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 is a shame, because this beautiful country is often associated with crime, while in reality that is not so much the case. Mexico is no less safe than any other country and we thought it was a very safe country to travel through. We have been lucky enough to travel through this beautiful country for seven weeks and have never felt unsafe. Of course you shouldn’t go looking for the danger. Because this country, like any other country, has a form of crime. Below you will find an overview of what is safe and what is not. We hope it can help you while traveling.
Narcos and drugs
Mexico has a very bad reputation for cartels and drugs. The series Narcos Mexico on Netflix is of course based on something. This reputation is true. Only as a tourist in Mexico you hardly notice anything of these gangs and the drugs problem. Current drug cartels fight this “war” among themselves and as a tourist you have little to do with it. Did you know that in Antwerp there is also a “war” going on between drug gangs? As an outsider you hardly notice it and that is the same in Mexico. So if you are not involved in some drug cartel, or if you do not intend to be involved with drugs while traveling, then you should not worry about your safety. Even if a seller on the street appeals to you to buy drugs (which can occasionally happen), you will not get in trouble if you kindly decline.
the border with America
The border with America is also a very notorious place that many describe as dangerous to life. And while this is certainly not the safest place in Mexico, it is not as dangerous as said. Do you have the right papers to cross the border as a tourist? Then the crossing to the other side is easy. This crossing is even done legally by 350 million people every year. And they are certainly not all in mortal danger. However, because crossing the border by car does not have any added value in our opinion, taking an airplane seems to us to be an easier and safer choice.
Transport in Mexico
It is clear that Mexico is a safe country to travel to. But which means of transport is the safest? We can also say that almost every form of transport in Mexico is safe. We have used just about every form of transportation in Mexico and have never once felt unsafe. From the tourist buses to the public buses and taxis. The safest form of transport is to drive the car yourself. Although being in traffic in Mexico may be safer than taking the local bus with a driver who knows the traffic well. If you opt for a taxi, make sure it is a licensed taxi driver. Do not just get in with every self-proclaimed taxi, but choose a recognizable vehicle of which you see several driving.
What is best to avoid?
As we said earlier, you shouldn’t go looking for the danger in Mexico. As in any country, there are unsafe situations to avoid. This way you better go out with two or in a group and you travel as much as possible during the day and not after sunset. It is better to avoid remote places in, for example, large cities, as well as the slums! Although you hardly encounter these neighborhoods in the tourist areas. A golden tip for those who would be robbed: hand over your belongings and try not to be heroic. In poorer countries there is a 90% chance that robbers only want your belongings. They are not after violence, so try to avoid this. You should also keep your wallet and passport in a different place. So you still have your documents when your wallet is stolen. This is a rule that you can apply in any country!
IS MEXICO SAFE TO TRAVEL? Our View
As you will suspect after reading this message, we think Mexico is a very safe country as a tourist. We stayed 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 neighborhoods in the major cities are also monitored 24/7. Of course there is crime and we don’t ignore it. But this crime, which hits the tourist, can be found in every major city or tourist region. This mainly concerns theft or fraud. In America, for example, we have seen crime on a completely different level. For example, they copied our credit card and tried to steal money. Something they are less concerned with in Mexico.
MEXICO SAFE TO TRAVEL – Extra control
Of course, due to sudden events such as an earthquake or a virus like the corona virus, it may be that Mexico is not safe to travel to. That is why it is always a good idea to consult the Foreign Affairs website. If you 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 need it.