Mexico Travel Advisory: Is it Safe To Travel to Mexico?

Disclaimer: This post is meant to help inform and answer questions but only you can make the decision as to whether travel is right for you. in no way is this post meant to make your decision as to whether or not to travel to Mexico. Please follow the given travel advisories and check to ensure that they haven’t changed since time of writing. This site is not liable for any negative experiences that you might encounter while traveling abroad.

The travel advisory for Mexico was recently updated on July 16, 2018. Generally speaking, the country of Mexico is marked as Level 2, which means “Exercise Increased Caution”.

For reference, there are four travel advisory levels. Every country is assigned a number (there are no 0s; every country is marked with 1-4):

  1. Exercise Normal Precaution
  2. Exercise Increased Caution
  3. Reconsider Travel
  4. DO NOT TRAVEL

However, before you hop the next flight – keep reading as the there are regions of Mexico that are marked as level 3 & even level 4, including some popular tourist destinations.

Regional Mexico Travel Advisories – Areas That You Should Not Travel To

Most importantly, the following states are currently scored as a level 4, which should not be visited due to crime:

  • Colima state
  • Guerrero state
  • Michoacán state
  • Sinaloa state
  • Tamaulipas state

For more detailed information about Mexican states and the reasons for the travel advisories, check out this page.

Popular Mexican Tourist Destinations & Travel Advisories

If you’re like me, you may not know which Mexican state your destination city resides in.  For that reason, I’ve included some of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations below along with their current travel advisories.

In no particular order, some of the most popular tourist destinations include:

  • Cancun: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Tulum: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Cabo San Lucas / Los Cabos: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Cozumel: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Cancun: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Playa Del Carmen: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Zihuatanejo: Level 4 – DO NOT TRAVEL Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Mexico City: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
    • Worth noting, Mexico City is a Level 2 area surrounded by Level 3 around certain edges of the city.
  • Oaxaca: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing Guanajuato: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Puebla: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Puerto Vallarta: Level 3 – Reconsider Travel Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Guadalajara: Level 3 – Reconsider Travel Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • San Miguel de Allende: Level 2 – Exercise Additional Caution Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Acupulco: Level 4 – DO NOT TRAVEL Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Monterrey: Level 3 – Reconsider Travel Travel Advisory at time of writing
  • Mazatlan: Level 4 – DO NOT TRAVEL Travel Advisory at time of writing

Mexico Travel Advisory Map

Below is a map, courtesy of the US Department of State that shows the travel advisories for all regions of Mexico. Remember the statuses above numbered from 1-4? To make things a little more complicated, there are some in-between statuses on the map. If you look at a map, you’ll see parts of countries marked with lines, this means that despite this areas’ 1-4 rating, that area contains higher security risks.

is it safe to travel to mexico

 

If you’d like to look at an interactive map, you can find it here.

Travel Advisories in Other Countries for Comparison

With a 1-4 scale, it can be a little bit difficult to try to quantify each level. For instance, a level 2 wouldn’t sound as scary on a scale of 1-10 but on a scale of 1-4, it can seem alarming. However, I’ve found that it can be helpful to take a look at other countries with the same rating can make the levels a little more relatable. For example:

  • Other level 2 areas include (but are not limited to): Belgium, France, Spain, Jamaica, and Germany
  • Other level 3 areas include (but are not limited to): Pakistan, Nicaragua, Russia, Lebanon and Nigeria
  • Other level 4 areas include (but are not limited to): Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

If you’re traveling to a Level 2 area with the intention of staying at a hotel or resort, you can check the ratings and reviews online. If it is a reputable resort and, especially, if it is an all-inclusive, then the hotel likely keeps close tabs on the people that are on the property. Put all valuables in your hotel safe – as is best practice, anyway – but the hotel grounds are typically considered safe. Travel between the hotel and the airport in daylight hours. Your hotel should be able to help you arrange transportation if you have any concerns.

The US Department of State also gives these tips for traveling to Mexico, should you decide to go:

  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

 

 

 

 

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