Mexico Travel Guides - Dangerous Areas to Stay Away From

Mexico, a prime spot for those seeking sun, white sandy beaches, and dazzling water. A renowned resort destination for relaxation, rejuvenation, and a good cocktail or two. Mexico is one of the top ten most visited places in the world; each year, 23 million people flock to the Mexico of their dreams, and the vast majority come away rested, tanned, and happy. There is another side to Mexico (as there is to virtually every locale), though, that can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Knowing which areas to avoid is essential in helping you protect yourself and in enjoying the treasures of Mexico.

While crime can happen anywhere, there are typically low levels in resort areas such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta. It is often when people venture outside of these tourist-dense locales that they can fall victim to crime, including car-jacking, robbery, kidnapping, physical assaults, and drug-related crimes. Again, while safety is never guaranteed, no matter where you are, crime is generally more severe in the following areas:

Tijuana.
Sonora.
Nuevo Leon.
Northern Baja (California).
Durango.
San Luis Potosi.
Tamaulipas.
Chiapas.
Coahuila.
Guerrero.
Nayarit.
Sinaloa.
Ciudad Juarez.
Our bookends - Tijuana and Juarez - are especially notorious. Travelers should not venture into these areas unless absolutely necessary; your safety and well-being are the only things that are absolutely necessary.

What precautions, other than avoiding certain areas, can visitors take to remain safe? It is important to always use caution, even if you are relatively safe inside your resort.

Most crimes take place at night and on isolated roads. Take special care to avoid going into unfamiliar areas at night. If you must, stay on heavily used main roads.

Use toll roads whenever possible.

Keep your car doors locked.

Park in guarded, paid lots.

Do not use unregistered taxis. If you are not sure, ask your hotel or resort staff to call a cab for you.

Avoid political demonstrations, which can turn violent quickly.

Check the local news for word of such demonstrations or other acute dangers.

Leave your valuables at home, and don't flash a lot of money.

If someone approaches you to offer directions or assistance, be very wary. Unsolicited help is often not help at all.

If possible, avoid using SUVs or large campers. These are targeted by those involved with organized crime.

Be a tourist! Usually, we want to blend in with our surroundings and not be labeled a "tourist." In Mexico, kidnappings usually involve people with family in Mexico. Visitors are not as often a target, so it may pay to stick out a bit.

Check for travel advisories before your vacation starts and throughout your stay.
Millions of vacationers can attest to the beauty, serenity, and hospitality of Mexico. It is important, though, to recognize dangers, do whatever you can to avoid them, and have a fantastic stay.

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