Is Mexico safe is the million-dollar question every traveler is thinking about while planning their vacation to Mexico.
Mexico is a popular travel destination located just south of the United States. But with the ever-changing safety measures in the world, it’s important to stay up to date with the Mexico travel advisory before heading to the country.
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So, the question stands: Is Mexico safe in 2023? The answer is yes, but there are some safety measures to consider before embarking on a family, solo, or Girls’ trip to Mexico.
With constantly changing travel advisories and news stories about violence and crime, it’s understandable to have some reservations.
In this blog post, I’ll cover exactly what you need to know about safety in Mexico before visiting.
I traveled to Mexico solo, Girls’ Trip, with my husband and I have explored ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins, Tequila tasting, as well as the Camel tours you see all over Instagram so I understand what it takes to stay safe in Mexico.
Mexico is by far one of the top destinations for many U.S. travelers, but violent crime is soaring in certain areas which causes many tourists to second-guess their summer vacation plans to Mexico.
For years I wouldn’t travel to Mexico because the U.S. media painted this horrific picture of Mexico and I believed Mexico was so dangerous, and that I would be killed, kidnapped, and held for ransom by the drug cartels.
As my readers are planning their fall and winter travels I have been receiving a lot of questions on whether it is safe to travel to Mexico right now.
Yes, traveling to Mexico can be dangerous but traveling to Memphis can be dangerous as well.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room “Is Mexico Safe” in this safety guide: I cover exactly what you need to know about safety in Mexico before visiting, the do’s and don’ts, how to stay safe as a solo female traveler, and tips on how to deal with the Mexican police if you get pulled over.
Also, click here if you need my packing safety checklist for traveling to Mexico. You can find everything from diversion cans, pocket scrunchies with a hidden zipper, portable door locks for hotels, and more to keep you safe while traveling no matter the destination.
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Is Mexico Safe 2023? Here’s What You Need to Know.
An overwhelming majority of visitors enjoy a safe vacation in Mexico, and tourists are largely sheltered from the violence that grips local communities.
But the attack and kidnapping of four Americans in the Mexican city of Matamoros, two of whom were later found dead, along with recent disorder in Cancún and violence in early January that forced the closure of three airports in northwest Mexico, is prompting questions about whether the country’s broader unrest is spilling into other destinations.
The main cause of violence against tourists in Mexico is often linked to criminal activity such as drug trafficking, visitors buying weed or other drugs from local drug dealers, and organized crime.
In some cases, tourists may unintentionally find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time or simply not using common sense.
To stay safe while traveling in Mexico, it is important for tourists to exercise caution and take certain precautions.
This includes avoiding displaying excessive wealth, keeping valuables out of sight, and being aware of your surroundings at all times.
It is also advisable to stay updated with the Mexico travel advisory, which provides information and warnings about specific areas with safety concerns.
While the Mexico travel advisory is designed to help ensure the safety of travelers, it is important to remember that not all areas of Mexico are unsafe.
By being aware of the risks, staying updated with travel advisories, and taking appropriate safety measures, tourists can enjoy a safe and memorable experience while exploring the wonders of Mexico.
When deciding whether or not to visit Mexico as a tourist it’s important to consider safety and understand the area you are traveling to.
After all, no one wants to travel somewhere that isn’t safe.
However, don’t let media portrayals of Mexico fool you into thinking that Mexico is dangerous. In fact, there are multiple reasons why visiting Mexico should be on your bucket list.
We’re going to look at those reasons as well as some of the things that you should do before you go so you can stay safe while still having fun!
You’ll be amazed by how many incredible destinations Mexico has for tourists — from bustling cities like Guadalajara and San Miguel de Allende to secluded islands off the beaten path like Isla Mujeres.
This Mexico safety guide and travel advisory for Mexico will answer all of the following questions so you can plan your vacation accordingly – Below are safety guides and travel warnings based on specific destinations:
- Is Mexico City safe
- Is Cancun safe
- Is Los Cabos safe
- Is Tulum safe
- Is Puerto Vallarta safe
- Transportation safety
- Women’s Safety & Solo Travel
- Safety at Mexico Beaches
Updated: August 23, 2023
Latest update: There’s a high rate of violent crime in Mexico, especially after dark. Kidnapping and extortion are serious risks (see ‘Safety’).
My advice: Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico overall due to high levels of violent crime.
Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico Right Now?
Travelers come from all over the world to visit the ancient ruins, Mayan temples, and cenotes in destinations like Cancun, Chichen Itza, Baja California, and other Mexican cities that are off the radar like Merida, Isla Mujeres, and Oaxaca.
Even the most off-the-beaten cities have minor offenses like theft, robbery, petty crime, petty theft and pickpocket so it’s essential to exercise good judgment, use common sense, and please make sure you research the exact areas you will be visiting.
