Is it safe to travel to Mexico? The answer is yes.

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Dear friends of Cancun & Mexico:

My good friends at The Royal Resortswrote an excellent post called “Is it safe to travel to  Mexico?”, which describes in detail the many reasons you have to be relaxed about visiting Mexico. In a nutshell, the drug-related violence is very real, but it is located at certain cities, which are far away from the beach resorts.

From the article:

It is important to put geography into perspective: Mexico is a huge country with a territory of 758,774 square miles and a population of 112, 468,855 (July 2010 estimate). In terms of landmass, it is the world’s 14th largest country, slightly less than three times the size of Texas and roughly the size of Western Europe! Media reports frequently fail to take this into account, thus painting a misleading, false and alarmist picture.

Most of the incidents associated with organized crime in Mexico that are being reported by the press are taking place in the north of the country – often in sparsely populated mountainous areas or in the desert – and in cities along the Mexico-US border, thousands of miles from Cancun and the Riviera Maya. To give an idea of the vast distances from north to south, one of the cities often mentioned in crime reports is Tijuana in Baja California, 2,012 miles from Cancun, the equivalent of the distance between Los Angeles to Chicago.

In a recent webinar for Travel WeeklyMexican Minister for Tourism Gloria Guevara Manzo gave another example by asking listeners if they heard about a violent crime in New York, would they cancel a trip to Birmingham, Alabama, 979 miles away, the answer would obviously be no. So why would an incident occurring thousands of miles away on the other side of Mexico affect a trip to the Mexican Caribbean?

Here’s a map showing the distance between cities in Mexico:

Map of Mexico (click to view full size)

Map of Mexico (click to view full size)

And some facts and figures to put things in perspective:

The murder rate registered for Mexico in 2009 was 12 per 100,000 inhabitants, considerably lower than that registered in other Latin American countries, for example in Brazil it was 22 and Venezuela, El Salvador and Honduras have murder rates of 49, 71 and 67 per 100,000 respectively (Source: Brookings Institution).

Washington, D.C.’s murder rate is nearly quadruple that of the Mexican capital, Mexico City, which is one of the world’s largest cities with a population of 21 million. Washington’s murder rate was 31.4 per 100,000 people in 2008 and New Orleans 95; Mexico City’s rate in 2009 was eight.

The state with the lowest murder rate in Mexico is Yucatan, famous for its beaches and Mayan ruins. Its murder rate of two per 100,000 is comparable to Wyoming and Montana and lower than Canada. Sources: USA Today, August 2010 and The Economist, October. Another recent article in The Economist suggested that this rate can be compared with that registered for France.

Furthermore, 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)

Read the full article: Is it safe to travel to Mexico? at the Royal Resorts’ Official News Blog.

You can also check out our most popular article:  How safe is travel in Mexico?

More useful links & information:

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?

Mexico’s Tourism Secretary debunks fears and fictions – Travel Weekly

Cancun tops ABC News list “7 safe places to visit in Mexico”

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.

Feel free to ask other tourists & residents of Cancun for their comments at our Facebook page:

Cancun is Safe! on Facebook

I hope this information was useful for you, and helped you be relaxed about your upcoming travel to Mexico.

Paradise awaits in Mexico!

Paradise awaits in Mexico!

Until next time, stay safe!

Warm regards from paradise,

Camilo Olea

Founder, Director

Cancun is Safe!

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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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10 Comments

  1. Very interesting compilation of information, Camilo. Sally and I live in a very nice part of Houston and her office is very near our home. I still worry when she leaves her office after dark and often think that I don't have that kind of worry when we are in Mexican resorts, such as Cancun (also Acapulco, Mazatlan, PV, etc.). In this world today, everyplace can be safe and everyplace can be dangerous… and it occurs to me that it is easier to have a safe wonderful time in Cancun than it is in my own home town.

  2. Very interesting compilation of information, Camilo. Sally and I live in a very nice part of Houston and her office is very near our home. I still worry when she leaves her office after dark and often think that I don't have that kind of worry when we are in Mexican resorts, such as Cancun (also Acapulco, Mazatlan, PV, etc.). In this world today, everyplace can be safe and everyplace can be dangerous… and it occurs to me that it is easier to have a safe wonderful time in Cancun than it is in my own home town.

  3. Great! At long last, a publication with stats about safety in Mexico compared to stats on safety in the U.S. This gives a very clear, positive picture. Thanks to you and Royal Resorts for being brave enough to take on this subject!

  4. Great! At long last, a publication with stats about safety in Mexico compared to stats on safety in the U.S. This gives a very clear, positive picture. Thanks to you and Royal Resorts for being brave enough to take on this subject!

  5. Pingback: Latest Travel to Mexico news – Costa Rica travel planning help wanted…. | Mexico & Central …

  6. Pingback: Latest Travel to Mexico news – Costa Rica travel planning help wanted…. | Mexico & Central …

  7. The violence can be intimidating, but like I've been telling everyone, the chances you will get caught up in the violence is pretty slim unless you are participating in activities that bring up your odds (i.e. buying drugs, hustling prostitutes, or drinking so much that you pass out in an alleyway)

    There is also the factor of being 'in the wrong place at the wrong time.' But seriously, that could be anywhere in the world, and its highly unlikely.

    You will enjoy your onshore activities without seeing any kind of violence. Being on a cruise ship instead of resort also increases those odds.
    Felicity-Hotels MexicoLa Paz Deals

  8. The violence can be intimidating, but like I've been telling everyone, the chances you will get caught up in the violence is pretty slim unless you are participating in activities that bring up your odds (i.e. buying drugs, hustling prostitutes, or drinking so much that you pass out in an alleyway)

    There is also the factor of being 'in the wrong place at the wrong time.' But seriously, that could be anywhere in the world, and its highly unlikely.

    You will enjoy your onshore activities without seeing any kind of violence. Being on a cruise ship instead of resort also increases those odds.
    Felicity-Hotels MexicoLa Paz Deals

  9. Pingback: Is Cancun safe? More tips for a safe Spring Break Cancun 2012 | Is Cancun safe? - Info about safety in Cancun, Mexico

  10. Pingback: Is Cancun safe? More tips for a safe Spring Break Cancun 2012 | Is Cancun safe? - Info about safety in Cancun, Mexico