The truth is that the news that has appeared over the years on television about the American country is not very encouraging. Cities with high levels of violence, fraud, express kidnappings… However, it is thought that one cannot be categorical when talking about security in Mexico. If you, too, want to see places as incredible as the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, get lost in its charming villages, enjoy the museums of Mexico City, get to know the seabed of the Mayan Riviera or swim in the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, read on and travel with full knowledge of the facts.
What does the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation have to say about tourism in Mexico?
The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following at the top of its page about Mexico: “It is recommended to travel with caution and to refrain from travelling in certain areas”. Further on, it details high-risk areas where it is recommended to travel only for personal or professional needs and always during the day, avoiding rural areas. It also identifies areas of moderate risk where caution is advised and indicates some precautions to consider in Mexico City. Finally, safety zones are listed, which are the most numerous. The states of Campeche, Tabasco, Yucatan, Quintana Roo (Mayan Riviera), Oaxaca, Chiapas, Baja California (except Tijuana), Southern Baja California and the Sea of Cortez, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Hidalgo, Puebla and Tlaxcala. These states, especially Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Oaxaca are the most visited by tourists. In addition, Spanish authorities repeatedly point out that in order to travel safely to Mexico, it is convenient to purchase “as much travel insurance as possible” from Spain because in Mexico, Spanish tourists are not covered by Spanish social security, since medical care is not included in the social security agreement between Spain and Mexico. This recommendation is mainly motivated by the increase in cases of dengue fever, chikungunya and zika, which are more present during the months of heaviest rainfall in some states of Mexico.
But then, is it safe to travel to Mexico?
There are many travelers who love Mexico. Many of them come to the country to see its most touristy areas and, in love, return again and again to lesser known corners. You will find testimonials in blogs and social networks that will bring you a little closer to the country’s current tourism situation. It’s obvious that the figures in the news are real. However, it is convenient to look at them with hindsight. The spiral of violence in some Mexican states is mainly caused by drug cartels, and tourists who enjoy their vacations in the most visited places in Mexico usually suffer nothing more than common crimes such as robbery or theft. People will never stop traveling in Mexico for this reason, and will always act with common sense. Therefore, we leave you with a few tips to follow and encourage you to value all factors, plan your trip in safe areas and, above all, enjoy the beauty of Mexico.
Tips for safe travel in Mexico
It is safe to travel to Mexico, but, as in many other countries, do not display valuable items such as jewelry, cameras, smartphones… Do not talk too much about your financial capacity either. Try to divide your money and cards among several wallets or pockets. Leave everything you can at the hotel and take a copy of your documents with you. If you have any incidents, report them to Mexico and keep all documents for future claims. Take the phone number of the consulate with you and also inform them if you have had any problems. On the Ministry’s website, you will find the consulate numbers listed according to the region you are in. If you plan to rent a car, try to travel during the day and do not rent a very conspicuous vehicle. You should also try to park in secure parking lots at night. Do not carry valuables in your luggage to check in on the plane or in the hold of a bus. Keep them in your carry-on luggage and keep them in sight. Try to withdraw money from ATMs in controlled areas: banks, shopping malls, busy tourist areas, etc. If you have to pay by credit card, check your spending afterwards. There have been cases of card skimming. Avoid isolated areas at night. Use insect repellent and try to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes bite the most. A few years ago, there were a few cases of “virtual kidnapping”. These are isolated dangers, but there is no harm in knowing about them. Try taking cabs at official stops. You can travel safely to Mexico at any time of the year, but if you can, try to avoid the hurricane season, which runs from July to November or so. You want to try as much Mexican food as possible, but if you are not too used to spicy or overly spicy food, you may have some stomach problems. Familiarize yourself with spicy food and don’t drink tap water. When it’s time to go to the beach, watch your belongings when swimming and try to avoid isolated areas if you are travelling alone.