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Is Mexico Safe? 21 Things You Must Know Before You Go

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How Safe is Mexico?
Is Mexico Safe?

So you’ve been thinking about taking a trip to Mexico for months, but are probably wondering is Mexico safe? Should you be worried about your safety in Mexico?

Regardless of what you’ve heard let me put your mind (and heart) at ease… yes, it is safe to travel to Mexico right now. 

I do, however, want you to understand the dos and don’ts of staying safe in Mexico. While it does suffer from high crime rates like many other countries — I personally believe that Mexico is typically safe, even for families traveling alone or women on their own who may want to visit this beautiful country!

When people are unsure about whether they should go ahead with a Mexican vacation they probably have to consider some common misconceptions people have about safety while traveling abroad. Going anywhere outside one’s home country can feel a little uncomfortable at first. But with a little foresight everything should be fine.

Mexico COVID Information

So how safe is Mexico? Well, there is a high risk for COVID-19 in Mexico. The Center of Disease Control recommends against all travel to the country right now, but if you decide to go then it’s important that before your trip and upon return from any visits abroad with family or friends (even overseas), you get tested as soon as possible.

1–3 days are ideal because testing takes about 24 hours when done by blood samples sent off on site. If either test comes back positive then immediately quarantine yourself until further notice; do not attempt contact with others unless given permission first by your local health authority.

Follow all entry requirements for your destination and provide any required or requested health information.

If you decide not to follow the rules of entry, you will probably be denied access to Mexico and will have absolutely no chance of vacationing there.

Make sure you comply with wearing a mask, not only for your own health but for the safety of those around you. And make sure to stay 6 feet away from other people while on vacation so as not spread illness around or get infected by others. If you follow these rules, chances are are you should be ok.

Respecting these friendly travel tips like this one will help keep yourself safe during the time of covid.

How Safe is Mexico?

Whether you’re looking to escape the cold or take in some warm sun, Mexico is a rewarding destination. 

But really, how safe is Mexico? It is true that in the past year Mexico had the highest number of homicides in their history with thousands of murders. It was a 1 percent increase but it’s mostly due to fighting between cartels and if you’re not part-of them then you’re probably safe.

Traveling to foreign countries is not without risks, but it’s important you use common sense and caution when abroad. And that includes everywhere you go, not just Mexico.

The question of how safe is Mexico has been an issue for many years now as there have been isolated cases that appear in the news from time-to-time about people experiencing violent crimes while being in Mexico.

The reality is that although Mexico is a beautiful country you must use common sense when traveling. However, don’t let these isolated incidents make you think any less of the country!

  1. Do you have transportation arranged from the airport to your hotel?
  2. Have you made sure to lock your door as soon as checking into your hotel  and used all locks?
  3. Do you know how to contact your country’s embassy?
  4. Have you filled out a form for the Government website so they know why you are traveling to ?
  5. Do family and friends know where you are going and what you will be doing?

Mexico City is mexico safe
Mexico City is mexico safe

How Safe is Mexico? – What you should know

The media claims that Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are some of the most dangerous places to visit. But is this really true?

There has been a lot of violence in these countries due to warring factions for drugs but it’s important not to just look at those numbers – if you take into account the population sizes of Mexico this is just a small percentage.

Mexico is a beautiful country that’s been torn apart by violence. There are many different factions fighting for power in the drug trade, but it’s important to note most of these wars are confined only to certain areas such as border cities or places with high populations.

The reality is, just like your home city, if you don’t go looking for trouble then chances are you won’t find any!

Robberies and pickpocketing are common in Mexico as it is in Canada or the US, but these crimes can be avoided by taking simple precautions. 

Don’t keep a lot of  money on you – either carry around only a little cash with you at all times or deposit the rest in your ATM Machine before leaving home. Also use normal precautions and don’t show a lot of money. In addition, be careful after dark and stay out of sketchy neighborhoods.

These are all normal precautions that you would probably do in your home city as well.

I personally can’t say enough good things about my experiences in Mexico. People are friendly and family-oriented, which makes me feel right at home!

Mexicans in general are very friendly people and  are always willing to help answer with whatever questions come up – even if they don’t know the answers themselves.

The fact is that the Mexican government wants to keep as many of tourism dollars rolling in and the tourist areas free from crime.

 In fact, 9 million people visit Mexico annually- bringing an estimated total revenue value at close 5 Billion dollars! So if you’re thinking about going on vacation there should be no other reason than safety because their number one priority is keeping visitors safe so they can return every year.

Is It Safe to Travel to Huatulco?

Huatulco is a beautiful resort area located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The 1980s saw this region chosen by National Tourism Fund as it’s next tourist destination, and since then tourists have been flocking to its 35 km long stretch of beaches for relaxation with family or friends. 

