An open letter to all those interested in the amazing Copper Canyon


The recent murder of American Patrick Braxton-Andrew in a remote area outside of Urique, in the Copper Canyon area, has lead some to question whether travel to the canyon is still safe.

The answer is a resounding YES!

The Copper Canyon is a safe travel destination. We have been living in El Fuerte, and traveling to the Copper Canyon, for almost 20 years, and have never had a personal security problem, and much less with the over 2180 clients for which we have arranged trips into the Copper Canyon. In fact, before the senseless, tragic and apparently random murder of Patrick, we had never heard of a visitor affected by crime here.

To be honest, we feel safer here than most anywhere else.

While all the details may never be known about Patrick’s death, a few things are:

1) He was in a remote area, well off the beaten path, by himself.

2) His assailant was a known member of a drug cartel, but there is no indication that this killing is anything more than Patrick tragically crossing paths with this individual in a horrific “being in the wrong place in the wrong time” episode.

3) Crime organizations in the area have NEVER targeted visitors before, because tourism is just too important for the people who live in the Copper Canyon.

All that being said, what next?

Copper Canyon Adventures will continue to offer the best travel experience in the Copper Canyon, focusing on those areas, including hiking trails, of uncommon beauty and cultural value.

In addition, and as always, we will recommend to our visitors and friends to focus on areas within the canyon with tourism infrastructure, or to more remote areas when accompanied by a local (not even necessarily bilingual) guide.

All of our trips to remote areas always include a local guide, for their presence connects our visitors to the communities and areas they visit, making them more a part of the area.

It has been our experience, in both Mexico and Guatemala, that these local guides are essential elements to the cultural enrichment, safety and enjoyment of our esteemed clients.

For this reason, all of our trips, whether fully-guided (with a professional bilingual guide) or Independent (where we make all the arrangements, but do not include a bilingual guide) feature local guides and/or drivers throughout the journey.

Please send us an email with any comments and concerns you may have.  Thanks!

All the best,

Les Mahoney and Tammy Ridenour

Co-Directors, Copper Canyon Adventures

“The trip you want, when you want it!”


P.S. If this area were not safe, we would not live here, nor organize trips here!