If you’re considering a trip to Mexico in 2023, you may have some concerns about safety. With recent news of kidnapping and killings of medical tourists from the US, and conflict between taxi drivers and Uber drivers in Cancun, it’s understandable to feel apprehensive. However, it’s important to remember that Mexico is a massive country with both safe and dangerous places like any other. And majority of tourist destinations here are safe for travel.
Mexico Travel Advisories
The U.S. State Department separates Mexican states into four travel advisory levels. U.S. citizens are advised not to travel to six states, to reconsider travel to seven, and to exercise increased caution when traveling to another 17.
Only two states have the “exercise normal precautions” label. It’s worth noting that countries like The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Sweden and France all have “exercise increased caution when traveling” designations by the State Department, the same level of designation that the majority of Mexican states have.
If you’re still concerned about travel advisories, the states of Yucatán and Campeche on the Yucatán Peninsula have the lowest, level 1: exercise normal cautions designation by the State Department.
However, even in places like Cancún, where the Uber-Taxi union conflict occurred earlier this year, most of Mexico’s most popular destinations are safe for visitation.
Understand the Local Culture
Before you embark on your trip, do your research about the local culture. Mexico is a diverse country, and each region has its own unique traditions, customs, and social norms. For example, in some regions, it’s customary to greet people with a kiss on the cheek, while in others, a handshake is the preferred greeting. Avoid any unintentional cultural faux pas that could make you stand out as a tourist and potentially attract unwanted attention.
Stay in Safe Neighborhoods
When choosing accommodations, select a safe neighborhood. Some neighborhoods are known for their high crime rates, while others are considered safe for tourists. Research your options thoroughly and read reviews from other travelers before making your booking. Consider booking your accommodation with reputable providers like hotels, hostels or Airbnb.
Avoid Public Transportation at Night
It’s best to avoid taking public transport at night particularly buses. If you must travel at night, it’s best to use a taxi service or ridesharing app like Uber or Didi. Always make sure to use authorized taxis and check the license plate and driver’s photo on the app to verify that it matches the car and driver.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
One of the most important things you can do is to remain aware of your surroundings. Be vigilant when you’re out and about and keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Avoid carrying large sums of cash or expensive jewelry, and keep your passport and other important documents in a safe place.
Avoid Demonstrations and Protests
Demonstrations and protests can turn violent quickly. If you come across a demonstration, it’s best to stay away and avoid getting involved. It’s also important to monitor local news outlets for any reports of demonstrations or protests before you head out for the day.
Take Precautions at the Beach
Mexico has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Always swim at beaches with lifeguards present and obey any warning signs. Don’t drink alcohol excessively and keep an eye on your belongings. Avoid swimming alone and stay within designated swimming areas.
Here are more tips to travel safely in Mexico: