train tickets that were $100 each, each way.
The gas there was good with the only exception on Yecora. I used 87 and the bike knock just a little.

Other then the gas problem, the bike was flawless and very good to ride. I need to improve the seats. They are too hard and probably I will go back to Rick Mayer next month to fix it.
The backrest for the passenger is not good. Actually was almost useless. The Givi trunk vibrates too much so that makes uncomfortable ride.
We hit two potholes and one top (speed bump) and I am sure if I was not ridding the GS that would be a big damage on the LT. Make a note to not take my LT to Mexico.

The way back from Mexicali was interesting because we rode a new road, but I would not go back that way any more. The border is too busy and with very narrow streets that makes difficult to split lanes with the cars, so I was sitting there idling for long time.

I can go back to Copper Canyon at least one more time, to try some gravel roads and maybe some dirty roads in the future, but the whole trip was two-up, with very little gravel/unpaved roads and that was good.




The first step was to get a Temporary Import Permit from Banjercito.

Was $546.48 pesos (about U$50.00) and was done in few minutes on the internet.

Here was our first hotel, in Buckeyne, AZ. Bad one. Didn't worth the $50.00 at all.

In Ajo we had breakfast and could see they preparing a Mexican spice food.


Mexican food

The border of Sonoyta.

As soon as you cross it, on your right will be the immigration office and the bank will be on your left.

Sonoyta border
This is how they paint the road strips in Mexico. The truck driver try to keep it straight (note the side wells) and the guy goes with the brush. painting road strips in Mexico
Going to Mexico you have to see a lot of these. Make sure you won't land in one. Mexican cactus

We saw only two accidents in Mexico. This was the first one, on 15D, between Santa Ana and Hermosillo.

Car accident in Mexico

The highway 16 from Hermosillo to Carpio, right before the turn to Creel.

Highway 16 in Mexico
That is a good road. Not perfect, with many pot holes but we did good. mexico motorcycle road

Some views were really amazing.

motorcycle road in Mexico
Just one of the many animals we saw on the roads there. cows on the road

Good food at Yepachic. Note the tree

Restaurant in Mexico

We meet these group of 5 or 6 guys trying to start this Suzuki. Eventually it runs and they were able to continue their trip.

Starting a Suzuki
More animals on the road. Horses on the road

Every place we stop for any reason we make people come by. They like to talk with travels there.

GS 1150 loaded
Finally the sigh for Creel. creel, Mexico
We had good food there most of the time and never got sick. Mexican food
Hotel Margaritas Mexican Fiesta Hotel in Creel. margaritas Mexican hotel
The train ride from Crell to El Fuerte was an amazing experience for us. Train ride in Copper Canyon

The stop at Divisadero, Copper Canyon.

The indians sell a lot of stuff there.

divisadero, copper canyon
Every time the train stops there is a crowed of vendors selling local art and crafts. indians selling stuff
The indian woman are very good with their hands doing those baskets. Indian selling crafts

Every stop of the train and there is always vans, buses and taxis for the tourists.

Train station

The train is very comfortable and pleasant. With good food and drinks.

copper canyon train
Temoris about half way on the railroad between El Mojis and Chihuahua is the best view of canyon, river and railroad. temoris, copper canyon
Another shot from Temoris, Copper Canyon temoris, copper canyon
and the train goes over the bridge in Temoris. Temoris bridge copper canyon
A dam near El Fuerte copper canyon dam

The food in El Fuerte was the best. Very nice little tow with good people and good restaurant: El Mansion do General.

Food, fish in El Fuerte
Best Margaritas in Mexico in El Fuerte margarita

At night we got this free dance show in El Fuerte.

Mexican dance
Hotel Don Hidalgo em El Fuerte, Mexico. Don Hidalgo Hotel, El Fuerte, Mexico

Next morning we got the train back to Creel .

Copper Canyon train

and one more shot of Temoris

Temoris rail road copper canyon
Town of Creel, in Mexico, when the train arrived. creel, mexico
Lake Arareco, near Creel. Lake Arareco
View from Divisadero, in Copper Canyon Divisadero, copper canyon

Hotel Mirador in Divisadero, Copper Canyon

hotel mirador, divisadero, coper canyon
Views from Copper Canyon copper canyon
More Copper Canyon Copper Canyon
Good food at the hotel Mirador, but very expensive. Mirador hotel
More crafts Indian crafts
Indian making the baskets indinan making baskets
The famous motorcycle hotel in Creel, on the exit to Divisadero. creel hotel

We are ready to start our way back home.

Margaritas Mexican hotel

Margaritas Mexican Hotel
The truck just stop on the middle of the road. No sigh at all. and note the continuo's yellow line... roads in mexico
Nice views highway 16 in Mexico
More animals on the road animals on the road
great motorcycle roads motorcycle roads
and a burro right after the turn. burro on the road
Some parts of the road were really bad. bad road in mexico
Note the truck dancing on the road. truck on the road
Hotel Colonial in Hermosillo. That night was expensive. Hotel Colonial in Hermosillo
9876 543 miles BMW GS 1150

they are re paving highway 2.

building road
more cactus, near Rock Point cactus

and finally 10.000 miles

R1150 GS

The road to Rock Point is not interesting at all

borring road
Vina Hotel in Rock Point (puerto penasco) Vina Hotel

Puerto Penasco

puerto penasco

crafts in Puerto Penasco.

Very juristic town

puerto penasco
Sunset by California Gulf sunset
California Gulf. There were a dolphin right in front of the boat. Sunset
Sunset at california gulf sunset
more fish fish dish
Fisherman going back fisherman
A lot of building in Puerto Penasco rock point puerto penasco
the wall between Mexico and USA mexica border

The second accident, near the border of Mexicali



Click on each day for a map view

293 miles - 5:40hours Beckeye, Arizona Bad motel
556 miles - 13:40hours Yecora, Mexico so-so motel
218 miles - 10:00hours

Creel, Mexico

Good motel
9 hours Train to El Fuerte nice train trip
10/22 9 hours Train to Creel very nice train trip
10/23 90 miles - 6:30hours Divisadero nice views and food
388 miles - 11:30hours Hermosillo Very nice hotel


287 miles - 7:30hours Puerto Penasco ocean views
10/26 410 miles - 9:00hours Home

boring Salton Sea

  Garmin GPS file Download HERE Waypoints and track log

Who is Elton

I was born in Brazil and moved to USA, California in 1996. Took me some time to learn the language and get into this country, but I think now I'm doing quite well. I became an American citizen in late 2007.
I love to travel and by the time I was writing this page, I had logged more them 140.000 miles on the motorcycles I have/had. My current bikes are one 2002 BMW K1200LTe and one 2003 BMW R1150GS. Also there are many more miles on my car and much more on airplane trips.
Winter I try to do Snowmobile. Summer is time for water sports (PWC) and I motorcycle year around (one of the benefits of living in sunny California)



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