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Is Copper Canyon safe?   arrow

Dave Hensleigh’s comments on safety in Copper Canyon.

Copper Canyon Safety

Is it safe to travel on the train in Copper Canyon, Mexico?

Yes… in our experience, Copper Canyon is safe for travel. The issues there and in many border areas have largely subsided (though we never hear this in the US)  and we continue to take groups there safely. Basically the conflict is over and even in the days when there was violence, no tour groups were affected.

And yes, we continue to take groups there often and people are amazed at how calm it is and how safe they feel.

Observations from our team and our guests:

  • No tourists have been involved in incidents in the Copper Canyon area even during those times when there was conflict. Now things have cleared and we continue to have people enjoying the Copper Canyon train and the canyon culture.
  • Many Mexicans and Europeans are currently traveling to the Sierra Madres and enjoying the train experience. Their press is just different–actually reporting the situation there rather than sensationalizing.
  • Our company has recently hosted several groups there- we take 2-3 trips there per month- (Dave was in Copper Canyon several times in the last year including numerous times in 2012 and 2013) and our experience and that of our guests is that things are secure and safe.
  • Our guests have not reported any problems and have a sense of security while traveling in the Copper Canyon area. Quite to the contrary they are amazed at how safe it seems.
  • Typically on the train and in the lodges, our guides and guests will walk and visit freely with locals, go on horse rides and walks, ride the gondola and ziplines, etc.  with little concern…there is an atmosphere of security. We even had a group of writers and travel pros there recently who enjoyed the night life and have written widely about how safe they felt.
  • Actually what our guests have been talking about lately is about how warm and welcoming the local Mexicans are and how peaceful things are.
  • Local people along the train line are amazed that there is such concern on the part of US travelers and are welcoming us with open arms.
  • Many blogs (including that of long- term resident Spencer MacAllum) and magazine articles (The Economist, Sept, 2010, Jan 2011) are reporting that things are calm there. Moreover they report that Mexico is among the most secure of Latin American destinations and one of the safest in the world. Here is a recent article-


  • Neither American tourists nor local Mexicans are the target of the problems in the border areas. It is a turf war and will run its course in time…actually it is almost gone in many areas. Meanwhile, with reasonable precautions we perceive (and others traveling there do as well) that there is very little risk for travel.

Travelers to any destination should take reasonable precautions. There are many areas of the world that are truly dangerous destinations (Brazil, South Africa, Honduras, certain war zones, etc), but Copper Canyon is not one of them. Still we cannot guarantee safety and we encourage our guests to take normal precautions such as not walking alone at night, exercising care when leaving an ATM, etc.

Disclaimer: This document is simply intended to relate our experience and does not constitute a guarantee of safety for travel in Copper Canyon. Guests travel at their own risk and neither this nor any other written or verbal statement from TopTrips LLC or Dave Hensleigh shall be taken to be or implied to be a guarantee for safe travel.

Lets go to Copper Canyon!

Dave Hensleigh in Juarez, Mexico

Dave actually walked across Juarez for three days recently to illustrate that even this troubled place is open for travel.