YES! Mexico is Safe for Travel, in my experience. If you’ve known us for a while, you know that I have a big spot in my heart for Mexico. We’ve always experienced Mexico as safe for travel in resorts, on the highways, in the villages and in the cities.
We’ve just returned from our annual jaunt to Mexico, this time we travelled to Mazatlán, Mexico. Yes, the city that, according to Canadian Media, is exactly NOT safe for travel.
Mazatlán is hanging heavy in the wake of the horrific attack on Sheila Nabb at an upscale resort, the RIU this past January. My heart aches for this woman, her family and the rumours swirling around about the events of that fateful night. TheStar.com has written extensively about the mystery behind the attack.
My experience is, however, that tourists are no more at risk in Mexico than any other country, or even their own city. Whether at home, or traveling abroad, we always use common sense, yes?
Each time we travel to Mexico, people say to us – “Are you CRAZY? Mexico isn’t SAFE!” or “But you won’t leave the resort, right? What if something happens to you, or your kids?!?”
Bad things happen everywhere. God forbid bad things happen to us, or anyone, anywhere, but they do. Taking precautions and making smart choices, we feel completely safe to explore the beautiful beaches, culture and incredibly kind people of Mexico.
Yes, we’ve heard that there has been an increase in violence related to drugs and gangs in Mazatlán. Certainly, the masked military with their hefty machine guns everywhere indicated they needed to bring that type of presence to keep the city safe. We always took these precautions when venturing away from our humble abode:
- I don’t wear my diamond wedding ring while in Mexico, just a simple band. No flashy jewelry.
- Don’t flash your pesos around while bartering or shopping. Keep your money hidden and spread around in different locations. Stay alert when accessing ATMs and only withdraw minimum amounts at a time.
- Don’t travel alone, stay together as a group and keep your kids close.
- Let others know where you are and when you will be back.
- Limit your partying. Sure, vacations are all about the party, but stay smart.
- Stick to the crowds, the tourist zone is always safest. Especially at night. However, always exercise caution against pickpockets bumping into you and swiping your goods!
Well, we did veer off the path one day to explore the hidden treasures in Centro (or Old Town). We broke every rule sauntering through the streets with my camera flung across my shoulder paying little more attention to anything than the windows begging me to take their photos. We felt entirely safe here, away from tourists immersed in the warm Mexican community where everyone smiles and welcomes you into their world.
Mexico is certainly safe for travel. But like everything, exercise common sense and caution.