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U.S. State Department Has Travel Warnings In Place For These 6 Regions In Mexico

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Travelers heading to Mexico this winter or for spring break should take caution or, in some instances, consider canceling their trip. The U.S. State Department has travel advisories in place for all but two Mexican states. Six Mexican states are under the most severe level 4 “do not travel” advisory.

the city of Mazatlan Mexico glows in the evening

Rather than issue a blanket travel warning for the entire country, the U.S. Department of State assesses the risk level of each of Mexico’s 32 states and issues a separate advisory for each state. The warnings are based on the threat level to U.S. citizens, including government employees, expats, digital nomads, and tourists.

Why Are There Travel Warnings In Mexico?

Travel warnings can be issued for any number of reasons, but in Mexico’s instance, it is due to an increased risk of violent crime. According to the State Department’s warning, homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery is currently widespread in Mexico. Additionally, the U.S. government and local authorities have limited ability to help Americans who need assistance in certain areas.

Recent incidents have included violence that erupted in the state of Sinaloa and an ongoing dispute between Uber and taxi drivers that has become aggressive in Cancun. While violence and kidnappings are generally not targeted toward tourists, there have been incidents where innocent bystanders have been injured or killed during altercations.

the colorful buildings of a mexican town

What Does The Travel Warning Mean?

The U.S. government has urged Americans to obey the same restrictions they have placed on U.S. government employees in Mexico. Specifically, U.S. government employees are advised to:

  • Avoid travel between cities after dark
  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Do not travel alone, especially in remote areas
  • Do not drive from the U.S. – Mexico border to interior parts of the country, with a few exceptions

Additionally, there are precautions tourists can take to reduce their risk of danger while visiting Mexico. Specifically, all visitors should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and inform family back home of their plans. Travelers should also avoid displaying obvious signs of wealth and be extra cautious when visiting ATMs or banks.

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waves crash ashore in Manzanilla Mexico

What To Do If You Need Help In Mexico?

If you do find yourself needing assistance while visiting Mexico, you can call for help by dialing 911. Inform local authorities of any issues and file a Mexican police report if needed. Additionally, U.S. citizens should also contact the U.S. Embassy or the nearest consulate if help is needed. The embassy can help find medical care, provide a list of local attorneys, and help arrange accommodation and flights home in the case of an emergency.

The Mexican city of Taxco glows in the evening light

Which Mexican Locations Have A Travel Warning?

Six Mexican states currently have a level 4 “do not travel” warning, and seven states are under a level 3 “reconsider travel” advisory. All but 2 of the remaining states are under a level 2 advisory where travelers should “exercise increased caution”. The only 2 regions with no current advisory are Campeche and Yucatan. That means that most of Mexico’s popular tourist destinations are currently under advisory. Below is a list of the advisories, along with popular tourist destinations within that state.

sunset mazatlan mexico coast

Level 4 – Do Not Travel

  • Colima – Colima City, Manzanillo, Comala
  • Guerrero – Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Taxco, Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park, Acapulco, Mil Cascades Waterfalls
  • Michoacan – Morelia, Patzcuaro
  • Sinaloa – Mazatlan, Culiacan
  • Tamaulipas – El Cielo Biosphere
  • Zacatecas – Zacatecas City
aerial view of town in Mexico

Level 3 – Reconsider Travel

  • Baja California –Tijuana, Ensenada
  • Chihuahua – Chihuahua City, Copper Canyon
  • Durango –Mapimí Biosphere Reserve
  • Guanajuato – Guanajuato City, San Miguel de Allende, Canada de la Virgen Ruins
  • Jalisco – Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, Tequila, Ajijic, San Sebastián del Oeste
  • Morelos – Tepoztlan, Las Estacas National Park, Xochicalco Ruins
  • Sonora – El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve
view of a town in mexico with mexican flag

Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution

  • Aguascalientes – Aguascalientes City
  • Baja California Sur – Los Cabos, La Paz
  • Chiapas – San Cristobal del las Casas, Palenque Ruins, Montebello Lagoons
  • Coahuila
  • Hidalgo – Grutas de Tolantongo, Tollan Ruins, Huasca de Ocampo (Basaltic Prisims)
  • Mexico City – Mexico City
  • Mexico state – Mesoamerican Teotihuacan, Cuauhtinchan Archeological Zone
  • Nayarit – Sayulita, Punta Mita, Nuevo Vallarta, San Pancho, San Blas
  • Nuevo Leon
  • Oaxaca – Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, San Jose del Pacifico
  • Puebla – Puebla City, Cholula, Pico de Orzaba
  • Queretaro – Queretaro City, Sierra Gorda UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Quintana Roo – Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel
  • San Luis Potosi – Huasteca Potosina, Xilitla Surrealist Gardens
  • Tabasco
  • Tlaxcala – Cacaxtla Archaeological Site, Huamantla
  • Veracruz
mexico city historic building

Is It Safe To Visit Mexico Right Now?

Each traveler needs to assess their own vulnerability and comfort level before deciding if they should travel to Mexico right now. Generally, if one remains in tourist areas and takes the recommended precautions, their risk of coming into contact with violence and crime is minimal. However, it is always important to be aware and prepared regardless of where you are traveling.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Christian

Thursday 16th of February 2023

I guess government officials robbing tourists in Quintana Roo does not count as crimes. Besides, I was in Chetumal Quintana Roo yesterday and it was impossible to get a Uber. So I decided to get robbed by 2 taxis on my way to Belize, and to make matters worse, the Belizean border officer, who had nothing to do due to lack of tourism, tried to rob me of 2000 pesos. So I decided to make a U-turn and head back to the dangerous State of Jalisco.

Those advisories are useless.

Mike

Thursday 16th of February 2023

@Christian, the belize/mexican border is a fun place. If you go into belize check what they write on your departure stamp on passport. You tell them 2 weeks and they only give you a week. When you leave 2 weeks later you are illegally in the country. They'll get you on the way in or the way out. Anything south of Mexico makes Mexico look like Disneyland

Marc Lopez

Tuesday 14th of February 2023

On the list of cities you shouldn't visit you must include Chicago,Detroit, Houston,Atlanta etc just as dangerous

Alberto Einsteinez

Friday 17th of February 2023

@Jon Pierre, Marc Lopez was simply stating that those US cities are just as dangerous..... -Einstein.

Liz

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

@Jon Pierre, Consider Cuba much safer.

Jon Pierre

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

@Marc Lopez, those cities aren't in Mexico Einstein. It's a travel advisory for MEXICO - not just any dangerous place to visit.