How safe is travel in Mexico?

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How safe is travel in Mexico?

Cancun, paradise in Mexico

Cancun, paradise in Mexico

With the recent warnings issued by the U.S. State Department about the violence in Mexico, it is understandable that many tourists are wondering: “Is it safe to travel to Mexico?”, “Is Cancun safe?”, and similar questions regarding the safety of coming to Mexico. We’d like to help keep you calm, and remind you that the recent waves of violence are all taking place in border towns such as Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana, etc. NOT in the beautiful paradise that is Cancun.

An extract from an article by Carol Pucci of The Seattle Times:

“It all depends on where you’re going.

As a new travel warning by the U.S. State Department points out, the areas of concern are not the beach resorts or historical cities most Americans visit, but rather the border towns, specifically Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros.

Too often in the past, these types of government alerts have taken a broad-brush approach, simply advising against travel to a country as a whole. What’s different about this warning, issued Sunday following the shooting in Ciudad Juárez of three people with ties to the American consulate, is its level of detail, and the way it rightly targets only towns where drug-related violence has been rampant.

This could have something to do with the fact that Mexico’s tourism economy is fragile, and the U.S. government doesn’t want to do anything that might damage it, but let’s hope it also has something to do with a new, more responsible approach to travel warnings in general.

As the State Department points out, millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year, and this isn’t likely to change. Nearly a million Americans live in various parts of the country, enjoying the benefits of an inexpensive retirement and low-cost medical care.

I just returned from seven days in Mazatlan and Sayulita, a surfing and beach town near Puerto Vallarta popular with many from Seattle and Portland. I experienced nothing out of the ordinary, except perhaps, fewer tourists than usual. Restaurants were lively and filled with Americans and Canadians who were there seemed to be enjoying their vacations with no hassles or problems.

The Mexican people, of course, are concerned about what’s happening in their country. They’re worried that the violence could spread, and worried about its effects on their own sense of well-being, tourism and the general economy. It was interesting to observe a military “show of force,” one evening in Sayulita when a truck with armed soldiers did a once-around the town square while bystanders ate ice cream and typed on laptops.

The bottom line: If you’re planning a vacation soon to Mexico, by all means go, but heed the State Department’s advice and use common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where drug dealing might occur.

Read the full article: How safe is travel in Mexico?

Check out this graph showing the total crimes per capita by country, which clearly shows Mexico way below other countries, including the USA. Mexico is ranked at #39. Graph courtesy of my dear friend Kelly! (Thanks Kel!)

My good friend Jack Tyler, a long time lover of all things Mexico, had the kind gesture of sending me a very complete spreadsheet (which he compiled himself) comparing the American deaths from January to July 2010 in Cancun vs other cities in Mexico. (Thanks, Jack!)

American deaths in Mexico 2010 (click to open)

You can also read our post about the safety of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya: “Is Cancun Safe?”; including testimonials from both tourists and “ex-pats” living and working in Mexico.

Don’t take it from us, take it from other tourists that have enjoyed this beautiful paradise. Read some Cancun testimonials.

Cancun

Cancun

 

More useful links and articles about safety in Cancun and Mexico:

More tips for a safe Spring Break Cancun 2011 – Even more useful tips about beach safety, sunbathing, money exchange, public transportation & getting around Cancun, information about Downtown Cancun, Clubs, bars & discos, using your smartphone to find deals and promotions and more. Check them out!

8 tips for women traveling to Cancun for Spring Break 2011 – Alana Rivero, a young Mexican woman living and working in Cancun as a travel copywriter shared with us these special tips for the safety of women coming to enjoy Spring Break 2011 in Cancun. Don’t miss them!

Is Cancun Safe? You bet! – A post with testimonials about the safety of Cancun and Riviera Maya, from “ex-pats” living and working in the area.

Is Cancun safe for Spring Break 2011? Top 10 tips for your safety Coming to Cancun to enjoy your Spring Break 2011? We talked to a local doctor and came up with this list of Top 10 tips to ensure a safe & fun Spring Break Cancun 2011. Check it out!

Is it safe to travel to Mexico for Canadians? –  Information about safety in Cancun and Mexico for our Canuck friends.

Is it safe to travel to Mexico? The answer is yes.” Lots of actual facts & data to help you be relaxed about your upcoming trip to Cancun, Riviera Maya or Mexico in general.

Gloria Guevara, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism debunks fears and fictions about the safety of traveling to Mexico in an interview with Travel Weekly.

Check out our  post, Is it safe to travel to Cancun?, an ABC News Travel list of the 7 safest places to visit in Mexico. Cancun tops the list, of course!

