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.
If you still decide to head up to Mexico, please make sure to follow most of the following recommendations.
Be aware of your surroundings and take extra caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
Do not wear expensive watches or jewelry.
Be especially cautious when visiting banks or ATMs.
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.
Recent Safety Updates:
September 28 – Hurricane Ian is causing wreak havoc across the Caribbean but is still safe traveling to Mexico
Quintana Roo residents and tourists are being urged to take protective measures against Hurricane Ian’s ferocious rains and powerful wind gusts. The dangerous tropical storm has intensified to hurricane category 3.
Heavy winds and rain are affecting a number of Quintana Roo tourist hotspots, including Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Although, the hurricane won’t make landfall in these areas, tourists and locals should still look to local authorities for preventive safety measures.
Tourists do not have to cancel their flights to Mexico but putting them off until next week is advised.
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.
Best places to visit in Mexico in COVID times
Whether you are interested in spending your vacation at the sunny beach, trying new watersports, or just enjoying the cultural experience, Mexico has something to offer to everyone.
However, before booking your trip, you must consider reviewing the Mexican States that have made it to the orange, yellow, and green epidemiology lists. Aim for the yellow, and Green although orange ones can offer you plenty of fun too.
Hotspots to visit this summer in Mexico
1. Cancun and the Mayan Riviera
Blessed with sugar-white beaches and countless high-end resorts, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the island of Cozumel, and beyond compose a magnificent area along the eastern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s a must-see for international travelers.
2. Puerto Vallarta
Known as America’s social elite hotspot, Vallarta has become incredibly popular among expats looking for second homes in a sunny, warmer climate.
3. Cabo San Lucas
Featuring luxurious spas, golf courses, and beautiful beaches, Cabo San Lucas is one of the luxury hotspot destinations in Mexico. This does not mean that people traveling on a budget will not enjoy it. The city offers all types of activities from swimming to diving, snorkeling, and fishing.
Traveling in Mexico during Covid: Updates Archives
September 7 – Los Cabos, ranked as the safest destination in Mexico
San Lucas and San Jose are on track to become the new Cancun, with arrival numbers above 2019 levels and accounting for more than 8% of all air traffic in Mexico.
“The Capes” is very popular with Americans, as evidenced by the 22% increase in visits so far in 2022 compared to 2019.
The classification of Los Cabos, Cancun, and several other Mexican beach towns as Level 2 destinations only means visitors should proceed with caution.
August 23 – Undercover Police Officers Deployed To Tulum’s Hotel Zone
Quintana Roo authorities have sent undercover police officers to the Tulum Hotel Zone following an upsurge in violence in the area in recent weeks.
Oscar Montes de Oca Rosales, the attorney general of Quintana Roo, has indicated that the undercover police officers are intended to help restore peace in the city.
The decision to increase police presence in the Tulum hotel zone was made a week ago during a closed-door meeting between three levels of the state government and the armed forces.
On Aug. 12, four dead bodies were discovered in the hotel zone, prompting the actions. Five people were arrested as suspects in the murders.
August 11 – Tourists were traumatized after seeing a man shot in the face in Costa Mujeres
A man was tragically shot on a beach at the Riu Dunamar resort. Some tourists were shocked to witness such an event, but no one else was injured.
It is not known what caused the incident or why the shooting occurred. The identity or other specific information is also unknown. The horrific incident occurred on Costa Mujeres beach, a small piece of land with beautiful sandy beaches north of downtown Cancun.
“It was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime but it turned into absolute hell. I’ve now got a 14-year-old boy who is struggling to sleep because he’s still so terrified that it could’ve been him or us that got shot,” said Tracey Campbell one of the witnesses.
July 29: Shooting in Playa del Carmen
On Monday morning, a gunshot occurred on Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen.
According to reports from the Solidaridad municipal police, the shots were fired between Calle 1 and Calle 14, on the famous Fifth Avenue. The first three people were reported injured but they are currently stable.
Following the report, the security authorities arrested seven Mexican individuals, and seized three firearms and 31 small bags of marijuana, according to the Secretary of Security of the municipality of Solidaridad, where the famous tourist center is located.
June/July – Safety update: Two Canadians found dead in Playa de Carmen
Some days ago, prosecutors and police said the remains of two Canadians were found in an apartment in the Mexican resort town of Playa del Carmen, with their necks slashed.
According to the prosecutor’s office, a security guard at the tourist apartment complex in the city center was also injured.
Investigators found an identification card of the male victim with three different names in the apartment where the remains were discovered. Authorities further stated that the person was wanted worldwide for fraud.
Investigators have not yet determined if the victims were long-term residents or visitors, although they are believed to have been in the area for several months.
March – Violence continues on the rise on Cancun resorts
Armed marines patrol Cancun’s beaches to safeguard local business owners, their establishments, and tourists from organized crime and rising violence.
Robert Almonte, a retired deputy chief of the El Paso Police Department and former U.S. marshal for the Western District of Texas who is an expert on Mexican drug cartels, said that tourist resorts in Cancun are currently a war zone.
Almonte does not believe that visitors would be targeted directly, but he is concerned that they may become collateral damage.
“The cartels are not very careful about how they kill,” he said. “They just go in and spray bullets and if an innocent person gets killed, that’s collateral damage and the cartels don’t lose sleep over that.”
February 2 – Current COVID-19 restrictions by state
Mexico has updated its epidemiological traffic light system.
Aguascalientes is now the only “red” state, which means that hotels can only accommodate visitors who are engaged in “critical activities.”
Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Coahuila, Quintana Roo and Nuevo Leon are now “orange,” Meaning that entering indoor venues will be restricted.
Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Estado de México, Morelos, Yucatán and Mexico City are also “yellow,” meaning hotels, bars, and restaurants must operate at reduced capacity.
The rest of the states are “green,” so all activities are permitted.
January 15 – 3 Mexican hotspots to require vaccines or test to enter restaurants, bars, and clubs
As of yesterday, January 14, Jalisco restaurants, bars, clubs, concert halls, and other venues require their customers to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.
Two other Mexican regions followed the suit, including Tlaxcala and Baja California. However, in the State of Baja California, the proof of vaccination is rather a recommendation than a requirement.
For more information, check our full article on the topic here.
November 3 – U.S.-Mexican borders to reopen on November 8
December 9 – Mexico City administers first COVID-19 booster shots
On Tuesday, December 7, the first COVID-19 booster shots became available for residents aged 60 and over in Mexico City. They are AstraZeneca doses and are first administered to residents of the southern Tlalpan neighborhood.
To become eligible, patients must have completed their vaccination at least six months ago regardless of the vaccine makers.
Apart from the capital city, booster shots also rolled out in Jalisco, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, and Yucatán.