Some places in Mexico, including Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, are extremely popular destinations for Americans traveling during spring break and Easter.
The U.S. State Department, however, has issued a number of advisories for U.S. citizens traveling to various Mexican states in recent weeks. Now, as violent crime and kidnapping rates increase across Mexico, Americans considering travel to all but two of the states in Mexico should be aware of renewed and increasing warnings, the State Department cautions.
“Violent crime — such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery — is widespread and common in Mexico,” the State Department explains. “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.”
Here are the State Department’s recommendations for U.S. citizens considering travel to Mexico.
Do Not Travel To
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens not to travel to five states in Mexico due to increasing levels of crime and kidnapping.
Those states are Colima (where Manzanillo is located), Michoacan, Sinaloa (where Mazatlán is located), Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas (home to Zacatecas City).
Guerrero — where Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Ixtapa are located — is also on the State Department’s “Do not travel” list because crime is widespread in those areas.
Reconsider Travel To
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens reconsider travel to five states in Mexico due to crime and kidnapping.
Those states are Baja California (where Tijuana is located), Chihuahua, Guanajuato (where Guanajuato City is located), Jalisco state (home to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta), and Sonora.
The states of Durango and Morelos are also on the State Department’s “Reconsider travel” list due to high crime rates.
Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens exercise increased caution when traveling to 17 areas of Mexico, primarily due to crime rates but also the threat of kidnapping in some places.
Those states are Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur (where Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz are located), Chiapas, Coahuila, Hidalgo, Mexico State, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca (home of Oaxaca City and Huatulco), Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo (where Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum, and Riviera Maya are located), San Luis Potosi, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz.
Mexico City is also on the list due to high crime rates.
Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To
The State Department recommends U.S. citizens exercise normal precautions when traveling to Campeche and Yucatan, where Chichen Itza and Merida are located.
Know Before You Go
If you decide to travel to Mexico, the State Department offers some guidance.
“Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos,” the State Department recommends. “Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry. Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.”
The State Department also recommends that travelers in Mexico keep both traveling companions and friends or family at home up to date about your travel plans.
Finally, if you are alone and take a taxi or Uber, be sure to take a photo of the taxi number and/or its license plate and text it to a friend or family member, the State Department recommends.
You can find a detailed explanation about the threats in each state in Mexico and learn more about being safe while traveling within Mexico in the State Department’s Mexico Travel Advisory.
For more about traveling to Mexico, be sure to also read: