Would you go to Mexico now?

My cousin is in the Peace Corps in San Luis Potosi. We had been planning to go visit her around Easter, but suddenly my mom hears about kidnappings there and gets all freaked out.

I was under the impression that Mexico is perfectly safe if you are not involved in drugs or law enforcement and you keep your wits about you and don’t hang out too close to the border. She says if we’re going with her and her two older lady friends that it isn’t safe enough.

Experienced Mexican travelers, opinions? (Keep in mind, we would be taking two people who are not accustomed to the kind of travel where there’s no cruise director and you don’t speak the language.)

My aunt married a Mexican guy and they’ve lived in Mexico City for about forty years. About fifteen years ago, they were held up by armed robbers inside their home. A good friend of theirs was kidnapped and held for ransom. When I’ve visited, my aunt has been extremely forceful about taking the taxis with the official medallion, because of the potential for kidnapping. When I disobeyed her once and took an unofficial taxi from downtown to her house, I got a lecture about safety.

My uncle was held up at gunpoint twice in 2010, in Mexico City. This experience instigated something no one in my family thought we’d ever see: my aunt and uncle actually moved (part-time) to the US. (My uncle is super patriotic and looooooooves Mexico.)

So I would say that no, Mexico is not perfectly safe, even if you’re not involved in law enforcement, and you’re just going about your business.

Even so, I’d still go visit. Not to, I don’t know, Ciudad Juarez, but I’d go visit my aunt and uncle in Mexico City (where they still are for part of the year), sure. Not sure about San Luis Potosi.

It was -20 C this morning. Damned right I’d go!

Not unless it was with the 101st Airborne in attendence.

Here’s what the Department of State has to say. Essentially, all the Northern states have problems; not just “too close to the Border.” The interior state of Michoacán is also mentioned, along with Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima.

Your cousin is probably the best source for the situation in San Luis Potosi.

I had considered dual citizenship in the early 2000’s. I live in Texas. I need to go to Mexico and I am worried. I’m the least cautious person you will likely meet despite wanting to know risks. Nevertheless, I won’t go until something is done about the crime.

I’ve friends who live in MEX in TAMP. and QUINT. and those that could afford it and who chose not to pay local drug lords protection money now live in the States. They would never have considered this before.

I think I would go only in a tour group, but I am now a gimp, and either on crutches or in a wheelchair, so I am a bit twitchy about being more helpless that I once was.

If I were young and healthy, I would consider it depending on the group I was going with. All female group, fucking hell no. At least equal parts men to women, probably.

I’ve been seeing all kinds of fabulous deals to resorts (I wonder why. . .), but I always stop myself. I’ve been to Mexico five or six times prior to the resent increase in unpleasantness ;), but I’m not sure it’s worth the risk right now. Maybe the news is exaggerating the issue, but I guess I really can’t know.

I looked at your location. Somehow we border states know way more than you do about the situation. Read about the Falcon Lake stuff for starters. It’s crazy war down there in many states and somehow that is not being explained to the whole country.

Absolutely, there are great bargains there now and with a little research you can easily avoid problem areas.

Huh. I survived two months in Jalisco traveling almost exclusively on my own. I felt safer there than I’ve ever felt in the U.S. In Guadalajara there are certain areas to stay out of, but if you know what they are then you’ll be fine. Outside of Guadalajara is basically like endless sleepy mountain country. The most dangerous thing I saw in farm country was a scorpion in my shower.

I realize ‘‘feelings’’ aren’t statistics, but I think the danger of Mexico tends to be overblown by focusing on the most truly dangerous areas. There are some places that are absolutely frickin’ dangerous, but to say that Mexico, in general, is dangerous, is like to say that New Jersey is dangerous because there’s crime and corruption in Newark. That’s how I look at it anyway.

According to the wiki on San Luis Potosi, the city is one of the most politically, socially and economically stable areas of the country, and has been identified as the third best city to live in Mexico.

Yeah, I’d go to San Luis Potosi. Went to Guadalajara years ago & felt pretty safe; the area is home to many US & Canadian expats. But there has been trouble there lately.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has advised students to avoid Spring Break in Mexico. But getting drunk on my ass along the border or on a tourist beach is not my idea of fun.

I’d definitely chose a location carefully & not drive there. But the mere sight of Mexicans does not scare me–I’m a Texan!

My folks just came back a week or two ago from a two week stint in a somewhat underdeveloped fishing village with a light tourist trade a little north of Zihuantanejo. Some mayor was gunned down not too far from them, so there were minor local disturbances. But they never felt in the least bit at threat themselves ( they’re 65 & 70 ).

They’re old hands at inexpensive Mexican vacations, which they’ve been doing for decades now. Their general opinion was at least in that region, an apparently non-wealthy elderly American couple staying in a modest rental and doing the very low-key tourist thing were not going to be at significant risk.

We went to a town near Cancun in August, and we expect to go again this year, probably in September. It’s hundreds of miles from any of the drug violence, so we did not hesitate one bit. I would have been more concerned about going somewhere near the border.

Out of curiosity, Playa del Carmen?

SLP is probably mostly safe, especially if you’re flying. A United States ICE agent was recently killed in the area by the narcos, though.

I’ve recently finished working/living in Mexico City for a year and a half, but my time there had me driving half of the country, and previous long term assignments had me driving all over the other half of the country.

If you stay away from the narco-controlled regions, Mexico in general is “relatively” safe for normal, every day people. And for the most part, even the narco regions are only a small gamble as long as you stick to the major toll roads.

My wife and I will be going to Playa del Carmen in May and I have no worries at all.
We’ve been to Cabo and Mismaloya (south of Puerto Vallarta) in the last couple years and have always felt perfectly safe.

Granted, we stay at all-inclusives and only venture into town once or twice per trip on average, but I’ve never seen any hint of trouble in any of these touristy places.
I can’t say I’m at all familiar with San Luis Potosi. I wouldn’t go to Mexico City or any border towns these days, though. But that’s just me; I make no bones about being a soft, pampered Gringo. :slight_smile:

Well unless you are a cab driver or riding in a cab in Acapulco. Or you happen to be in a bar where zetas are having a drink and a cartel stops by to spray the place with AK fire. Not likely but there are a lot of stray bullets flying in certain areas.
I’d have no problem visiting the Yucatan and would probably feel ok in the D.F. I’d definately avoid Sinaloa and Ciudad Juarez or for that matter all of Chihuahua.

The gold standard of “is it safe?” is the US travel advisories on the State Department website. Trust those before you make decisions based on the anecdotes of strangers.

That said, they are usually a bit extreme. I would bump what they say down a notch or two. If they say something is dangerous, give that some serious consideration but keep in mind they are very, very cautious. If they say something is safe, it should be safe as long as you take reasonable precautions (no flashy jewelry, don’t stumble around drunk and lost, stay off remote highways at night, etc.) There are plenty of websites and books that will tell you how to travel safely in a developing country.

Peace Corps tends to be very conservative when it comes to volunteer safety. They will not place volunteers in an inherently unsafe place. They just don’t do it. They also provide pretty thorough safety and security training. Your cousin will know the safety and security situation quite well and can tell you what you need to know. Anyway, if there is a Peace Corps volunteer there, I would assume it is generally safe.

Tulum, which is near Playa del Carmen. Don’t tell anybody. :wink: