The U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel warning
for Mexico last month, superseding the warning issued in April 2011.
While much of the wording is similar to last year's advice, the new
warning conveys more geographical detail about problem areas and,
significantly, specifies major tourist destinations for which no
advisory is in effect. Links to a map (click here) also are included, to provide context and reference for the specific travel advice.
extra detail earned kudos from some parts of the Mexican government and
industry officials. "The Mexico Tourism Board has long advocated for
travel advisories that abide by three key tenants: context, clarity and
specificity," said the board's COO, Rodolfo López Negrete. "The revised
travel advisory adheres to these principles and should serve as a model
for the rest of the world."
In terms of general conditions that
apply to the country as a whole, the warning begins by stating that
"millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study,
tourism and business" and reminds travelers that there isn't any
evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based
on their nationality. The warning adds that tourism destinations
typically don't see the levels of violence more prevalent in border
cities and on major drug-trafficking routes.
The document names a
number of states and cities for which no advisory is in effect, among
them Baja California Sur (home to Los Cabos), the states of the Yucatán
peninsula (which include the popular tourist destinations of Cancún,
Riviera Maya and Mérida), Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and
Yet, the State Department warns citizens that
crime and violence are serious problems that can happen anywhere in
Mexico, and that visitors should avoid traveling to the specific areas
outlined in the advisory, exercise caution when traveling throughout the
northern border region and generally avoid drawing attention to
themselves with signs of wealth.
In a detailed breakdown, the
State Department said citizens should avoid nonessential travel to the
states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango and Tamaulipas. More specific
advice is provided for areas to avoid in 10 additional states; for
example, travelers are advised to avoid the state of Nuevo Leon, except
for the city of Monterrey, in which they should exercise caution.
Likewise, travelers to Acapulco are advised to avoid specific parts of
Additional information is available at 1.usa.gov/wlQ9Kl.