Monthly Archives: May 2011

In Perspective: Safety in the U.S. Versus Mexico

31 May 2011

There’s been a lot of news coverage about violence in Mexico, very little of it bothering to note that Mexico is a huge country with thirty-some states and that a) almost all of that violence is narco-related and b) you can count the number of tourists affected on one hand.

Here is another interesting article that provides needed context to violence statistics in Mexico, as well as compares safety statistics between Mexico and the U.S.  The official number of 111 U.S. citizens who were killed in Mexico last year may seem scary at first, but this was out of the almost 8 million U.S. citizens who visited Mexico last year.  In comparison, Boston, Las Vegas and Orlando also had 111 murders last year, and almost 1,000 U.S. citizens were killed in Puerto Rico (a country that gets far less press).  The statistic becomes eve more grounded once other facts are presented, namely, that a third of those 111 murders happened in just 2 cities and almost all of them were involved “in illicit vocations, usually the trafficking of guns, drugs, or people across the border.”

For more reasoning and statistics, read the full article here.

More Safe Mexico Destinations Than You Think

18 May 2011

There are more safe destinations in Mexico than you might think, according to USA Today’s Travel Column “Destinations.”   Lamenting Mexico’s bad press situation which makes tourists think they’re “guaranteed to get caught in drug cartel crossfire just about anywhere,” the USA Today article cites some of the recent recommendations sprouting up from various travel experts on where to travel to in Mexico.  There is the article on the 5 Safest Mexican states published by the San Francisco chronicle, which we cited on this blog.  Lonely Planet travel editor Robert Reid also published a list of the “8 Safest Tourist Haunts in Mexico.”  The list includes Merida, Playa del Carmen, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, and Puebla.  To read Reid’s full list, go here.  For the full USA Today article, go here.

CNN Travel on Why You Should Go To Mexico

11 May 2011

Robert Reid’s recent article for CNN Travel discusses Mexican tourism’s big PR problem – what we all know, the escalating drug war and gory media reports of violence.  He notes the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory’s recent expansion to 14 of Mexico’s 31 states doesn’t help matters either.  Yet, says Reid,

It’s in the 17 of 31 states not named in the newly expanded warnings that you’ll find the most rewarding destinations: the Yucatan Peninsula and Baja California beach resorts, colonial hill towns like the ex-pat haven of San Miguel de Allende, even the capital Mexico City.

Reid says, “We tend to lump all of Mexico – a country the size of Western Europe – together,” citing how a border incident involving the death of a Colorado tourist  in 2010 prompted the Texas Department of Homeland Security to issue a travel warning for all of Mexico.  The fact of the matter is that most of central and southern Mexico sees less violence than many U.S. cities, and residents remain miffed at the public’s fear of their quiet communities.

Offering “jungles, deserts, volcanoes, beaches, coral reefs, ancient pyramids, living pre-European cultures and some of the world’s most satisfying cuisines,” not to mention proximity and value, Mexico remains a great travel destination with a very bad PR problem.

Reid is a Lonely Planet U.S. Travel Editor and host of the 76-Second Travel Show.  You can read his full article at CNN Travel here.

Sunset Magazine’s 5 Best Mexican Escapes

10 May 2011

The colorful streets of San Miguel (Photo by Marco Antonio Torres)

Sunset Magazine recently published their list of the 5 best places to visit in Mexico, titled “5 (Safe) Mexican Escapes.”  Their list is as follows:

1. Puerto Vallarta/Sayulita:  Popular beach city, and a little north, another beautiful beach city popular with surfers and expats.

2. Mexico City: Mexico’s capital, and a world-class, metropolitan city.

3. Oaxaca: A colonial jewel full of museums and galleries, and close to archaeological sites.

4. Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo: Resort town with wide beaches, high rises, and golf galore.

5. San Miguel de Allende: A quaint but metropolitan town rich with culture, and popular with artists and expats.

Sunset also gave some good tips for staying safe wherever you travel in Mexico, including limiting driving to during the day and on highways, and renting a low-key model car.  Read the full article here.