Spring break is around the corner, and the U.S. State Department is warning Americans against traveling to six Mexican states, citing the threat of violent crime and/or kidnapping, notably that related to drug cartel violence. But there’s good news: Experts with boots on the ground say, don’t generalize as travel to Mexico’s most popular tourism areas is still safe.
The State Department issued a “Do Not Travel” advisory for Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas states. Relatively few Americans travel to many of these states; however, Sinaloa is home to the coastal resort town of Mazatlan, which is among the most-visited destinations in Mexico.
“Violent crime—such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery—is widespread and common in Mexico,” according to the State Department.
The State Department also includes popular Baja California state on its list of eight Mexican states that travelers should “reconsider” traveling to, along with Morelos, home of the colonial city of Tepoztlan.
Travelers are also advised to “exercise caution” due to crime when visiting Quintana Roo, the state that includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel and is the top destination in Mexico for Americans.
Zachary Rabinor, founder and CEO of luxury travel company Journey Mexico, says he frequently fields questions about safety from Mexico-bound travelers.
“As it’s a large country and can’t be generalized, what we’ve done in response is put together a resource and very comprehensive map and state by state analysis of where there are no travel restrictions and where we continue to operate uninterrupted,” said Rabinor. “As a local tour operator, our staff of 50-plus (myself included) are all based here in Mexico, spread throughout the country, with our finger on the pulse and always monitoring news and situations.”
Travel to Mexico Continues to be Safe Option
Rabinor said that, with proper preparation and information, travel to and within Mexico continues to be a viable option.
“While there is no 100-percent guarantee of complete safety when traveling anywhere, even within the U.S. and Europe, working with a trusted and professional destination specialist minimizes risk and keeps travelers in the right places at the right time,” he said.