Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico?
Recently there have been several news reports on crime in Mexico, including areas around the tourist hotspots like Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Cabo San Lucas. Is this fake news? Is it safe to travel to Mexico? What are the facts? Let’s set the record straight and get to the truth.
A recent article published last week erroneously reported an increase in Travel Warnings, which was false. There are currently no travel warnings for the State of Quintana Roo which include major tourist destinations including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya.
Is it really as bad as they say it is?
Many of the news articles will lead you to envision rampant crime across Mexico, and this is far from the truth! While crime does exist in Mexico, it mostly occurs away from the tourist zones. Areas such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cabo San Lucas rely heavily on tourist dollars to support their economies, and measures are in place to protect that income.
Many articles will reference Cancun in their new reports when a crime occurs in the state of Quintana Roo, since Cancun is located within that state. However, the event is likely to have taken place far from the tourist zones. Quintana Roo is over 13,000 square miles, meaning a crime could occur 50 miles away from the tourist area and could be reported as “near Cancun”. This is akin to a crime occurring in Downtown and being reported as near your home when you live out in the suburbs. So be mindful of how these articles word their sentences – look deep into these stories for facts and don’t fall for the headlines.
A recent article published last week erroneously reported an increase in Travel Warnings for Quintana Roo, which was false. There are currently no travel warnings for the State of Quintana Roo which include major tourist destinations including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya.
What is the crime really like?
Let’s face it – crime occurs every where. From petty theft to violent felonies, we must take precautions to protect ourselves whether we are at home or traveling. Let’s look at a few cities you may feel are safe to visit compared to Cancun or Cabo San Lucas. According to Numbeo, the Current Crime index ranks Cancun at 144. Here are a few tourist destinations that have a higher crime rate than Cancun:
- #32 – New Orleans, Louisiana
- #60 – Houston, Texas
- #69 – Washington, DC
- #76 – Las Vegas, Nevada
- #83 – Orlando, Florida
- #84 – Rome, Italy
- #98 – Miami, Florida
Notice Orlando, Florida is on the list – ranking higher than Cancun! Orlando has many visitors to the numerous theme parks there every year.
Note: These rankings are current as of Aug 27, 2018 and may change on a daily basis.
So How Can I Find the Truth about Travel to Mexico?
First – check the travel advisories for your destinations. This holds true for anywhere – whether it’s Mexico, Italy, or Florida. You may view this information at the US State Department Website by searching for the country you wish to visit. When viewing specific information on Mexico, we see that a level 2 warning is in effect, meaning “Exercise Increase Caution”. This also happens to be the same warning for most of Europe.
Next – Contact your Travel agent. We will review the travel advisories with you, and address all of your concerns for each destination you wish to visit.
What Does This All Mean?
What we’re saying is – Travel Smart. Don’t put yourself in a risky situation. Would you wander off alone at night through unknown areas in your home city? Of course not! But many travelers think they are invincible because they are on vacation and put themselves at unnecessary risk.
Here are just a few tips to help you stay safe when traveling anywhere:
- Don’t draw attention with drunk behavior or flashy jewelry.
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Acknowledge other people as you pass by with a nod or smile.
- Chat with the locals in the area. They have insider information and tips.