Mexico is considered a safe country to visit but there are numerous dangerous areas and regions that tourists should avoid traveling to. Travelers should also follow general safety measures (listed below) on a daily basis while visiting Mexico.
Which areas in Mexico are dangerous for tourists right now?
The US Department has recently warned citizens against traveling to Baja California, Tijuana, Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, due to increasing criminal activity. Americans and other foreign visitors, as well as local hospitality employees, have lost their lives in different attacks in the last few months.
Mexico Travel Warning Map
Recent Safety Updates and News from Mexico:
November 16 – Highly Safe Region Near Cancun Named Top Place To Visit In 2024, According To New Report
Merida is recognized as the safest city in Latin Mexico, and Yucatan is known as the safest state. This reputation for safety allows tourists to visit with a sense of tranquility, undisturbed by the minimal crime rates reported in these areas. The upcoming launch of the remarkable Maya Train next month is expected to boost the popularity of such enchanting towns. Enhanced connectivity provided by the train will attract more tourists and, in turn, benefit local businesses like never before.
August 31 – The United States updates its travel advice for Mexico and removes its warning for Quintana Roo
The U.S. State Department amended its travel advisory for Mexico on Tuesday and removed its advisory about the crime of kidnapping in Quintana Roo. It also placed the travel advisory for the state at Level 2 due to criminality.
Due to recent crime and kidnappings, U.S. authorities strongly advise against travel to Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
Travel to the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, and Sonora was also advised against for the same reason.
Visitors were also urged to exercise additional caution when visiting Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Coahuila, Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico State, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosi, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz.
Last but not least, in the states of Campeche and Yucatán, you can only exercise normal precautions.
Inform your traveling companions and family back home of your travel plans. If you become separated from your tour group, transmit your GPS location to a friend. Take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and SMS it to a friend if you’re taking a taxi alone.
When feasible, use toll highways and avoid driving alone or at night. Outside of the state capital or major cities, police presence and emergency services are extremely restricted in many states.
When visiting local taverns, nightclubs, and casinos, use extra caution.
Do not show signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
Be especially careful when visiting banks or ATMs.
Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and help rescuers find you.
Follow the U.S. Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter,
Read Mexico’s country security report.
Create a contingency plan. Review the travel checklist.
Most Common Tourist Traps / Scams in Mexico To Be Aware Of
Some of the most common scams in Mexico to look out for include:
Fake ATMs – Normally, you might not give the particular ATM you’re using any thought when you’re withdrawing cash. But because there are so many bogus ATMs in Mexico that steal your card information, you must take this into account.
Using reputable ATMs located in recognized banks is the best way to avoid this scam. It is very likely that a ATM on the street that seems suspicious is one.
Restaurant Scams – Scams in restaurants are another problem that visitors to Mexico frequently experience. This is a fairly simple trick wherein eateries give out the wrong change or overcharge customers. You may avoid falling for a restaurant scam if you only keep a watchful eye on your tab.
Bird Poop Swindle – The bird poop scam is a variation of all the other “sticky goop.” robberies Basically, you become covered in repulsive stuff like bird poop and a helpful passerby helps you wash it off. However, in reality, this person is robbing you of everything they can take from your pockets.
Move away from the person helping you immediately if you suspect this is happening.
Airport Taxi Upcharge – At airports, there are always a lot of people who want to take advantage of travelers. In Mexico, the airport cab upcharge is a common method.
In this scam, the driver charges an inflated price for transportation from the airport by pushing you into a large van or not using the taximeter. This happens frequently, especially in Mexico City. Always use authorized cabs in Mexico to avoid this.
Quintana Roo Safety App
Quintana Roo Tourist Board has developed the Guest Assist app for free download.
The app provides safety information, legal advice, a complaint line, and coronavirus information as well as access to a 24/7 bilingual call center for visitor assistance.
The app includes links and services for emergencies, extortion and kidnapping, robbery, lost or stolen passports, roadside assistance and even a way to file complaints for local tourism service providers.
“Ongoing security and protection strategy in place, and … is continuing communications with the State Police, alongside federal and local agencies and the private sector to maintain updated security measures to keep a safe and enjoyable environment for residents and visitors.” said the Director of the State Tourism Board.
The US State Department changes national warnings to specific states
While the State Department normally issues a Level 1 to 4 warning for each country in the world based on concern for the overall safety for travelers, the travel advisory for Mexico changed to specific states on May 2.
The change for Mexico warnings is a result of the State Department moving away from Covid-19 concerns, which is also the focus of warnings from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“The Department of State’s goal is that U.S. citizens planning travel to Mexico focus on the particular area of Mexico to which they will be traveling,” they said.
Is it safe to drive to Rosarito?
Not for the moment. Traveling to Tijuana and Rosarito, Baja California, poses a “serious risk,” according to US officials. Following the arrest of a key cartel boss, the US Embassy in Mexico has advised American tourists to avoid Tijana, Rosarito, and Baja California due to serious safety concerns.
Is it safe to drive to Ensenada?
Ensenada is generally a quiet and safe city. The risk of crime is low and travelers can feel safe here. Citizens have a high level of trust in the police.
Is it safe to travel to Cancun right now?
Cancun is considered relatively safe to travel but due to multiple recent shootings between local gangs in the area, there are warnings about travel to the area.