Eight-year-old Solecito runs to greet us with a bright smile as we arrive at the Norítari Lodge, in Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Surrounded by pine trees in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains, the lodge at Norítari is a favorite relaxing place for California Native guests. In Rarámuri, the language of the Tarahumara Indians, Norítari means "Place Above the Clouds."
The lodge is the realization of the dream of Lauro and Soledad Marquez,
who live here with their daughter, Solecito, a Nahuatl Indian, whom they
adopted at birth. Lauro was formerly an engineer with INEGI, the Mexican
Government Institute for Statistical and Geographical Information. He
met Soledad when she was working for the Acapulco city government. A
few years before, she had taught in the Sierras and was enchanted by
the beauty of the area and the friendliness of its people.
The couple purchased the land in 1995 and three years later began construction
of the lodge. Presently they have nine log cabins (cabañas) with
two rooms each, which Sol has decorated with colorful furniture and crafts
from all over Mexico. Each room has a large fireplace—it gets cool
at 7,800 feet in the Sierras.
Geese and turkeys challenge visitors on the paths, while horses and cows
graze peacefully in the meadows.
On the old-fashioned porch, which wraps around two pine trees, we relax
with cafe de olla, a cinnamon bark tea to which coffee grounds
are added. Then we are treated to a gourmet dinner that Sol prepares
for us: zucchini squash soup, cinnamon beef with sopes, and local
baked apples in a delicious sauce. Lauro then has us try his private
The next day we drive to Basaseachic Falls—at 811 feet it is one
of Mexico’s highest. We view the falls from an observation point
and enjoy our picnic lunch. Hikers have the opportunity to hike down
the trail to the pool at the foot of the falls, while the others chat
and soak in the beautiful scenery. When the hikers return, we head back
to Norítari for another fine dinner at our "place above the
Click Here for information on our Copper Canyon Tours.