Anyone who reads newspapers, magazines, watches the news, will no doubt have heard at least one of a report of violence or danger in Mexico. This might put you off visiting this part of the world, however that would be a shame, because Mexico is a stunning country, with culture, cuisine, beautiful natural sights, ruins, and energetic night-life.
Like anywhere in the world today, there are good parts and there are bad parts, and the most important thing to remember is your instincts and your common sense. Simply stay away from areas that feel dangerous to you, and never wander off into rural or urban parts at all, especially not alone or during darkness.
Drug-related crime is huge news, and violent drug groups run rampant in parts of the country, however these are states that regular tourists will never visit. Cancun is the most popular tourist resort in the whole of Mexico and this is a generally safe part of the world, with millions of visitors enjoying a safe and memorable holiday year after year.
It’s always best to fly to your Mexican destination, to avoid having to cross borders that could cause problems for foreigners. Heed any travel advice prior to your departure, and never become involved in any way, shape or form with drugs, or those you believe to be under the influence, or involved with them. The Mexican authorities take a very strict view on drugs, and if caught penalties are severe, with up to 25 years imprisonment. A Mexican prison is not somewhere you want to visit.
If you are travelling to other parts of Mexico it is advised to avoid the northern states, especially the areas of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango etc, and to check up to date information before you go, and whilst you’re there. There are several other parts of the country which are best avoided. Stay away from highways during the hours of darkness, due to the risk of violence.
Keep out of politics
There have been several political demonstrations over recent months in Mexico City, and visitors should steer clear of anything remotely political. It is against Mexican law for foreigners to become involved in demonstrations, and could result in detainment and deportment. Not exactly the happy holiday you would have hoped for.
Listen to your gut
Like anywhere in the world, visiting Mexico will be a safe and happy experience provided you heed advice, keep your wits about you, and follow common sense. Always carry a photocopy of the photo page of your passport for ID, and be aware of pickpockets, and general street crime.
The major tourist parts of Mexico are fantastic places to experience, and there’s no reason tourist shouldn’t continue to do so for many years to come, with a little common sense applied.