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The Copper Canyon region in Northern Mexico is a transit area for drugs and associated drug crime. In 2016, the Mexican police established a new base in Sierra Tarahumara, to ensure law and order is upheld in the region.
Most crime and violence is between drug gangs and rarely aimed at tourists, but it's possible to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It's not in your best interests to drive through border areas, but if you choose to do so, all take necessary precautions.
The towns along the way are relatively safe. Take caution when out at night and avoid withdrawing cash from an ATM. If you have had a bit of a rowdy night at a bar, don't walk back to your accommodation, grab a taxi instead.
The local authorities advise avoiding wandering outside in any of the towns at night, and definitely avoid getting involved with illegal activities, such as drugs. Some local guides also advise travelers to avoid taking photos of anyone carrying a gun.
Hiking rim to rim in Copper Canyon (or a portion of it) is a popular activity and a great way to merge outdoor adventure with local culture. The best time to visit this alpine area is November to March. Summer (June to July) is hot as hell, and late summer is monsoon season (August to September).
The Copper Canyon region consists of a group of seven large canyons spanning 25,000mi² , and is approximately four times larger than the Grand Canyon in the USA.
Here are some handy safety tips:
It is safe to catch the train through Copper Canyon, but take care of your belongings, and keep your luggage on you at all times. The El Chepe train has armed guards on both first and second class trains.
For women traveling alone, stick to the well traveled locations.
Common sense usually prevails, so keep your wits about you and your trip should be trouble free.
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