Is Travel in Mexico Safe?
With the new Travel Warnings in Mexico, I still don’t have a hard time recommending certain tourist areas of Mexico to my clients. Just because there are travel warnings within the country, doesn’t mean that there aren’t safe places to go.
Here’s a list put out by LonelyPlanet of Top 8 Places to (Safely) Visit in Mexico. I can’t say that I, myself would shy away from Mexico. There’s a safe place that exists anywhere in the world between education and common sense. If you have questions about safety in certain areas, please don’t hesitate to ask. There are also resorts within the so-called “unsafe areas” that are also perfectly safe. These are places with pristine beaches and high end amenities that shouldn’t be overlooked. But, plan safely with your travel agent. Especially when planning to leave the resort. Safe transportation can be arranged to assist you on your journey if it’s where you want to go.
What happened to cause the Mexico Travel Warning?
Why is Mexico all of the sudden unsafe? Well, it’s not really. See, Mexico has a history with cartels. 40-50 years ago, the cartels were housed mainly on the West coast of Mexico. Puerto Vallarta was known for drug trade. If you wanted drugs, that was the place to be! It was also a HOTT tourist destination because of it’s culture and beauty. But, over time, Mexico said, “Hey, cartels, leave our money bringing tourists alone.” Go somewhere else. So, they moved east to the central part of the country. But, who with a bunch of illegal drug money wants to live there?
They kept moving East. They picked a spot on the East Coast, but out of the tourism zones. Years go by, resort chains keep developing properties South of Cancun. And, low and behold, the tourist areas collide with the cartel areas. But, nobody drew a line in the sand before, so tourism meets cartel operations once again. But, the cartels were smarter about it this time. They were making liquor and selling it to the resorts in exchange for them leaving their tourists alone.
Until one day, oops! Someone drank more higher proof liquor from the cartels and ended up face down in a resort swimming pool. That person happened to be an American. Here’s an article revealing the information on the incident that caused the travel warnings. I’m not blaming anyone. But, this is what happened. I suspect the cartels will lay off and things will be back to normal soon. They’ll find other ways to make money. But, for now, the West Coast is proving once again it’s popularity!
Travel Safety Tips for Mexico
Leave Valuables at home.
Pack light, nobody wants a carry on full of stuff, they’d rather have the big bags.
Don’t carry around cameras and guide books, you’ll scream tourist!
Be descreat with money.
Arrange transportation at the hotel and avoid hailing cabs on the street.
Be cautious about alcohol consumption.
Women, dress conservatively off the resort. Long skirts are preferred by the locals. You’ll blend in better.
Learn some Spanish. For the most part, you should be able to find someone that speaks English, but being an ignorant by choice American isn’t going to help you out any.
I hope this helps any concerns about travel in Mexico. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!