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More Safe Mexico Destinations Than You Think

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.

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3 Comments to “More Safe Mexico Destinations Than You Think”

  1. Mexico City? Dangerous?? Are you kidding???

    My wife and I have just got back from a ten day visit to Mexico City (during April 2011) and I have to say that before we set off I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the trip. After all, it’s Mexico City, right? Everyone was telling me we were mad to go. And don’t get me started on all the horror stories in circulation on the internet.
    Well, I’m here to tell you that I don’t know what all the fuss is about. During our stay, we never felt in danger. Not once. Clearly, it’s a big city and, as in any big city, you have to be aware of your surroundings and not do anything stupid (such as staggering around drunk at 3am, flashing your wallet about in public or punching policemen), but on the whole it felt no more dangerous than Madrid, London or New York.
    Now, whenever I read an article like this one, where someone is telling me that a city with a bad reputation is OK, I always think “yes, but who is this guy? A 6 foot tall ex-marine trained in unarmed combat?” Well, I’m 6 foot, but more of the tall, thin, bookish, middle-aged variety than the lean, mean, ex-special forces variety. My wife is 5 foot 1 and Chinese. So our appearance and combat abilities were hardly a huge deterrent to any would be street criminals.
    Despite this, we travelled all over the city on foot, by metro (which was fine), bus and taxi, as well as taking excursions to Puebla and the pyramids at Teotihuacan on public, first class buses without any problems whatsoever. We also walked around Mexico City until 11pm with no problem, at least in the Alameda district, Plaza Garibaldi and Plaza de la Revolucion – I can’t vouch for other areas at that time of night. The whole time we were there, we found the Mexicans to be friendly in the extreme. They were also very honest – on a few occasions we offered too much money for drinks or food owing to my weak Spanish skills and each time the vendor pointed out our error and told us the correct price. They could easily have just taken the money and we would have been none the wiser.
    So my advice is, if you want to go to Mexico City, go – you’ll be fine. Just remember that Mexico City is a big city and, as in any big city, you need to be careful. I wouldn’t want my comments here to make anyone too relaxed about the city and thus run into trouble. Use radio taxis late at night. Don’t wave your wallet around in public places. Don’t wear expensive jewellery. Watch your pockets on the metro. And remember to enjoy yourself – Mexico City is one of the most impressive, friendly and interesting cities I’ve ever visited. And the food is delicious, too.

  2. Thanks for your comments Kev! Mexico City is a wonderful metropolitan city with many great attractions and tons of culture – it’s a shame for people to miss. As you said, with any big city you should exercise caution – that is standard travel advice all people should follow. But as a tourist, if you’re avoiding Mexico City because of violence elsewhere, you’re missing out.

  3. [...] More Safe Mexico Destinations Than You Think 18 May 2011 Comments (2) [...]

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