Is Mexico Safe For Vacation?
Is Mexico safe? Mexico has been in the media holophotes for the past couple of months. Mostly because of natural disasters that have occurred in the country, partly because of violent reasons and before you chose Mexico as your next destination it is necessary to understand what has happened. In September 2017, an earthquake hit three country areas: the cities of Mexico City and Oaxaca along with coast of Chiapas just some days apart, unfortunately bringing make injuries and deaths. If a natural disaster brings attention to the country, add to this fact a travel warning issued by U.S. Department of State on August 22, 2017, updating a travel warning from December 2016.
This updated document states the risks of travelling to the country due to crime organization activities and its impact in violent acts that have been occurring in the country. It also got more attention because popular touristic areas were added as to be avoided by American citizens, as the case of Quintana Roo state where Cancun, Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are located and, Baja California Sur, on the West side of Mexico. Two touristic destinations which attract people from all over the world looking for a sunny vacation destination.
According to the World Travel Organization, in 2016 Mexico was the 8th most visited country in the world, with 35 million arrivals within the year.
According to data, both locations have experienced a rise in violent acts due to fighting among rival gangs, but as the statement explains American tourists have not been a target of those violent cases. This warning brought Mexico to the news and anxiety to travellers willing to visit the country, but it is extremely important to understand what is happening before cancelling your trip or travelling with an unsafe sensation. So, in this article, you will discover what you should know before answering the question: Is Mexico safe for vacation?
What UK government says
Despite the alarming U.S. Department of State warning, it is important to stress one more time that the statement is clear on informing that US citizens have not suffered from violent acts because of their nationality. The government of UK also updated the Foreign Travel Advice for Mexico on September 26, 2017 informing about areas affected by earthquake and specifying violent events that have happened, notifying what should be followed during a visit in the country.
Regarding violence in tourist destinations like Quintana Roo, the government states some cases of violence recommending travellers to always follow advice from tour operators and local authorities. In case of North and West areas in Mexico along with states of Tabasco and Veracruz they instruct to take extra care, as is the same situation in cases case of Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco and Nayarit states.
According to their statement, approximately 514 thousand British visited the country during the year of 2016, most with no harm. Essentially, this section in UK government website focuses on safety and security, informing about crimes and violence and could you avoid by taking small actions. All information on where to find further updates will be on the last topic of this article.
Why travel to Mexico?
According to the World Travel Organization, in 2016 Mexico was the 8th most visited country in the world, with 35 million arrivals within the year. That is a great deal considering that the country borders with three countries: United States, Belize and Guatemala.
A difference from most countries in Europe, which crossing borders by land is common, being one of the reasons why they are the majority in the 10 most visited countries in the world. Mexico is a famous destination among travelers as it is a fascinating country offering beach destinations while still presenting history and having a cosmopolitan capital city.
Even though Mexico City and Cancun get more attention than other places, there is a Mexico for everyone and for as many trips as you want to take. It is true those classic places are sure to impress, but if you have been there and want to try something new, give yourself a chance to discover a new Mexico. Cities affected by the earthquake will need more help from travelers, as examples of Oaxaca, a place where the foodies will experience the real Mexican cuisine.
San Miguel de Allende is an example of Mexico yet to be discovered by travelers, a historic must visit city in the state of Guanajuato. If you are into history, you will like to know that Campeche city located in the same name state is a traditional colorful city, the classic architecture you have been expected from Mexico. Both of them are not listed in either US and UK warnings, but in every place, there is a possibility of something happening and you should always be careful.
How to be safe in Mexico
Is Mexico safe? It is true safety is a concern for most travelers but keep in mind that it is impossible to be 100% safe anywhere in the world, so before planning your trip for anyplace make sure to research about safety procedures and how you can avoid unsafe situations. In Mexico’s case we have selected some tips which you help you to enjoy safely your trip in the country.
- Before you go, check the UK Government webpage in the Foreign Travel Advice on Mexico area for updates on any safety concerns and keep UK embassy information with you: phone number in case of emergency: (0052) 55 1670 3200 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Look for regulated companies for any services you may need, as per example, taxis and travel agencies.
- Avoid isolated areas from any city you may visit, especially during evenings.
- If travelling by road, there has been situations related by travelers in which police officers asked for bribe. Even though there is no confirmed evidence on those case, prefer toll roads and a tip for travelling during daylight is highly recommended.
- Stay closer to your belongings in any place you go and, don’t leave beverages and food unattended in public places.
- While sightseeing, it is advised to use a crossbody purse with minimum necessary inside. Of course, you can bring cameras and other necessary accessories, but keeping a low profile is a behavior recommended.
- In case of emergency during your visit, it is also possible to contact the local police emergency line 060.
- Know your limits in a party and/or during a specific event, remember you are away from your homeland and should follow the country rules.
- Make sure to also understand the culture and habits, and how they may impact your behavior as actions you take at home may not be seen as normal in other cultures.
After all information it is possible to be more comfortable asking the question: Is Mexico safe for vacation? Most visitors feel safer than expected and few have an unsafe sensation, basically because are following the tips to make their vacation a special one.
Before travelling, make sure to do your homework and understand what is happening in the country and how it affects travellers, and this tip is valid for any country you will be travelling to. In any case, three Rs are necessary: research, read and relax.
Ultimately, is Mexico safe is a difficult question to answer but then any travel always has an element of risk which I suppose is one of the many reasons why it is so popular.