Mexico is an impressive, world-known country in North America, located between the United States of America to the north, and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast. It proudly boasts extensive coastline stretching along more than 10,000km, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
You probably aren’t wondering what there is to see and do in Mexico, as this such a specific country, brimming with exciting options and adventure, but just to give you a little glimpse: enjoy Mexico’s mild, pleasant and warm weather, food unmatched anywhere in the world, culture, art, pyramids, museums, haciendas, fantastic nature and even better architecture and 21st century cities, and you won’t want to go back home. You can take a deep breath surrounded by its unique nature, from snowy mountains in the Sierras, to wet jungles in the Southeast and desert in the Northwest. As for entertainment, count on golf courses, numerous fishing opportunities, and world-class destinations like Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, and Mazatlan.
Warnings & Dangers in Mexico
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Mexico is a large country, with some parts very safe for tourists, and others very dangerous. Just in case, you should apply all possible precaution measures, to minimize the chances of anything going wrong.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
If you choose to get into public transport, you should be very careful as this is one of the primary places where pickpockets operate. You should always try to call your reliable taxi driver (or an Uber) instead of hailing one on the streets.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpocketing and bag snatching is a very common issue in Mexico, especially in public and crowded places like bus and train stations and airports. Keep your belongings by your side at all times and try to leave all your valuables in a security deposit box of your hotel.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
As for natural disasters, the biggest risk for tourists lurk at the beaches of the Pacific Ocean as there have been reports of swimmers drowning. Other, mostly meteorological natural hazards have been known to hit Mexico, so monitor the news and the authorities' advice regularly.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Muggings and kidnappings have been known to happen in Mexico, but they aren't very common occurrences. In some states up in the north, the risk of this happening may be higher.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There haven't been any terrorist attacks in Mexico's recent history, but they shouldn't be ruled out. Remain vigilant at all times and aware of your surroundings.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
The larger cities are filled with people trying to trick you and scam you into paying them, and since this is a top tourist destination, the chances are all the higher. You should be very vigilant, decline all drinks sent by strangers, double check all information and negotiate everything in advance. Be wary of people trying to distract you as it may be scheme to try and steal from you.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Many women have traveled safely to Mexico, without having any problems. However, many women will have a problem with being cat-called on the streets, while they might find whistles and comments directed at them offensive. Avoid parts of cities that are filled with bars and clubs, and visiting them alone, since there is a higher chance of running into intoxicated people.
So... How Safe Is Mexico Really?
Safety in Mexico largely depends on particular areas. Those close to “el centro” are far safer for evening walks, especially on the “Plaza”, “Zocalo” or “Jardin”, which is the main square and areas surrounding it. However, tourists are advised to stay in populated areas, avoid poor neighborhoods, and if they do visit them, not to go out at night. There have been reports of vicious beatings at resorts by people who have traveled alone.
Another issue when it comes to crime in Mexico, is violence related to drug cartels, which has been on the rise ever since. In turn, political violence in Chiapas and Oaxaca has decreased in recent years, and isn’t nearly as big of a threat as drug related crime. But you should still keep in mind that Mexican authorities strongly dislike foreigners participating in any kinds of demonstrations or voice support for groups such as the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional and its leader, Subcomandante Marcos.
You may be surprised to see so many beggars in most areas. They are usually not a threat, but they are very common, especially in urban areas of Mexico. Most poor people in Mexico, however, opt for selling worthless trinkets or provide some kinds of services rather than beg for money. Just avoid being surrounded by them as they have been known to steal.
- Visas - Legally entering Mexico is fairly easy: all nationals receive a traveler's permit upon entering Mexico, and it costs 15 USD, while there are still some countries do need to acquire a visa. . If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - The Mexican peso is the official currency in Mexico. ATMs are widespread throughout the country, and while credit cards are accepted in most top end hotels, restaurants and stores, Mexico is considered largely a cash economy.
- Weather - Mexico's climate varies greatly depending on the particular region. Along the coast (applying to both sides of the country) it is hot and wet, unbearably so in the summer. However, at middle parts of the country that are at higher elevations such as Guadalajara, particularly those close-by Lake Chapala, are much dryer and more temperate.
- Airports - Mexico City International Airport is an international airport serving Greater Mexico City, while at the same time it is Mexico's and Latin America's busiest airport. It is located around 5 km east from Downtown Mexico City.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Mexico, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.