Looking for some travel safety advice on Mexico. What is the best advice source? Is anyone travelling there are the moment? If so, do you feel safe?
My girlfriend and I will be in Cancun and Tulum in May. It seems like everyone I mention it to tells me to be careful because of the rise in crime within the gang wars in Mexico. I was just there in 2004 camping on the beach and felt totally safe and had lots of fun. Has it really changed or is this just a bunch of alarmist garbage?
Everyone including my barber mentioned Baja as being the worst place to go right now. A friend said that locals in Baja were throwing threats at them saying they could have their heads for $100. When I say I'll be on the opposite end of the country the response is, "oh yeah, but there are Zapatistas and Maras in Chiapas". I searched around a little and found a recent Mexico travel warning issued by the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Plus, I found another blog of some expats in Cancun who mentioned seeing a lot more violence and even witnessed a robbery and then a kidnapping in front of their home. One person says it's all inter-gang related while another says it's happening to tourists.
We'll be in Cancun and Tulum for a few weeks in May. I'd love to hear from anyone who was there recently to tell me first hand if they had even a glance of any of this.
I wasn't really worried before but now I'm feeling just cautious enough to not want my girlfriend to bring her expensive DSLR. With all this in the back of my mind now, I'd feel better wandering around without an expensive looking camera. Plus, May being the rainy season, random downpours and super high humidity could be bad for a nice camera I would imagine. She's adamant that she's going to bring it. Am I being a worry-wart for not wanting her to or is it justified?
Hola. I'm on the Baja right now. Sigh. I find all the crazy alarmist stuff exhausting. Yes, sure there are criminals here and yes they do target tourists...its always been that way. Its Mexico. 80% of the people here are hard working, family oriented lovely people who go out of their way to be friendly and welcoming. But they are also very poor and they have to hussle to earn a living. Tourists sometimes get overzealous timeshare salemen mixed up with drug cartel men and freak out!! I can't blame the tourists, with all the US coverage regarding cartel and gang activities it has recently ramped up the warnings. Yes there is a war going on at the borders. But overall, Mexico is Mexico. You will find it as you did in 2004.
Planning your own safety has always been the of the upmost importance when travelling here. If you wear flashy jewelry, drive fancy cars, pull out wads of cash, and be overly obnoxious, then yes you will draw unwanted attention. You also have to think safety and be aware of your surroundings. I don't drive at night, I don't go looking to buy drugs or go to strip joints lol!, I make sure I know enough spanish to explain myself/situation, and I always make sure I'm around other people when I go somewhere isolated, say a beach, when camping, when walking in residental areas at night.
Oh and I thought I'd mention, May isn't really too bad yet for rain in Cancun. Anyways, that is my twobits. Exercise caution and your holiday will be great. Have a great time.
I travelled from east to west across the south of Mexico in November/December, spending 3 weeks in the Chiapas region and didn't encounter any problems. Chiapas is amazing and the Zapatistas cause interesting, the only problem being the way they fund it! You really shouldn't have any problems in the areas you're going; especially in Cancun, there are huge amounts of tourists with some really fancy camera equipment! (please go across to Isla Mujeres it is so much more relaxed and beautiful than Cancun, just a personal suggestion 😊 I wouldn't really suggest the night buses which are apparently the worst for crime, (a friend of mine had her bag rifled through while she slept and my bag in the hold was opened and searched at the police road blocks without my consent) but you shouldn't need to take one between Cancun and Tulum.
With Mexico, as with any country where the poor may try to make money out of tourists, just keep your eye on your things and your wits about you and you should be fine. If your girlfriend wants to take her camera; (because Mexico is stunning!) just make sure you have some good insurance to be on the safe side. My friend travelled with his beautiful Nikon and we didn't have any problems, even when we took night buses and collectivos.
Please don't worry too much; be safe and most importantly, have fun! Allie x
My brother tells me that you should never hail a cab in Mexico. Go to a hotel or place of business and call a cab. Make sure the cab has a license and that the picture on said license matches the person sitting in the driver's seat.