In 2020 Mexico had the highest number of homicides in the country’s history, there were 17,439 murders, a 1.7% increase but most of the deaths in Mexico are due to fighting between cartels and if you are not part of the cartel then you are probably safe.
While these are isolated incidents I believe for the most part Mexico is safe but again you must also use common sense when traveling not only to Mexico but to any foreign country.
Mexico is statistically much safer than the United States.
So why is the U.S. State Dept. sending out Travel Alerts, calling Mexico “A Failed State”, and saying that ALL parts of the country (including popular tourist resorts like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun) are now unsafe for travel?
Did you know that, according to the FBI, an estimated 15,241 persons were murdered in the U.S. in 2009 111 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, and almost all of them were involved in illicit drug trafficking, gun-running, or smuggling people across the border to/from the U.S?
Imagine 111 people out of the nearly 8 million visitors (about 1 million of whom make Mexico their full-time home). Do you know who else had 111 murders in one year?
Well, Boston for starters. Then there was Las Vegas, Orlando, Indianapolis, and Memphis which is my home town but you don’t see the State Dept. advising tourists to stay away from those cities.
Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens died in Puerto Rico, but did anybody raise a red flag about that? The State Department can’t issue a Travel Warning, because it is not a foreign country.
How big is your own city when compared to Mexico? Here are the annual numbers of MURDERS, given by MSA (or Metropolitan Statistical Area)
- Atlanta – 325
- Baltimore – 298
- Boston – 111
- Dallas/Ft. Worth – 310
- Detroit – 447
- Houston – 462
- Indianapolis – 111
- Jacksonville, FL – 120
- Kansas City – 163
- Las Vegas – 133
- Los Angeles – 68
- Miami-Boca Raton – 377
- New Orleans – 252
- New York City – 778
- Orlando – 111
- Philadelphia – 436
- Phoenix – 302
- San Francisco – 392
- St. Louis – 210
- Washington, DC – 325
To put things in perspective, consider that the murder rate in Mexico’s Yucatan State is 2 per 100,000.
That is about the same as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City’s murder rate is 8 per 100,000, despite being the second-largest city on the planet. That is on par with Albuquerque.
If you ask yourself these simple questions before you arrive at your destination chances are you will not have any issues no matter the destination:
- How are you going to get from the airport to your resort?
- When you check into your hotel, did you lock your door and use the top lock?
- Do you have the number of the embassy?
- Have you filled out a form for the Department of State so they know why you are traveling?
- Have you notified family and friends of where you are going and what you will be doing?
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Is Mexico Safe – Fact vs. Fiction
The American media wants you to believe that Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and other countries where the majority of the population is Black and brown are the most dangerous places to visit and it’s simply not true.
I get a lot of hate emails for the previous statement but whether readers agree or not it is true because you are here and you are researching whether is it safe to travel to Mexico and Mexico travel advisory 2023.
It’s called implicit bias
There is no doubt that there has been horrible violence in Mexico due to drug wars between warring factions but that violence has, for the most part, been in isolated areas.
It is no different than you being in your own hometown and crime is restricted to certain areas. If you don’t go looking for trouble you won’t find trouble.
Robberies and pickpocketing are pretty common in Mexico as it is in Rome, Greece, and here in the U.S. but these random crimes can be avoided if you take common-sense precautions.
I can’t guarantee that nothing will happen but I also can’t guarantee you won’t get robbed as you are leaving your home but it doesn’t stop you from running errands, going to work, shopping, or just hanging out.
My experience with Mexico has been nothing but pleasant.
The people are friendly, family-oriented, very religious, and completely willing to help and answer questions therefore I believe Mexico is safe so stop asking is Mexico dangerous right now.
The areas to avoid in Mexico
While Mexico has many beautiful and safe tourist destinations, there are some areas that travelers should avoid due to high levels of crime and violence.
Here are some of the areas that should be on your radar if you are worried about how dangerous is Mexico.
1. Border regions: The areas near the US-Mexico border are particularly prone to violence due to drug trafficking and other organized crime activities. Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Nuevo Laredo are among the most dangerous cities in the region.
2. Michoacán and Guerrero: These states on the Pacific coast have been the site of ongoing conflicts between drug cartels, local authorities, and citizens. Violence in these areas has resulted in high levels of homicide and kidnappings.
3. Culiacán: This city in the state of Sinaloa is known as a hub of drug trafficking and organized crime. It has been the site of numerous violent incidents, including gun battles in the streets.
4. Acapulco: Once a popular beach destination, Acapulco has become one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico due to drug violence and gang activity. It is advised to avoid the city altogether.
5. Jalisco: While the city of Guadalajara is generally safe for tourists, the state of Jalisco has seen an increase in violence in recent years due to conflicts between drug cartels.
While it may be tempting to visit these areas, it’s important to prioritize your safety while traveling in Mexico.
If you do plan to visit these areas, make sure to do extensive research beforehand and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico City?
9.3 million visitors travel to Mexico annually bringing in approximately 5 Billion dollars in annual revenue therefore the Mexican government’s number one priority is keeping its visitors safe and happy.
Trust me they want to keep those tourism dollars rolling in and keep touristy areas free of crime.
The majority of visitors to Mexico City DO NOT experience any crime because the highly populated touristy areas are heavily guarded by local police to ensure those areas remain safe.
Even with increased police security, there has still been an uptake in criminal activity so you must remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
Keep reading as I dissect fact vs. fiction when it comes to criminal activity in Mexico.
Is it Safe to Travel to Cancun?
Are you wondering “is Cancun safe” because of the latest Cancun travel warning and Cancun travel advisory that was issued by the United States in August 2022 regarding the travel of U.S. citizens to Mexico?
While the United States has issued a travel advisory for the entire country of Mexico I want you to rest easy in knowing that Cancun is safe and there are not any current travel restrictions placed on Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Cancun isn’t located on the U.S. State Department do not travel list I suggest travelers continue to be on high alert.
The State Department says it may be best to only use toll roads and avoid driving alone or at night.
It also warns people to “exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.”
Furthermore, tourists should steer clear of displaying signs of wealth, “such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry” and exercise extreme caution at banks and ATMs but this should be the norm whenever you are traveling out of the country.
In addition, the State Department asks tourists to enroll in its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Amid announcements of new safety concerns in Mexico at the start of 2023, the official U.S. State Department travel advisories remained as they had been for several months, with six states in the “do not travel” classification.
Level 4: The six states with the “do not travel” advisory, because of kidnappings and other crimes, are the northern border state of Tamaulipas, the central state of Zacatecas, and the Pacific coast states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán, and Guerrero.
Level 3: The seven states for which visitors are advised to “reconsider travel” because of crime are Baja California (Norte), Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, and Morelos.
Level 2: Except for the two Level 1 states, travelers to all the rest are advised to “exercise increased caution.” They are: Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Coahuila, Hidalgo, state of Mexico, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretara, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Tabasco, Tlaxcala and Veracruz. Mexico City (Distrito Federal) is Level 2.
Level 1: The State Department advises “normal precautions” when traveling to Campeche or Yucatán, shown in green.
Is it Safe to Travel to Cabo San Lucas?
No matter where you look as fall break approaches, visitors are asking if Cabo San Luca is safe
Cabo San Lucas, despite experiencing occasional fluctuations in crime rates, remains a generally safe destination for tourists.
According to data from the U.S. government, the majority of visitors to Cabo San Lucas do not encounter safety issues during their stay.
While isolated incidents of crime can occur, the overall risk to tourists is relatively low. It is essential, however, for travelers to stay informed about the current safety situation, follow local guidelines and advisories, and take common-sense precautions to ensure their well-being.
By doing so, visitors can continue to enjoy the beauty and attractions that Cabo San Lucas has to offer while minimizing potential risks.
It’s important to check Mexico travel warnings before planning your next vacation to Mexico to make sure you really understand that Mexico is safe for tourists.
Is Tulum Safe for American Tourists?
While some parts of Mexico have experienced an uptick in violence, Tulum for the most part has remained a relatively safe place to travel until recently.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable Girls’ trip to Tulum, it’s important to prioritize your personal safety and those you are traveling with.
Start by staying informed about the Mexico Travel Advisory and setting a Google alert for keywords like “Mexico Safety” or “Mexico Travel Advisory 2023” – When something happens in the news you will receive an email notification provided by Google that summarizes the search activity around those search terms.
Secure your belongings, including passports and valuable items, in a hotel safe. Choose reputable accommodations, tour operators, and transportation services, and read reviews and recommendations from fellow travelers.
Maintain awareness of your surroundings and trust your instincts if something seems amiss. Finally, remember to consume alcohol responsibly to stay in control and aware. In other words, ladies buy your own damn cocktails so you don’t end up sexually assaulted.
By following these precautions, you can fully enjoy Tulum’s natural beauty, historical sites, and vibrant culture while minimizing potential risks.
Is It Safe to Cruise to Mexico? Tips for a Secure Voyage
Cruising to Mexico offers a captivating blend of vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisine.
While safety concerns may arise when planning such a trip, it’s essential to note that Mexico is a popular cruise destination enjoyed by millions of tourists each year.
By taking certain precautions and staying informed, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience exploring Mexico’s coastal gems.
