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Travel to Mexico

Is Mexico a safe country for tourists?

Safety Mexico travel If you are planning a trip to Mexico, you have certainly obtained a travel guide which probably cooled your enthusiasm after reading the chapter dedicated to insecurity. It is normal, we had experienced the same feeling during the preparation of our stay.
It is however important to put into perspective what is reported and to put it into perspective.

A very real insecurity in some regions

Like many countries around the world, there are areas in Mexico that tourists should avoid. Let us mention the region of Ciudad Juarez, a few kilometers from the border with the United States, which is the scene of daily deadly clashes linked to drug trafficking. As a traveler, it is obvious that one must avoid the area at all costs and it is indeed the role of a tourist guide to warn future tourists. Likewise, the Chiapas region, for different reasons, is subject to caveats.
Apart from these two regions, Mexico is a country where one can travel in relative safety, as in any country, by respecting the basic rules of the traveler:

  • Do not wear jewelry that could give rise to any temptation,
  • Do not display the banknotes that have just been withdrawn from the distributor,
  • Do not put your wallet in the back pocket of your pants,
  • In case of payment by bank card, always keep it in sight and do not accept that a waiter or merchant does not leave with it in his back room,
  • Avoid going out alone at night,

Insecurity borrows the face of security

Still after reading the chapter related to insecurity from your favorite tourist guide, you wonder if the paragraph detailing the rackets organized by the police is real or if it is fictional. Well, having personally experienced it, we can tell you, it is very real! And obviously this source of income has not dried up if we are to believe the many testimonies from our entourage and those received by e-mail from cheated Internet users.

The process is often the same, and is easily applied to travelers who rent a car: a police car orders us to park on the roadside following an imaginary sprain in the vehicle. Highway Code, the policeman asks for the passport and informs us that if we want to get it back we have to pay! I had to bargain 20 minutes, in Spanish although I am not bilingual, to lower the "ransom" from 400 pesos to 100 pesos all the same.

I qualify this racket as insecurity because, even if the physical integrity of the tourist is not compromised, it is morally and psychologically that it is more delicate.

Road insecurity

Finally, to close this topic on safety during a trip to Mexico, I want to talk about driving because there is a lot to say :-).

One of the basic rules is to avoid driving at night, both because the risk is greater of being stripped but also because there is everything that is circulating and not always in a good way. Indeed, the traps that can be avoided during the day are more difficult to overcome at night. This is how we see less well pedestrians, carriages pulled by donkeys, bicycles etc. that you can even cross on the highway and in the opposite direction to traffic (it's a real experience).

This rule being respected, you therefore ride during the day but other pitfalls should be avoided. This is where I want to tell you about the famous Mexican topes. No, I did not make a spelling mistake, it is not about the myopic animal which, for those who doubt it, is written mole. No, a tope in Mexico is a speed bump, and believe me, don't play smart with them ... it's always the topes who win :-) What's annoying is that very often the tope is indicated by a sign located in line with the latter so that you no longer have time to slow down. And there, you have to quickly prepare for the jump! I guarantee that we made some beautiful ones, to the chagrin of the car's shock absorbers and our cervical vertebrae :-)

Last point, when you park the car, also respect a rule that must be applied everywhere and which consists in leaving nothing in sight of all because in addition to the risk of being stolen objects sometimes as banal as a jacket or a cap, you will suffer the consequences of a broken window ... it is not really made to embellish a trip.

Final word on insecurity

To conclude, yes there is some insecurity in Mexico but no more than in other countries of the world. It is enough to avoid the two zones mentioned above and especially to respect the few safety rules stated in this article. We wish you a pleasant trip to Mexico, a country that is well worth putting into perspective the warnings that can be read in tourist guides.