ViaHero · June 17, 2019
Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now? Yes! Like any large country, Mexico has safe areas and not-so-safe areas—but despite some common misconceptions, Mexico is absolutely safe to travel to. Get all the specifics here, including which areas of Mexico are safe, which you should skip, where you can drink the water, the best places to travel solo, and more.
Any questions? Talk directly to a Mexican local.
Aside from certain distinct regions, Mexico is safe for travel.
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.
So where in Mexico do you need to avoid?
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:
- Estado de Mexico
- Nuevo Leon
- San Luis Potosi
That may seem like a lot, but remember three things:
- Mexico is composed of 31 states—and only 5 of them have a “do not travel” advisory.
- Mexico is huge, and these areas are, geographically, very far away from each other.
- If almost none of these states sound familiar, it’s for a reason: travelers would almost never go to any of these places anyway!
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 places you’re probably traveling to are super safe.
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.
- Mexico City: It’s kind of a weird fact, but Mexico City has a lower homicide rate than Washington DC (sorry to you DC readers). Basically, Mexico City is packed with awesome places to visit, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t see them. From its awesome nightlife to its popular attractions, you’re as safe traveling to Mexico City as you would be traveling anywhere else.
- La Paz: La Paz has become a favorite due to its incredible beaches and active marine wildlife. Given how safe it is (it’s located in Baja California) and how advantageous Mexico's prices are for travelers, it’s not hard to understand why.
- Puerto Vallarta: We can almost guarantee you’ve scrolled past a picture of someone you know visiting Puerto Vallarta on Instagram. Located on the west coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta’s quaint beachside villages and top-notch beaches make it a popular Mexico's most popular places to visit.
- Riveria Maya: Generally, anywhere on the Yucatan Peninsula is great for traveling. The Yucatan as a whole actually has a lower homicide rate than New York.
Solo travel in Mexico is completely possible.
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).
- Make friends and avoid being a target. Wherever you’re traveling, it’s best to not look like a lone traveler.
- Learn some Spanish. Although about 93% of the Mexican population speaks English, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few essential words like “bathroom,” “please,” and “thank you.”
- Don’t walk alone at night. If you’re going to go out, use Uber when you’re ready to go home!
Pro tip: Want to feel a bit more secure in your travels through Mexico? Connect with a Mexican local. They’ll help plan your trip and make sure you’re completely prepared for… everything. Plus, they’re around with 24/7 phone support if you have any issues on your trip.
It’s easy to get around Mexico safely.
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 stop lights.
Don’t drink the water.
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.
Before you book your trip to Mexico, consider asking a local trip planner to help plan your trip. They’ll create a custom-made itinerary just for you and offer great advice and recommendations that only a local would know. Don’t travel blindly—make sure a local’s got your back. Questions? Just message us! And make sure to check out:
- Connect With a Local to Plan Your Trip
- 25 Places You Have to Visit in Mexico City
- The Mexico City Landmarks You Can’t Miss
- Do I Need a Visa to Visit Mexico City?
- Mexico City With A Travel Agency: Pros and Cons
- Contact Us