- Research and Choose Reliable Cruise Lines: Begin by selecting a reputable cruise line known for prioritizing passenger safety. Look for companies with a strong track record of delivering secure and enjoyable voyages to Mexico. These cruise lines often have comprehensive safety measures, experienced staff, and well-planned itineraries that prioritize passenger security.
- Review Mexico Travel Advisory and Warnings: Before embarking on your cruise, stay updated on travel advisories and warnings issued by your home country’s government. These advisories provide valuable insights into potential risks, areas to avoid, and safety recommendations. They can help you make informed decisions about your itinerary and allow you to take necessary precautions.
- Choose Popular and Well-Traveled Ports: Opt for popular ports of call in Mexico that are frequently visited by cruise ships. These ports typically have well-established tourism infrastructure, enhanced security measures, and a focus on ensuring visitor safety. Some of the popular cruise ports in Mexico include Cozumel, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas.
- Book Shore Excursions through the Cruise Line: When planning activities ashore, it’s advisable to book excursions through the cruise line. These excursions are often vetted for safety, and the cruise line assumes responsibility for the passengers’ well-being during these organized tours. Additionally, local guides associated with the cruise line are usually knowledgeable about the area and can offer insights and assistance.
- Stay Vigilant and Be Aware of Your Surroundings: While exploring Mexican ports, maintain situational awareness. Be attentive to your surroundings and exercise caution, especially in crowded tourist areas. Stay away from unlit or unfamiliar places, and avoid displaying signs of wealth or carrying excessive amounts of cash or valuables.
- Use Reliable Transportation: When venturing outside the port area, use trusted and licensed transportation options. Taxis recommended by the cruise line or reputable companies are typically reliable choices. Avoid unmarked or unofficial taxis, as they may pose a higher risk. If possible, arrange transportation in advance or rely on services offered by your cruise line.
- Respect Local Laws and Customs: Respect for local laws and customs is crucial when visiting any foreign country, including Mexico. Familiarize yourself with the local customs, traditions, and cultural norms. This will not only help you blend in but also contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience.
Scams in Mexico
Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for fake taxis, watered-down drinks, car rental scams, and foreign exchange scams which are just a few of the scams you should be on the lookout for while in Mexico.
Most locals aren’t out to rob you or get over on you but you should always be careful and aware of your surroundings so you can avoid falling prey and becoming a scammer’s next lucrative customer.
- Mexico car rental scam: This (deceptive) practice is not exclusive to Mexico, but is something car rental companies all over the world do, by trying to upsell you things you don’t need.
- Fake ATMs: Use only ATMs inside reputable banks; never a random ATM on the street, convenience store ATMs, or gas station ATMs.
- Fake Taxis: Use Uber in Mexico or only take authorized taxis from official stations, called sitios (taxi sites), instead of hailing a cab on the street. Better yet, use Uber.
- Restaurant Scams: Always double-check your bill to make sure everything adds up correctly, You were charged only for what you ordered, etc.
Is Cancun Safe from Cartels
The main area tourist is worried about is Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, which includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya.
The State Department recognizes that most of the crime in this region seems to be tied to criminal organizations’ “turf battles” between criminal groups which have resulted in an uptake of violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens.”
Not only are some areas of Mexico indeed seeing the worst homicide figures in decades, but the country recorded its most violent year on record last year, ultimately pointing to an alarming rise in cartel activity.
This prompted the U.S. State Department to up the ante on its travel advisories to the country late last year, placing five Mexican states on its highest Level 4 “Do Not Travel” advisory under its newly revamped system which is another reason why many are wondering is it safe to travel to Mexico right now.
Do Not Travel To:
- Colima state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Guerrero state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Michoacan state due to crime and kidnapping.
- Sinaloa state due to crime and kidnapping
- Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
How to Deal with Police Extortion in Mexico
We’ve all heard the stories about the corrupt cops south of the border. With stories ranging from extortion to kidnapping, the police in Mexico and the rest of Latin America do not have the best reputation.
Police extortion of tourists detained for minor offenses is often a problem and there have been some grotesque incidents.
The authorities cracked down hard, however, and dismissed hundreds of officers, including some top officials. They claim the problem is under control.
If you are stopped for a traffic violation in Mexico, you will be asked for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and possibly proof of insurance. You will also be told what you did wrong.
Of course, in the U.S. we would then be issued a ticket that requires us to pay a fine or appear in court at a later date.
If it is a minor infraction don’t bribe them, even so, it is possible that they ask for some money, The amount depends on the seriousness of the infraction.
If you drive without a license, the rental car will be impounded or the police officer will ask you to pay a fine, If that’s the case, I suggest you offer $ 200 pesos (if you look Mexican) if you are blond with blue eyes maybe about $500 pesos
If you stopped for public intoxication, the fine is around $ 1500 pesos or 24 hours of jail, you will probably have to pay your fine in full.
Those are the most common crimes for which a police officer can pull you over, Obviously, if you steal or kill, the amount will be considerably higher
The key is to remain calm and accept your mistake and when it is inevitable that they take you to jail then subtly offer a bribe, It is like a negotiation, start with a low amount and they will go up to agree on an amount.
The strategy you Should NOT use to Deal with Corrupt Mexican Police
Don’t be a tough guy or gal
This is the worst thing that you can do. If you act tough and get angry and make threats, the officer will simply arrest you for being disorderly or assaulting him or her, etc.
This is a very big no-no. Towing your car is technically something that the officer can’t do, even though they will threaten it, but if you give them enough of a desire to cause you harm they will absolutely find a way to make it happen.
While most officers will not do anything illegal beyond soliciting bribes for traffic violations, they most certainly can act above the law when they really want to.
Don’t give them a reason to want to, because you will not win. Having your car towed (and potentially never seeing it again) is a lot more expensive than paying him one hundred bucks.
Traveling with Cannabis to Mexico
We all know Mexico is the party capital for most US travelers and as I stated earlier most travelers end up in bad situations because they are looking for trouble by trying to purchase weed amongst other illicit drugs while on vacation from local drug dealers.
I don’t suggest trying to buy weed in Mexico but I will be completely honest in saying I took my stash with me.
But understand traveling with cannabis, including flying with it, can be subject to various laws and regulations, both domestically and internationally.
The legality of cannabis varies from country to country, and even within different regions of a country.
In the case of Mexico, recreational cannabis is decriminalized, but regulations and restrictions still apply.
Attempting to fly with cannabis, even if it’s legal at your destination, can still be illegal under transportation regulations or laws in certain jurisdictions.
Airports and airlines often have strict rules prohibiting cannabis, including both checked and carry-on baggage.
If you bring it across international borders please know this is considered international drug trafficking and you will have your items either confiscated or depending on the amount, end up in jail.
If you do decide you are going to take your chances and fly to Mexico with edibles make sure you pack your stash correctly so you will not get caught.
There are plenty of smell-proof bags to help you bypass the sniffing dogs.
If you’re looking for Cannabis travel essentials, you can check out my Amazon store for a selection of must-have items that can enhance your safety and security while exploring Mexico.
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Beach Safety in Mexico
Avoid swimming at the beach when a black warning flag is posted. Cover your child with sunscreen or protective clothing before heading to the beach.
Mexican rays are intense and can lead to severe burns or sun poisoning, especially during the warmer spring and summer months.
The Best Beaches in Cabo San Lucas: Chileno Beach · Medano Beach · Playa del Amor · Santa Maria Beach · Bay of Cabo San Lucas.
Is it Safe to Rent a Car in Mexico?
For the most part, bus travel is the best way to get around in Mexico, but if you are anything like me I prefer to rent a car be on my own time, and not have to wait on other people.
I like to explore and make my own itinerary as I go therefore tour buses do not give me the freedom I want when traveling and they may not cover every place I want to see.
The Yucatan, for example, is especially suited to driving: Many beaches, barely developed ruins, and intriguing villages lie a good distance from the main road.
Highways are well-maintained, constantly being improved, and so straight that the slightest curve bristles with warning signs and reflectors.
Kidnappings in Mexico
If you watch the news you will believe kidnappings happen every 5 minutes in Mexico.
Express kidnappings are used to obtain money by forcing their victims to empty their bank accounts. While this may happen occasionally this is not the Denzel Washington movie “Man on Fire”.
Taking precautions when withdrawing money at ATMs and using licensed taxis can help reduce the risk of being kidnapped.
Solo Travel in Mexico
I solo traveled to Cancun earlier this year for 7 days. Solo travel can be extremely liberating but you must do your research and make sure you understand the laws of the destination you are traveling to because your safety is your number one concern.
Does Mexico have a bad reputation? yes, but so does Memphis and it doesn’t stop me from going home and it shouldn’t stop you from traveling solo to Mexico.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe in Mexico as a solo traveler and take the Mexico Travel Warning seriously:
- Assaults do happen. Remember DO NOT accept drinks from strangers because that is the main reason why assaults happen.
- Know your surroundings. Don’t get lost and end up traveling down a back road on any sketchy roads.
- Be Nice. Mexican people are extremely friendly and there is no need to be nasty or rude.
Be aware of the travel warnings in Mexico but don’t let the media scare you into thinking Mexico is this scary place and you will be killed if you travel alone.
Mexico has a wealth of culture, food, and adventure so do not miss out on traveling to this beautiful country because you are worried if is Mexico safe.
