If you’re planning a vacation or work trip, it’s always worth checking a Mexico travel advisory page before visiting the country. This is true of anywhere, as recent events might affect where you can travel, or whether you can travel at all.
Below, we’ll look at some travel advisories in Mexico to determine whether it’s safe to visit in 2023. Bear in mind, many travel warnings or advisories don’t cover whole countries, so use them as a basis for deciding which parts you visit.
The first step is to consider the general safety level of Mexico for tourists and business travelers. This typically means considering crime levels and natural disasters because these are the 2 biggest factors that determine safety. Currently, there aren’t any major disaster warnings, so let’s focus on notable crime stats instead.
In early January of this year, gunfire broke out in Culiacan, where police arrested Ovidio Guzman-Lopez, son of drug kingpin El Chapo. The event resulted in deadly rioting in the city and a commercial airliner being hit by stray gunfire.
Later in January, a protest by taxi drivers in the resort town of Cancun resulted in tourists being kicked out of their Ubers. It’s worth noting that the protest was specifically against Uber’s takeover of local taxi services rather than against tourists. Luckily, no one was harmed in the protests.
Very recently, 4 Americans were kidnapped after crossing the border from Texas to Matamoros for a medical procedure. The kidnap unfortunately results in 2 Americans being killed. However, the others have thankfully returned home and are doing as well as can be expected.
But what does this mean for travel to Mexico more generally? On the whole, you’ll easily find a safe place Mexico if you’re visiting as a tourist. The general advice is to stick to beach resorts and popular tourist destinations.
While crime still happens, it’s very petty crime that you can expect in any other tourist destination. The vast majority of cartel-related violence happens in fairly specific areas and is rarely aimed at tourists.
Whether you’re from the US or not, one of the best sources for information is the Mexico US travel advisory. Here, you’ll find relevant information about passport restrictions, notable events, and more. Your country will likely have its own Mexico travel advisory, but the US’s is one of the clearest.
Some current travel advisories in Mexico include:
The US State Department advises tourists to not travel 6 Mexican states due to increased crime rates and instances of kidnapping. These are:
Also, there’s a list of 7 states where visitors should reconsider travel, which are:
· Baja California
Again, this is due to increased crime rates and instances of kidnapping. Finally, the US State Department advises increased caution to many remaining Mexican states. You can find the full list at the link above.
Cancun is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico. With all the potential crime that’s happening in the country, it’s understandable that you might ask, are there travel warnings for Cancun Mexico?
The short answer is yes, there are travel warnings for Cancun Mexico. It’s located in Quintana Roo state, which is on the US government’s list of states where you should exercise increased caution.
However, it’s not as straightforward as that. Cancun is arguably one of the safest areas for travel in Mexico because it has a larger and better-trained police force than elsewhere. It’s mainly because it’s such a tourist-focused area, so the local government is quite committed to keeping it safe and popular.
The bottom line is that, as far as travel advisories in Mexico go, Cancun is a safe place to visit. You should follow the standard rules for traveling in a foreign country, as it’s always best to not invite trouble, regardless of where you’re traveling!
As all women will know, there’s a difference between a country being marked as safe and it being considered safe for women. So, whether you’re traveling as a couple, in a group, or on your own, is Mexico safe for female travelers?
There are few reasons to be concerned as a female traveler in Mexico, provided you follow standard travel advisories in Mexico. Specifically, stay away from states where it’s recommended you don’t travel, and be careful in states where caution is recommended.
Aside from this, there are a few things you can do to make your trip that much safer:
Sure, Mexico is hot, and you’ll probably want to wear shorts. This is fine at beach resorts, but be aware that locals generally wear long pants and skirts in cities. Wearing shorts isn’t against the rules, but you’ll blend in more easily if you follow local clothing customs.
Similarly, be careful with the jewelry you wear, although this tip applies to any tourist destination. Reducing your risk of a mugging is one thing, but Mexicans generally don’t wear flashy jewelry in their daily lives anyway.
This might sound like quite a general tip for female travelers, and it is. In short, you should act like you’re an experienced local rather than a naïve tourist. Make sure you walk with purpose when possible and don’t make it obvious that you’re looking at a map.
Also, know what travel options are available in the area you’re visiting. Public transport can often be worth using, and be sure you know the difference between a licensed and unlicensed taxi.
Along with knowing the latest Mexico travel advisory, make sure you’re aware of some general tips for staying safe in Mexico. These include:
This is a pretty obvious place to start. Be careful of where you flash cash (ideally, as little as possible) and always use an ATM inside a bank or store if possible. Make sure you keep your wallet or purse on your person rather than in a bag, and keep it in a front pocket or fanny pack.
Personal theft is a common crime in any tourist-focused area, as is pickpocketing. Make sure you’re aware of your wallet’s location at all times, and consider stashing some emergency cash in your sock or phone case. Also, think about keeping your bank card and cash separate.
At beach resorts, there should be little issue walking around at night. However, you should always be aware of your surroundings at night regardless of where you are. If you’re visiting a city, stick to the main streets and well-lit areas at all times.
Equally, avoid traveling at night by car. Short journeys should be fine (such as from a local restaurant to your hotel), but definitely avoid longer journeys. There’s generally no reason why you should have to drive long distances at night, so plan your trip accordingly.
This is a bit of a no-brainer: get travel insurance to protect your belongings. One of the most important things to protect is your passport. Make sure you know where your nation’s embassy is so you can arrange an emergency one if anything does happen.
Another obvious part of this is to not keep all your valuables in one place. Ideally, find a hotel with room safes, and store your passport in there. Always have a reserve of cash separate from your main wallet or purse too.
Not getting involved in drugs on vacation should also be a no-brainer, but it’s even more important in Mexico. The last thing you want to do is accidentally buy off a cartel member because that’s just asking for trouble.
Equally, if someone offers you drugs on the street, politely decline. You might find this happens quite often in tourist areas, especially at night. Don’t bother reporting it to the police – you’re better off just declining and walking away.
Make sure you check a Mexico travel advisory before planning your trip, and think about your cellphone connection options. Get a Textr eSIM to stay connected with family while on your trip without worrying about roaming charges from your domestic carrier.
Textr’s eSIM means you don’t need to worry about buying a physical SIM card from a local carrier once you arrive in Mexico. What’s more, you can set everything up in your home country and then finalize it once your plane lands. You get minimal downtime and access to the fastest networks in the country.
Better yet, there’s no shipping fee because you buy online. It’s easy to set up and top up any time, and it’s considerably cheaper than options from the major carriers.
Download the Textr eSIM app today and shop for the Textr eSIM Mexico Data Plan to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.