Is Mexico safe to travel?
We are often asked whether Mexico is safe to travel. This question usually comes from people who hear negative things about the country in the media. And that’s a shame, because this beautiful country is often associated with crime when, in reality, this is not very common. Mexico is not unsafer than any other country and we think it’s a very safe country to travel through. We were lucky enough to travel through this beautiful country for seven weeks and never felt unsafe. Of course, you should not go looking for danger. Because this country, like any other, has crime and unsafe places. Below is an overview of what is safe and what is not. We hope it can help you while travelling.
Narcos and drugs
Mexico has a very bad reputation when it comes to cartels and drugs. The Narcos Mexico series on Netflix is, of course, based on something. This reputation is partly true. However, as a tourist in Mexico, you notice almost nothing of these gangs and the drug problem. Current drug cartels are fighting this “war” among themselves and as a tourist you have little to do with it. Did you know that in Antwerp (Belgium), for example, there is also a “war” going on between drug gangs? As an outsider, you notice little of it and it is the same in Mexico. So if you are not involved in any kind of drug cartel, or do not intend to deal with drugs while travelling, then you should not worry about your safety. Even if a salesman on the street approaches you to buy drugs (which can happen from time to time) you will not get into trouble if you politely refuse.
The border with America
The border with America is also a very notorious place, described by many as life-threatening. And while this is certainly not the safest place in Mexico, it is also not as dangerous as stated. Do you have the right papers to cross the border as a tourist? Then the crossing to the other side is quiet. In fact, 350 million people cross over legally every year. And they are certainly not all in danger. But since we don’t think crossing the border by car has any added value, taking a plane seems to be an easier and safer choice.
Transportation in Mexico
It is obvious that Mexico is a safe country to travel to. But which ways of transportation is the safest? Again, we can say that almost every way of transport in Mexico is safe. We tried almost every possible way of transport in Mexico and have not felt unsafe once. From the tourist buses to the public buses and taxis. The safest way of transport is to drive a car yourself. However, navigating the traffic in Mexico may be more dangerous than taking the local bus with a driver who knows the traffic well. If you choose to take a taxi, make sure it is a licensed taxi driver. Don’t just hop into any self-proclaimed taxi, but choose a recognisable vehicle of which you see several driving.
What is best to avoid?
As we said earlier, you should not go looking for danger in Mexico. As in every country, there are unsafe situations to avoid. It is better to travel in pairs or as a group and to travel during the day and not after sunset as much as possible. It is better to avoid remote places such as in big cities and the slums! However, you will hardly find these districts in the tourist areas. A golden tip for anyone who does get robbed: hand over your belongings and don’t try to be heroic. In poorer countries, there is a 90% chance that robbers only want your possessions. They are not looking for violence, so try to avoid it. It is also best to keep your wallet and passport in different places. So you still have your documents if your wallet gets stolen. This is a rule that can be applied in any country!
IS MEXICO SAFE TO TRAVEL?
As you may have guessed after reading this post, we consider Mexico to be a very safe country for tourists. We stayed there for seven weeks in different regions and accommodations so this opinion is based on knowledge of the country. Most tourist regions are also secured and the middle-class neighbourhoods in the big cities are also guarded 24/7. Of course there is crime and we do not ignore it. But crime, which affects the tourists, can be found in any large city or tourist region. These are mainly theft or fraud. In America, for example, we have seen crime on a completely different level. They copied our credit card and tried to steal money. Something they are less concerned with in Mexico.
MEXICO SAFE TO TRAVEL - extra check
Of course, due to sudden events such as an earthquake or a virus like the coronavirus, Mexico may not be safe to travel to. And that is why it is always a good idea to consult the website of Foreign Affairs. If you do have a problem in Mexico, you can also consult this website to find the details of the embassy in Mexico. Keep this information because you never know when you might need it.