Dressing in Mexico
When it comes to dressing in Mexico, it’s advisable for women to consider local customs and cultural norms.
While there is no specific dress code for women, dressing modestly and respectfully while visiting cultural sites is greatly appreciated.
Opting for not dressing half-naked is always an option. I know that’s not what you want to hear because you have worked out all year to get that beach body and you shouldn’t have to cover it up but let’s be honest certain attire will cause unwanted attention.
It’s also important to be mindful of the weather and choose breathable fabrics suitable for the climate.
As for safety while traveling, it’s recommended to use common sense precautions such as keeping valuable belongings secure, being aware of your surroundings, and using reputable transportation options.
Also, click here if you need my packing safety checklist for traveling to Mexico. You can find everything from diversion cans, pocket scrunchies with a hidden zipper, portable door locks for hotels, and more to keep you safe while traveling no matter the destination.
Learn Some Spanish Key phrases
Learning some key Spanish phrases when traveling to Mexico is not just a courtesy but a valuable tool for enhancing your travel experience.
While many Mexicans in tourist areas do speak English, making an effort to communicate in their language can aid in keeping you safe.
It can also help you navigate daily tasks like ordering food, asking for directions, or seeking assistance in case of an emergency.
Furthermore, showing respect for the local language and culture can often lead to more positive interactions and a warmer reception from locals.
Learning basic Spanish phrases demonstrates your willingness to engage with the locals and can ultimately enrich your travel adventure in Mexico.
I suggest purchasing a subscription to Babbel to assist with learning Spanish.
Would I Travel to Mexico?
Damn Skippy, I will, and in fact, I am currently planning my next trip to Mexico in June.
Mexico is an easily accessible vacation destination for me therefore I don’t mind jumping on a flight from Nashville but I also understand why tourists are asking if is it safe to travel to Mexico.
Unless you are traveling to Mexico looking for trouble you probably will not encounter any violence.
I can’t say this enough unless you’re looking for trouble in Mexico, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Cabo San Lucas all remain safe so do not allow the current Mexico travel warning to scare you into not visiting Mexico.
If you use common sense and take reasonable safety precautions, you should have no hesitancy in visiting Mexico because Mexico is safe.
Yes, Mexico is Safe
Aside from dangerous areas along the U.S. border and other regions where cartels operate, Mexico is mostly a safe country and in my opinion, it is safe.
I travel solo to Mexico a couple of times a year and I am still here alive and well.
To put things in perspective, Level 2 is the same tier given to many other tourist hotspots that have an uptake in criminal activity including the following countries:
Are you concerned about traveling to Italy? If the answer is no then you should not be concerned is it safe to travel to Mexico?
Italy has the same level 3 warning so why is Mexico considered more violent?
20 Tips to Keep Yourself Safe in Mexico
Although a travel advisory is in effect, it’s important to remember that tourists flock to Mexico every year without incident.
The Mexican government is highly motivated to keep tourists safe in order to preserve the tourist trade but you must also do your part when traveling to Mexico.
Traveling anywhere requires a little bit of safety precaution. So, remember to enlist these general rules during your vacation and you will not have to worry about how many tourists are killed or if you will be killed.
Here are some precautions that you can take in order to make sure your trip goes as planned:
- Keep Your Nose Clean: As mentioned above, much of the criminal activity in Mexico revolves around the drug trade and sex trade. Although many Americans go south of the border to have a little fun remember the last thing you want is to end up in a Mexican Jail.
- When Driving, Stick to Main Roads, and Daytime Travel: One of the most popular methods to extort money and protect cartel turf is through carjacks or roadblock ambushes. Avoid back roads and nighttime driving and hire taxis and driving services through the hotel where you’re staying.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date about safety news through a few methods. First of all, talk with your travel agent and/or hotel concierge about safety updates, and where to go. They’ll have the most current read on the situation. As an American Citizen, you should also consider signing up for STEP, the Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program. This will sign you up for travel alerts, put you on the consulate and Embassy radar, and make it easier to work things out if there’s an incident.
- Leave a copy of your passport and itinerary with someone at home.
- Keep your valuables locked up when you leave the hotel.
- Learn the language as much as possible (This is not just for safety, but also for courtesy, which can actually keep you safer too!) Remember the old saying you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?
- Trust people who are invested long-term in making your stay a good one, like booking agents and hotel staff, and be on your guard with one-off opportunities.
- Research your destination: Make sure you are up to date on the current travel warnings.
- Keep windows shut and doors locked in a car: especially at traffic lights
- Use first-class bus companies– these bus companies take toll roads that have security checks on passengers as they board.
- Don’t walk around by yourself late at night: You are asking for trouble.
- Be careful taking money out of the ATM: these are good spots to rob people.
