5 (safe) Mexican escapes

Despite recent drug-related violence in Mexico, this long-loved vacation getaway is still safe to visit—with caveats

Where not to go

Avoid border towns if possible, including Tijuana, and if you must drive through, use highways. On the Pacific Coast, Acapulco was once legendary, but drug gangs are now fighting for control of the city and their shoot-outs have struck bystanders. Mazatlán, another popular coastal resort, has suffered a couple of street shootings; cruises have canceled stops there.

Security Q&A

Is it safe to drive outside major cities? Yes, as long as you stick to major highways and drive only during the day. If you are renting a car, get a model that won’t attract attention (avoid SUVs).

When is it safe to take a cab? Cabs from taxi stands—called a sitio in Spanish—or ones your hotel calls are safe. That’s it. Never hail a street cab in any part of Mexico.

What sites should I check for security updates? Since it’s always monitored and covers most of Mexico, the State Department’s site (travel.state.gov) is still the best. Also check reports from the U.S. Embassy (mexicousembassy.gov) and worldtravelwatch.com  

Should I get travel insurance? Yes. Make sure it covers security-related cancellations and medical assistance, if you need it. Many credit cards offer some sort of travel coverage; you can also ask your booking agent or visit travelinsure.com or

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