Huatulco is considered a safest place to travel in Mexico.  Huatulco’s quiet, midwestern atmosphere makes it like visiting a small Canadian or American town. The people here aren’t that concerned with crime – making this resort destination that much more inviting for travelers looking for safety.

Huatulco is probably one of the safest tourist resorts in Mexico so if safety is of a concern, this would be the place to visit.

Scams in Mexico 

In Mexico, there are scams to watch out for. Most locals are decent people who won’t participate in these things but there are always a few who will. Just keep your wits about you and remember that anything that seems to good to be true probably is!

What about Drug Cartels?

Although Mexico is a popular tourist destination, the truth is it’s also home to some dangerous areas. Tourists should definitely read their government travel advisories and avoid areas such as border cities or certain states with more drug activity.

If you live in a large city you are probably well aware of the areas not to go into and will never go there due to criminal activity. This is the same for Mexico so definitely take into account these areas of the country and avoid them.

 

Mexico safety on the beach
Mexico safety on the beach

Being Safe on Mexico’s Beaches

The waves at some of the beaches in Mexico can be rough, and the water is filled with dangerous rip currents. 

Beachgoers should always watch children carefully when near strong beaches. There is also a danger of stingrays and other ocean life so caution is always needed.

That being said though, there are enough calm beaches in Mexico for swimming that this really shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Again it can’t be stressed enough, just use common sense.

The Mexican sun is very strong too so always make sure you and your family wear sunscreen before heading out into their intense sun rays!

 

Safety in Mexico When Renting a Car

Mexico is a great country to explore, but taking a bus everywhere in the country can be a little boring. 

I prefer to explore and make my own way when possible and that usually means renting a car.

For example, Oaxaca state is a hidden gem for those who love to explore and experience the local culture. The best part about this region? You can drive your car everywhere! Many beaches, barely developed ruins, or intriguing villages are far from major roads so it’s perfect if you’re looking to get off the beaten path with some exploring- no matter how much distance there might be between checkpoints (which aren’t always lit).

Highways in Mexico have been improved a lot recently and have been mostly well maintained. It is recommended not to drive at night in Mexico, however. The lack of streetlights and large speedbumps (topes) on the road make it more dangerous. Keep your driving and exploring to the daytime and you should be fine.

Mexico Kidnappings

The internet is full of misinformation about Mexico, and the media outlets are no exception. The way Mexico is portrayed you probably think there is a kidnapping every five minutes which isn’t true.

 While these crimes do happen from time-to-time, this is not a Hollywood movie. Taking precautions while withdrawing money at ATMs STILL reduces risk factors.

Solo Travel in Mexico For Women

Travelling alone can be an amazing experience but you need to plan and do your research. Always make sure you know the laws applicable in Mexico. They will definitely be different than your home country.

Make sure you prioritize safety for yourself. Although safety is never guaranteed anywhere for solo travellers you can definitely reduce your risk of any incidents happening. Just as you wouldn’t take chances in sketchy areas in your home city or country, do the same in Mexico.

As long as you’re aware of these risks before hand then then that shouldn’t stop you from traveling abroad alone!

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe in Mexico as a solo traveler.

  • No one is immune from Assaults. NEVER accept a drink from a stranger as this is one of the main ways to be assaulted. 
  • Know where you are always. Although exploring is wonderful, always stay in places that are known and don’t venture into bad neighborhoods or dark roads.
  • Remember your manners  Mexican people are always polite so there is no reason to be obnoxious or rude.  

Mexico is a country of wonderful people and exquisite culture and food. Media portrayal aside, there’s so much to see here! Don’t be discouraged by other travelers who might tell you otherwise- just because somebody else has the same opinion as the media doesn’t mean it must always be true.

Every corner of the country offers an adventure waiting for those who are willing enough take on new adventures with their eyes wide open (and their camera ready).

Tips for Travelling Alone Like a Boss

Would I Travel to Mexico Alone?  

I have traveled alone in Mexico and even lived there alone and I am still here and haven’t had any problems. That being said, while Mexico is an easily accessible vacation destination for many Americans, I can understand why tourists might be asking if it’s safe to travel there. 

Unless you’re looking for trouble or want a little excitement in your life that’s negative there really shouldn’t be any issues.

Mexico is a pretty safe destination in comparison to other places in Latin America, and it’s likely that if you just use your common sense while visiting any tourist destination there will be no issue. 

Popular Mexican destinations like Cancun remain popular despite recent travel warnings from official sources because visitors know to use their heads when traveling abroad. If you don’t know how to use your head and common sense then stay home.

It would be a shame to miss out on everything this country has to offer just by ignoring safety measures. Mexico is such an inviting country for those who want more than just sunbathing on beaches; this wonderful country is full of culture and offers something for every kind of vacation!

Mexico is Safe if You’re Smart About it

Other than dangerous areas along the U.S. border and other regions where cartels operate, the majority of Mexico is secure and in my opinion, it is safe. 

