Generally, Mexico is a safe place to travel. The country is artsy, colorful, and full of incredible eats. With some local help, we put together this guide to safety in Mexico.
For everything from safety tips to restaurant recommendations, work with a local to plan your trip. They'll introduce you to a side of Mexico that most tourists miss. Learn more.
When will Mexico be safe for travel? Here's the latest:
June 17th: The border between Mexico and the United States is closed. Currently, the closure is expected to last until July 21st.
Eventually, Mexico plans to reopen domestic travel, then travel from the United States and Canada, and finally, the rest of the world.
However, despite the border closure, some areas of Mexico—like Cancun—have opened to tourists.
For reference: the US State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico lists the country as a “Level 2 Risk”—the same level given to Spain and France. Would you feel safe going to France? Then you should probably feel safe going to Mexico.
So why does Mexico seem so dangerous in the news? Because of the ongoing drug war (which is seriously no joke). However, this is very localized to a few specific regions.
Specifically, there are 5 Mexican states that you really need to avoid, and which are listed by the US State Department as a Level 4 risk. They are:
Additionally, there are several Mexican states that are listed as a Level 3 risk (the same risk level given to Istanbul, for reference). These states are:
That may seem like a lot, but remember three things:
These areas are all far away from where most travelers visit. Essentially any part of Mexico that isn’t listed above hasn’t seen anywhere near the same level of crime. In fact, the State Department’s Mexico City travel advisory remarks that the area is even safer than the country as a whole.
Like any large country, there’s going to be trouble areas and areas you want to avoid, just like the United States. In 2017, Mexico was the sixth most visited country in the world and had the fifteenth highest income earned from tourism in the world. In simpler terms: Mexico is poppin’.
The odds of you traveling to a dangerous area are slim to none—to prove it, here’s the safety 411 on some of Mexico City’s popular travel areas.
If you’re you’re alert and use common sense, solo travel in places like Mexico City can be super safe and super rewarding. With that said, here are a few Mexico travel tips you should follow (the article is written for Mexico City specifically, but the ideas apply to the country as a whole).
For the most part, car services like Uber or Lyft are available in most of Mexico’s must-see spots. If Uber or Lyft isn’t available, find a number for a car service.
It’s better to call for a cab instead of hailing one because, again, everyone will know you’re traveling which makes you vulnerable. This goes for any city. Additionally, you should keep your doors and windows closed/locked to avoid problems at stoplights.
Although the water is purified at the source, Mexico’s distribution isn’t the best and may allow water contamination. We can almost guarantee, though, that whatever place you’re staying in Mexico has clean or bottled water available for you. It’s not really that much of a big deal since there are so many other options for water.
For more on travel to Mexico: