Cusarare means "where the eagles fly" in the Raramuri language. It is 22 kms from Creel so you can get there in about 1/2 hour driving yourself in an Amigo Truck, on a Scooter or with a private transfer. There are also tours available (see TOURS page).
Cusarare village, Loyola Museum and Cusarare Mission are located very conveniently together in the same place. The museum costs $1.50US to enter as does the Mission (or they will ask for a donation once you are inside). See more detailed information on the right panel about the Mission and Loyola Museum.
The Raramuri are plentiful here and make arts and crafts for sale at the store in the Museum or on the steps of the mission.Cusarare waterfall is across the road and a bit of a walk from the village. The entrance to the waterfall is actually about 3 kms BEFORE you reach the village entrance if you are traveling from the Creel area. You must park at the public entrance and walk about 50 minutes or so through the woods to get to the waterfall. There are steps that go all the way to the bottom of the falls too if you still have any breath left in you when you arrive.
Nearby Areas of Interest
Cusarare Waterfall, located only 22 kms from Creel, this waterfall has a height of 30 meters and steps that lead all the way to the bottom. There is water year around but only a trickle in April and May as it is the driest time of the year. Even so, it is worth seeing as one must either walk down the 40 minutes of dirt road, laced through the forest, or take a tour from Creel. The walk is the best if you can manage it and makes it all the more worthwhile when you arrive to find a bit of peace in the sound of the running water and cool breezes.
Basirecota Hot Springs is located at the bottom of a small canyon just a 4 hour hike from the Cusarare area. The spring is very hot and very nice to sit in. You'll find a small overhang of rock up above it too where the steam escapes and makes a nice place to hang a towel over your head and relax. There is water most of the year but at times in the spring it seems to fade away. The best way to do this hike is to spend a few nights at the Sierra Lodge Hotel in Cusarare. In this manner, you can spend a full day hiking first to the springs and then onto the waterfall of Cusarare as well before heading back to the Lodge to sip margaritas and enjoy a home cooked meal made by the Raramuri in the area.
Loyola Museum & Cusarare Mission Tid Bits
The first church in Cusarare was built in 1741 by the Jesuit fathers. Originally it was much smaller than the church we see today. It was dedicated to the 'Five major saints'; Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Anne and Joaquim who are represented in an original painting to the left of the altar.
The building was enlarged to its present size by the Franciscan friar Felix Merino in 1826. In time, Friar Merino acquired a marvelous set of 12 oil paintings that were painted by the Mexican artist Miguel Correa in 1713.
These oil paintings represent 12 scenes from the life of Mary, from her birth to Pentecost, which friar Merino probably used in catechism. These paintings were found in very bad condition in 1969 when the adobe bell tower in the church collapsed, crushing the corner of the building where the paintings were kept.
From 1971 to 1973 the church was reconstructed and the interior was decorated in Raramuri (Tarahumara) designs. Father Luis G. Verplancken, S. J. took responsibility for the reconstruction of the building and in 1973 began the search for professionals to perform the necessary restorations to the paintings.
It wasn't until 1993 that Jan Coufal, from Czechoslavakia and Herbert Cepissak, a Slovik, began restoration on five of the twelve paintings that had been found in the Cusarare church. They spent a total of 1250 hours working on those five paintings. Four years later they returned with a larger group and restored the rest of Miguel Correa's works. In 1999 and 2002 the paintings were returned to Father Verplancken and the museum was officially opened in the summer of 2004.
View of Cusarare Area