Peter Greenberg: Why I Travel To Mexico

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Dear friends of Cancun & Mexico,

Peter Greenberg is Travel Editor for CBS News, appearing on CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and CBS Sunday Morning, among other broadcast platforms. Given his extensive and trustworthy background, we believe Peter’s opinion is one to be taken seriously. Recently, he has been traveling across Mexico as part of an ongoing media project to show the world just how safe and beautiful this amazing and exciting country is.

is cancun safe 2012 | cancun

Cancun, Mexico

Photo: Rob (Flickr) 

In his own words:

“Let me state something from the outset. I am not an unabashed apologist for Mexico, or its spokesman or an endorser. I am writing this as a veteran traveler to Mexico who has been going down there since 1973 without a single incident.

I am growing tired, and somewhat impatient with expressions of concern or worry — as well intentioned as they may be — about my traveling to Mexico.

Every time I am about to fly there — to Cancun, to Cabo, to Ixtapa, to Mexico City and many other locations — my friends, and sometimes even strangers advise me to ‘be careful’, ‘be safe’ or worse… ‘watch out.’

Watch out for what? great people? great weather? great service? affordable, memorable experiences?

We need to get out there and find a map. Then we need to study it to put things in proper perspective

Agreed! Visual aids such as maps always help put things into perspective. Maybe this one will help:

Is Cancun Safe 2011

(Click on the map to download a bigger version in PDF)

For a list of distances from troubled areas to the resort towns, check out our post: “Mexico Travel Warning Mapped”.

Peter goes on to talk about his view of the current Mexico drug war:

The bottom line here is that Americans are NOT being targeted in this drug war. Travel and Tourism is too big an economic factor — too crucial to the Mexican economy and to millions of Mexican jobs — to allow that to happen.

There are two realities here: the multi-billion dollar drug business is not going to evaporate as long as demand — most of it from the United States — remains at record levels. And the second reality — travel and tourism remain robust in Mexico.

We couldn’t agree more. It is time to stop pointing fingers and accept the fact that the drug war is a global problem, one that obeys the old business laws of supply & demand and which needs action from multiple sides in order to be won. And with beautiful spots like Tulum, Quintana Roo, how could anyone not want to come down and experience paradise?

tulum | tulum mexico

Tulum, Mexico

Photo: Habanero Studio

Peter also had something to say about the recent Mexico Travel Warnings emitted by the Texas DPS:

“It has now become an annual ritual for the Texas Department of Public Safety (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) to issue a press release warning Americans not to let their kids go down to Mexico for spring break because their likelihood of being killed is high. Really? No one is going on spring break to Cuidad Juarez. And I’d bet my career that the murder rate among young Americans is higher in Harlingen, Mcallen and Brownsville than it is in Cancun and Cozumel. How irresponsible of the authorities in Texas.

There are places in San Francisco I wouldn’t go after dark, but it doesn’t stop me from going to one of my favorite cities. I travel to Washington, DC at least once a month, and that’s in spite of our nation’s capital having one of the highest murder rates in the world.

We share Peter’s feelings; we think that Mexico is an enormous country, and to paint all of it as unsafe to travel is just plain irresponsible. Like we’ve said before, we’d recommend paying more attention to the Official U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning, clearly labeling Cancun, the Riviera Maya and more beach resort areas as perfectly safe to travel.

Mahahual, Quintana Roo

Mahahual, Quintana Roo

Photo: Sha-ma Geremi

Finally, Peter has some inspirational words for adventurers:

“A true adventure doesn’t necessarily have to include a familiar, American branded hotel and a cheeseburger from room service. Sleep at the resort, but don’t live there. Get out and see the world. Challenge your comfort level every day. Travel and tourism is the most powerful tool for breaking down barriers and building understanding. If you don’t have a passport, do not pass go until you get one.

Then, when you return home, tell your friends about your adventures. Even boast about them. And about the new friends you made along the way. Does Mexico have some hard work ahead of it in the drug wars? Absolutely. A new President will take office later this year and hopefully will continue the fight against the cartels launched by current President Felipe Calderon.

But will I be going back to Mexico? That, as you may have guessed by now, is a rhetorical question.

is cancun safe 2012 | is cancun safe

Cancun, Mexico

Photo: Diana Diaz

We share and celebrate Peter’s adventurous spirit and are delighted to know that he will be coming back to Mexico. We’ll be more than happy to welcome him to Cancun with a big smile the next time he visits us!

We hope his story will help you stay calm and excited about your upcoming visit to Mexico. Should you need more facts about safety in Cancun and safety in Mexico, please take time to explore this website.

Have a comment about your recent or upcoming travel to Mexico? Sound off in the comments, we’d love to hear it from you.

Get new updates on safety in Cancun & Mexico delivered to your inbox, subscribe to Cancun is Safe!

We regularly publish news and updates about safety in CancunRiviera Maya and Mexico; as well as videos, photos, tourist testimonials and more. Would you like to get an email in your inbox every time we publish something new? It’s free and easy, just click here to subscribe to Cancun is Safe email updates.

Source: Travel Detective Blog: Why I Travel to Mexico | PeterGreenberg.com

Feature Image Credit: Ana Salana

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26 Comments

  1. Delores Torresan on

    My first trip to Mexico was to Cabo in 1992; since 2002, I have been to Cancun once, and Puerto Vallarta 6 times, and never have I had a problem! In fact , I went to P.V., alone ,for my 65th., birthday, and returned the next year, alone ! People have to learn to stay in their resort , especially at night; young people should not go "uptown', act like they know everything, and , boys, don't hustle the mexican girls!! It will only get you into trouble with their boyfriends!. And , my best advice is , do not 'over-indulge' in drinking!This is coming from a 72 -year old woman who loves Mexico, and wishes she could live there, at least 6 months out of the year !!

    • Hi Delores, thanks for your comment. Though I havent yet been to Cabo or Vallarta, one day I'll definetily visit. I'm glad to read that you have experienced nothing but good times in your Mexico travels. And thanks for the advice for the young crowd; we sure hope one day you can make your dream of living here! Best regards from Cancun.

  2. Delores Torresan on

    My first trip to Mexico was to Cabo in 1992; since 2002, I have been to Cancun once, and Puerto Vallarta 6 times, and never have I had a problem! In fact , I went to P.V., alone ,for my 65th., birthday, and returned the next year, alone ! People have to learn to stay in their resort , especially at night; young people should not go "uptown', act like they know everything, and , boys, don't hustle the mexican girls!! It will only get you into trouble with their boyfriends!. And , my best advice is , do not 'over-indulge' in drinking!This is coming from a 72 -year old woman who loves Mexico, and wishes she could live there, at least 6 months out of the year !!

    • Hi Delores, thanks for your comment. Though I havent yet been to Cabo or Vallarta, one day I'll definetily visit. I'm glad to read that you have experienced nothing but good times in your Mexico travels. And thanks for the advice for the young crowd; we sure hope one day you can make your dream of living here! Best regards from Cancun.

  3. I have been to Cozumel…14 times…traveling thru Playa Del Carmen and Cancun…am now going to Isla Mujeres…Have NEVER encountered any problems in Mexico…NONE..its beautiful there and I have always felt safe.

    • Thanks, Julie! Happy to hear that. I hope you keep enjoying our beautiful country, best regards from Cancun.

  4. I have been to Cozumel…14 times…traveling thru Playa Del Carmen and Cancun…am now going to Isla Mujeres…Have NEVER encountered any problems in Mexico…NONE..its beautiful there and I have always felt safe.

    • Thanks, Julie! Happy to hear that. I hope you keep enjoying our beautiful country, best regards from Cancun.

  5. I began my Mexican love story in 1972 and after over 40 trips to the country I now call home, I retired here just over a year ago. I feel safer in my new country than I did in my affluent Vancouver suburb which had more than it's share of drug gang shootings in the past few years. I am kind of relieved at the stupidity of the American State Dept warnings as it keeps the tourists down and I can enjoy my home in peace and quiet. I would and have driven all over Mexico but I shudder when I have to drive to Texas or anywhere in the excited states. Reality is not on their menu lately.

    • Thanks for your comment, Grizzy. As a Mexican, I'm always delighted to know "foreigners" who love my country as much as I do. Welcome to your new casa!

      I'm sorry to hear about the situation in Vancouver. I haven't personally driven through the USA, so I couldn't tell for sure about how safe it is, but I do agree that drug-related violence is pretty much everywhere nowadays.