- Use a money belt: Keep the thieves at bay.
- Don’t get scammed: If someone is asking you for your personal information will are likely scamming.
- Don’t wear flashy jewelry – looking like you are balling out of control will get you robbed. Leave your LV and Gucci in the States.
- Ask for a hotel concierge: The hotel staff will be able to provide full tips about where to eat and what attractions you must see.
- Avoid getting DRUNK: Someone needs to know where you are at all times.
- Don’t try to buy drugs: Don’t ask about buying drugs and don’t even think about buying drugs.
- Don’t travel at night: Most crime occurs at night.
- Only use well-known tour operators: Most of the cheaper tour operators will not have up-to-date equipment and experienced guides.
Remember, millions of people visit Mexico each year and 99% of travelers do not run into any trouble but the 1% that makes the news is all that you hear about.
Mexico is safe to visit so long as you stay out of trouble, take precautions, don’t buy drugs, and ladies do not allow men to buy you a cocktail and I don’t care how cute he is. BUY YOUR OWN COCKTAILS!
Uber Rideshare vs. Taxi
When traveling in Mexico, it’s always advisable to use reputable transportation options like Uber or registered taxis for a safer and more secure journey.
Uber, in particular, offers several advantages over traditional taxis, such as transparent pricing, driver and vehicle information, and the ability to track your ride in real time via the app.
This reduces the risk of overcharging or encountering unregistered, potentially unsafe taxis.
To ensure a smooth and secure travel experience in Mexico, I encourage you to download the Uber app and add it to your phone before your trip.
By doing so, you’ll have a reliable and convenient transportation option at your fingertips, helping you navigate Mexico’s cities with confidence and peace of mind.
If you are like me you probably prefer to just rent a car instead of paying for a taxi or a rideshare company especially if you will be exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations just make sure you avoid secluded areas.
How to Avoid Getting Sick in Mexico
The last thing you want is to get sick in Mexico, particularly with traveler’s diarrhea and Montezuma’s Revenge.
If you don’t want to be sitting on the toilet all night I suggest being mindful of what you consume.
Stick to bottled or purified water, avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods, and opt for freshly cooked, hot meals at reputable establishments.
While Covid is “Over” please keep washing your hands and use hand sanitizer which will help reduce the risk of picking up some nasty bug.
Having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection if you do fall ill.
Remember that staying hydrated and seeking medical attention if symptoms persist are essential steps in managing travel-related illnesses, so don’t hesitate to consult a local healthcare provider if needed and please purchase travel insurance!
Get Mexico Travel Insurance NOW! Travelex Is my preferred Insurance
Are Mexico Resorts Safe
There have been incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning at resorts, which have left some potential visitors with questions and doubts.
Understanding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled in high concentrations.
Common sources of carbon monoxide include faulty fuel-burning appliances, such as gas heaters, furnaces, and water heaters. In recent resort incidents, carbon monoxide poisoning deaths have been linked to faulty ventilation systems or poorly maintained equipment.
The Risks at Mexico Resorts: While incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning are no longer rare at resorts I suggest purchasing a travel-size carbon monoxide detector because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Since 2010 there has been a string of deaths throughout Mexico due to carbon monoxide poisoning. These incidents raised concerns and highlighted the importance of awareness and precautionary measures.
Staying Safe at Mexico Resorts:
- Research and Choose Reputable Resorts: Before booking your stay, research the resort’s safety record, reviews, and certifications. Look for resorts that prioritize guest safety, regularly inspect their facilities, and maintain proper ventilation systems.
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Pack a portable carbon monoxide detector or inquire whether the resort provides them in guest rooms. These devices will alert you to the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide and provide an early warning in case of a leak.
- Familiarize Yourself with Resort Safety Measures: Upon arrival, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the resort’s emergency procedures, including evacuation routes, fire exits, and safety guidelines. Ensure you know how to report any concerns about gas appliances or ventilation to the appropriate resort staff.
- Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: While in your room, be cautious of any signs of potential carbon monoxide leaks. If you experience symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, or confusion, it could be an indication of carbon monoxide poisoning. Immediately exit the room, alert the resort staff, and seek medical attention.
- Seek Professional Inspections: For added peace of mind, consider hiring a qualified inspector to assess the ventilation and gas-burning appliances in your resort room before your stay. This step can help identify any potential risks and ensure the room is safe for occupancy.
The Safest & Most Luxurious Hotels in Mexico
When it comes to safety and indulgence, Mexicoa treasure trove of luxury hotels that combine breathtaking natural beauty, world-class amenities, and exceptional service.
Prepare to be captivated by Mexico’s most exquisite accommodations, where opulence, relaxation, and safety intertwine.
