Mexico, one of the world’s most fascinating travel destinations, is time and again singled out as being dangerous, without actually revealing the whole picture. Many Britishers ask me if traveling to Mexico is safe? The short answer will be a yes! Many U.K. citizens not only visit Mexico but also retire and live in Mexico. Now, let’s analyze the issue more closely.
While there is irregular violence along some parts of the U.S. border, most of Mexico’s leading tourism areas which are popular among tourists from the U.K. are not just safe, but a whole lot safer than many of the popular tourist destinations in the USA and across the world.
Often portrayed by the media as an “unsafe” destination, Mexico is statistically quite safe and does not even feature on the list of the 36 nations with the highest murder rates. The assault rate in the U.S. is nearly 5 times higher than that of Mexico and the crime rate in the Yucatan region of Mexico is lower than in the U.S. States of Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oregon, North Dakota, and many others. Here is an interesting post on the top 8 safest cities for tourists in Mexico.
Why is Mexico so often shown in a bad light then? It is simply because the media is driven by money and politics. Media firms hype stories and sensationalize crime in order to sell more magazines. Mexico is a large and amazingly diverse country and it is quite immoral and irresponsible to portray the whole of it as unsafe! In fact, the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory recommends avoiding only 4 states (3 of these are along the Texas border)out of Mexico’s total of 31 states. These avoidable states are Chihuahua, Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Durango.
Mexican states like Baja California Sur, Guanajuato, Campeche, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, and the Yucatan are very safe and have absolutely no travel advisories issued on them. Crime and violence along the US border will impact your Mexican vacation to these states just as much as an earthquake in California would affect people in Chicago!
Puerto Vallarta is the top pick of the US News & World Report and other Mexican hotspots like Tulum and the Mayan Riviera, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Mexico City, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan are also highly recommended. The outstanding beaches and ancient ruins of the Mexican State of Yucatan are among the most secure and fabulous resort beaches in the world.
Just like in any other country, in Mexico too, as a tourist you will be safe as long as you use your common sense, follow safety precautions, and don’t get involved with drugs. The informed and aware travelers know that Mexico’s tourist areas are quite safe and enjoyable.
Follow these safety tips and you are sure to come back from your Mexican vacation with some wonderful memories:
- Research your destination.
- Choose accommodations in safe areas where you can stroll safely.
- If you are unsure, check with your travel agent.
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
- Refrain from drawing attention to yourself through troublesome behavior, obvious displays of wealth, and inappropriate dressing.
- Keep in mind that every town and city has a bad neighborhood. Stay out of it.
- When in doubt, avoid traveling after dark in places you do not know well.