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Mexico Travel Advisory

Travel advisory august 22, 2023, mexico - see state summaries.

Reissued after periodic review with general security updates, and the removal of obsolete COVID-19 page links.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

U.S. citizens are advised to adhere to restrictions on U.S. government employee travel. State-specific restrictions are included in the individual state advisories below. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, except daytime travel within Baja California and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D.

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Mexico.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Colima state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Guerrero state  due to  crime .
  • Michoacan state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Sinaloa state due to  crime  and  kidnapping
  • Tamaulipas state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping.
  • Zacatecas  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .

Reconsider Travel To:

  • Baja California  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Chihuahua state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Durango state  due to  crime .
  • Guanajuato state  due to  crime and kidnapping .
  • Jalisco state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Morelos state  due to  crime .
  • Sonora state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

  • Aguascalientes  state due to  crime .
  • Baja California Sur state  due to  crime .
  • Chiapas state  due to  crime .
  • Coahuila state  due to  crime .
  • Hidalgo state  due to  crime .
  • Mexico City  due to  crime .
  • Mexico State  due to  crime .
  • Nayarit state  due to  crime.
  • Nuevo Leon  state due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Oaxaca state  due to  crime .
  • Puebla state  due to  crime  and  kidnapping .
  • Queretaro state  due to  crime .
  • Quintana Roo state  due to  crime .
  • San Luis Potosi state  due to  crime and kidnapping .
  • Tabasco state  due to  crime .
  • Tlaxcala state due to  crime .
  • Veracruz state  due to  crime .

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

  • Campeche state
  • Yucatan state

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Mexico.
  • Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime  advisories  and  alerts , which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest travel health information related to your travel. 

Aguascalientes state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Aguascalientes state.

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common. Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:

  • Mexicali Valley:  U.S. government employees should avoid the Mexicali Valley due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions.  The boundaries of the restricted area are: to the east, the Baja California/Arizona and Baja California/Sonora borders; to the south, from La Ventana (on Highway 5) due east to the Colorado River; to the west, Highway 5; and to the north, Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas/Highway 92/Highway 1 to Carretera Aeropuerto, from the intersection of Highway 1 and Carretera Aeropuerto due north to the Baja California/California border, and from that point eastward along the Baja California/California border.
  • Travelers may use Highways 2 and 2D to transit between Mexicali, Los Algodones, and San Luis Rio Colorado during daylight hours. Travelers may also use Highways 1 and 8 to transit to and from the Mexicali Airport during daylight hours.  Travel on Highway 5 is permissible during daylight hours.

There are no other travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in Baja California state. These include high-traffic tourism areas of border and coastal communities, such as  Tijuana ,  Ensenada , and  Rosarito .

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur state.

Campeche state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Campeche state.

Chiapas state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state.

Chihuahua state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Battles for territory between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees, including restaurants and malls during daylight hours. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez:  U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juárez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ocampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.  Direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport (officially called the Abraham González International Airport) and the factories located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted.  Travel to San Jerónimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa U.S. Port of Entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.

U.S. government employees may only travel from Ciudad Juarez to the city of Chihuahua during daylight hours via Federal Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Guardia Nacional División Caminos station, the Umbral del Milenio overlook area, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Federal Highway 45 in the city of Ahumada.

  • U.S. government employees may travel between Ciudad Juarez and Ascension via Highway 2.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juárez, Colonia LeBaron, Paquimé and San Buenaventura):  U.S. government employees may travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours via Mexico Federal Highway 2, and subsequently Federal Highway 10, to Nuevo Casas Grandes.  Employees are permitted to stay overnight in the cities of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes only.
  • City of Chihuahua:  U.S. government employees may travel at any time to the area of the city of Chihuahua bounded to the north by Avenida Transformación; to the east by Avenida Tecnológico/Manuel Gómez Morín/Highway 16/Blvd.José Fuentes Mares; to the west by the city boundary; and to the south by Periférico Francisco R. Almada.
  • U.S. government employees may travel on Highways 45, 16, and 45D through the city of Chihuahua and to the Chihuahua airport (officially called the General Roberto Fierro Villalobos International Airport). 
  • U.S. government employees may travel to Santa Eulalia to the east of the city of Chihuahua, as well as to Juan Aldama via Highway 16 to the northeast.
  • U.S. government employees may travel south of the city of Chihuahua on Highway 45 to the southern boundary of Parral, including each town directly connected to Highway 45, including Lázaro Cárdenas, Pedro Meoqui, Santa Cruz de Rosales, Delicias, Camargo, Ciudad Jiménez, and Parral itself.
  • U.S. government employees may only travel on official business from the city of Chihuahua on Highway 16 to Ciudad Cuauhtémoc bounded by Highway 21 to the north and east, Highway 5 to the west, and Bulevar Jorge Castillo Cabrera to the south. 
  • Ojinaga:  U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 and enter through the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas.
  • Palomas:  U.S. government employees may travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the U.S. Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico, or via Highway 2 in Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Chihuahua, including  Copper Canyon .

Coahuila state – Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime and gang activity occur in parts of Coahuila state. 

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Zaragoza, Morelos, Allende, Nava, Jimenez, Villa Union, Guerrero, and Hidalgo municipalities : U.S. government employees may not travel to these municipalities.
  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña:  U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. in both cities.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Coahuila state.

Colima state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.  

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. Most homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.  

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with noted restrictions: 

  • Manzanillo:   U.S. government employee travel is limited to the tourist and port areas of Manzanillo.  
  • Employees traveling to Manzanillo from Guadalajara must use Federal Toll Road 54D during daylight hours.  

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Colima state. 

Durango state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Durango state.

  • West and south of Federal Highway 45:  U.S. government employees may not travel to this region of Durango state.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Durango state.

Guanajuato state – Reconsider Travel

Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state.  Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Areas south of Federal Highway 45D:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area south of and including Federal Highway 45D, Celaya, Salamanca, and Irapuato.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Guanajuato state, which includes tourist areas in:  San Miguel de Allende ,  Guanajuato City , and  surrounding areas.

Guerrero state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

Crime and violence are widespread. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping in previous years.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following area with the noted restrictions:

  • Taxco:  U.S. government employees must use Federal Highway 95D, which passes through Cuernavaca, Morelos, and stay within downtown tourist areas of Taxco. Employees may visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park during the day with a licensed tour operator.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Guerrero, including to tourist areas in  Acapulco ,  Zihuatanejo , and  Ixtapa .

Hidalgo state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Hidalgo state.

Jalisco state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Jalisco-Michoacan border and Federal Highway 110:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area between Federal Highway 110 and the Jalisco-Michoacan border, nor travel on Federal Highway 110 between Tuxpan, Jalisco, and the Michoacan border.
  • Federal Highway 80:  U.S. government employees may not travel on Federal Highway 80 south of Cocula.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Jalisco state which includes tourist areas in:  Guadalajara Metropolitan Area ,  Puerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit) ,  Chapala , and  Ajijic .

Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely. Petty crime occurs frequently in both tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico City.

Mexico State (Estado de Mexico) – Exercise Increased Caution

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico State. Use additional caution in areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Mexico State.

Michoacan state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Federal Highway 15D:   U.S. government employees may travel on Federal Highway 15D to transit the state between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Morelia:  U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Federal Highways 43 or 48D from Federal Highway 15D.
  • Lazaro Cardenas:  U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Michoacan, including the portions of the  Monarch Butterfly Reserve  located in Michoacan.

Morelos state – Reconsider Travel

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Morelos state.

Nayarit state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout Nayarit state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees in Nayarit state.

Nuevo Leon state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Nuevo Leon state.

Oaxaca state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state.

U.S. travelers are reminded that U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Isthmus region:  U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Oaxaca bounded by Federal Highway 185D to the west, Federal Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca-Chiapas border to the east.  This includes the cities of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.  
  • Federal Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa:  U.S. government employees may not use Federal Highway 200 between Pinotepa and the Oaxaca-Guerrero border.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in:  Oaxaca City ,  Monte Alban ,  Puerto Escondido,  and  Huatulco .

Puebla state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Puebla state.

Queretaro state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Queretaro state.

Quintana Roo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations.  Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. 

While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have injured innocent bystanders.  Additionally, U.S. citizens have been the victims of both non-violent and violent crimes in tourist and non-tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state. However, personnel are advised to exercise increased situational awareness after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, and to remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones.

San Luis Potosi state – Exercise Increased Caution

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in San Luis Potosi state.

Sinaloa state – Do Not Travel

Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based in and operating in Sinaloa. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Mazatlan:  U.S. government employees may travel to Mazatlan by air or sea only, are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport and sea terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo:  U.S. government employees may travel to Los Mochis and Topolobampo by air or sea only, are restricted to the city and the port, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Sinaloa state.

Sonora state – Reconsider Travel

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. Violent crime is widespread. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping. Travelers should maintain a heightened level of awareness of their surroundings in all their travels in Sonora.  Security incidents may occur in any area of Sonora.

  • Travel between Hermosillo and Nogales:  U.S. government employees may travel between the U.S. Ports of Entry in Nogales and Hermosillo during daylight hours via Federal Highway 15 only. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures. Travelers should exercise caution and avoid unnecessary stops as security incidents, including sporadic, armed carjackings, and shootings have been reported along this highway during daylight hours. Travelers should have a full tank of gas and inform friends or family members of their planned travel.
  • Nogales:  U.S. government employees may not travel in the triangular area north of Avenida Tecnologico, west of Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio (Periferico), nor east of Federal Highway 15D (Corredor Fiscal). U.S. government employees also may not travel in the residential and business areas to east of the railroad tracks along Plutarco Elias Calle (HWY 15) and Calle Ruiz Cortino, including the business area around the Morley pedestrian gate port-of-entry. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in Nogales due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.  
  • Puerto Peñasco:  U.S. government employees may travel between Puerto Peñasco and the Lukeville-Sonoyta U.S. Port of Entry during daylight hours via Federal Highway 8 only. They may not travel on any other route to Puerto Peñasco. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in Puerto Peñasco. due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
  • Triangular region near Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry:  U.S. government employees may not travel into or through the triangular region west of the Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar municipality.
  • San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta : U.S. government employees may travel directly from the nearest U.S. Port of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea (via Douglas Port of Entry), and Agua Prieta, but may not go beyond the city limits. Travel is limited to daylight hours only. Travel between Nogales and Cananea via Imuris is not permitted. U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in these cities due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.
  • Eastern and southern Sonora (including San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos):  U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16. U.S. government employees may travel to San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos; travel to Alamos is only permitted by air and within city limits.  U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Federal Highway 15 (south of Hermosillo), as well as all points south of Guaymas, including Empalme, Guaymas, Obregon, and Navojoa.  U.S. government employees may not use ANY taxi services, public buses, nor ride-share applications in these areas due to a lack of secure vetting and/or dispatching procedures and the danger of kidnapping and other violent crimes.

U.S. government employees may travel to other parts of Sonora state in compliance with the above restrictions, including tourist areas in: Hermosillo , Bahia de Kino , and Puerto Penasco .

Tabasco state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tabasco state.

Tamaulipas state – Do Not Travel

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria. Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo.  In these areas, local law enforcement has limited capacity to respond to incidents of crime. Law enforcement capacity is greater in the tri-city area of Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira, which has a lower rate of violent criminal activity compared to the rest of the state.

U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo:  U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius around and between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, their homes, the respective U.S. Ports of Entry, and limited downtown sites, subject to an overnight curfew.
  • Overland travel in Tamaulipas:  U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways. Travel between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey is limited to Federal Highway 85D during daylight hours with prior authorization.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other parts of Tamaulipas state.

Tlaxcala state – Exercise Increased Caution

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Tlaxcala state.

Veracruz state – Exercise Increased Caution

Violent crime and gang activity occur with increasing frequency in Veracruz, particularly in the center and south near Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos. While most gang-related violence is targeted, violence perpetrated by criminal organizations can affect bystanders. Impromptu roadblocks requiring payment to pass are common.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Veracruz state.

Yucatan state – Exercise Normal Precautions

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which include tourist areas in:  Chichen Itza ,  Merida ,  Uxmal , and  Valladolid .

Zacatecas state – Do Not Travel

Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are widespread in Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

  • Zacatecas City : U.S. government employee travel is limited to Zacatecas City proper, and employees may not travel overland to Zacatecas City.
  • U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Zacatecas state.

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U.S. Issues Travel Warning for Mexico Ahead of Spring Break

The warning is asking travelers to “travel smart” and “be informed."

safe travel to mexico city

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The United States is warning travelers heading to Mexico to be aware of their surroundings ahead of the spring break holiday season.

The warning , which was issued this week by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico, reminds travelers to “travel smart” and “be informed” as “thousands of U.S. citizens visit Mexico during spring break” each year. The embassy continued that “while the vast majority travel safely,” visitors should be aware of issues with crime, drugs, unregulated alcohol, drownings, and more. 

“Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations,” the embassy warned. “U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark.”

The warning also reminded American travelers that drug possession and use is illegal in Mexico, including medical marijuana. It also advised that unregulated alcohol may be contaminated, that counterfeit medication is common, and that guns are illegal in Mexico.

When it comes to the country’s popular beaches, the embassy reminded travelers some beaches may have strong rip tides and “may lack lifeguards, warnings, or signs of unsafe conditions.”

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico issued a similar spring break warning last year .

The U.S. Department of State classifies different states in Mexico under different warning levels. While travelers can “exercise normal precautions” when traveling to the Campeche and Yucatan states, the State Department warns them to “exercise increased caution” when heading to places like Baja California Sur (where Los Cabos is), Mexico City, and Quintana Roo (where Cancun is) due to crime.

The State Department also asks American travelers to “reconsider” going to the state of Jalisco, which is home to popular destination Puerto Vallarta , due to the danger of crime and kidnapping.

The State Department recommends Americans who do travel to Mexico keep people at home informed of their travel plans and enroll in the department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to both receive alerts and make it easier to locate them if an emergency occurs.

Travelers heading to international destinations can view all current travel advisories on the State Department's website at .

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Home » North America » Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe for Travel? (TOP Safety Tips 2024)

After 3 trips and more than 12 months today travelling around this glorious country, I was finally convinced to go to Mexico City. To my great surprise, I stayed for one whole month. And as a self-proclaimed city-hater, I fell deeply in love with this magical place.

The reputation of Cuidad de México (or CDMX) as a ‘safe’ place isn’t a good one. Of course, like all major cities, it’s no stranger to crime. 

Combine that with the occasional natural disaster and a huge population, you’re probably asking “Is Mexico city safe?” or “How dangerous is Mexico City?” You may also be wondering, is it even worth visiting? 

Mexico City is an amazing assault on the senses. Bustling, beautiful, and bold, the Mexican capital has astonishing experiences waiting for travellers. From Aztec ruins and opulent palaces to a whole galaxy of tasty street food to try!

I want to assure you, staying safe in Mexico City is absolutely possible . Thousands of people are doing it right now. 

But some safety tips and street smarts will go a long way. From solo women travellers to the up-to-date travel advisory, here’s your one-stop shop guide on how safe is Mexico City.

Laura smiling in front of bars on a door in Frida Kahlo's house, Casa Azul in Mexico City

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There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, as things change quickly. The question of “Is Mexico City Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on who you ask.

The information in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practice common sense, you will probably have a wonderful and safe trip to Mexico City.

If you see any outdated information, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. Otherwise, stay safe friends!

Updated April 2024

safe travel to mexico city

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Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Right Now?

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The short answer is yes , it is safe to visit Mexico City. However, I must also make it clear that you MUST be careful at all times.

There are certain things you need to be aware of while visiting Mexico City to ensure you have a safe trip. Mexico City recorded 4,204,414 international visitors by 2022 according to Gobierno de Mexico Tourism with majorly trouble-free visit.

The city’s historic centre, or Centro Historico , is an amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, complete with a cathedral, palace, and the largest square in the Americas – the Zocalo. But just like Mexico’s safety , the city isn’t considered super safe. 

At least, I can’t send you there outright without mentioning some reasons for concern. The current Mexico travel advisory from the USA remains ‘ exercise increased caution ‘. This big, bustling city may be the economic centre of Mexico but… there are higher levels of petty crime and violent crime in Mexico City compared to other major cities.

Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on a sunny day

Natural disasters also affect the city’s safety. Earthquakes are common and unpredictable in Mexico City.

But I want to put your mind at ease: despite its bad reputation, Mexico City sees millions of tourists every year. The vast majority of these visiting Mexico City do so completely safely. 

Gang-related violent crimes are rarely targeted at tourists and visitors. Plus, that happens in certain neighbourhoods of Mexico City that you probably won’t be visiting.

Mexico City also has one of the highest police officer-per-resident ratios in the world. So security is taken very seriously in touristy areas where violent crime is extremely rare.

Though, like most major cities, these areas are where petty theft will occur. Thieves are usually active around busy tourist areas.

It’s safe to visit Mexico City, but show caution as you go. So how do you do that? Let me take you into a little more detail.

Check out our detailed where to stay guide for Mexico City so you can start your trip right!

Safest Places in Mexico City

When travelling to a monster city like Mexico City, it is invaluable to know a little bit about the safe areas to stay in before you arrive. Beyond being much safer, certain areas are just much more fun and well-connected. 

Generally (and this rule applies to many areas of Mexico as a country), more tourists mean it’s safer. Well-lit tourist areas, with lots of police officers, mean lower crime rates. 

The following areas are also pretty safe to walk around at night too. Though if you are moving between areas, please don’t walk.

One of Mexico City's many sites of ruins.

  • Centro Historico – the city’s historic centre is home to several historic buildings and a veritable shit ton of museums, this is where the city was first founded. While wandering the pedestrian-only streets, violent crime is extremely rare – though pickpockets and petty crime are still rife. 
  • Coyoacán – the more chill and open barrio of Mexico City and once home to Frida Kahlo, this neighbourhood is very visitor-friendly. 
  • Roma Norte – the centre of art and quirky culture in Mexico City, Roma Norte has a unique feel. There are a plethora of bars, restaurants, and cafes to wander between but it is full of bloody hipsters because it’s the coolest place to stay in Mexico City.
  • La Condensa – with wide avenues and well-maintained European-style buildings, this neighbourhood attracts many young professionals and travellers. It also has a thriving nightlife scene.

Dangerous Places in Mexico City

Now to the “not-so-nice” areas that you should avoid while in Mexico City. Some people may refer to them as the “ dangerous areas of Mexico City ” and they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. There’s very little reason for you to go to these non-tourist areas anyway, but it’s always good to have a rough idea.

I recommend the following as places to avoid in Mexico City:

  • ANYWHERE at night: I can’t stress this enough. As mentioned above, there are some select places that are okay to be in at night. But if you’re moving between places, absolutely exercise increased caution with public transportation. Or, just get an Uber. Ask your accommodation about the local area, like if it’s okay to walk back from the closest Metro station for example. 
  • Iztapalapa: Especially if you’re a female traveller (but I’m absolutely discouraging any other sexes too), avoid this area completely. Most rapes and assaults have been recorded in this neighbourhood.
  • Tepito: This area is right outside the historical centre and is famous for petty theft and pickpocketing. Known to be the black market of Mexico City, you can do some budget shopping in Tepito, but leave all your valuables at home.
  • Others: Tlalpan, La Lagunilla, Mercado Merced, Doctores, Ciudad Neza, Xochimilco, and Tlatelolco – do not visit these areas alone or without a local guide!

Keeping your money safe in Mexico City

 One of the most common things to happen to you whilst travelling is losing your money. And let’s face it: the most annoying way for this to actually occur is when it’s stolen from you.

Petty crime is pretty much a problem all over the world.The best solution? Get a money belt.

Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt  except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Like many places, travelling safely requires more than pure luck. It’s important to clue yourself up with travel safety tips for Mexico City. 

This is not an extensive list: you should remain vigilant and have your wits about you at all times. But here are some pointers that will help you out. 

Mexico City Metro

  • Blend in – try and look like someone who knows what they’re doing, even if you don’t.
  • Get an eSIM card for Mexico – this helps with lots of things.
  • Don’t look rich – expensive jewelry, iPhone 14 Plus in hand, nice camera… all things that thieves want.
  • Watch out on public transport – Pickpocketing is the most common crime in Mexico City. Use a money belt to keep some cash hidden .
  • Ask about areas to avoid – there are dangerous areas in Mexico City.
  • At night, DON’T walk – especially when intoxicated and/or alone.
  • Further to that, ONLY take official taxis – Ubers are the safest in Mexico City. 
  • Remember the emergency number – 911. 
  • Take a good medical kit with you – you never know when you might need it!
  • Be careful near roads – Look both ways, twice. Drivers can be reckless. 
  • Learn Spanish – you don’t have to be fluent but even a bit will go a long way. 
  • Only use ATMs in the daytime – inside shops or banks.
  • Always keep an emergency stash of cash – Never keep all your cards/ currency in one place. And hide it all from thieves with a hidden money belt .
  • Steer clear of people trying to scam you – distraction techniques, luggage helpers, petitions etc. (More info coming on scams in Mexico City.)
  • Don’t resist if someone tries to rob you – having no phone or watch is better than no life.
  • Get an Earthquake App – this will alert you.
  • Carry ID – even a copy. Police can ask for this and if you don’t have it, you can be detained.
  • Stay away from drugs – the source of many problems in Mexico. It’s better for everyone to save it for another time. 
  • Get good travel insurance !
  • Don’t be consumed by dangers – but be aware. 

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An American tourist jumping in front of some cool architecture.

Well, you can travel to Mexico City solo. Though, Mexico City is not exactly the safest place in the world .  

And by yourself, you’re going be a bit more of a target. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go alone. Follow these tips and you’re setting yourself up for a great time.

  • Make friends . There’s safety in numbers. 
  • Stay in busy, well-lit areas . When there are people around, a mix of locals and tourists, it’s always a good sign. 
  • Choose a top-rated hostel . Stay in popular tourist neighbourhoods. You won’t be short of choice in Mexico City. 
  • Let people know your travel plans . Ideally, friends and family back home. At the very least, someone you can trust nearby. 
  • Stay vigilant of your surroundings. This basically goes double for a solo traveller in Mexico . Petty crime is common in the tourist areas and metro of Mexico City.
  • Don’t get too drunk . Don’t lose yourself. 
  • Plan your way home before you leave . Especially if you’re coming back after nightfall. 
  • Plan where you’re going beforehand . Don’t go walking into neighborhoods you know nothing about. Plan an itinerary and stick to it.
  • Keep money in different places and have an emergency credit card . Always have a backup.
  • Chat with the staff at your hostel or guesthouse . Ask them for their tips and recommendations (and practice your Spanish).
  • Know your limits . Rest as you need to, sleep well, and know when to call it a day.

Generally, just be sensible. Exploring Mexico City is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone , but at the end of the day, your safety is always paramount. So don’t push yourself too much!

Solo female traveler roaming Mexico City's streets.

Yes, Mexico City is safe for solo female travellers . I don’t want to scare you, because you are a strong, independent woman. Many solo female travellers go to Mexico City all the time, and have a great experience! 

But it’s my duty to make you *aware* of some safety concerns that solo women face in this enormous powerhouse of a city. I have debated this situation long and hard and – depending on who you ask – you will have a completely different answer. 

Unfortunately, not all solo female travellers in Mexico City are or feel safe at all times. But there are many things you can do to maximize your safety!

  • Trust your spidey senses! – if your gut says something is wrong then it probably is. 
  • Check out good hostels for women – read reviews, make friends, and share experiences and tips. Use female-only dorms if you prefer.
  • Make use of female-only transport – not essential but it may make you feel safer. Taxis, buses, trains, and metros all have female-only areas.
  • Dress accordingly – Mexico is still a relatively conservative country. I love breaking boundaries but this is not the time or place. Observe what other women are wearing and follow suit.
  • Again, DO NOT WALK HOME ALONE AT NIGHT – there’s way more to do in daylight hours anyway.
  • Don’t leave your food or drink unattended – spiking occurs.  
  • Don’t open the door for anyone – the hotel or hostel will let in other guests. It’s not your job. 
  • Be aware of dangers, but don’t get consumed by them .   Try to stay rational.
  • If someone bothers you, LET EVERYONE KNOW ! Should it loud and make a fuss.
  • You don’t have to be polite – or answer questions, or tell the truth. Saying “no” is always okay too!

Historico Centro

Centro Historico

With lots of historical landmarks, great shop and beautiful architecture, Centro Historico is an amazing neighborhood to visit.

Yes! Mexico City is safe to travel for families. It’s actually pretty kid-friendly too, considering it’s one of the world’s major cities.

There are loads of museums and parks, filled with families. Basically, there’s a ton of stuff to get involved with – starting with street vendors selling tasty churros, of course.

Though, walking around with strollers isn’t very easy at all. The city is often crowded and surfaces are uneven. And don’t expect to find many baby-changing facilities – except in chain restaurants and museums.

The sun is very strong here though too. Being at a high altitude, even when it doesn’t feel too hot, the UVs are still beating down hard.

Following the other safety tips above, Mexico City is a safe place for families to visit.

A parent with his kids in Mexico City.

So first, no standard driver in Mexico City has done any kind of formal driving instructions or test. So now imagine the chaos and danger that can cause. Always exercise increased caution around the roads – because they really aren’t paying attention to red lights, one-way streets, pedestrians… you get the picture. 

For that reason, I absolutely DO NOT recommend driving in Mexico City. That’s the end of that. 

