Mexico offers a unique combination of historical sites, pockets of industrialization, and a unique cultural heritage. Many parts of Mexico are safe to travel to and from, especially by air travel. However, land travel by Mexico can be extremely risks.
There are very strong warnings against travel in Mexico, especially by land vehicle at night. Nevertheless, if you understand the dangers and risks, you will be much better prepared to make the venture into a culturally vibrant country.
Travelers should avoid using small roads and should take toll roads whenever possible. Toll roads in Mexico are much better patrolled by federal and trusted state police. Small roads may have virtually no police presence or may be dominated by corrupt local police forces. Most local police forces in Mexico are not corrupt, but some are willing to charge foreigners for travel through extortion. Air travel to and from Mexico is considered the safest approach, especially for travelers to resorts in Mexico. Mexican airports and other high-traffic areas have risks of petty crimes. Travelers are safest on resort properties, but should be very aware of the risks of petty crimes when travelling outside of resort properties.
Local bars, casinos, and nightclubs are of increasingly high risk for criminal activity and kidnapping in Mexico. It cannot be stressed enough that resort destinations are the safest. This includes bars, casinos, and nightclubs. While it may be tempting to travel to these destinations outside of resort properties, doing so can be highly risky for foreigners. Local police may not want to get involved in these high crime locations, making foreigners particularly vulnerable for muggers and other criminals. Unless you are with a highly-trusted group of locals who know the safe bars, casinos, and nightclubs, it is not worth the risk.
Travelers are advisers not to indicate foreign status or show signs of wealth such as visibly exposing cash while in Mexico, especially in high-density areas. The people of Mexico tend to be quite welcoming to foreigners. However, many areas in Mexico have high rates of poverty, which encourages property crime. Foreigners are often targeted by local gangs and criminals because of the likelihood of greater wealth and the opportunity to score cash quickly through theft. It may seem extreme not to indicate one’s foreign status, but it is often what makes an individual a target in certain parts of Mexico.
Urban areas tend to have less major crime threats and rural areas during the day. Petty crime is common in urban areas, but kidnapping is much more common in rural areas, especially among travelers. Travelling in Mexico can be very dangerous. If going to a resort, stay on the property and do not be tempted by cheaper prices off of resort property. Local gangs are often looking for those who do and you may become an easy target. By following the advice offered here, you can minimize your risks travelling in Mexico.