2012 Mexican Roadtrip: Barranca de Sinforosa (Guachochi, Chih. Mexico) by Cessna Airplane

Our experience seeing and absorbing Barranca de Sinforosa was extraordinary. We could not have planned it and we will never be able to duplicate anything like it. It was something that we "lucked into" because we are independent travelers with our own car and we are willing to seize opportunities when they arise. 

As planned at dinner the night before we met Rafael Aguirre at his restaurant at 8:30 the next morning. We drove to the aeropista, following Rafael, and found it spotlessly clean and very large. Inside, there was a reception desk and a few people working in offices. We were introduced to Sergio Chaparro who we thought would be our pilot. He spoke some English, having studied in Kansas for 9 months. We were taken into a large dining room and kitchen in the back where we met Jose Manuel Chaparro, known as “JoMaCha” in the region. He was clearly the owner of everything. His wife, Marta, was working in the kitchen and was gracious and brought us hot water for instant coffee. There was lots of food on the table and a big wheel of cheese that we tried (we had already had breakfast). We sat around chatting with Rafael, JoMaCha and Sergio (who turned out to be JoMaCha’s son) and waiting for the clouds to dissipate and the haze to burn off. We learned that Marta had been to Montana to ride horses and that JoMaCha sells airplanes in the region (for some reason it is advantageous to buy the US Cessnas in Venezuela and to sell them in Mexico). The airport services ranchers in the region who take a 10 minute flight to their ranches (or miners to their mines) instead of driving on dirt roads for 15 hours to their remote areas. In addition, JoMaCha has interests in silver and gold mines. He and his wife and son were very gracious and un-assuming. In other words we were enjoying getting to know them. JoMaCha gave us some baseball caps with his logo on them. Audre’s was a great color pink. Later, JoMaCha’s youngest son, whose name is Jose Manuel also, came in to greet us. He too will go to Kansas to study.

We went to the plane and it turned out that JoMaCha would be our pilot. Rafael came and so there were 4 of us in the plane.

JoMaCha, Audre, Rafael and Dimitri in front of the Cessna that will take us to view Barranca Sinforosa
Oh My Goodness--this was a fabulous flight. We started out looking at the city and the lake in Guachochi. Soon we were in the Barranca Sinforosa—so deep we felt like we were in the Star Wars movie.
Our pilot, JoMaCha, loved to bank the plane in order to closely follow the shape of the canyon and we were flying quite low
We had ½ hour of amazing sights, first from the bottom of the canyon looking up and down and then from the top, looking down at the Rio Verde River.
Barranca Sinforosa is so huge our little Cessna was like a tiny bird
We saw rock formations that were whimsical and evocative of men’s and women’s genitals (when they got together, the canyons were formed).
One of the first hightlights of the flight were these penis-like rocks dutifully pointed out by our pilot Jose Manuel known as JoMaCha.
We saw some Rarámuri settlements by the river and caves where they once lived. This view of the canyon was so spectacular that it will be impossible for the Grand Canyon (when Audre finally sees it for the first time) to compete!
One of the many fabulous views of Barranca Sinforosa
Barraca Sinforosa is the deepest canyon of the 7 or so canyons in the region. It is 1830 m (6039’) deep whereas Barranca del Cobre is 1300 m deep. The canyons of volcanic rock were formed some 25 million years ago by tectonic movements as well as by the rivers. The Grand Canyon evidently was formed only by the Colorado River.

When we got back we were so excited and thankful to have had that experience! JoMaCha was clearly touched by our enthusiasm. We went to the counter to pay and the receptionist would not let us. JoMaCha told her not to charge us. We told him that this would be the most memorable experience of our Mexican summer and we are sure that it will be! Wow…

For the record, the price we had agreed to beforehand for the flight was M$1800 for two of us. Try to arrange a flight for yourselves!
C.P.A. Jose Manuel Chaparro, oficina : 649-543-1022, cels: 649-392 1800 or 649-39209831, e-mail : jomacha@hotmail.com
LAE Sergio Chaparro (Aeropuerto El Fuerte, Sinaloa), teléfono : 668-116-0048 (ID62*294906*5), e-mail : sercha80@hotmail.com