Mexico is an extremely popular tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches, rich culture, delicious food, amazing adventure activities, and fascinating historic sites. Each year thousands of people visit Mexico safely and have a fantastic time.
If you want to visit this vibrant country, you may be wondering, is Mexico safe to visit right now? In this article we’ll tell you all you need to know about visiting Mexico safely, including whether top tourist destinations like Cancun and Mexico City are safe to visit.
Is Mexico safe to visit?
Most parts of Mexico are considered safe for tourists, but there are areas to avoid. If you’re planning a trip here, you’ll want to check the US Sate Department’s website to see what travel advisories are posted for Mexico.
While crimes do occur in Mexico, it’s important to note that these types of crimes happen in most large U.S. cities as well. Although the State Department website says that violent crime such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery is widespread and common in Mexico, these tend to happen in specific areas away from tourist spots and it’s easy to avoid the most dangerous areas.
Most of the states in Mexico are considered safe to visit, with a level 1 (exercise normal precautions) or level 2 (exercise increased caution) designation. However, there are some states that are level 3 (reconsider traveling there: Baja California, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Morelos, Sonora) or level 4 (do not travel to: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas).
Most of the popular tourist destinations are considered safe for travellers. As you would in any foreign country, make sure to follow the usual common sense guidelines.
Mexico Safety Precautions
Research your destination before you go. Just like at home, in every town there will be areas that are safer and areas that should be avoided.
Before arriving in Mexico, plan and book your transportation to and from your resort or hotel. The safest option is to contact your host and ask for a shuttle. Hotels and resorts often offer free shuttle service from the airport. If yours doesn’t, ask what service they recommend.
Pay attention while in the airport, as these are a hot spot for pickpocketing and scams. Don’t accept rides or offers of help from strangers, and watch your bags at all times.
Keep your phone charged and share your location with family or friends. A benefit of traveling to Mexico is that most data plans will work. This means you can use Google Maps or Google Translate to navigate the area, stay in contact with friends and family, and contact authorities in an emergency.
When you head off the resort, try to travel in groups of at least two; stick to well-populated, touristy areas; don’t wear flashy jewelry or expensive clothing items; don’t carry a lot of cash; and pay attention to your surroundings. Be very careful when using ATMs. Trust your instincts and immediately leave an area or situation if it feels off.
At night, don’t walk alone; stay in well-lit areas; be careful going to local bars or nightclubs and don’t overindulge in alcohol; don’t accept drinks from strangers; and keep your eyes on your drink at all times. Take legitimate taxis or Ubers to and from your hotel, and make sure someone knows where you are going.
The State Department recommends that you never hail taxis in the street, but only use ones that are dispatched via phone or a ride-sharing app like Uber. You can be sure by asking your hotel to book your taxi. Avoid accepting rides from strangers or getting in unmarked taxis. If in the taxi alone, take a picture of the taxi number and/or license plate and send it to a friend.
If you are renting a car, travel during the daytime. The State Department recommends not traveling between cities after dark, and not driving to or from the U.S.-Mexico border and the interior of the country. If you have to travel at night, use a tour company, private car, or shuttle service.
Keep anyone you’re traveling with and someone back home informed of all your travel plans. You can also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive alerts from the State Department and make it easy to find you in case of emergency.
To safeguard your health, avoid drinking tap water. Be sure to drink bottled water at all times (avoid ice or make sure it’s made with filtered water!). You’ll also want to keep your mouth closed in the shower and use bottled water for brushing your teeth.
Don’t eat raw foods that would usually be washed in tap water like fruits and vegetables unless you can peel them, or they are cooked. Avoid salads.
Also, stick to reputable restaurants and avoid buffets to prevent food poisoning. It’s a good idea to ask at your hotel for recommendations of where to eat. If you want to try the local street food such as tacos, tortas, or elotes, look for vendors with a long line of locals. Not only is this a sign that the food is safe to eat, but it will also likely be delicious.
Check the CDC website for any vaccinations that are recommended before your trip. You may want to make sure you are updated on tetanus and Hepatitis A and B. Bring any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you need with you. Also bring bug spray to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses.
Is Mexico safe for solo female travellers?
In general, yes, Mexico is safe for solo female travellers. Women will just want to be as careful and aware as they would when traveling anywhere else alone. Follow the usual safety precautions and be extra vigilant when out at night.
Research your destination and make sure it’s considered a safe one for tourists, then pick a secure place to stay. As recommended above, book your transportation from the airport in advance, and try to arrive during the day rather than at night.
Ask at your hotel about any local areas that you should avoid, and get them to call taxis for you or use Uber. Try not to dress like a tourist or draw attention to yourself with expensive jewelry or accessories like cameras.
Consider doing group tours to visit places you want to go, especially if they are off the beaten path. And it’s always a good idea to avoid telling strangers that you are traveling alone, where you are staying, or what your plans are.
Also, make sure you know some basic Spanish so that you’re able to navigate around without needing to ask for help. If you do need help, look for a police officer or woman to ask.
How safe is Cancun right now?
Cancun is generally considered safe for tourists; in fact, it’s one of the safest parts of Mexico to visit. However, you should always check the U.S. government travel advisories before your trip to make sure nothing has changed.
Currently, the recommendation is to exercise normal precautions when traveling to the Yucatan State, but to exercise increased caution when traveling to the specific area of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located (along with other popular tourist spots like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Isla Mujeres).
During your visit to Cancun, you will also want to follow the usual safety guidelines we outlined above. Be especially vigilant when traveling outside your resort. According to the State Department, U.S. citizens have experienced both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist areas, and shootings between rival gangs have occasionally injured innocent bystanders.
Try not to be out late at night, stay in well-lit areas, and avoid buying drugs. Recently the government has increased security around tourist areas like the Hotel Zone and the airport, so if you take basic precautions you should have an uneventful trip.
In fact, the Hotel Zone is one of the safest parts of Cancun, so choose a hotel or resort here if you are concerned.
Is Cancun safe for a solo female traveller?
While Cancun is generally felt to be safe for solo female travellers, women will want to exercise even more caution. In addition to the usual safety guidelines, be sure not to go out alone at night, be very careful drinking alcohol, and consider joining tours or other travelers on any excursions outside the resort.
If heading out alone, use reputable transportation, share your plans with hotel staff and friends/family, and stay in well-populated areas.
Is Mexico City safe?
Mexico City is considered relatively safe for tourists, with the current US State Department travel advisory recommending to exercise increased caution when traveling there due to crime.
They recommend that you stay in the tourist areas, as police presence is highest there, but be careful after dark and protect against petty crime like pickpocketing.
Is Mexico Safe? Conclusion
Overall, Mexico is safe for tourists as long as you do your homework beforehand, follow safety precautions, and stay vigilant.
After reading this article, do you agree? Is Mexico safe for tourists? Let us know in the comments.