Here are my top picks for the most luxurious hotels in Mexico!
Rosewood Mayakoba, Riviera Maya: Nestled along the pristine shores of Riviera Maya, the Rosewood Mayakoba offers an idyllic retreat for discerning travelers.
This eco-luxury resort seamlessly blends with the lush tropical landscape, offering lavish suites and villas with private plunge pools, pristine beaches, and access to a world-class spa.
Indulge in gourmet dining, enjoy a round of golf on the championship course, or unwind with a rejuvenating treatment amidst the tranquil surroundings.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort, Los Cabos: Perched along the enchanting coastline of Los Cabos, Las Ventanas al Paraíso is a sanctuary of tranquility and elegance.
The resort’s signature “Windows to Paradise” concept showcases breathtaking ocean views and meticulously crafted accommodations.
With its world-class spa, Michelin-starred dining options, and personalized butler service, this desert beach oasis redefines luxury in every way.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Nayarit: Escape to the exclusive paradise of Punta Mita and discover the Four Seasons Resort, a haven of refined luxury.
Surrounded by lush gardens and pristine beaches, this oceanfront retreat offers spacious casitas and private villas overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Enjoy championship golf courses, rejuvenating spa treatments, and exceptional dining experiences that embrace the vibrant flavors of Mexico.
Chablé Maroma, Riviera Maya: Experience the epitome of tropical luxury at Chablé Maroma, an exquisite beachfront retreat that exudes serenity and style.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Riviera Maya while enjoying lavish suites, private plunge pools, and direct access to one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.
Indulge in holistic spa therapies, savor gourmet cuisine, or embark on a diving adventure to explore the nearby coral reefs.
St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit: Unparalleled elegance awaits you at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, a coastal paradise set on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
Immerse yourself in the refined ambiance of this exclusive retreat, boasting lavish suites, private terraces, and a selection of world-class restaurants.
From championship golf courses to a serene Remède Spa, every detail is meticulously curated to ensure an unforgettable experience.
Do You Need Travel Insurance When Traveling To Mexico?
YES! Travel Insurance is important no matter where you are traveling because accidents happen and you should always travel with insurance.
I got extremely sick in the Czech Republic last year and that was the one time I decided to forego travel insurance I racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills and they wanted their money before I would even be seen by the ER Doctors.
Make sure to get your insurance before you head off on an adventure! I highly recommend Travelex Insurance.
PLEASE GET TRAVEL INSURANCE!
Mexico: Know before you go
- ✈️ Major Airports in Mexico:
|Mexico City Airport||MEX||50,308,049|
- ⏰ Time Zone: Central Standard Zone (CST)
- 💰 Currency: Peso
- 🗣 Language: The official language of Mexico is Spanish, which is spoken by 90 percent of the people.
- 🎫 Mexican Visa: US citizens do not need a Mexica Visa. US citizens enjoy visa-free travel to Mexico for up to 180 days
- 🔌 Electricity Socket: The electrical outlets used in Mexico are the same type as those used in the United States and Canada, which are Type A and Type B. This means that devices using the standard US and Canada plug configuration will fit into the outlets in Mexico without the need for an adapter.
- 📲 SIM Card: Wondering, Do I need a SIM card for Mexico The answer is yes if your phone plan does not have an international plan.
- 🚙 Car Rentals: The Mexico rental car process can be a bit daunting, and many people are apprehensive about driving in a foreign country but if you decide to do so click the link above.
Useful Resources to Help You Explore Mexico
- Expedia: the best website for finding cheap flight deals and hotels to and from Mexico.
- Discovercars.com: my favorite car rental booking website, as it has the best selection and prices.
- Hotels.com: another excellent hotel booking website for finding fabulous Mexican accommodation.
- Tripadvisor: This review website now allows you to book accommodation and tours directly as well.
- Get Your Guide: This is a great resource for finding tours and activities in Mexico and elsewhere.
- Viator: This is my favorite option for finding fun things to do, skip-the-line tickets, and fabulous tours in Mexico.
- Uber Rideshare: With the Uber app on your smartphone, you can effortlessly request a ride anytime, anywhere, eliminating the need to wait for a taxi or worry about public transportation schedules.
Conclusion: Is Mexico Safe 2023
After reading my safety guide, you should no longer be asking “is Mexico safe?”
Keep in mind that bad things can go bad anywhere not just in Mexico. There are crimes taking place right in your very own neighborhood yet you still get out and go to work, run errands, and whatever else you need to do.
No matter where you go in Mexico, follow the common-sense rules that are listed above like drinking only in moderation, getting a cab instead of wandering around after dark, and leaving your expensive watches and rings at home.
Remember, to check the Mexico Travel Advisory before you leave for Mexico.
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