Although there may be a travel advisory for Mexico there are travel advisories for other countries that may have had an uptake in criminal activity. Some of these countries are:

  1. Belgium
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. Cuba
  4. Brazil
  5. The United Kingdom
  6. Anguilla
  7. Italy
  8. Belize

If you’ve travelled or going to travel to any of the above countries than you should be just as worried about safety as travelling to Mexico. If the thought of travel to any of the above is not a concern it should be the same for travelling to Mexico.

Research Before Travelling to Mexico

You should always do your research ahead of time if safety is a concern when travelling to Mexico. You can also join facebook groups that specialize in the area you want to visit and ask specific questions.  Many times there are locals that will give you a genuine answer about the safety of the area. You just have to check your location ahead of time.

The majority of tourist locations such as Cancun, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas are fairly safe and cater to a lot of tourists but if you are thinking of a particular destination in Mexico, the best thing you can do is to research your location before booking your trip.

Is Mexico Safe to Visit?
Is Mexico Safe to Visit?

21 Tips To Staying Safe In Mexico

When checking on your government website there will be a travel advisory for certain parts of Mexico that have criminal activity. But keep this in perspective because millions of tourists from Canada and the US along with other parts of the world travel to Mexico every year without harm.

Bear in mind that the tourist trade in Mexico is very lucrative and the Mexican government is committed to keeping tourists safe. They don’t want to lose the tourist trade as it is of great benefit to the country. However you still have to do your research and take your own precautions if you decide to travel to Mexico.

Take into account some of these safety tips to ensure a great vacation:

  1. Stay away from criminal activity at all times: As mentioned above, much of the criminal activity in Mexico revolves around drug trafficking and sex trade. Although many Americans go south-of the border to have a little fun remember that the last thing you want is for your trip down there be cut short by an arrest on charges stemming from illicit activities! 
  2. When driving stick with main roads during daylight hours as this will protect yourself against would- be criminals looking to take advantage or extort money etc.
  3. Stay Informed: crime is a reality, not just in the Mexico but all over the world. The best way to keep yourself safe while traveling abroad? Stay up-to date with safety information by researching it on your own. Otherwise get advice from an expert like a hotel concierge or travel agent who can point out what’s new about current situations locally!
  4. If you’re American or Canadian consider registering with your government when you leave the country. Canadians have “Canadians Abroad” and Americans have a similar program to alert the government that you are out of the country in case you need consular assistance. You will also receive alerts if there are any situations you need to be notified about in your travel destination.
  5. Make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary and your travel documents with someone at home in case you lose your passport.
  6. Try to make sure there is a safe area for your valuables at your hotel like a safe.
  7. Try to learn a few basic phrases in Spanish. Not only will this keep you safer but Mexicans will also appreciate the effort you make.
  8. Use reputable booking agents and hotel staff, remember any one telling you of an opportunity that seems too good to be true might not be reputable.
  9. Make sure you are aware of the areas in the country that have travel warnings and stay away from them. 
  10. If you’re driving keep your doors and windows locked and rolled up in your car especially if the car is stopped at an intersection.
  11. Don’t use sketchy bus companies– research well known bus companies as they use well used roads and practise security measures and checks.
  12. Don’t stay out too late or walk around late at night. This is never a good idea anywhere.
  13. Be aware of people around you when taking money out of ATM machines. 
  14. Stash your money around your waist or somewhere difficult to take off your body to avoid robberies.
  15. Don’t give out personal information to anyone asking unless you are absolutely sure of their trustworthiness.
  16. Keep your expensive jewelry for home. Looking flashy will make you a target. 
  17. Get your information on attractions and restaurants from the hotel concierge.
  18. Have fun but avoid drinking too much. Always keep your wits about you and know where you are at all times.
  19. Stay away from drugs and don’t try to buy any. That goes without saying.
  20. Stay off the roads and don’t travel at night. You’re chances of being involved in crime increase at night.
  21. Use well-known tour operators but if a local is recommended do support the locals however, use caution. Do your research before.

There are millions of people that travel to Mexico every year and probably only 1% of them have trouble but unfortunately that 1% is what you hear about in the media. 

As long as you don’t go to Mexico to buy drugs and you stay out of trouble Mexico is is safe to visit. If you’re a solo female traveller remember to never accept cocktails from men. Always look after your own food and buy your own drinks!

So Is Mexico Travel Safe?

Hopefully after reading this you should have the information you need as to whether Mexico is safe for you to travel to. 

Remember bad things can happen anywhere including probably right now in your own neighborhood.

Mexico is a beautiful place to visit, but it’s important to follow common sense rules when you’re out exploring. Drink only in moderation; don’t wander around after dark by yourself–take a taxi or Uber if needed! Leave valuable items at home like expensive watches and rings and use common sense and you should have a beautiful and safe vacation in Mexico!

Next: The Top 11 Safest Cities in Mexico



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