Posts Tagged destinations

Top 10 Tourism Destinations in Mexico

10 April 2012

As Never Stop Traveling reports, Mexico continues to be one of the most popular destinations for American tourists, boasting sandy resorts and culturally rich travel experiences.

The article encourages travelers to exercise common sense safety precautions, as they would in any other foreign country, while enjoying all that Mexico has to offer via the Mexico Tourism Board’s top 10 tourism destinations in Mexico.  These destinations include:

-The sun, sand and waters of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres

-The lively art, culture and shopping that Mexico City has to offer

-The upscale restaurants and panoramic views of Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit

-The spas, eco-tourism, and year-round, impeccable weather of Baja California Sur: Los Cabos and La Paz

-The music and agave fields of Guadalajara and Tequila in Jalisco

-The charm and world-class golf courses of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

-The art, history, museums and culture of Central Mexico: Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato City

-The archaeological sites and Mayan culture of the Yucatan: Merida, Uxmal and Chichen Itza

-The natural beauty and breathtaking scenery of Copper Canyon

-The open-air markets and handmade crafts of Chiapas: San Cristobal de las Casas

To read the full article and destination descriptions, go here.

A Family Road Trip to Mexico Dispels Myths About Danger

6 April 2012

Rachel Denning shares her recent experiences on a family road trip through Mexico, for the popular BootsnAll Indie Travel Guide.

Denning and her family of 7, including her kids (whose ages range from 4 to 2 months), crossed the border from Arizona into Chihuahua, and passed through Durango, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and most of the Yucatan Peninsula before crossing into Belize.

What they experienced was a Mexico far from the “lawless,” “violent,” and “dangerous” Mexico they had been sufficiently warned about.  What they discovered instead was a Mexico “so far from the rumors, news reports, warnings and ‘common knowledge’ that it was almost comical, if it wasn’t so sadly incorrect.”

Says Denning,

“Yes, there are people being killed in Mexico. Yes, there is a drug war going on. Yes, regular precautions should be taken, just as you would if you were taking a trip to the United States for the first time. You probably wouldn’t pick a known gang neighborhood in L.A. as the place you would spend your time.  The same logic applies for visiting Mexico. For the most part, the urban legends  just aren’t true, and if you avoid the “bad parts of town,” the result will be a rich, rewarding experience.”

In her article, she dispels 4 common myths about Mexico.  Those myths include:

-“Because of the drug war, all of Mexico is unsafe”

-“Tourists are being targeted and killed, even in the “safe” areas, and anyone could get caught in the crossfire”

-“If you do go, stick to the touristy areas – they’re the safest for you and your kids”

-“Mexico is just a poor, third world country.  There’s not much to see and do anyway, especially for kids”

She also shares her six favorite destinations in Mexico, which include: Lake Chapala, Morelia, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Laguna Bacalar.

To read Denning’s explanation behind the 4 common myths about Mexico, as well as her travel and destination recommendations, view the full article here.

Gadling’s Safest Travel Destinations in Mexico

30 January 2012

Popular travel news website Gadling recently released a list of the safest destinations to visit in Mexico.  The list includes popular tourist destinations such as the Yucatan, which encompasses the resort beach towns of Cancun, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen as well as the archaeological wonders of Chichen Itza and the metropolitan city of Merida.  The list also includes the historical towns of Puebla and Queretaro, the storied metropolis of Mexico City, and the charming, artistic enclaves (and expatriate favorites) of Todos Santos and San Miguel de Allende.

To read the full article, go here.

San Miguel de Allende: Far Cry from the Mexico of CNN

18 January 2012

Ron Erskine recently profiled one of Mexico’s safest places, a colonial town rich with Mexican history and as charming as a “hilltop Tuscan town… or perch in Provence, France.”  San Miguel de Allende is famous in Mexican history as the birthplace of the Mexican War of Independence.  Almost 200 years later, it is an expatriate enclave for Americans and Canadians with a bustling artistic community and cultural capital to boot – from fine dining to high fashion boutiques.

Said Erskine:

“From here, craft shops, great restaurants, magnificent churches and historical buildings are a stroll away. The downtown walking tour brought San Miguel’s revolutionary drama to life: Ignacio Allende’s house, the plaza where insurgents gathered, and the wall against which many were shot by a firing squad (note the filled-in bullet holes).

I suppose the Mexico of CNN — drug cartel killings, corruption, danger — is out there somewhere, but every moment we spent in San Miguel was a revelation. Great weather, friendly people, rich history, and sights with a European flair are right here in our hemisphere.”

To read the full article, go here.

Playing It Safe In Mexico in 2012

26 December 2011

A recent article in The Washington Post offers a great, updated guide to traveling safe in Mexico, along with a fair compendium of facts, statistics, and quotes from official and non-official sources. An estimated 4.7 million Americans visited Mexico from January to October 2011. From the article:

Of 2,500 municipalities (what we call counties), only 80, or fewer than 5 percent, have been affected by the drug war, which accounts for only 3 percent of all crime. Mexican cities are also safer than some urban centers north of the border: Mexico City, for example, has 8.3 homicides a year per 100,000 people. That’s fewer than Miami (14.1) and Chicago (16.1). On a global scale, Mexico is safer than many of its neighbors. In 2008, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported Mexico’s homicide rate as 11.6 per 100,000, significantly lower than Honduras (60.9), Jamaica (59.5) or El Salvador (51.8). Without a solid understanding of the geography (761,606 square miles) and the nature of the drug wars (internecine fighting), many foreigners assume that all of Mexico is a war zone. But it isn’t.

Violence by and large is limited to specific areas, and unrelated to tourism.  The article suggests areas that are safe to visit, areas to visit with caution, as well as areas to avoid.

Safe to Visit
Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Campeche, Merida, Tulum, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, Leon, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, Chiapas, San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca

Go with Caution
Avoid traveling alone and at night in Tijuana, and beware of street crime in Mexico City.

Places to Avoid
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Copper Canyon, Baja California, Guadlajara, Veracruz, Monterrey, Mazatlan, and Acapulco

Says U.S. and Hampton, VA expat Margo Lee Shetterly – who relocated to Mexico with her husband 6 years ago: in the article:

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality.  It’s a real shame for people to write off a whole country without looking at the map and at the statistics.”

To read the full travel guide, go 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.

Peaceful Merida, Rich with Tradition and Social Capital

24 March 2011

The beginning of 2011 saw a return to media fanfare about violence in Mexico amidst more drug trafficking related deaths.  And with the sensationalism comes another round of voices who want to speak to the Mexico that they know and have experienced.  One of those voices, writer Edith Wilson, addressed the controversy in The Washington Post at the beginning of March, speaking earnestly about the southeastern Mexican town of Merida, where she recently traveled for a month.

Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state with a population of one million and famous for its Mayan ruins, provides an example of an average city recognizable in any American state.  Violent crime is low, free  WiFi can be found in public parks, and families gather in the streets for cultural events, like a recent festival which brought in Colombian rock star Juanes to play an outdoor concert.  Says Wilson:

“I just spent a month wandering its clean, civilized streets, often by myself, and I’ve never felt safer or met nicer people. This is the Mexico rich in social capital, tradition and culture that we should cherish and defend, and that is almost blotted out amid news of drug violence.”

In her article, Wilson praises what she experienced in Merida – a wealth of social capital and rich culture, “where the community, rich and poor, gathers in public; and where pride in local culture feeds adherence to values that serve the needs of all” – and urges readers to not be blinded by the Mexico they see in the media.

You can read the full article, here.