Travel

Traveling to Mexico: Is it Safe in 2022?

Mexico has always been a popular destination for travelers, but recent incidents of violence have raised concerns about its safety. Shootings, murders, and crimes targeting tourists have made headlines, leaving many wondering if Mexico is a secure place to visit. In addition to this, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the situation. So, is it safe to travel to Mexico right now? Let’s find out.

The Current Situation

According to Eeva Ruuska, the head of Americas operations at Riskline, a global travel risk intelligence company, millions of tourists visit Mexico every year, and even more growth is expected in 2022. Despite the pandemic, Mexico did not close its air borders or impose strict entry requirements, which contributed to the flow of visitors. However, it’s important to note that Mexico has witnessed clashes between criminal gangs in certain areas, like Cancun. While these attacks do not typically target foreigners, bystanders have occasionally been affected. Nonetheless, popular tourist destinations like Cancun, Acapulco, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta have seen increased security measures to ensure the safety of travelers. The most common security risk faced by tourists in Mexico is petty theft, which can occur throughout the country.

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Areas to Avoid

Certain states and regions in Mexico have been significantly affected by drug cartels and high murder rates. These include Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima, Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa. Cities like Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Obregón, Zamora, and Uruapan have also experienced a rise in crime. Travelers are advised to consult local advice on safe and unsafe areas and maintain a low profile. Hiring security escorts is recommended in high-risk states. There are also recent hotspots of cartel clashes and related crime, such as Caborca in Sonora and Fresnillo in Zacatecas, where authorities have implemented additional security measures. Certain areas in Guanajuato and Michoacán, including Celaya, Salamanca, Irapuato, Aguililla, Zitácuaro, and surrounding towns, should be avoided due to safety concerns.

The Riviera Maya and Tourist Areas

One of the most pressing questions for travelers is whether it is safe to visit popular tourism areas like the Riviera Maya. According to Ruuska, travel to Cancun, Tulum, and their surrounding areas in Quintana Roo is still considered safe. Recent incidents of violence in these areas have primarily been related to drug traffickers settling scores. However, it is always essential to stay vigilant and follow basic safety precautions.

Staying Safe in Mexico

To ensure your safety while traveling in Mexico, it is crucial to do your research before departure. Avoid visiting areas that are less likely to be frequented by tourists. When transiting, opt for app-based ride services or regulated taxi stands instead of hailing taxis on the street. For drivers, it’s best to avoid traveling overnight. Stick to toll roads and first-class bus services for interurban travel. It’s advisable to be cautious about your surroundings and trust your instincts. Additionally, getting travel insurance is highly recommended.

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Precautions for Women Travelers

Mexico has high rates of harassment, sexual assaults, and violence targeting women, even in major cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara. Female travelers may receive unwanted attention from men, ranging from catcalling to physical groping. It’s essential to ignore these advances or confrontations and walk away. Areas like taxis and public transport are common places for harassment, so it’s safer to use app-based services or regulated taxi stands. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar or desolate areas. Keep a low profile by avoiding flashy clothes and jewelry.

Solo Female Travel in Mexico

Solo female travel in Mexico can be a rewarding experience if safety measures are taken into account. Mexican people are generally friendly, fun-loving, helpful, and open to solo female travelers. Learning some basic Spanish phrases is beneficial, and it’s recommended to arrive during daylight hours. Use regulated taxis or ride-sharing services when traveling after sunset. Always keep an eye on your drink and never accept drinks from strangers or new acquaintances that you haven’t seen poured. Trust your intuition and be aware of your surroundings. Lastly, don’t forget to get travel insurance to protect yourself in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

FAQs

Q: Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now?
A: While certain areas in Mexico have experienced violence and crime, popular tourism destinations like Cancun and Tulum are considered safe. It’s important to stay informed, take necessary precautions, and consult local advice on safe areas.

Q: Are there any areas in Mexico that tourists should avoid?
A: Yes, certain states and regions in Mexico, such as Guerrero, Michoacán, Colima, Tamaulipas, and Sinaloa, have been significantly affected by drug cartel violence. Travelers are advised to consult local advice and avoid high-risk areas.

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Q: What precautions should women take when traveling in Mexico?
A: Women should be cautious of their surroundings, use app-based ride services or regulated taxi stands, avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, and refrain from accepting drinks from strangers. It’s important to trust your instincts and prioritize personal safety.

Q: Can solo female travelers visit Mexico?
A: Yes, solo female travel in Mexico can be a rich experience with proper safety precautions. Learning some basic Spanish, arriving during daylight, using regulated transportation, and being aware of your surroundings are important considerations.

Conclusion

While Mexico has experienced incidents of violence and crime, it’s essential to remember that the majority of tourists have safe and enjoyable experiences in the country. By staying informed, taking necessary precautions, and respecting local advice, travelers can still have a memorable trip to Mexico. Ensure your safety by being aware of your surroundings, avoiding risky areas, and trusting your instincts. Mexico remains a diverse and vibrant destination that attracts millions of visitors each year.

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