      Thanks for your feedback and best regards from Cancun!

  6. I began my Mexican love story in 1972 and after over 40 trips to the country I now call home, I retired here just over a year ago. I feel safer in my new country than I did in my affluent Vancouver suburb which had more than it's share of drug gang shootings in the past few years. I am kind of relieved at the stupidity of the American State Dept warnings as it keeps the tourists down and I can enjoy my home in peace and quiet. I would and have driven all over Mexico but I shudder when I have to drive to Texas or anywhere in the excited states. Reality is not on their menu lately.

    • Thanks for your comment, Grizzy. As a Mexican, I'm always delighted to know "foreigners" who love my country as much as I do. Welcome to your new casa!

      I'm sorry to hear about the situation in Vancouver. I haven't personally driven through the USA, so I couldn't tell for sure about how safe it is, but I do agree that drug-related violence is pretty much everywhere nowadays.

      Thanks for your feedback and best regards from Cancun!

  7. My wife and I go to Cancun every year. It's beautiful, the people are great and we hve NEVER had a problem. In fact, we have had several POSITIVE experiences, ie – lost camera being returned us. Wallet left in taxi being returned to us fully intact.
    I smile when people tell us they would never travel to sch a dangerous place…. You can't argue with ignorance.
    Cancun is our paradise….

  8. My wife and I go to Cancun every year. It's beautiful, the people are great and we hve NEVER had a problem. In fact, we have had several POSITIVE experiences, ie – lost camera being returned us. Wallet left in taxi being returned to us fully intact.
    I smile when people tell us they would never travel to sch a dangerous place…. You can't argue with ignorance.
    Cancun is our paradise….

  9. Pingback: CBS News Travel Editor Talks About Mexican Tourism and Safety | Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico?

  10. Pingback: CBS News Travel Editor Talks About Mexican Tourism and Safety | Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico?

  11. I love Mexico and have traveled there numerous times without incident. I agree with Peter. Great weather, beautiful water, wonderful people and outstanding service. Just this week I mentioned that I was going to Mexico in the fall and my friend says, "Really, its not safe." People please, crime is everywhere. If you let that stop you, you'd never leave the house.

  12. I love Mexico and have traveled there numerous times without incident. I agree with Peter. Great weather, beautiful water, wonderful people and outstanding service. Just this week I mentioned that I was going to Mexico in the fall and my friend says, "Really, its not safe." People please, crime is everywhere. If you let that stop you, you'd never leave the house.

  13. Spent a day in Cozumel last Nov as a cruise line stop, had a great time. Trying to convince hubby that Cancun is safe and we'd have a great time… I'm working on it people!!

  14. Spent a day in Cozumel last Nov as a cruise line stop, had a great time. Trying to convince hubby that Cancun is safe and we'd have a great time… I'm working on it people!!

  15. My wife and I are planning on driving to Queretaro Mexico in the next coming months so that my wife can see her family. I have been to mexico many times in the past and have had nothing but great experiences. However this will be my first time making the drive from Dallas, TX and I am a bit concerned. I have gone many times with my family and by air but this is the first time that my wife and I will make the drive on our own. With all of the bad reputation Mexico has been given, I can't help but worry. This column has really made me feel safer about making the drive and I hope everything turns out great.

  16. My wife and I are planning on driving to Queretaro Mexico in the next coming months so that my wife can see her family. I have been to mexico many times in the past and have had nothing but great experiences. However this will be my first time making the drive from Dallas, TX and I am a bit concerned. I have gone many times with my family and by air but this is the first time that my wife and I will make the drive on our own. With all of the bad reputation Mexico has been given, I can't help but worry. This column has really made me feel safer about making the drive and I hope everything turns out great.

  17. Pingback: For concerned friends and family « murphsmanifest

  18. Pingback: For concerned friends and family « murphsmanifest

  19. I agree that common sense is required and that the tourist areas are perfectly safe! There are places in my own city that I wouldn't visit by myself, but that doesn't mean the entire state should be written off!

  20. I agree that common sense is required and that the tourist areas are perfectly safe! There are places in my own city that I wouldn't visit by myself, but that doesn't mean the entire state should be written off!

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