External links and information about safety in Cancun & Mexico

What are other travelers from different parts of the world saying about the safety of Cancun and Mexico? Check out the following links.

Mexico Tourism: Is Cancun Safe for Visitors? USA Today says so. – Kitty Bean Yancey from USA Today wrote yet another article covering the topic on safety in Cancun and Mexico. Including testimonials from US citizens currently enjoying this beautiful destination as well as American and Canadian citizens living and working in Cancun. Come read all about it.

Is It Safe To Visit Mexico? – A very complete post by Aysha Griffin, an American travel writer.

“Is it safe to visit the resorts and popular tourists destinations, like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa, Playa del Carmen, etc? Probably as safe as it has ever been. The decent, kind-hearted Mexicans, who know the value of tourism, welcome you. … be aware of your surroundings, as you should no matter where; and continue to visit and enjoy the diverse scenery, culture, food, climate and genuine hospitality of Mexico.”

Why I’m Not Afraid of Mexico – An excellent post by Candice, a Canadian 20-something traveler.

“… danger is real, but it’s real anywhere. Get schooled about the places to go and the places to avoid, don’t go venturing down any shady alleyways, mind your own business and be polite. Do your research. Being smart will get you a lot further than being afraid.

More amazing spots to discover near Cancun

Have you heard of El Cuyo, Yucatan? A hidden treasure, very close to Cancun.

Tulum, Mexico is one of my favorite places in the planet, and its just a 1 hour drive away from Cancun. I love it!

We hope to see you soon. Have a safe & fun vacation!

Mexico is waiting for you

Mexico is waiting for you

Don’t forget to follow us at FacebookTwitter to stay updated about the safety of Cancun and Mexico in general.

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We regularly publish news and updates about safety in CancunRiviera Maya and México; 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.

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26 Comments

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  3. Absolutely 100% correct! It's just a shame that the worlds press cannot report the statistics that you have mentioned in your post. This information is readily available, and it's a shame that the local government of Quintana Roo have not acted quickly enough to quell the already damaged tourism industry too. They could have provided a damage limitation program months ago!! It's a travesty.

  4. Absolutely 100% correct! It's just a shame that the worlds press cannot report the statistics that you have mentioned in your post. This information is readily available, and it's a shame that the local government of Quintana Roo have not acted quickly enough to quell the already damaged tourism industry too. They could have provided a damage limitation program months ago!! It's a travesty.

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  17. My wife and I had a honeymoon in Cancun at the Sandos Caracol Resort and Spa. The Sandos is about 40 miles west of Cancun near Playa Del Carmen. We spent a short time in Cancun, it's a beautiful little town surrounded by the ocean with a lot of neat shops and great night life, such as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, and much more.
    We spent much of a day walking and taking a cab in Playa Del Carmen, it's a neat little seaside town 40 miles west of Cancun. There are a lot of small shops and large stores, such as Wal-Mart.
    We went to Chichen Itza, the Granddaddy of Mayan ruin sites in the Yucatan Peninsula and one of the most grandiose in all the Mayan world is Chichen Itza. What also makes this a wonderful site to visit is there has been much restoration done, the grounds are manicured and there are tourist services including restaurants, small museum, and stores selling items not found in Playa del Carmen or Cozumel. Chichen Itza is considered a must see for all Vacationers and Mayan Enthusiasts as well.
    We loved the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico, there is so much to see and do. My wife and I felt safe everywhere we went in the Cancun area. The Mexican people were warm and friendly making our Honeymoon a most rememberable Mexican vacation.

  18. My wife and I had a honeymoon in Cancun at the Sandos Caracol Resort and Spa. The Sandos is about 40 miles west of Cancun near Playa Del Carmen. We spent a short time in Cancun, it's a beautiful little town surrounded by the ocean with a lot of neat shops and great night life, such as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, and much more.
    We spent much of a day walking and taking a cab in Playa Del Carmen, it's a neat little seaside town 40 miles west of Cancun. There are a lot of small shops and large stores, such as Wal-Mart.
    We went to Chichen Itza, the Granddaddy of Mayan ruin sites in the Yucatan Peninsula and one of the most grandiose in all the Mayan world is Chichen Itza. What also makes this a wonderful site to visit is there has been much restoration done, the grounds are manicured and there are tourist services including restaurants, small museum, and stores selling items not found in Playa del Carmen or Cozumel. Chichen Itza is considered a must see for all Vacationers and Mayan Enthusiasts as well.
    We loved the Yucatan Peninsula area of Mexico, there is so much to see and do. My wife and I felt safe everywhere we went in the Cancun area. The Mexican people were warm and friendly making our Honeymoon a most rememberable Mexican vacation.

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