If you are planning a trip through the Copper Canyon, you absolutely must spend a few nights in Creel. There’s so much to see and do and the best place to rest your head each night is at the Villa Mexicana Creel Mountain Lodge.
I stayed here for two glorious nights while we were in Creel and it was the perfect place to rest our heads after full days of exploring the local sites, hiking around the canyon, and to see a sky full of stars.
The Best Cabañas in Creel
Pretty much every hotel in Creel says that they have cabañas, but the reality is that there is only one place in Creel with stand-alone cabins and that’s at Villa Mexicana Creel Mountain Lodge.
The cabins here are absolute perfection. We stayed in the honeymoon cabaña which is the only one available with one king-size bed in it.
Every other cabaña has two or more beds in it, making it perfect for families. There is even a cabin that you can rent with a kitchen in it so that you can self-cater during your time in Creel. I could have happily rented out that one for a few weeks!
If you are traveling with a big group, there are family cabins that have two large beds as well as a sofa bed that pulls out and sleeps another two people.
If you are traveling just as a couple like Luke and I were, I highly recommend the honeymoon cabin. It has a mini-fridge so you can keep your drinks and snacks cold (which you’ll probably only want in the hot summer months).
The rooms are all simply decorated, but they have several nice touches that I really enjoyed. My favorite part of the decor of all of the cabins and the main lodge was the Raramuri art.
The art on the walls and the pillows and blankets all touch upon the indigenous group that calls this area of Mexico home, the Raramuri (also sometimes called the Tarahumara).
The Location of the Creel Mountain Lodge
Creel is the start (or end) of the El Chepe train journey and it’s a place that I highly recommend stopping for at least a few days.
If you are coming from Chihuahua, one of the best options is to take the bus. Contact the hotel to let them know when you are arriving and they will likely organize to pick you up from the bus stop.
Villa Mexicana is located right on the edge of town in Creel, but still very much walkable into town. We would walk into the town in the afternoons to grab lunch from the different food spots around town (highly recommend Taqueria La Teweque for burritos and birria) and it usually took us less than 10 minutes.
Obviously, if you rent a car from Chihuahua to explore the canyon on your own, you can drive straight to the Mountain Lodge and park for free in the guest parking.
The town isn’t exactly big or busy, but it can be noisy during the peak season (Semana Santa week). So it was really nice to be out on the edge of town where it was utterly silent at night.
Be sure to get outside while you’re staying at Villa Mexicana at night and look up at the incredible number of stars above. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more stars than I did during our stay at Villa Mexicana.
The Restaurant at Villa Mexicana
The restaurant at Villa Mexicana served up the best meal that we had during our entire week in Creel.
Breakfast is included in your stay each morning. It’s slightly different each day.
During our stay, we had different types of eggs each morning. One morning we had eggs with chorizo and the second morning we had it with ham. It was always served with a side of chilaquiles and refried beans.
The coffee was strong and we always got a glass of juice as well.
The breakfast was good, but the afternoon and evening meals are what I would highly recommend.
After taking a tour one day with Villa Mexicana, we came back to the dining room to have lunch by the fireplace. During the colder months (we visited in November), they put a nice fire on in the lodge and you can sit and enjoy a meal.
We had steak with quesadillas, salad, and a nice tostada with avocado. The steak was cooked to utter perfection. It was seasoned well and it was so tender. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
Tours in Copper Canyon with Villa Mexicana
Most hotels around Creel have resident tour guides and Villa Mexicana is no different. You can book your tour directly with the front desk. When it’s busy season, you’ll likely be on the tour with other guests.
But we were visiting during a low time and we were the only people on the tour. It meant we could take our time in each place and the guide, Jesus, could customize it a little bit more to what we like to do.
The tours are incredibly affordable as well. For only 200 Pesos each (about $10 USD), we went on a tour of the surrounding area for about two and a half hours.
The tour included a stop at the Valley of the Mushrooms (where the rock formations look like mushrooms), the Valley of the Frogs (they look like frogs), a cave where a Raramuri family lives, and we finished with Lake Arareco where we walked around for about half an hour exploring the different paths.
The guide, Jesus, was born and raised in Creel and was incredibly knowledgeable about the region and about the Raramuri. He answered all of my many questions about how they live and what the culture is like. He gave us tips for other things to do in the area, what to do in El Fuerte where we were going to be getting off the El Chepe train.
Throughout the year, they also offer tours to various waterfalls, hikes near the canyon, and to lots of different viewpoints. Check with the front desk when you arrive about what tours are best for the time of year you’re visiting because sometimes the waterfalls don’t have much water in them.
The Staff at Villa Mexicana
Besides being a beautiful place to stay, I was most blown away by the staff at Villa Mexicana. From the front desk staff, to the chef, to Jesus our tour guide to Arturo the manager, we couldn’t have been happier with our time at Villa Mexicana.
Everyone was so incredibly kind. They all gave us plenty of tips about things to do in town, where to eat, foods to try, and of course, all of the different things to do around the cabañas.
One chilly night, Arturo organized to have the firepit lit so that we could sit by it in the evening and warm up by the outdoor fire. To be able to sit back on the benches, feel the warm fire, and look up at the sky full of stars I had to pinch myself for how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful place.
Final Thoughts on My Stay at Villa Mexicana Creel Mountain Lodge
I have already started thinking about staying here again when we come back to Copper Canyon next year. I have pictured taking my parents here if they ever wanted to come to explore Copper Canyon. Most of all, I’ve already imagined taking a group tour here where we each get a cabin of our own and we take tours during the day with Jesus.
I cannot give high enough praise to this mountain lodge. Between the food, the staff, and the location, I’m certain there isn’t a better place to stay on your next trip to Creel.