Is Mexico Safe to Travel to

 

South of the border is a favorite travel destination with it’s pristine beaches and tourist towns. With all the security alerts and news reports it is understandable for vacationers to be nervous about traveling to Mexico. Over 35 million Americans traveled to Mexico in 2016 so it’s definitely on many people’s minds.

mexico-beach.jpgIs Mexico Safe to Travel to?

There are cities and regions within the country that are safe to visit. Most tourist resorts are safe to travel and have strict security for your protection. It is important for visitors to do some research on where to stay and places not to visit in Mexico. Use your common sense when visiting and keep travel to a minimum at night.

The high crime numbers come mostly from the negative relationship between the drug cartels and the federal government. These areas are along the transportation routes leading into the United States and major ports of entry.

The high crime rate numbers are very scary, but majority of the violent crimes are not targeted to tourists and are mostly related to drug cartels.

Of course, I cannot guarantee 100% safety but more than likely your visit in Mexico will be unharmed. For your safety though, it is best to be aware and prepared.cancun-1235489__340.jpg

Safer Cities to Travel to in Mexico:

Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Mayan Riviera, Puerto Escondido, Puerto Vallarta, Quererato, and San Miguel de Allende

The Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico are:

Acapulco, Chihuahua, Culiacan, Durango, Mazatlan, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Tepic, Tijuana, Torreon, Saltillo, and Veracruz.

travel advisory.pngWhat Do the Travel Advisory Levels Mean?

As many of us are aware, The Mexico Travel Advisory was issued on March 18, 2018, by the U.S. Department of State after many gang-related violent crimes recently occurred. A “Level 2” Advisory was issued telling travelers to “exercise extreme caution in Mexico.”

Level One – Exercise Normal Precaution

Level Two – Exercise Increased Caution

Level Three – Reconsider Travel

Level Four – Do Not Travel

The report noted crimes were widespread such as homicide, kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and violence. The U.S. Department of State explicitly requests travelers to avoid the states of Guerrero, Colima, Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Tamaulipas. The resort town in these states that may sound more familiar to you are Acapulco, Ixtapa, and Mazatlan. Acapulco is currently experiencing horrific violence.

 

When planning any trip it is smart to check the advisories for your intended travel destination. Conditions can change rapidly in any country at any time.

Note that conditions can change rapidly in a country at any time.

The U.S. Department of State provides a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals to enroll their vacation in a program called STEP, The Smart Traveler Enrollement Program. step-enrollment.png

Signing up is super easy and fast. Afterwards, you will receive important information from the Embassy about the conditions in the country you will be traveling to. This service is also beneficial in case of an emergency, whether civil unrest, natural disaster, or a family emergency.

If you are not traveling but would like to monitor safe conditions in various countries you can sign up too in the “Staying at Home” program. To sign-up and receive updated Alerts and Travel Advisories for any country, visit step.state.gov or simply click on the link.

For FAQs and more details and about safety and security information, please visit travel.state.gov/travel safely.

Mexico Travel Warnings

Baja California Sur Los Cabos

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Homicides, criminal activity, and violence remain a problem throughout this area. Most of these issues are targeted, organized, criminal assassinations, but the battles between the criminal groups have been where tourists visit and bystanders have been killed or injured from shooting incidents.mexico-stop-cartels-39877931.jpg

Quintana Roo – Cozumel, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The same advice listed for Baja California is for Quintana Roo:

Homicides, criminal activity, and violence remain a problem throughout this area. Most of these issues are targeted, organized, criminal assassinations, but the battles between the criminal groups have been where tourists visit and bystanders have been killed or injured from shooting incidents.

Mexico City and Oaxaca

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The same advice listed for Baja California is for Mexico City and Oaxaca:

Homicides, criminal activity, and violence remain a problem throughout this area. Most of these issues are targeted, organized, criminal assassinations, but the battles between the criminal groups have been where tourists visit and bystanders have been killed or injured from shooting incidents.

Jalisco – Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta

Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Gang activity and violent crime are common in parts of this state.

Nayarit – Sayulita

Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Gang activity and violent crime are common in parts of this state.

man-gun-1512739__340.jpgGuerrero – Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo

Level 4: Do Not Travel

The State Department is warning that groups operating independently from the government are armed and have set up road blocks in many areas of the state. They have been known to use violence towards travelers.

Something to consider and put in perspective, Level 2 is also the advisory warning for many other tourist destinations: Belgium, Italy, Belize, Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Brazil, the United Kingdom. Many tourists wouldn’t worry about visiting those countries.

U.S. Citizens Assistance:

Here are phone numbers, address, email, website, and fax to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City:

U.S. Embassy Mexico City

Paseo de la Reforma 305

Colonia Cuauhtemoc

Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.

06500

Telephone:  011-52-55-5080-2000

Emergency: 01-55-5080-2000, ext. 0

Email: ACSMexicoCity@state.gov

Website: U.S.EmbassyMexicoCity

 

The information provided is to assist you in making an educated decision on your travel destinations. My recommendation for you is to have the information for U.S. Assistance with you at all times and to sign up for the STEP program any time you travel. ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. Safe Travels!

 

I encourage comments and would like to hear from any of you regarding safety in Mexico. Please share a comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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