Is Mexico Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is Mexico Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Mexico is typically safe for travelers who exercise caution. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the crime landscape in Mexico varies significantly from one state to another.

Continue reading to learn which states are subject to an elevated travel advisory by the U.S. State Department.

The U.S. government’s warnings should not be disregarded because the high crime rates in these areas present a serious risk to public safety.

Luckily, these areas are not near major tourist destinations, so visitors will be mostly safe.

LATEST NEWS from Mexico:

March 1 – U.S. Mexico embassy issues alert on spring travel to the country

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico have released a travel alert for Americans planning to visit Mexico during spring break. The advisory, posted on Monday, highlights several potential safety concerns, including crime, for the popular destination.

“U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark.” 

Read on to find out what locations you are advised not to travel to. 

Areas to Avoid in Mexico  

These are the regions designated as level 4 by the U.S. State Department. This designation indicates that American citizens should avoid traveling to these areas due to the heightened risk of life-threatening dangers. The department advises that in the event of an emergency, the U.S. government may have minimal capacity to offer assistance.

(Level 4) – Do Not Travel To:

  • Colima state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Guerrero state due to crime.
  • Michoacan state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime and kidnapping
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
  • Zacatecas state due to crime and kidnapping.

U.S. Travel Advisory

The U.S. State Department advises citizens to be extra cautious. due to crime in the country. They inform us that Mexico is a country where both violent and nonviolent crimes happen.

The agency claims that in many parts of Mexico, the United States government’s capacity to offer emergency services to its citizens is restricted. (Read above, “Areas to Avoid in Mexico.”)  

Canada Travel Advisory

According to the Canadian government, citizens should exercise heightened caution in Mexico due to the elevated levels of criminal activity and incidents of kidnapping.

It also urged citizens not to travel to the following areas:

Avoid all travel to 


In cities and on highways, there is a risk of armed conflict, banditry, and looting.

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and Taxco are not included in this advisory, but in these areas, you should proceed with extreme caution.

Avoid non-essential travel

Due to high levels of organized crime and violence, avoid traveling to the following areas unless absolutely necessary:

  • “all Chihuahua
  • all Colima, except the city of Manzanillo
  • all Coahuila, except the southern part of the state at and below the Saltillo-Torreón highway corridor
  • all Durango, except Durango City
  • in Guanajuato
    • Highway 45 between León and Irapuato
    • the area south of and including Highway 45D between Irapuato and Celaya
  • all Michoacán, except the city of Morelia
  • in Morelos
    • the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas
    • the municipality of Xoxocotla
  • in Nayarit
    • the area within 20 km of the border with Sinaloa and Durango
    • the city of Tepic
  • all Nuevo León, except the city of Monterrey
  • all Sinaloa, except the city of Mazatlán
  • all Sonora, except the cities of Hermosillo and Guaymas/San Carlos and Puerto Peñasco
  • all Tamaulipas
  • all Zacatecas”

Common Scams

These are some of the most common scams you will encounter throughout Mexico. 

Counterfeit Alcohol: Certain establishments may attempt to sell you illegally produced alcohol, which can be hazardous. To mitigate this risk, ensure that your beverages are served from sealed bottles.

Tampered ATMs: Be cautious of ATMs located on the street, as they may have been tampered with to capture your banking information for fraudulent purposes. It is advisable to use ATMs situated inside reputable establishments such as malls or banks.

Bill Switching: Scammers may engage in bill switching, where they substitute genuine currency with counterfeit bills. Exercise vigilance by closely monitoring transactions involving your money.

Car Rental Frauds: Opt for well-established car rental companies to avoid being subjected to additional charges for insurance and other services upon returning the vehicle.

Impersonation by Fake Police Officers: Remain vigilant for individuals posing as law enforcement officers who demand payment for alleged infractions. This deception commonly occurs during traffic stops or on the street for minor offenses such as public urination. Politely request to handle any fines at the nearest police station.

Express Kidnappings: Exercise caution when utilizing taxi services, particularly those hailed from the street. Opt for arranging transportation through apps like Uber, as some drivers may engage in express kidnapping schemes where victims are forced to withdraw large sums of money from ATMs.

Timeshare Scams: Beware of timeshare representatives, often encountered at airports, who offer incentives in exchange for attending presentations where they pressure individuals to purchase timeshare packages. Firmly decline any offers if not interested.

Safety Tips for Mexico

Now that you have a grasp of the overall safety situation and common concerns, let’s delve into some crucial safety guidelines:

  • Avoid drawing unnecessary attention to your finances or business dealings to mitigate the risk of kidnapping and extortion.
  • Familiarize yourself with earthquake and hurricane safety protocols even before arriving in the country.
  • Steer clear of demonstrations and large public gatherings, as participation in political activities is prohibited for foreigners.
  • Refrain from traveling outside major cities at night.
  • Respect local dress codes and adhere to laws regarding the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
  • Store local emergency contact numbers in your phone; the general emergency number in Mexico is 911.
  • Stay informed about the latest travel advisories and local developments through reliable sources.
  • Obtain travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and loss of belongings.