Meet the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico


A Unique Cultural Experience Only Found in Copper Canyon MX

Meet the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. Travel with Caravan Tours on our fully guided Copper Canyon train tour.

Mexico might be known for its beaches and ancient civilizations but there is no shortage of natural beauty either.

Copper Canyon Mexico is famous for its breathtaking mountainous views and stunning vistas. It is also home to the Tarahumara indigenous people.

The Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua Mexico have a long and amazing arts and culture history.

The Tarahumara have lived in the Chihuahua Copper Canyon region of Mexico for centuries. Today, they exist peacefully near the many modern hotels and tourist destinations in the area.

In this Caravan Tours blog post we’ll explore the rich history of these amazing indigenous people. We’ll also discuss what you can expect when you meet them during your Caravan Copper Canyon train tour.

Travel to Copper Canyon for a journey you won’t forget. Meet the original curators of this land and experience this country’s natural beauty as it was intended.

About Copper Canyon Mexico

Copper Canyon is a popular tourist destination found in the Chihuahua State of northern Mexico. This impressive area is made up of a series of 5 massive canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains. In total, Copper Canyon covers approximately 25,000 square miles.

Copper Canyon is famous for its spectacular wilderness, making it a popular choice for adventure-seeking explorers.

Experience the natural beauty of Copper Canyon with a guided hiking tour. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot some unique wildlife or a few of the many beautiful waterfalls along the way.

Our Caravan tour incliudes accommodations at one of the hotels that overlook the canyon. There you can experience meeting the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who have lived there for centuries.

Far from a secret society, the Tarahumara people are incredibly friendly. In addition to their ancestral farming practices, they make and sell hand-crafted wares to support themselves and their families.

History of The Tarahumara Indians

The Tarahumara people are correctly called the Rarámuri, the name they gave to themselves. The name Tarahumara was given to the Rarámuri by the Spanish when the Spanish claimed Mexico for Spain.

With the arrival of the Spanish colonialists in northern Mexico, the Rarámuri were forced to retreat deep into the Copper Canyon area. Here they have remained for the last 400 years.

The land that the Rarámuri inhabit is a high, broken plateau that’s not particularly suited for agriculture.

Nonetheless, they are small-scale farmers that keep goats and cattle while growing maize, beans, squash, and potatoes in small pockets of fertile soil.

The settlements of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico are small and usually made up of families or households called ranchos.

The Rarámuri’s ancestral connection with the land influences their unique art style.

Only the best visits to Copper Canyon include a trip to one of the nearby Rarámuri ranchos. See Mexico by train, meet the locals, and purchase their beautiful handmade pottery, basketry, and beadwork. Take home a souvenir unlike any other.

What Are the Tarahumara Famous For?

It may surprise you that a small, scattered indigenous group unique to a canyon system in Mexico would be famous for anything. However, the Rarámuri are well known for their long-distance running.

The name Rarámuri itself means “foot-runner” or “those who run fast.”

Tarahumara Indians are famous for their legendary running ability.

The Tarahumara ultrarunners wear a specific type of footwear called a “huarache” and can run distances of up to 80 miles (128 km) without stopping.

One of the first ultra-marathons in the Americas was run by several Rarámuri men in 1926. This marathon exposed the people (and the land from which they hail) to international fame.

Aspiring ultra-marathoners still travel to Copper Canyon in an attempt to follow in the footsteps (quite literally) of the Tarahumara runners.

The Tarahumara Indians (or Rarámuri) and their relationship with the land are part of what helps to make Copper Canyon a beautiful destination for all types of travelers.

Explore Mexico Ancient Cultures with Caravan Tours!

Come travel with Caravan Tours and experience nature and culture in its purest form. You’ll enjoy a guided tour that will teach you about the amazing Tarahumara Indians of Chihuahua Mexico.

Along with our fully guided Copper Canyon train tour, which includes a stop in El Fuerte Sinaloa MX, Caravan also offers a unique Mexico Ancient Civilizations tour. It’s an amazing tour if you’ve ever wanted to explore the many ancient ruins of the Aztec, Mayan, Toltec and Olmec cultures.

Travel with Caravan and help us celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2022!

We’ve been offering amazing fully guided tours since 1952. Our tours now include Canada, the United States and the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Our Caravan Mexico tours are quite popular and do tend to sell out early. Be sure to book your preferred tour dates early.

If you still have questions about our Copper Canyon or Mexico Ancient Civilizations tours, please:


Tarahumara Indians FAQs

What Does Tarahumara Mean?

The term Tarahumara is the name the Spaniards gave to the Chihuahua Mexico Rarámuri, which itself translates to “those who walk well” or “those who run fast.”

Are the Tarahumara Native American?

Yes, Tarahumara Indians are part of the Native American indigenous tribes.

What Language Do the Tarahumara Speak?

The Tarahumara people of Chihuahua Mexico speak their own version of the Uto-Aztecan language.

Where Are the Tarahumara Located?

The Tarahumara people live in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountain range in the northwestern state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Why Are the Tarahumara Excellent Runners?

Long-distance running has been an important part of the Tarahumara culture for centuries. Along with hunting and communication between villages, endurance running is closely tied to their social and spiritual values.

How Far Can Tarahumara Run?

It is not uncommon for the long-distance runners of the Tarahumara tribe to run 80, 100, or even up to 200 miles over several days.

What Do Tarahumara Runners Wear?

Tarahumara runners either run barefoot or wear their native “huarache” footwear known for their high, stiff arch support.