Navigating the Waves of Travel Advisories in Mexico

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November 29, 2023
4 min read

Understanding Travel Advisories in Mexico

Travel advisories are issued by governments to warn their citizens about potential dangers or risks when traveling to other countries. Mexico, in particular, is a country that has experienced an increase in drug-related violence and crime incidents over the years.

Need to know more information on Mexico? Don't worry we have you covered with our country guide. You can find the ins and outs on getting around this vast country and be sure to check out the national holidays guide we put together.

The Definition of Travel Advisories in Mexico

In simple terms, travel advisories for Mexico are warnings issued by the US Department of State and other foreign governments to alert travelers of potential safety risks when visiting certain parts of the country. These warnings may be specific to certain regions or cities within the country.

The Importance of Being Aware of Travel Advisories

It's crucial for you to research and understand travel advisories before embarking on any trips to foreign destinations, especially those that have been deemed risky. Such advisories provide information about possible dangers such as crime rates, terrorism threats, natural disasters or health concerns that could impact visitors' safety. It's important to note that while travel advisories are intended to guide travelers, they are not meant to discourage people from visiting certain countries.

Being aware of these advisories allows you as a traveler to take necessary precautions and make informed decisions about your trip - including where you stay, what activities you engage in while there and how you travel within the country. In the following sections, we'll explore some general safety concerns for tourists visiting Mexico along with specific regions with current travel advisories issued by the US Department of State.

Overview of Travel Advisories in Mexico

Travel advisories are warnings issued by governments or other organizations to inform you about the safety and security risks associated with traveling to a particular destination. Mexico is no exception. The country has had a long-standing reputation for drug-related violence, organized crime, and other safety concerns that often make headlines around the world.

General Safety Concerns for Travelers

Mexico is a beautiful country with many incredible destinations, but it's important to be aware of some general safety concerns that can affect your travel experience there. Petty theft is common in tourist areas, so it's essential to keep an eye on your belongings and avoid leaving them unattended.

Car accidents are also common due to poor driving habits and road conditions. It's always a good idea to wear seat belts and drive defensively when traveling by car.

Where to find out more information on advisories?

The US government and Canadian government both provide information on the safety and security risks in various regions of Mexico. The US Department of State has state-specific advisories, which include information on crime rates, travel restrictions for government employees, and recommended precautions for travelers.

Similarly, the Canadian government advises travelers exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico and provides a list of regions to avoid due to high levels of violence and organized crime. The Public Health Agency of Canada also offers travel health information for those planning to visit Mexico.

Additionally, you can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) or the Registration of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) to receive alerts and make it easier for authorities to locate you in an emergency.

Current Travel Advisories Issued by the US Department of State

The US Department of State regularly updates its travel advisories for Mexico based on the latest security intelligence reports that they receive from their sources on the ground in various parts of the country. 

Currently, several states in Mexico have been issued "Do Not Travel" advisories due to high levels of violent crime or civil unrest, including: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas. 

Other states have been issued "Reconsider Travel" advisories due to increased levels of crime or kidnapping activity: Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta is located), Nayarit (where Sayulita is located), Nuevo León (where Monterrey is located), San Luis Potosi and Sonora (where Rocky Point was previously known as Puerto Penasco).

Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico Right Now?

According to the U.S. State Department, some areas of Mexico have an increased risk of crime and kidnapping, with violent crime being widespread and common throughout the country. However, it is important to note that not all parts of Mexico pose the same level of risk. Many popular tourist destinations and major urban centers, such as Mexico City and Cancún, are still relatively safe.

Overall, while there are risks involved, it is possible to travel safely to Mexico with careful planning and a proactive approach to personal safety. You may be interesting in knowing the deaths of Americans in Mexico each year, my research shows that it's actually quite low.

Specific Regions with Travel Advisories

Northern Border Region

The Northern Border Region of Mexico, which shares a land boundary with the United States, is currently under a Level 4 travel advisory by the US Department of State. 

I have been told by my Mexican friends that the border area is a “no-go” zone, even for them. I have taken that point to heart. Especially after recent incidents at the border towns. They would not risk going there, so why should you?

This area has been plagued by drug-related violence and crime for many years, and the situation has not improved over the years. 

If you travel to this region, you should take extreme caution and stay up-to-date on local news and developments. Avoid traveling alone at night or carrying large amounts of cash or expensive items.

Staying in well-known tourist areas can also help mitigate some risks. Additionally, it's important to research which border crossings are considered safe before crossing into Mexico.

Pacific Coast Region

The Pacific Coast Region of Mexico is another area that you should exercise caution when visiting. This region includes popular tourist destinations such as Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco but also experiences high crime rates and safety concerns for tourists. 

If you visit this region, you should be mindful of your surroundings at all times, especially when venturing outside tourist areas.

For the most part, tourist areas are very safe. Not that you should let your guard completely down but most issues happen outside the main areas of town and government control. It's essential to stay informed about the security situation and travel advisories before planning a trip to this part of Mexico.

In Conclusion

Traveling to Mexico can be an exciting adventure full of new experiences and cultural discoveries. I suggust you don't let this deter you from having a great time. I've traveled to a couple of "Do Not Travel" states and felt safe in the cities and on the main roads. Just be advised, a lot of these areas have bad cell reception so plan accordingly and don't travel outside the cities at night.

While there are travel advisories in place for this country, it's important not to let fear hold you back from exploring its many wonders.

The US state department has also issued travel advisories for Costa Rica as well. Another favorite destination for Americans that is considered safer than Mexico.

By taking precautions and staying informed about the current situation regarding safety concerns, you can enjoy everything that Mexico has to offer while having an amazing trip. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready for an unforgettable experience!


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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