Mexico offers enticing blend of tropical delights and scenic beauty that has made it one of the most preferred destination for American travelers. With cheap tickets available for the destination which promises luxury at economical costs, it’s no surprise why backpackers from emerging markets are also planning their adventures into the Latin American land. Although the Mexican government works actively to protect its foreign tourists who come to enjoy the beauty of its relaxed beaches and vibrant nightlife, the truth about Mexico is that crime can happen anywhere anytime.
Aptly defined by Mexico Tourism’s tagline “The place you thought you knew”, foreigners are always advised to keep to famous tourist areas, be aware of their surroundings, avoiding overdrinking and not travel alone at night on highways. The golden rule for a memorable vacation to Mexico is staying alert at all times and maintaining a travel plan that doesn’t even go close to crime ridden areas in the city. These are some of the most dangerous areas in Mexico which you should avoid unless there is an emergency situation.
• Ciudad Juarez: Situated along the border of El Paso and considered to be more dangerous than Baghdad and Kandahar, Juarez is renowned for its notorious drug mafia and gang wars. The place is so engrossed with its crime scene that despite of more than 10,000 active force patrolling the streets, crime incidents happen commonly in broad daylight in stores and parking lots.
• Mazatlan: Once famous for its cruise trips that took tourists to ancient Spanish colonial villages, cruise operators have now reported more than 80% fall in business because of drug mafia and organized crime. According to estimates, tourist footfalls in Mazatlan has dropped about 79% in the past few years despite Mexico’s tourism holding on its own and even reporting minor increase on the whole.
• Monterrey: The biggest problem in Mexico is drug cartel related violence and Monterrey is certainly not untouched by it. With many shootouts and robberies reported and an enhanced police presence over the last few years, Monterrey is another area which has not only suffered in terms of tourist footfalls but also in terms of safety standards.
• Acapulco: Once renowned for its fashion sense and electric nightlife, the streets of Acapulco are now rocked with stories of violent incidents and gang wars happening in pubs and tourist zones. Certainly a destination to avoid for tourists for sure.
Although foreign tourists are generally not affected by the violence, the reality is that more than 47,000 people have lost their lives in Mexico during the past five years and tourists need to know their limits and safe zones. All of these facts may sound scary but a little bit of planning can steer you away from any unwanted trouble. Just avoid the dangerous areas listed above, keep off border areas and don’t trust anyone especially when intoxicated and you’ll be just fine and on course for a memorable vacation to the diverse land known as Mexico.