Travel Advisory for Mexico: A Comprehensive Guide
As travelers, we need reliable and up-to-date information to ensure our safety during trips. Recently, the U.S State Department issued travel advisories regarding security in certain parts of Mexico, following disturbing events involving American citizens. It’s a timely reminder of the importance of paying attention to travel guidelines, particularly for those considering a vacation in this beautiful and colorful country.
Mexico’s State-by-State Travel Guidelines
Like my family and I, many American expats and travelers pay close attention to the U.S State Department’s state-by-state travel guidelines in Mexico. Essentially, the safety level in different regions of Mexico varies, ranging from low-risk areas where normal precautions are advised, up to high-risk areas deemed so dangerous that traveling is strongly discouraged.
Level 4 Travel Alert in Tamulipas State
A recent, tragic incident involved the kidnapping and subsequent murder of four American tourists who were abducted at gunpoint in Mexico’s Tamulipas State. This led to a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory being issued for this area. It’s important to mention that such a high-level warning is comparable to those issued for countries like North Korea and Afghanistan.
Shockingly, Tamulipas is not the sole Mexican state under a level 4 advisory. Today, there are “Do Not Travel” warnings for six Mexican states. The situation requires that we, as potential travelers, should heed these advisories, understand their implications, and make informed decisions about our travel plans.
Implications for Popular Mexican Beach Destinations
Despite the alarming Level 4 advisories in some regions, Mexico remains a sought-after destination for its popular beach resorts. Notably, all states bar two in Mexico, with popular tourist spots such as Cabo San Lucas, Mexico City, and Cancun, have travel advisories in force.
Numerous distressing events, including multiple shootings near popular beaches, occurred in Cancun in 2021. This led to an increased security presence, characterized by the unusual sight of tourists in bathing suits amidst soldiers in body armor.
Yet, it’s crucial to note that Mexico’s popular tourist destinations are actually rated Level 2 by the State Department, akin to countries like France and the UK. This level implies that travelers should “exercise increased caution”, but not necessarily avoid these areas.
Millions Still Travel to Mexico Safely
Despite some troubling incidents, millions of Americans visit Mexico uneventfully year after year. In January 2023, passenger volume between the U.S and Mexico increased 24% compared to the same month in 2019, outpacing growth to any other international destination. This evidences Mexico’s continued popularity amongst traveling Americans.
Smart Travel Tips
Traveling to Mexico, like other destinations, should not be undertaken without due diligence. Here are some general tips:
1. Don’t travel with too much cash: consider using digital or card payments where possible.
2. Avoid areas where illegal activities may be prevalent, such as drug transactions.
In conclusion, Mexico’s appeal as a travel destination is undeniable. However, as responsible travelers, it’s essential to stay educated about the State Department’s travel advisories, act on them, and take precautions. Doing so ensures not only our enjoyment but our safety as well. Safe travels!
About the Author
Matt, based in Mexico City, is a travel writer and presenter on GMA’s Youtube channel. He shares his experiences to help inform fellow travelers about key factors to consider when planning their trips.