A mad man driving a rocket car.

Okay, so how do you get around Mexico City safely?

Well, your best option is the Mexico City Metro. The metro carries 5 million passengers a day with 12 lines and 195 stations. 

It’s the second biggest in North America, after NYC. It’s cheap, it works well enough, and it’s (usually) the fastest way to get about. You get a Metro card from any station for 15 pesos (about $0.80 USD) and each ride costs 5 pesos (about $0.30 USD). 

Though be aware: pickpockets are VERY active. Harassment also occurs, ranging from people just asking for money to more serious offenses (which are more uncommon).

Like most places in the world, taxi drivers are a bit shit. Be aware of taxi scams (more info coming up) which again range in the seriousness of offenses. They generally just love to hike up the prices. 

ONLY use official taxis. Ask at your accommodation where your nearest Sitio is. 

DON’T hail taxis on the streets. Better yet, opt for Uber or Didi . 

Uber is safe in Mexico City and actually a much better option. It’s cheaper, you have all the details of the driver recorded, and you can track your journey. 

The buses work well if you have some patience. All kinds of buses run across the city.

Generally, public transport in Mexico City is safe but very busy.

In the big city, you should be prepared for scams. Knowing about these really changes your experience of safety in Mexico City. The scale varies from common scams that will just be a minor inconvenience to larger-scale scams. 

Zocalo - a example of Mexico CIty's great architecture.

Here are some things to look out for: 

  • Taxi scams – ranging from overcharging tourists to express kidnapping. Taxis have also been known to take people hostage and force them to take money from ATMs. This is why I stress: only use official taxis or a trusty taxi app like Uber .
  • Fake ATMs – if you want to avoid having your card and/or pin number stolen, only use official banks. 
  • Sauce scam – a mysterious liquid lands on you and a *friendly* stranger comes over to assist… and take your phone and wallet. 

If anyone seems overly friendly or asks too many personal questions, I would regard this as suspicious. Remember, you owe people nothing. 

How safe Mexico City is sometimes just comes down to luck. Always prioritize your safety and don’t feel bad to dismiss people at any time.

paper mache colourful Mexican diablos hanging in a museum

Like almost all major cities, unfortunately, crime happens in Mexico City. It varies a lot, but tourists are absolutely susceptible to (uncommon) violent and non-violent crimes. 

By following usual safety protocols, and exercising increased caution – as I recommend for anyone travelling anywhere – it’s very unlikely these crimes will affect you. This is only to make you aware of what could happen. 

The most common crime in Mexico occurs in the form of petty crime, such as pickpocketing – which happens mostly on public transportation and the Mexico City Metro. This is easily avoided with basic safety precautions and common sense.

Violent crimes do happen but they aren’t common. Kidnapping is rare , but not impossible. 

This is more avoidable by not looking rich. The richer you look, the higher someone would expect a ransom. Men are not exempt from this – so don’t think that this comes down to gender either.

Everyone’s packing list is going to look a little different, but here are a few things I would never want to travel to Mexico City without…


Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Gifts for backpackers

A decent head torch could save your life. If you want to explore caves, unlit temples, or simply find your way to the bathroom during a blackout, a headtorch is a must.

Yesim eSIM

Yesim stands as a premier eSIM service provider, catering specifically to the mobile internet needs of travellers.


Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Pacsafe belt

This is a regular looking belt with a concealed pocket on the inside – you can hide up to twenty notes inside and wear it through airport scanners without it setting them off.

To maximize your safety in Mexico City, getting good travel insurance for Mexico is essential. If things go wrong, and they can, this is your guardian angel.

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

safe travel to mexico city

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For a travel destination like Mexico City, there are lots of different things you have to consider when it comes to safety. We’ve listed the most common question, answers, and facts to make your trip as easy as possible.

What areas should you avoid in Mexico City?

Iztapalapa and Tepito are areas you should avoid in Mexico City, especially as a female traveler. Tepito is the black market and can be safe, but a lot of pickpocketing is happening here.

Is Mexico City safe to live in?

Yes, Mexico City is safe to live in. But make sure you do thorough research into the safest areas of the city to stay in. Centro Historico is one of the safest areas in Mexico City. Roma and Coyoacán are great too.

Is the water in Mexico City safe to drink?

No, tap water is not safe to drink in Mexico City. Unfortunately, water safety is not up to scratch. Stick to bottled water which you’ll find at your accommodation or any shop, anywhere.

Is it safe to walk at night in Mexico City?

No, walking around at night is not safe in Mexico City. If possible, only travel by taxi after dark. If you go out, make sure to stick with a group of friends instead of walking around alone.

This article is not designed to scare you away from this wonderful city. With the correct precautions and attitude, Mexico City is safe for foreigners, American tourists, solo women, families, and anyone else who wants to visit!

Despite all of these crazy things to think about, I would absolutely encourage you to go. Because that’s the point of Mexico City. It’s chaotic. It’s noisy and boisterous and loud and one of the most exciting cities on the planet. 

When you’re using your common sense and travel smarts, going to Mexico City is just as safe as anywhere else. If you’re backpacking Mexico already, don’t skip over this magical city. You’ll find I would recommend these safety tips for almost anywhere on the planet: exercise increased caution, stay in your lane, trust your gut, and prioritize your safety at all times. Besides that, you’re in for one hell of an experience. 

Once you’ve stepped foot across the threshold, you understand why people are attracted to visit Mexico City. You’re dropped into the middle of a mighty city with ancient history, deep culture, and insane food. 

Don’t forget your 911 emergency number. Oh, and get that travel insurance before you go. Then, of course, keep an extra eye on your stuff on the metro.

But once you’ve mastered the Mexico City Metro, you can pretty much call yourself an experienced traveller. Plus, if you can take on Mexico City, you can take on anywhere. The world is your oyster! 

Museum display of Frida Khalo's clothes on manequins at the Blue House Casa Azul in Mexico City

Looking for more info on traveling to Mexico City?

  • Let me help you choose where to stay in Mexico City
  • Swing by one of these fabulous festivals
  • Don’t forget to add an epic national park to your itinerary
  • Check out my favorite Airbnbs in the centre of all the action
  • Plan the rest of your trip with our fantastic backpacking Mexico City travel guide!

Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels!

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safe travel to mexico city


Just got back from Mex City. I’m in my 60s. Polanco during the day was very nice to walk through. No hassles. Advice: always use Didi or Uber to travel, Always! it’s Cheap & safe. always use caution crossing streets, drivers never give way to pedestrians. If you are white, you will be a target for sellers and beggars constantly. You will also be followed/shadowed at times by pick pockets. If someone is over friendly or on the other hand seems too quiet, you need to be concerned. Other than Polanco and Roma Norte during the day, you have to walk with caution at all times. I have relatives there so I’m rarely alone. Mexico is wonderful with fantastic people. Unfortunately there is a very small group of criminals who target other Mexicans and especially foreigners.

They are super valid points to make. Thanks for sharing! I wouldn’t always recommend Didi or Uber just because the traffic is sometimes SO bad that I would be sat in traffic for ages. If you’re close to a Metro station, I would recommend the Metro for speed. But for safety, this is the best way to be extra cautious, for sure. Speaking in Spanish helped a lot with being shadowed too! Making friends with locals and having them with me while walking around the city made a world of difference.

To Cynthia, I can sure you “echar una paja” is used in Spain.

Please make your research and do not invent stuff and mislead people: There are NO hurricanes in Mexico City. It is a city with 2,250 m above sea level, surrounded by mountains and in the middle of the country. There has NEVER been a hurricane in Mexico City.

Hello, I think the writer, in this case, was making the point that harsh weather taking place outside of Mexico City still has the potential to affect the weather/rain in the capital. We were not suggesting in any way that Mexico City experiences (or ever has) actual hurricanes. cheers!

Is it safe to visit the Mexico City now-November to December?

November is a very popular time to visit Mexico City. All we’d say is exercise the usual travel precautions as outlined in our guide.

Amigo maybe you want to correct the phrase for ‘no straw please?’ In Mexico we don’t say ‘paja’ but ‘popote’. In Spain ‘paja’ means straw.. In Mexico it means j*r* off.

My daughter and myself would like to visit Mexico City for the Festival of the Dead. Will it be sort of save if keeping your tips in mind. No commitment from your side – only opinion please. thanks.

Most visits end trouble free, common sense and wise decisions are a must. Note that the larger crowds at DOD will likely attract criminals, unguarded valuables etc will be easy picking.

The best place to be for the Day of the Dead is Pátzcuaro Michoacán

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Is Mexico City Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico : Safety by City

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  • Chichen Itza
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  • Mexico City
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  • Puerto Morelos
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  • Zihuatanejo

Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico, divided into 16 boroughs all of which tend to preserve some of their original and unique characteristics.

Centro Historico part of the city is where many historic colonial landmarks, and the famous Aztec Templo Mayor, can be found.

Mexico City is a metropolitan city with 26 million people living in the region and most tourists will spend the majority of their time going around the city.

Frequently visited areas of Mexico City are the Centro, the old city center, and Zona Rosa, the new business and entertainment part.

  • Warnings & Dangers in Mexico City


You can feel completely free in Mexico City, as long as you remain watchful and stay in the touristic areas. The crime statistics show that crime is possible and frequent in Mexico City, but tourists are rarely targeted. Pay attention when approached by some people, since they might be thieves trying to rob you. If you do not want to look like a tourist, do not wear shorts, even though it is extremely hot.


Because thieves operate on buses and subways, special attention should be paid if you happen to travel via the B line of the subway. The only safe taxi companies are Uber, EasyTaxi or Taxiaviso. Tourists should never catch cabs in the street. Metro is reliable and runs underground. Driving around by car is the least advised way of going around the city, due to the complicated road structure and reckless drivers. Be aware that traffic signals are not respected.


Pickpocket risk in Mexico City is high, especially in the crowded streets. In order not to attract the attention of thieves, it is advisable not to wear expensive things around with you and avoid isolated areas. It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your passport and visa with you and leave the original in your hotel room or safe.


Mexico is prone to natural disasters and it has experienced many very strong earthquakes. Mexico City is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, which contribute to its air pollution.


The chances of being mugged or kidnapped in Mexico City exist and express kidnappings are usually performed by fake taxis. The best advice is that you never resist since they aim to force you to withdraw funds from your credit or debit cards, and not to injure you. However, if you resist, there might be more serious consequences.


There is no risk of terrorism in Mexico City since it is believed that the terrorist will not attack it.


Touristic places are attractive to scammers, who may try to scam you by doing magic tricks. Unlicensed taxis are the most usual scammers, who overcharge tourists or even take part in kidnappings. Be aware that groups of strange teenagers might try to distract you, while others will take your valuables or wallets.


Mexico City is a dangerous place for women that are not watchful enough and are not experienced travelers enough. It is advisable not to walk alone at night, and always travel by the women reserved cars in the subway and train.

  • So... How Safe Is Mexico City Really?

When in Mexico City, do not be afraid if you see a lot of police force patrolling since the historic center is patrolled in the early evening for the tourists to feel protected.

Being an extremely crowded place, Mexico City is prone to pickpockets and bag snatchers so it is advised to be aware of your surroundings.

Mexicans are usually very friendly and helpful, but some will try to use this to rob you, so do not trust everyone.

Taxi robberies are frequent, but 95% of the total kidnapping victims are nationals.

Another advice is not to leave anything of value inside your car and do not try to show that you are a tourist.

One of the keys to maximizing your safety in Mexico City is to blend in.

  • How Does Mexico City Compare?
  • Useful Information

Whether you will need a visa or not when coming to Mexico depends on your nationalities. Citizens of the US, Canada, the EU, Israel, and Japan do not have to obtain it.

The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Mexico and this country is not so expensive, which makes it even more attractive for tourists. Mexico City is the most expensive city in Mexico, but still, a very cheap one compared to other metropolises in the world. ATMs can be found everywhere and it is safer to use ATMs during daylight hours and inside shops or malls.

Mexico City has a very good climate, which allows tourists to come throughout the whole year. The period from December to April is the high season. Mexico City has two seasons, dry one from November to April, and the rainy season from May to October.

Benito Juarez International Airport is the one that most travelers use when arriving in Mexico City by air. It is located in the eastern part of the city and has two terminals. There are frequent flights to and from larger cities in the world. Another airport in Toluca International Airport, 50 km southwest of Mexico City. Other major Mexican airports are in Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Tijuana.

Travel Insurance

Before going anywhere abroad, it is advisable to invest your money in travel insurance that covers all the possible incidents.

Mexico City Weather Averages (Temperatures)

  • Average High/Low Temperature

Mexico - Safety by City

Explore mexico city.

  • Things to Do in Mexico City for Two Whole Days
  • Where to Next?


18 Reviews on Mexico City

A beautiful place.

Mexico City is a beautiful place to visit. It might not be the safest around but I personally like it very much. Been there a few times already so I know the lay of the land and know what to look out for.

Is it safe?

Can you share more from your experience of being there a few times before? I am going there for work in about 2 months, is it safe for a family with kids to visit? thanks.

Been a couple of times, never felt unsafe even when traveling outside of the city. It’s a huge city so have your wits about you and you’ll be fine. There are certain areas to avoid but that’s the case with most major cities. Food is amazing, people are very friendly…not many speak English like they do in Cancun or PVR but overall a mazing city to explore.

Feels safe if you're aware of surroundings

It felt quite safe, especially compared to other places I’ve lived like Whitechapel in East London. I went by myself for a week (I’m a young women who doesn’t look Mexican) and it was fine – I just stayed in the popular areas, visited the major museums and the big park, and only walked around Roma Norte and Condesa at night by myself (no other areas). Otherwise, after dark I took Ubers (no taxis). I dressed nicely but nothing expensive and when in doubt, kept my phone out of view. Ubers are pretty cheap there so I didn’t take the metro at all – I don’t know what that’s like. Everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed my visit.

I would just say be street smart (don’t show it or talk about it if you have money, don’t carry your passport around, don’t get drunk by yourself, don’t explore random neighbourhoods you’re not familiar with, don’t talk to random people in the street, go in a store if you need directions, wear a cross body bag that closes and not a backpack, don’t dress like an American tourist – too casual, gymwear etc.)

My only big issue was that I had a lot of stomach problems even though I only went to restaurants recommended by friends so if you have a delicate stomach read reviews before eating somewhere and take probiotic supplements before and during your trip.

Act like a local. Stay in good neighborhoods.

Mexico city is a amazing city lots of things to do And have fun. Museums. Historical places. Great Gastronomical choices. Great night courteously to Mexicans. dont be arrogant. act like a Mexican. Respect the culture. And way of Life of Mexican.and you will have a great time In this great city I’m Colombian. From USA and I feel safe in Mexico than in my own country I love Mexico and the Mexican peopke🇲🇽👍😍

México city a must visit!!!

Mexico city is a beautiful City with so much to see and do. The tours from and in Mexico City are fantastic. Teóteuacan or Sun and Moon pyramid’s are a must see! The food is fantastic the people friendly! Plan a trip today. You will not be disappointed.

Should I visit?

I want to know if I should visit Mexico City or not, is it fun? are there good stuff to see? I wish I could just travel anywhere without fear, but I am concerned with all the horror stories I have heard on Mexico and drug cartels. do you think Mexico city is ok for me to visit?

Overall, I would say it is not “safe” but it is also not “unsafe”. If you stay in an area that has money, you have nothing to worry about but if you are going on a budget vacation, then you REALLY need to research where you are staying and the surrounding areas. There are lots to do, see, and plenty of great places to eat!

Most of the country (75%) is safe, most of the violence in the whole country is related to drug and is always between the cartels/gangs. Mexico City is just like any other city, it has its good and bad parts but most of them are good. Don’t be closed minded and ignorant, not the whole country is ran by cartels or violence, 50 million people visit Mexico and 99.99% of them don’t experience or see violence.

Reading this review

I get mixed feelings when reading this review, on one hand, the overall risk is medium, however, from everything I’ve heard of Mexico I always thought it was more dangerous than that, I going to go there anyway, just can’t help but feel like it might not be safe for my kids, we live in a small town where safety never felt like an issue before. any advice you can share will be appreciated, thanks!

Safe if you don’t go outside tourists hotspots

Having lived in MC for half a year when I got to explore both the good and the bad.

Areas populated with tourists are safe, you might see the occasional pickpocket but a trained eye will immediately catch it. If you travel by subway be careful when people are shoving into you, this is a go-to method to get close to you so they can empty your pockets. You can either keep your hand in the pocket where your phone/wallet is or use a waist bag, there’s a ton of cool ones now, not your usual dad waist bag. A paper copy of your id is enough, you don’t need to lug around the real deal, that’s another thing to worry about.

Avoid buying things in the street: expensive jewelry that has massive discounts to phones, you might find yourself having to go to the police station to declare how stolen goods ended in your possession. The same goes for tickets to spas or other activities, you should buy these directly from the source, not in the middle of the street.

Taxis are one of the things that annoyed me the most, they overcharge like hell and very often the conditions are awful, with unclean cars and reckless driving. We switched to uber after finally deciding we had enough, best decision ever!

Since things are usually happening here, I would check the travel advisory recommendations for the city before booking a trip. If they say to avoid a certain area/barrio, do just that. Don’t risk your life for the perfect Insta pic.

Their street food is an absolute must, the spicier the better. One word of caution though: scan the area and go for the vendor that seems to put more thought into preparing the meal, you want to look for clean hands, avoiding touching the food directly, fresh-looking ingredients etc.

Areas worth checking: Santa Fe, Xochimilco, Roma, Centro Histórico, San Ángel, Coyoacán.

Mostly Safe, One of a kind city

I have visited CDMX many times for prolonged periods and can say this city is not only extremely unique and beautiful, but it is actually very safe in the popular areas (which are the only areas most visitors will be in anyway).

Areas like Condesa, Roma Norte, Reforma, Polanco, Lomas, and Pedregal are safe during the day and night. There are many wealthy residents and tourists walking with expensive bags and such during the day in these areas.

You’ll find a near-infinite number of art and design galleries, historic museums, amazing restaurants, ancient sites, open plazas with fountains, and my absolute favorite feature of the city, the greenery! CDMX is covered in trees, plants, flowers, etc to keep the dust and dirt in place, but it ends up adding the most memorable charm to many neighborhoods. Condesa’s Calle Amsterdam has a center walkway covered in greenery and is one of the most memorable places to take a Sunday stroll before breakfast.

Polanco is the best place to go shopping or out for lunch, especially if you want to be seen. People dress their best in Polanco, and you’ll see many luxury stores and expensive cars up and down the main shopping avenue.

My favorite neighborhood, and the safest in the city, is Lomas (there are actually several Lomas, but they’re all safe).

Politicians, celebrities, actors, etc all live in Lomas, and as such, it is very quiet, safe, and has some of the best restaurants and small boutiques.

If you have a higher budget, I’d definitely recommend staying in Polanco or Lomas. El Centro is really stunning, and the architecture cannot be missed, but it is not as safe or clean as the rest of the popular areas of the city. You’ll find some of the best bars and clubs here, and many trendy rooftop lounges and restaurants favorited by locals and visitors alike.

However, El Centro, being the tourist hotspot of the city, attracts pick-pockets and wandering eyes (much like NYC’s Times Square).

In general, like most major international cities, you should use common sense to blend in when necessary, but in most popular areas, this is not a problem. Definitely come prepared with some Spanish, as many people do not speak English well, but they will try. Overall, if you’ve ever thought about visiting CDMX, do it! Deserves a higher score.

However, do NOT go to any bad areas. Luckily, they are easy to avoid and you most likely won’t even drive/Uber through one as they are not near the city center. These areas are not safe for tourists, especially ones who do not speak Spanish.

Police in México is very corrupt

I was mugged by mexican police, they said that was cheaper for my use the taxi on the taxi station, the put me inside the taxi, when I asked the price was higher than taxis from the street, don’t trust the police from there. If you just go to tourist places is normal like majority of countries.


Well, we travelled to Mexico City in a group of six and stayed in a hotel near to Zócalo. In the first night, we went to Condesa. When we were coming back to our hotel, we stopped a taxi on the street. The taxi driver was so fucking disrespectful. talked about sex during the whole travel and mocked about our accent, because we pronounce “Moya” (the name of the street) differently. After that, the taxi driver left us “near” to our hotel (like 6 blocks away) at 10pm. There were no people on the streets. It was really, really scary. A couple of days after, we went to Bosques de Chapultepec by metro. Another disgusting experience. Two men tried to sexually harass us. The train was crowded and no one said nothing about that, acting like that was normal. We got scammed too. On our last day, we walked nearby the hotel by day. We arrived to Làzaro Cardenas street. People there sell stolen items, mainly Apple products and cellphones. One of us wanted to fix her iPhone battery and left it. We came back on a hurry because we had to go to the airport and she got her phone with the new battery. Surprise: they replaced the original display of the phone with a fake one, so Face ID didn’t work correctly. This is a sad story, because Mexico City is a gorgeous and very interesting place to visit. Such a shame, I would really love to come back, but this makes me think twice about that…

Nice city I think it should have a higher security rating, maybe 60%

City duality makes and breaks it.

If you’re a non-NA white person you’re going to have a completely different experience to a Filipino or African American. Customs are more likely to reject you if you are from another developing country than a Western country, especially if you are a single woman. South Asians, Africans and Muslims are also more likely to be rejected. Make sure you have proof of exit/return before arrival.

Do your research on the area you want to stay in, every Barrio offers something different. Stayed there in BJ for 2-months. Lovely, family-orientated Barrio, never had any issues with crime. Centre is beautiful during the day, but menacing at night. The Police in tourist areas like Roma Norte or Coyoacan won’t usually bother you, though if you go further out into parts of Tlalpan, they’re thugs that extort and beat locals. That being said, don’t be afraid to leave tourist hotspots if you have a local friend or guide, just make sure you take some measures to blend in (dress like the locals, try speak Spanish, no flash etc).

Metro is very modern and clean, with segregated carriages for Women/Kids. Anthropology museum is world-class, as is the museum of fine arts in the centre. Very car-centric city, so best take an Uber if you don’t want to use the metro or trolley-bus. Walk in the parks, not between Barrios.

The quality of fruit and veg you can find here is far better and cheaper than Europe. The tacos, tamales, café de la olla, cremas, crepas and drinking chocolate are top-notch. The meat and bread are similar to the rest of North America. Don’t eat the salmon. Most of the processed food is crammed full of sugar and fat. The local cheese tends to emphasise texture over taste. The country as a whole has foods and drinks you might never have heard of, like agua jamaica, or cempasuchil ice cream, so check them out while you can.

Sadly, pollution is dismal, tap-water is pathogenic, and the random tamales peddlers blasting down the street can take some getting used to. There were some obvious signs of drug problems, people lying unconscious and scarred outside the Jamaica markets, vendors drinking on the job, and the homeless… Sporadically, surrounding the centre, you may stumble across a refugee camp on the city street, usually the widows or orphans of cartel violence from other parts of the country.

Overall Mexico City is a city of vibrance and violence. In the right places, you will never want to leave; in the wrong places, you’ll count your stars back to the airport.

Best experience in a Major Crowded city…lived in Paris for 5 years, but this place is packed, though the Metro is not as stinky. As someone else mentioned above, there are separate carriages for women and children. Been to the most touristy places in el Zocalo, Coyoacan (Frida Kahlo house),Mercado Ciudadelas, walked at night from a Walmart, and had absolutely no problems, not from thugs, nor corrupt police. I used a blend of Ubers and Metro, since sometimes you might even get faster using the latter (and cheaper of course 5MXN!)

3 happy years spent as a solo female. Even took the metro and metrobus. Stay in female cars tho as I’ve had 2 guys rub up against me in a sexual way. And once someone pulled the equivalent of $2 out my pocket at 5am on NYE… I had like $50 in the other and just felt blessed! LOL Walked home from Condesa at 3am with NO issues. Some areas have prostitutes but they’re harmless and usually only in low income areas. The only unsafe areas are the HOOD (La Languila, La Merced, etc.) But I’ve been to La Merced 2X without issue. I am AA and dont look local

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Article Contents

  • Mexico City : Safety by City
  • Overall Risk
  • Transport & Taxis Risk
  • Pickpockets Risk
  • Natural Disasters Risk
  • Mugging Risk
  • Terrorism Risk
  • Women Travelers Risk
  • Weather Averages (Temperatures)
  • User Reviews
  • Share Your Experience

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Is It Safe to Travel to Mexico? Here’s What You Need to Know.

A spate of incidents, including a kidnapping and the death of two Americans near the border, have prompted travel warnings from the U.S. government.

safe travel to mexico city

By Elisabeth Malkin and Isabella Kwai

Two Americans found dead after they were attacked and kidnapped near the border. Airports shuttered amid gang violence in Sinaloa. Turmoil among taxi drivers in Cancún.

A number of recent security incidents have raised concerns about the risks of traveling to Mexico, where more than 20 million tourists flew last year to visit the country’s beaches, cities and archaeological sites, or to obtain health care .

Ahead of the spring break holiday, a popular time for American tourists to visit the country, the U.S. Embassy issued a travel alert , urging visitors to exercise caution by avoiding dangerous situations and drinking responsibly, among other recommendations. “Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations,” the alert said. And the State Department has warned tourists to steer clear of six states, including the state of Tamaulipas, where the recent kidnapping occurred — and to exercise increased precautions in other popular destinations like Playa del Carmen, Cancún, Tulum and Mexico City.

An overwhelming majority of visitors enjoy a safe vacation in Mexico, and tourists are largely sheltered from the violence that grips local communities. But the attack and kidnapping of four Americans in the border city of Matamoros, two of whom were later found dead, along with recent disorder in Cancún and violence in early January that forced the closure of three airports in northwest Mexico, is prompting questions about whether the country’s broader unrest is spilling into other destinations.

What happened on the border?

On March 3, four Americans from South Carolina traveling in a white minivan crossed the border from Brownsville, Texas, into the city of Matamoros, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. One of the Americans was scheduled for cosmetic surgery.

Soon after the Americans crossed the border, gunmen fired on their vehicle and then abducted the group in a pickup truck. Officials later said that two of the group were found dead at a rural location alongside the other two, who had survived.

The Americans were attacked as a result of “confusion,” according to Irving Barrios, the state prosecutor in Tamaulipas. Matamoros has a long history of violence and highway shootouts, though that reputation has partially subsided in recent years. Then, in late February, one gang moved into the city to wrest control of drug sales from another, said Eduardo Guerrero, the director of Lantia Intelligence , a security consulting company in Mexico City.

“There are places in the country where the situation can change abruptly from one week to another,” he said. While the motives in the attack remain unclear, the Americans had “very bad luck,” Mr. Guerrero said, because they likely stumbled into a battle between the two gangs.

What happened earlier this year in Cancún?

Uber has been challenging the taxi unions for the right to operate in Cancún and won a court decision in its favor on Jan. 11. The ruling infuriated the powerful unions, which are believed to have links to local organized crime figures and former governors. Taxi drivers then began harassing and threatening Uber drivers.

The conflict generated widespread attention after a video of taxi drivers forcing a Russian-speaking family out of their rideshare car went viral, and after unions blocked the main road leading to Cancún’s hotel zone. That prompted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to issue a security alert .

Mr. Guerrero said that the authorities will try to negotiate some kind of compromise, but there was a probability of more violence ahead.

Have authorities curbed violence that might affect tourists?

As a rule, criminals in Mexico are careful not to kill tourists, Mr. Guerrero explained, because doing so “can set in motion a persecution that can last years,” the consequences of which can be “very dissuasive,” he said.

But the rule doesn’t always hold. And in two popular destinations for foreign tourists — Los Cabos , at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, and the Caribbean coast — local and state officials have recently sought help from the United States to take on organized crime that threatened to drive off tourists.

A spasm of violence at the end of 2021 and early 2022 rattled the tourist industry along the Riviera Maya, the 80-mile strip of Caribbean resorts south of Cancún. Two visitors were killed in crossfire between local gangs in Tulum; a gunfight on a beach in Puerto Morelos sent tourists running for cover into a nearby hotel; a hit man gained entry to a luxury hotel in Playa del Carmen and killed two Canadian tourists believed to have links to organized crime.

The federal government sent National Guard units to patrol the beaches, and Quintana Roo state authorities asked U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, to provide intelligence, Mr. Guerrero said. Local authorities, flush with tourism revenues, invested in the police, which is typically the weakest link in Mexican law enforcement.

The joint approach led to a lull in gangland gun battles in Quintana Roo’s tourist areas, and experts say that drug sales to meet foreign demand no longer take place on the street, although they are continuing more discreetly.

The success in tamping down drug violence in Quintana Roo follows a similar improvement in Los Cabos a couple of years ago when U.S. authorities also collaborated with local officials in the state of Baja California Sur. The murder rate soared in Los Cabos in 2017 amid cartel wars, and although tourists were not targeted, that year police chased gunmen into the lobby of a luxury hotel in San José del Cabo, and a cooler containing two heads was left in a tourist area.

What about tourist areas in other states?

Even in states where crime is very high, tourist areas have generally been spared. San Miguel de Allende, a haven for U.S. retirees, is an island of relative peace in a state, Guanajuato, that has been riddled with cartel violence .

The Pacific Coast state of Jalisco, home to the resort of Puerto Vallarta, picturesque tequila country and the cultural and gastronomic attractions of the state capital, Guadalajara , is also the center of operations of the extremely violent Jalisco New Generation Cartel . The cartel’s focus of violence is in the countryside; Puerto Vallarta and the beaches to its north, including the exclusive peninsula of Punta Mita and the surfers’ hangout of Sayulita, are all booming — and, despite drug sales, the cartel’s control seems to limit open conflict.

Mexico City has become a magnet for digital nomads and shorter term visitors , and concerns about violence there have receded. The city’s police force has been successful in reducing violent crime, particularly homicides, and the number of killings has been cut almost in half over the past three years.

Are there any other safety concerns?

Street crime is still a problem almost everywhere, especially in bigger cities and crowded spaces. Kidnapping and carjacking are a risk in certain regions and many businesses that cater to tourists operate under extortion threats. While tourists may not be aware of underlying criminal forces, their power sometimes spills out into the open in spectacular shows of violence.

The attack in Matamoros is only the most recent example. Mexican border cities, which have long endured waves of violence, are not typically tourist destinations, although Americans often cross the border to visit family, seek out cheaper health care or dine at restaurants.

Three airports in the state of Sinaloa, including the beach destination Mazatlán, were closed on Jan. 5 amid gang violence after Mexican security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the crime lord known as El Chapo, who is serving a life sentence in the United States. A stray bullet fired by cartel gunmen shooting at a Mexican military plane as it landed at the airport in the state capital, Culiacán, clipped an Aeromexico plane preparing to take off for Mexico City. Nobody was hurt and the plane returned to the terminal.

In August, gunmen positioned burning cars and buses to block roads around Guadalajara in response to a military raid on a meeting of criminal bosses. In October, a local politician was shot and killed in an upscale steakhouse in suburban Guadalajara as terrified diners crawled to safety.

Pierre de Hail, the president of Janus Group Mexico, a risk management company in Monterrey, is skeptical that security has improved. “There is too much random risk,” he said. “It’s all about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

What precautions should tourists take?

Mr. de Hail recommends researching the resort and news from the area you’re visiting. The U.S. State Department provides state-by-state information about travel risks in Mexico. As of early March, the department had issued its strongest possible warning — Level 4: Do Not Travel — for six states, including Tamaulipas and Sinaloa. Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur are at Level 2, indicating that visitors should exercise increased caution. (By comparison, the same Level 2 advisory is applied to France and Spain.)

The Matamoros incident shows how violence can flare up in places that have been quiet recently. Mr. Guerrero suggests searching on the internet before traveling for news of recent outbreaks.

Mr. de Hail also suggests buying travel insurance in case of a medical emergency or theft, and recommends that tourists keep a low profile to avoid attracting attention, he said, warning that it is easy to misread situations.

As anywhere, common sense should prevail, Mr. de Hail said: Don’t wear expensive watches or jewelry, and avoid dark and deserted places. He recommends making a copy of your passport, remaining alert while walking home at night and not leaving your drinks unattended. “I have had numerous cases of people asking for help because they were extorted coming back from bars,” he said.

He added: “If you’re staying in a place that has a report of strikes or demonstrations, don’t go there. You’re a fish out of water.”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2023 .

Isabella Kwai is a breaking news reporter in the London bureau. She joined The Times in 2017 as part of the Australia bureau. More about Isabella Kwai

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Is Mexico City Safe?

safe travel to mexico city

Mexico City is an amazing destination with a vibrant culture, multi-layered history, and many fascinating sites to explore. There are many good reasons to visit Mexico City , and there’s no need to avoid visiting due to safety concerns. As one of the largest cities in the world, of course, there is crime, but you can take some precautions to ensure that your time in Mexico City is enjoyable and safe. Read on for tips for minimizing risks during your next trip.

Travel Advisories

The U.S. State Department’s Travel Advisory lists Mexico City at Level 3 , indicating travelers should exercise increased caution. Some Mexican states have higher Travel Advisory levels, including the neighboring state of Mexico. The Travel Advisory alerts travelers to petty crime occurring in both tourist areas and non-tourist areas and the fact that the city sees both violent and non-violent crime. They advise being cautious, especially at night and outside the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol routinely. 

Is Mexico City Dangerous?

Mexico City is not a totally safe destination, but travelers who practice safety precautions are unlikely to encounter problems. Using common sense, avoiding certain areas, and employing the same strategies when traveling in any big city are important. There is a significant police presence, particularly in places of tourist interest. Criminals do not specifically target tourists; victims typically are targeted based on an appearance of prosperity, vulnerability, or a lack of awareness .

The Mexico City neighborhoods of Centro Histórico, Roma, Juarez, Polanco, San Rafael, Condesa, Zona Rosa, and Coyoacán are well-traveled and generally safe. You may want to avoid the neighborhoods of Merced and Tepito or practice high levels of caution in those areas, and places like Nezahualcoyotl and Iztapalapa, which are not places of tourist interest, are best avoided. 

A few types of crime you should be aware of when traveling in Mexico City are express and virtual kidnappings .

  • Express kidnapping is when a person (often a taxi driver or someone posing as a taxi driver) abducts their victim temporarily and forces them to withdraw the daily maximum allowed amount from an ATM. They may hold the person until midnight to withdraw the full amount the following day. In express kidnappings, the victim is usually not injured: the kidnappers' goal is to get cash, then they let their victim go. To avoid being a victim of express kidnapping, use secure transportation instead of hailing cabs on the street, maintain an awareness of your surroundings, and avoid being out by yourself at night. Also, don't carry extra debit or credit cards on you; leave them in your hotel safe.
  • In a virtual kidnapping, no one is actually abducted. This is an extortion phone call, and the victim is the person who receives the call. Usually, they're told that a loved one has been kidnapped, and there may be the sound of a crying/pleading voice, ostensibly the person's loved one calling for help. The caller may confuse the victim and trick them into giving away important information. Virtual kidnappers may use information obtained from social media to target potential victims. To avoid being a victim of this type of crime, avoid posting your precise whereabouts in real-time on social media, keep family and friends advised of your travel plans, and don't give any personal or family information over the phone.

Is Mexico City Safe for Solo Travelers?

Solo travelers report feeling safe in Mexico City. Try to learn some Spanish before you go—at least a few phrases that will come in handy. Make sure a friend or family member has a copy of your itinerary and has an idea of your general whereabouts. Have a set time to check in with them. Stick to tourist-frequented areas, and keep an eye on your possessions when you’re out and about.

Is Mexico City Safe for Female Travelers?

Women travelers generally feel safe in Mexico City, but it’s wise to take some extra safety precautions. Young women travelers, in particular, and any woman traveling alone may be catcalled and subject to unwanted advances. As much as possible, travel mainly during the day. Carry your essentials in a cross-body bag instead of a purse. If you’re out at night, stick to areas that are well-lit and where other people are. Be cautious in bars: keep an eye on your drink, and be wary of accepting food or drinks from strangers. Read our tips for women travelers to Mexico for more ideas on how to deal with these issues.

Safety Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers

Mexico City is overall a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ visitors. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Mexico City in 2009, and the law protects against discrimination based on gender identity. There’s a thriving gay scene , and travelers are unlikely to experience harassment.

Safety Tips for BIPOC Travelers

Mexico City is generally a welcoming and safe destination for BIPOC travelers. Although 1.2 percent of Mexico’s population identifies as Afro-Mexican or of African descent, they have only recently been officially recognized in the Mexican Constitution, and the majority live in Veracruz, Guerrero, and Oaxaca states. Travel blogger Tina Hawkins writes about her experience of being Black in Mexico City and having people point and comment about her hair and skin in a curious manner, but not in a way that felt threatening to her.

Safety Tips for Travelers

Mexico City is a wonderful destination with good value, a rich cultural heritage, and wonderful museums and sites to visit. Travelers should exercise the caution required in any destination. 

  • Taking the metro in Mexico City can be a convenient and effective way to get around. During peak times, crowds are intense, making it easy for pick-pockets to rob items without you even noticing. Don’t carry valuables beyond the necessary, and make sure they’re tucked away and won’t be easy to access if you’re packed into a crowded subway car. On some lines, there’s a car reserved for women and children at the front of the train. 
  • Use an authorized taxi for transportation from the airport or bus station. Instead of hailing a cab on the street, use Uber or ask your hotel to call a taxi for you; they’ll make a note of the taxi number that picked you up. 
  • It’s best to use ATMs in bank branches during business hours, and the second-best choice is at the airport or your hotel. Avoid using ATMs on the street or in isolated areas.
  • Keep a low profile. Leave your valuables at home or make use of your hotel safe. Don’t wear expensive jewelry, watches, or other items that look expensive and may draw attention to you. Keep your cell phone and camera tucked away when not in use. Try to blend in as much as possible.
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency . The emergency phone hotline in Mexico is 911, and dialing will connect you with a bilingual operator for the Ángeles Verdes .  

U.S. State Department, "Mexico Travel Advisory." September 8, 2020.

Overseas Security Advisory Council, “ Mexico 2020 Crime & Safety Report: Mexico City .”  August 1, 2020.

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Is Mexico City Safe to Visit in 2024? A Local’s Guide

Is Mexico City safe to travel to? You might be worried about safety if you are planning a trip to the Mexican capital this year or in the near future. After all, Mexico on the whole isnt a destination that people necessarily associate with being super safe, and it is often in the media for all the wrong reasons.

In short, yes, Mexico City can be a safe place to visit but you need to take precautions while traveling here just as you do with any major city. You are in good hands here because I have been living in Mexico for the last two and a half years and have spent a lot of time in and around Mexico City. 

In this post, we will cover everything you need to know when planning your trip and how to stay safe during. If you still have any questions at the end, you are welcome to reach out to me.

Is Mexico City safe?

Table of Contents

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit in 2024?

Historically, many people thought that Mexico City was a bit of a dangerous city. I live in Merida in the Mexican Yucatan and even when I told Mexicans from other parts of Mexico that I was going to CDMX, they were a little concerned. 

For me personally, Mexico City is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have fortunately never felt uncomfortable there or had anything bad happen to me. (And I am a solo female traveler). 

Since the global pandemic, more and more remote workers from across the world have started traveling and moving here, and word about how great the city is has finally gotten out.

safe travel to mexico city

Where to stay in Mexico City

There are more than 300 different barrios in Mexico City, each of which has its own unique culture and charm and is like a little independent village in itself. As a first-time visitor, you want to base yourself somewhere central and safe. 

Consider booking a hotel or an Airbnb in the neighborhoods of Polanco, Roma Norte/Sur, Coyoacan, Condesa, Anzares, or Zona Rosa. When booking accommodation, check the reviews that have been left by previous guests and look at the property’s location on the map to make sure that you are not basing yourself in a potentially shady area. 

Polanco and Anzares

The upscale district of Polanco is one of the most exclusive areas in Mexico City. Its tree-lined streets and promenades are lined with designer stores and chic coffee and brunch spots that attract a well-heeled crowd.

There are some gorgeous luxury hotels here like the Wild Oscar and the W Mexico City as well as the contemporary Museo Soumaya which is worth checking out for the architecture alone, even if you don’t consider yourself a “museum person”. 

The leafy, sleepy district of Coyoacan was once its own independent town until it was engulfed by the expansion of CDMX. For decades, it has been the residence of choice for countless artists, writers, and creatives and it isn’t difficult to understand why.

Even acclaimed artist Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera lived here, in Casa Azul, and they would frequent the local Coyoacan market where they would shop for fresh produce for their famous dinner parties.

Think of Coyoacan as the Mexico City answer to New York’s Greenwich Village. It is a little far out of the center but it is safe and easy enough to take Ubers to and from the area. 

Roma Norte/Sur and Condesa 

The Roma and Condesa neighborhoods of Mexico City are known as “barrio magicos” for the special charm and culture they offer. They can be found south of the Paseo de la Reforma and their cobblestone streets boast brightly colored colonial mansions that have been converted into quirky coffee shops, independent art galleries, and boutique stores. 

Over the last few years, this area has become a bit gentrified, but it is simultaneously one of the safest and most popular areas to stay in. 

Zona Rosa 

Zona Rosa is something of a haven for foodie travelers as it is here where you will find many of the best restaurants in town. The district runs close to the sprawling Chapultapec Park, Mexico City’s answer to New Yorks’s Central Park, and the largest urban park in North America.

There is also an interesting part of this barrio called “Pequeña Seoul” or “Little Seoul” because it is home to many authentic Korean restaurants. With tons of stores selling sought-after Korean cosmetics and skincare products and eateries serving DIY Korean barbecue and specialty dishes like bulgogi and bibimbap, this is a nice place to grab food if you have been in Mexico a while and fancy a change. 

Coyoacán, Mexico City

Know which areas to avoid

Mexico City is not a city where you can wander around freely, blindly following Google Maps. Even in the historic center, you can easily find that you are in an area that is perfectly safe, take a wrong turn, and wind up somewhere that you really don’t want to be. 

A couple of blocks away from the Palacio de Bellas Artes is Plaza Garibaldi – a small square encircled with bars and restaurants that is known for its mariachi performers. While it is safe during the day, it is sketchy at night, and there are often vans filled with riot police around the block. 

Venture a couple of blocks more and you will end up in the notorious Tepito district – a dangerous marketplace known for being somewhere that criminals go. Always have a set plan of where you want to go and how you are going to get there. 

In particular, you want to exercise caution in or avoid the below areas

Tepito market is a region where most Mexicans, and even the police, will not venture. There is a saying that “you can buy everything in Tepito except your dignity”. Some of the stalls here simply sell fake designer handbags and sneakers, etc but as you go deeper in, it becomes more sinister. 

Guns, drugs, and weapons are for sale. The area is notorious for petty crime and it is known that cartel members come here to hire hitmen. Shootings, drug busts, violent assaults, and robberies have happened here in the past. If you have a phone or a camera in your hand when you enter, you may not leave with it and tourists are really not welcome. So if you come here to try and film something for your Tiktok you will attract a lot of angry looks.


Itzalapapa is a huge barrio in the eastern part of Mexico City that is home to the largest concentration of street art murals in Latin America, as well as a cable car network similar to that in Medellin. Unfortunately, for now, at least, it really is not a safe place to go. 

Crime rates here are extremely high, particularly gender-based violence against women. Femicides and assaults here were so bad, that the government invested in street lights and surveillance to make the main avenue, Ermita Iztapalapa Street, the most illuminated in the world. 

Colonia Doctores 

As a tourist, you might head into Colonia Doctores to catch a lucha libre wrestling match at the Arena Mexico. But you really don’t want to spend any time in this area aside from going directly to and from the arena in an Uber.

Robberies, including armed robberies, happen frequently and even local chilangos consider this a place to avoid. 

Colonia del Valle

Colonia del Valle is an area in the Benito Juarez borough of CDMX that can be interesting to explore by day but is definitely best avoided by night. The barrio has the highest rates of kidnapping in CDMX which is primarily a concern for locals, rather than international tourists, but points to a wider seedy underbelly of the area. 

Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl 

Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl is a vast area east of Mexico City, past the city’s main airport. Truthfully, you are unlikely to find yourself here as a tourist anyway. 

This is one of the poorest areas in the state and while it is unfair to make a sweeping generalization, generally speaking, poverty creates violence, and crime rates across the board are higher here. 

Colonia Populares 

Due to a huge disparity of wealth in Mexico City, the rising cost of living, and an overpopulation problem, informal neighborhoods known as “Colonias Populares” have sprouted up over the city in recent decades. They are generally best avoided as inquisitive tourists are not really welcome, and there is a greater risk of petty theft, etc. 

For instance, from the Palacio Bellas Artes (a very touristic area filled with travelers and police), a five-minute walk takes you to Plaza Garibaldi – a small square known for its live mariachi performers. However, the area between the two squares is not a good neighborhood. 

safe travel to mexico city

Centro Historico

Centro is probably the only part of Mexico City that you are likely to visit as a tourist where you need to practice increased caution. Again, common sense is key. Don’t wander down uninviting, sketchy-looking alleyways, and always be aware of your surroundings.  

A lot of homeless people and drug users loiter around the Plaza de la Concepcion and in the streets that veer off from Plaza Garibaldi. 

Is Mexico City safe to travel to?

Crime in Mexico City

Mexico City sees a moderate level of crime and crime has been on the rise here over the last few years. According to a report by Statista, there were 32,078 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021 and 46,032 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022 , representing a whopping 43.63% increase year over year. 

Still, the data is arguably skewed by incidents in neighborhoods that you would have no reason to venture into as a tourist (Tepito, Iztapalapa, etc), and clashes between criminal groups. As a tourist, the main things that you need to be concerned about are petty crimes like pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and other opportunistic crimes. 

In 2023, thefts and robberies on the street or on methods of public transport were the main crimes reported which accounted for almost a third of all crimes in the capital. Crimen in Mexico is another interesting reference point and displays a list of the safest and most dangerous places 

A good way to gauge how safe a certain city “feels” is by browsing the crime and safety rates on Numbeo. The site interviews residents of various global cities to determine how safe they feel in the places they live. 

Cities are awarded a safety rating from 0 to 100 where 0 would be very unsafe, and 100 is safe. The Numbeo crime index is rated in a similar way, with 0 meaning few crimes and 100 meaning a high level of crime. 

We can look at this to see how Mexico City compares to other cities in Mexico, the US, and elsewhere in the world. 

Is the cartel in Mexico City?

It is realistic to assume that cartels such as the Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco New Generation cartel have a presence in Mexico City as they do in many cities and states across the country. While you may hear narco-related news from the city occasionally, any conflicts that do happen are generally restricted to instances between members of criminal groups and do not target tourists. 

In some parts of Mexico, including ultra-popular tourist destinations like Cancun and Tulum, there have been instances where tourists were caught up in the crossfire of clashes between cartels and killed by ricocheting bullets. 

There have been no such instances in Mexico City in recent years. The chances of being at the wrong place at the wrong time are fortunately very slim here anyway, but you probably have a greater probability of something happening in Cancun, where cartels are literally fighting over the territory, than in CDMX. 

Check your government travel advice for Mexico City 

I always tell people that they should check their government travel advice before traveling anywhere new for the first time and that includes Mexico. Although it is a bit sternly worded, the US Department of State has a great safety advisory page for Mexico that offers a state-by-state breakdown of what the situation is like in each of the country’s 32 states.

This is a good resource to periodically check before and during your trip as it is updated in real-time to reflect changes in entry requirements, security warnings, etc. There are currently no warnings in place for Mexico City and the wider Estado De Mexico, aside from a general warning to exercise precautions. 

You can also find the Canadian government travel advice for Mexico here , and the UK government travel advice here , although they are somewhat less comprehensive. 

Getting around Mexico City 

During the day, it can be safe and fun to get some steps in and explore Mexico City on foot. To get between different districts, museums, and tourist attractions, you can opt to take an Uber or ride the subway. 

Taking the Subway in Mexico City 

For whatever reason, many tourists are absolutely terrified of using the metro in Mexico City. While it is better to avoid using it at night, particularly in quieter outskirts of town, it is really no more dangerous than taking the subway in other major cities and it is definitely safer than other Latin American subway networks. 

You can get a CDMX metro card known as the “integrated mobility card” for the city’s network of buses, light rails, and metos for just 15 pesos and journeys cost less than a dollar. Watch your belongings as you would anywhere and you will be fine. 

Using Uber in Mexico City

Uber is a great way to get around in Mexico City and in Mexico, locals tend to prefer ridesharing apps over street cabs. There is more accountability via apps like Uber as you can see the driver’s past reviews and journeys, rating, etc.

You should avoid taking random street taxis in Mexico City. Not only are you likely to be ripped off and overcharged, but express kidnappings are a risk here.

This happens when an unsuspecting tourist gets into a cab and the driver locks them in the car and holds them at gun/knife point while forcing them to hand over their valuables and driving them around the city making them make the maximum withdrawal from ATMs. This is not a possibility that you want to entertain, and Uber is considered much safer here. (Plus you have the added benefit of it being cheaper too).

Always double-check the license plate number before you get in the car. When someone accepts your fare, it is a good idea to click on their driver profile and see how many journeys they have done and what their rating is. If someone has done thousands of journeys and they have a rating of 4.9, you can feel pretty comfortable that they are reliable. If they have done very few rides and/or have a low rating, you can cancel and select another driver. 

Is Mexico City safe?

Is it safe to drive in Mexico City? 

Driving in Mexico City is not unsafe per se, but it can be a bit chaotic, and is perhaps not the best introduction to driving in Mexico if this is your first visit here. Honestly, for most Mexico City itineraries, you really don’t need a car and even taking day trips out from CDMX to places like Teotihuacan and Xochimilco is generally much easier with public transport. 

The city is extremely congested and getting anywhere can mean being stuck in traffic for long periods of time, especially at rush hour. To combat this, CMDX introduced restrictions known as “hoy no circula” which mean that certain vehicles cannot drive during certain hours (and this often includes international/tourist cars since locals need to commute). 

If you are sure that driving here works out convenient for you, there are a few safety pointers that you should keep in mind. 

  • Always check Google Maps and be mindful of the route you are being taken. There are some neighborhoods you really don’t want to pass through
  • To get to Puebla state and other parts of Mexico, you might need to pass through Itzalapapa. Along the main roads in daylight, this is fine
  • Driving at night is generally best avoided in the city and you should never drive interstate/between cities at night, largely because the roads often do not have street lights, making it difficult to see stray animals and hazards
  • Drive around with the windows wound up where you can. People often ask for money at stoplights and thefts/crimes are not unheard of
  • Never leave anything in your car, even if it isnt something super valuable like a jacket, backpack, etc. Be mindful of where you park your car. 

Is Mexico City safe?

Take a guided tour to get your bearings

Taking a guided tour is a great way to get your bearings in a new city and it can help you feel a lot more confident if you are nervous about being in Mexico City. Better yet, exploring with a CDMX local means that you have an expert on hand to help you discover districts, markets, and restaurants that you would not have found independently and whom you can ask questions about your itinerary.

From street food tours to history walks, there is something for everyone.

Best Mexico City tours for 2024 and beyond

Tons of reputable tour companies operate in Mexico City and a selection of some of the best tours they offer is summarized below .

Book your places online in advance to avoid disappointment!

  • From Mexico City: Teotihuacan air balloon flight and breakfast
  • Teotihuacan and Tlatelolco day trip by van
  • Mexico City tour: Xochimilco, Coyoacan and Frida Kahlo house
  • Mexico City street art bike tour with snacks
  • CDMX Authentic downtown food tour
  • Mexico City market tour
  • Mexico City: Tacos & mezcal night food tour
  • San Miguel de Allende day trip from Mexico City
  • Puebla, Cholula and Tonantzintla day trip from Mexico City

Is Mexico City safe for solo travelers? 

Mexico City can be a safe destination for solo travelers of all ages, backgrounds and genders. I have traveled to the city numerous times as a solo woman and have never felt uncomfortable. 

The city also has a great Digital Nomad and international social scene so it is very easy to meet like-minded people if you are looking to socialize during your time here. (Check out one of the many Facebook groups dedicated to people living in Mexico City, or seek out a Meetup event). 

Since there are so many different people from different backgrounds and cultures living here, you wont stick out or attract weird looks for being foreign or solo. 

safe travel to mexico city

Is Mexico City safe for solo female travelers?

This entire article and website has been written by me, a solo female traveler based in Mexico. I am a big advocate for never letting your gender or physical appearance make you feel that you cannot do something and that includes traveling to Mexico City. 

Violence against women is an issue in Mexico, although I have personally never had anyone act less than chivalrous towards me in real life. Mexican women tend to dress quite modestly here. 

Even during the summer months they wear things like jeans and t-shirts to avoid unwanted attention. It is a good idea to follow suit. 

Since I dress quite feminine, I usually wear things like dresses and stockings with trench coats. Wearing shorts and t-shirts or skimpy summer dresses is a surefire way to attract unwanted attention. 

safe travel to mexico city

Earthquakes and natural disasters 

Earthquakes do happen in Mexico from time-to-time and unfortunately Mexico City is one of the worst places for them. The entire country sits in the world’s most seismically active zone known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire”.

Mexico City is particularly susceptible to quakes because it sits on the border of five tectonic plates: the Pacific plate, the Cocos, the North America Plate, the Caribbean plate, and the Rivera plate. Add to that the fact that the city was built on the site of an old, dried-up Aztec lake which is constantly sinking and you have a recipe for disaster and an understanding of why the ground here is often shaking. 

Tremors here are pretty common and if you downloaded a seismic warning app during your time in the city, you would just drive yourself mad with worry because there are small tremors almost daily. Mexico City has had some much larger, destructive quakes though and it pays to read up on what to do in the event of an earthquake. 

A lot of hotels here do have earthquake and evacuation procedures on the walls of their rooms. Many modern buildings in central neighborhoods have been built to withstand quakes. 

Is Mexico City safe to travel to?

Is Mexico City safe at night? 

There are some wonderful speakeasies, cocktail bars and rooftop bars in Mexico City and it would be a shame to miss out on them. You need to practice extra caution at night – take an Uber back to your accommodation rather than walk, watch your alcohol intake and keep an eye on your drinks, etc but a lot of this is mostly common sense.

Is Mexico City safe to travel to?

Practical safety tips for visiting Mexico City

I have summarised some general safety tips for visiting Mexico City below. A lot of these things are good practice wherever you travel but they are worth reiterating here. 

  • Don’t venture into known dangerous areas like the Tepito marketplace just to be “brave” or document it for social media. Don’t walk around with your phone or camera out in the open in these areas
  • Try not to dress flashy and draw attention to yourself. You will see many well-dressed people in upscale chic Polanco and in the popular neighborhoods of Roma Norte, Sur, and Condesa but elsewhere, leave the designer bags and branded clothing at home
  • Don’t wear things like flip flops and shorts and t-shirts as it is a surefire way to stick out as a tourist in Mexico City and attract unwanted attention. (Also because the floors are often gross, especially in the metro stations so wearing open shoes is a no-no)
  • Consider purchasing a theft-proof backpack or moneybelt like those offered by Pacsafe , especially if you spend a lot of time in Latin America. These bags are slash-proof and water-proof and come with a TSA-approved mesh locking system as well as other handy security features
  • Don’t hesitate to try the street food! Skipping it would mean missing out on a huge part of local food culture. Eating at street food stalls is not always synonymous with getting sick. Choose popular stalls where locals are lining up to be served – it’s a good indicator that it’s a decent place!
  • Use Mexico City Facebook groups to connect with locals and expats for any questions you need to ask, recommendations, and if you want to be social and meet people for coffee, etc! 

safe travel to mexico city

Purchase comprehensive travel insurance 

It is imperative to purchase comprehensive travel insurance wherever in the world you travel. Unfortunately, even with all the preparation and caution in the world, you can never really know what’s around the corner. 

Purchase a comprehensive policy that has at least $250,000 US dollars worth of medical coverage. Medical bills in Mexico can still quickly add up, even if they are cheaper than in the US and elsewhere.

Always read the small print and ideally, purchase a policy that comes with additional coverage for things like loss/theft of luggage and electronics, cancellations and repatriations.

Be sure to print out/screenshot the first page of your travel insurance plan and keep the policy reference number safe. Should you need assistance overseas, this will be the first thing that you are asked for. 

Polanco, CDMX

Can you drink the water in Mexico City?

You cannot drink the water in Mexico City or anywhere in Mexico for that matter. Although the water in Mexico is purified at the source, it often gets contaminated en route to your tap. 

The risk of getting very sick from congesting contaminated water is very high so this is simply not worth the risk. Most hotels will leave a couple of bottles of water in your room each day. 

Some have potable water on-site. If they do, there will be signs saying “agua potable”.

It is a good idea to purchase a reusable water bottle like a Life Straw. These keep your water cool throughout the day and help you minimize plastic waste. 

Just purchase large, multi-liter water bottles from Oxxo, 7/11, or Mexican supermarkets. Then, keep it in your hotel fridge and top up your reusable bottle each day.

safe travel to mexico city

Gentrification and attitude to remote workers and expats in Mexico City 

Since the global pandemic, a lot more remote workers have started relocating to Mexico City on both a short and long-term basis. Since people have historically been a little nervous about safety here, international travelers often stick to the same few areas (namely, Condesa, Roma, Polanco) and rent Airbnbs so that they can be safe, central, and close to other expats. 

This has caused rental prices in these areas to soar, to the extent that an unprecedented wave of gentrification through Mexico City is pushing locals out of their barrios where they can no longer afford to live. While this is definitely a global issue, it is new for Mexico. 

A lot of people are not happy about it, and the topic has blown up on social media, encouraging people to plaster aggressive “go home gringo” signs around different areas. This is a sensitive topic, and while we should be ethical travelers, ultimately it is for the government to introduce regulations for Airbnb, etc. 

Try to avoid conversations on this sensitive issue.

Is Mexico City safe? Final thoughts 

Mexico City can be a safe place to travel provided that you take precautions and make your safety your priority. 

Mexico, in general is safe for assertive travelers . Don’t listen to the opinions of people who have never traveled to a destination themselves. You don’t need to hear their ignorant stereotypes or sweeping generalizations about somewhere they haven’t even visited. 

Follow the tips in this post and use the same common sense that you would in any other big city and you will be fine.

Do you have any more questions or concerns about planning your trip? Please dont hesitate to reach out to me via email, social media, or via the comments below.

I will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. Safe travels and enjoy Mexico.

Buen Viaje! Melissa xo

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Melissa Douglas

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Should travelers worry about being kidnapped in Mexico? Travel experts discuss safety in Mexico.

safe travel to mexico city

The high-profile case of four U.S. citizens being kidnapped in Mexico sent shock waves through the nation. Two were killed last week after getting caught in the crossfire of cartel violence in the border city of Matamoros. 

Many are wondering what's next for the popular tourist destination, and whether Mexico is safe for travel. 

The four Americans – one woman and two men from South Carolina – crossed the southern border for cosmetic surgery last Friday when a cartel shootout erupted.

Social media videos show the gunmen pulling the Americans from their car and driving away, all during daylight. Mexican officials announced Tuesday that they had found two dead. the other The two survivors were escorted back to the U.S.

Is it safe to take a taxi in Cancun?: Here are the safest ways to get around, per travel agents.

Learn more: Best travel insurance

With 2 Americans dead in Matamoros: A cartel-scarred Mexican border town wonders what's next

Violence around border cities is not unusual and can involve Mexicans or migrants with little public attention, but it typically doesn't involve Americans. Officials said the abduction was probably a case of mistaken identity , but the FBI is investigating further.

Meanwhile, questions arose on how the Mexican and U.S. governments will respond, which could affect regular travel to Mexico. A heavy-handed response could likely mean "a wave of violence where it gets worse before it gets better," said Michael Ballard, director of intelligence at Global Guardian , a firm that specializes in travel security. 

Currently, the travel advisory for Mexico warns Americans of crime and kidnapping. On Tuesday, White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the State Department takes it "seriously" when it comes to providing "clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world ... so they can make informed travel decisions." 

Is Mexico safe to travel to?

In 2021, nearly 29 million American travelers  headed down to Mexico. That same year, about 75 American citizens died by homicide in Mexico, according to the most recent U.S. State Department statistics. 

Mexico is "a tricky place" when it comes to travel and safety because "the security landscape and the security dynamic is so different state to state and city to city," according to Ballard. 

Unlike some other countries, Mexico's travel advisory assesses each state individually. 

The agency issued a "do not travel to" warning for the Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas state because of violent crime.

"You probably don't want to go to one of these border cities" because cartels "contest these ports of entry pretty heavily and fight for their economic control," Ballard said.

When it comes to the "do not travel to warning," Jean-Pierre said, "We've been very clear about that. The State Department, again, has put that out. We urge Americans to read these alerts before traveling."

Popular tourist spots like Quintana Roo, Nayarit and Mexico City have warnings of "exercised increased caution when traveling to" and Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is, has a "reconsider travel to." Travelers can "exercise normal precautions" when traveling to Yucatan, which includes the popular attraction Chichén Itzá.

How likely is it to encounter cartel violence? 

"I don’t think anyone can ensure 100% clearance on (avoiding cartel violence), unfortunately. We know that Mexico has been plagued by drug violence, and cartels are in many parts of the country, just as in other nations," said Vanessa Karel, a Latinx entrepreneur who founded Greether , a travel startup that helps women travel with fewer risks. 

"However, it is well documented that some areas have a higher presence of violence. Please do your due diligence on which areas these are," she said. Steer clear of these areas and avoid taking part in anything drug-related, Karel advised. 

Ballard agreed and offered this analogy: "Getting struck by lightning is a really rare occurrence, but if you are standing on top of a tree in a thunderstorm, those odds go up. That's how I view being in and around some of these higher-risk cities in Mexico, the border cities."

Getting caught in cartel activity is less common somewhere like Cancun than it is in Colima.

Because Mexico's economy heavily depends on tourism dollars, cartels "tend to stay away from harming or hurting Americans because they know the response would be pretty severe," Ballard said.

The Mexican government has also implemented several initiatives to maintain safety in high-tourist areas, like deploying tourist police forces to high-traffic visitor areas. These officers are easy to spot and usually speak English.

"Travelers will have fewer risks by staying at highly rated hotels, areas and booking tour guides to show them around," Karel said. 

Should people be worried about being kidnapped in Mexico?

Being "in the wrong place at the wrong time" is the main risk for Americans and cartel activity, Ballard said. It's rare for Americans to be kidnapped by cartels for ransom.

He does warn of occasional "express kidnappings," which happen not just in Mexico but in other countries too. In this situation, a tourist who is likely drunk and wandering around downtown gets kidnapped, driven around to ATMs and forced to withdraw money. Usually, they end up being let go. 

As long as you stay in resort areas and use common sense, it should be relatively easy to keep safe. 

Check out USA TODAY's 17 travel safety tips from the CIA .

What should you do if you witness or encounter cartel crime? 

If you do witness or encounter cartel crime such as an express kidnapping or carjacking, Ballard said, you should report the case to the U.S. Embassy or to the local equivalent of 911. "You definitely want to have a record of something like that out there." Unfortunately, response times can be slow depending on where you are, he said. 

According to the State Department , if something happens, you'll probably be relying on local resources. 

Global Guardian clients, he pointed out, have a 24/7 panic button on the Global Guardian app, which will connect users to a safe haven, like a hospital. 

In some cases, he said, your response depends on the situation, and it may be best to cooperate. 

Top safety tips

Karel's top rule for traveling to Mexico is "to plan on going to places that are designed for you to go. If you are trying to visit an area that not even locals feel comfortable going to, don't attempt it, and please, simply avoid it," she said. 

She also advised people to have situational awareness. "We are concerned that travelers going to Mexico think they can go just about anywhere, especially when they don’t blend as a local," she said. Visitors "should be aware of how much they stand out and how little or how much they know about the area they are going to."

Here are some other safety tips when traveling in Mexico:

  • Travel during daylight hours and avoid walking around unknown areas, especially at night.
  • Don't walk around with jewelry or your head down looking at your phone because that makes you an easy target to get robbed, Ballard said. 
  • "Please ask trustworthy travel businesses and, most importantly, check travel advisories and what the tourism boards say. T they are there for a reason, and a lot of us are fighting to make cities safer and more sustainable," Karel said.
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program , a free service for U.S. travelers to receive safety alerts about their destination from the U.S. Embassy in real time.
  • Before departing on your trip to a high-risk area, the State Department recommended you share important documents and points of contact with someone at home, and create a communication plan if something were to happen. 
  • Share your location via your smartphone with someone at home while you are abroad. 
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance for kidnapping or ransom. Depending on the plan, it can cover ransom payments, emergency evacuation costs, and payment for any negotiations needed. 

Contributing: Michael Collins, USA TODAY

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected]

11 things to know before going to Mexico City

Natalia de la Rosa

Oct 20, 2023 • 8 min read

safe travel to mexico city

From dealing with altitude to tipping well, we share local tips on what you should know before traveling to Mexico City © Tais Policanti / Getty Images

With a population of over 21 million people, Mexico City  is a densely packed metropolis with Indigenous origins dating back to the 1300s, when it was called Tenochtitlan.

This beautiful yet chaotic city is my hometown. After a lifetime spent here, CDMX (as it's often referred to) still surprises me with its sense of community and how locals – known as chilangos –  own and enjoy public spaces such as parks and plazas. People-watching is a thing here, and just going out for the sake of walking around and having a late-night snack is a form of social entertainment.

In recent years, Mexico City has become a sought-after destination for travelers seeking to indulge in Mexico's rich culinary heritage, admire the city's stunning architecture, or stroll around the central and most picturesque neighborhoods such as Roma, Polanco, Juárez and Condesa.

Yet, throughout my years as a travel writer and fixer in Mexico , I still hear questions that reflect particular misconceptions about the city. So, here are some answers to help you plan your trip to Mexico City and feel more confident and at ease before boarding the plane.

A young loving couple sharing an umbrella in heavy rain

1. What should I pack for Mexico City?

Mexico City is privileged in the weather department since it enjoys a consistent temperature averaging the low 20°Cs  most of the year . Summer is considered the rainy season. It will likely rain during the evening from late June until mid-October, either a massive 20-minute downpour or just a sprinkle here and there, but rest assured: it will rain. 

Pack a light, waterproof jacket, but skip the umbrella. If you get caught in the rain, street vendors sell umbrellas for 60 pesos on average. Pack comfortable shoes since you might do lots of walking as you explore the city . Bring a button-down shirt or a summery or casual dress if visiting high-end restaurants. Chilangos tend to be dressier and chic when going out.

2. Some restaurants and museums should be booked months in advance

The Mexico City dining  and bar scene is lively and includes some of the best restaurants in North America, and the world. You should book lunch or dinner reservations in advance if you have Pujol or Quintonil on your list of places to eat. 

If traveling to Mexico City with friends or family, it's also worth booking lunch and dinner reservations in advance because it will be harder for sought-after restaurants and bars to accommodate walk-ins of large parties.

Buy tickets to the Frida Kahlo Museum or the Luis Barragan House with plenty of time, and plan the itinerary of your trip around the reservations that are harder to get.

February to early May and September to December are usually the busiest months to visit Mexico City, so plan around that if you prefer to avoid crowds.

Tourists walk down an avenue leading to a large stone pyramid

3. How long should I stay?

Plan a four- to five-day trip to have enough time to explore the city's most popular neighborhoods and attractions. If you wish to visit Teotihuacan  – an archaeological site located 39km  northeast of Mexico City  – or Xochimilco's Cuemanco ecological area in the southern part of the city, set aside an entire morning for each activity since it can take around 1.5 hours to reach each destination coming from the central areas of the city.

The National Museum of Archaeology and the Chapultepec Castle deserve at least four or five hours of your time. Allow a full day to walk around  Centro Histórico (Mexico City's downtown area), visiting sites such as  Bellas Artes , the Diego Rivera murals , Catedral Metropolitana  and Templo Mayor .

Give yourself some time to experience Mexico City's pace of life. It can be hectic but quiet enough to enjoy a coffee or a cocktail and unwind.

4. How much should I tip and when?

Mexico City is a predominantly working-class city, and there is a lot of economic disparity in the service and hospitality industry. Consider a 15% tip as the standard and even 20% based on the full tab at restaurants, bars and coffee shops or the amount paid for booking experiences and services. 

Service staff at restaurants and bars will ask if you wish to add a tip before swiping your card. On the other hand, if you decide to take a tour or hire a city guide, tip with cash, preferably in pesos. 

Tipping an Uber driver is not common, but if you hire a personal chauffeur throughout your trip, tipping will be expected. If you visit a supermarket and someone assists you in packing your groceries, tip 10 to 15 pesos.

5. Mexico City is not cheap

Several international travelers and remote workers have been called out on social media for posting: "Mexico City is so cheap!". If you earn USD, Euros or GBP, you will find that your income or travel budget goes further in Mexico City than, for example, New York, San Francisco, or London. 

However, Mexico City is not cheap for Mexicans, and the cost of living has risen considerably for locals in the last five years, especially in housing costs due to short-term rentals and Airbnb. Chilangos are generally welcoming and hospitable, but comments from tourists about the lower relative costs in the city are unlikely to be appreciated.

A woman takes a photo of her food that she's ordered from a nearby street-food trader

6. Mexican street food is delicious, but not very accommodating

Unfortunately, strict veganism or vegetarianism, gluten intolerance, severe allergies or other religious or cultural-related food restrictions will be hard to accommodate in most places, especially when visiting street food stands. 

Taco stands or quesadilla vendors might cook vegetarian dishes with lard or near animal proteins; some mole and salsas could have peanuts or other nuts. Most local markets have sections where traditional butchery is on full display. If you're a meat-eater, be open to the idea and exercise a degree of flexibility. You might end up trying delicious Mexican food.

When visiting a taco stand, locals might warn you about the spiciness of the salsas, and it might be a bit more spicy than what you are used to. In Spanish, picante means spicy. 

Mexican eateries –  fondas  – cook mostly from scratch and always have a vegetarian dish on the daily menu. Corn tortillas are everywhere in Mexico City, so you will be good to go if your restriction is gluten.

Nowadays, most restaurants are mindful of food restrictions and allergies and might make suggestions based on their current menu. But expect them to keep a dish the same, accommodating your request in the best way possible.

7. How safe is the water?

A good rule of thumb is that you can brush your teeth, but do not swallow any water. Depending on the city borough, the quality and sanitation of the tap water might change. 

Consequently, Mexico City residents drink only filtered or bottled water. Since 2014, Mexico City restaurants have been required by local authorities to serve filtered water to consumers at no extra cost.

Any ice used to prepare drinks, aguas frescas (fruity beverages) and cocktails is made with filtered water. Coffee shops and juice stands prepare beverages with filtered water as well. 

8. What about crime? Is Mexico City safe?

The answer to this question really depends on where you are coming from. Strolling around central neighborhoods like Roma, Polanco, Coyoacán or Condesa is way safer than walking, for example, in certain areas of cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia, Phoenix, LA, Washington DC or Chicago. In recent years, Mexico City's government has increased security patrols in most areas, and overall, the city is safe. 

As in any major city, be aware of your surroundings and always be mindful of your belongings. Watch out for petty crime and pickpocketing in tourist areas. If you end up in a crowded place like a soccer stadium, a concert or a music festival, keep your valuables close to you. Leave any flashy jewelry or watches at the hotel.

If taking public transportation like the Metro (as the subway system is called) or buses, be aware of pickpockets. Stay away from regular taxis and opt for Uber instead.

There are, for sure, neighborhoods in Mexico City where even residents advise caution, so always refer to local intel if you are planning to explore the outer areas of the city. If an area feels edgy and unsafe, staying away is best.

9. Don't drink alcohol in the streets and avoid weed

Drinking in the streets of Mexico City is illegal. Mexico City is not Tulum , Cancún or Los Cabos. If you get caught by the police drinking alcohol in the streets, you may face a fine or jail time. 

In 2009, the Mexican government adopted legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs  for personal and immediate use. However, it's best to avoid consuming any type of drugs in Mexico to avoid the legal gray matter. 

10. Stay hydrated to help with the altitude

Mexico City sits in a valley in the high Mexican central plateau with an elevation of 2240m. You might notice you are more tired than usual after a day or two of arrival. Drink enough water and stay hydrated at all times. You might also experience that alcohol hits you faster here, and it is all because of the high elevation. 

Luckily, you can find bottles of electrolytes in every OXXO or 7-11 store. Locals call them electrolitos , and once you recognize the bottles, you will catch them everywhere. Electrolitos come in different flavors: coco, lime, strawberry etc, and are great for curing a hangover. 

11. There’s a chance of earthquakes 

Mexico City experiences earthquakes occasionally, and the city and its residents are prepared to handle the situation. Mexico has a sophisticated seismic alarm system that gives up to a 60-second warning before an earthquake hits the city. 

If you hear the alarm, stay calm, don't run, and follow the locals' lead to a safe place to see the earthquake through. Hotels, restaurants, government buildings, apartment buildings, offices and schools follow a safety protocol. 

Mexico City schedules earthquake drills once a year to reinforce first responders' safety measures and allow residents to practice earthquake safety protocols. If you happen to be in Mexico City during an earthquake, staying calm is the most crucial step to staying safe.

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Mexico City Safety 2024: How Safe is Mexico City for Travel?

Susan Laurent

Welcome to Mexico City, the heart and soul of Mexico and one of the largest cities in the world ! So, how safe is this metropolis? Should you pay a visit?

Absolutely. Mexico City isn’t among the most dangerous cities in Mexico . But before boarding a plane, there are a few things you need to know about staying safe in this city.

Like any bustling city, it’s essential to exercise extreme caution simply because you’re much more vulnerable when you’re visiting a foreign location. Let’s learn why Mexico City continues to be an alluring destination and show you how you can ensure you stay safe on your trip.

safe travel to mexico city

Unveiling the Reality: A Comprehensive Look at Mexico City’s Crime Rates

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico. And as the capital, it wears many hats. It’s the political powerhouse of the country, a cultural epicenter, and the nation’s beating heart.

The U.S. State Department has granted travelers the green light to travel there, and every year, Mexico City welcomes approximately 3.5 million visitors .

However, like in any bustling metropolis, travelers should “Exercise Increased Caution” during their stay. The city is a vast metropolis and there is both violent and non-violent crime there, so there’s still a risk of trouble.

Mexico City Crime Rates

The crime in Mexico City is moderate, 67.95.

The criminal activity in Mexico City is usually concentrated in specific neighborhoods, meaning that if you stick to the safe zones for tourism, you are good to go. Cartel presence is certainly felt, but their strongholds are elsewhere, like the border town of Tijuana .

Mexico City Safe Areas

The safest neighborhoods to visit in Mexico City are:

  • Santa Maria La Ribera
  • Roma Norte/Sur
  • Centro Histórico

Travelers feel most at peace in these city districts, but as with any tourist hotspot, there is still the possibility of scams or petty crime — so exercise caution.

Mexico City Dangerous Areas

The most dangerous neighborhoods in Mexico City are:

  • Colonia del Valle
  • Ciudad Neza

Each of these neighborhoods is notorious for different crimes. For example, Tepito is regarded as Mexico City’s “black market” whereas Iztapalapa had increased incidents of violence against women.

Overall, this is a broad generalization of a massive and diverse metropolis, and crime can happen virtually anywhere and at any moment. So never let your guard down, even in Mexico City’s safest neighborhoods.

What Are the Police Doing to Protect Mexico City?

Mexico City’s police force comprises over 84,000 police officers, making it one of the largest in Latin America.

The police force is divided into several categories. The Federal police, for example, monitors Mexico City’s highways and defends federal buildings and airports. Mexico City police maintain peace within the city borders, and each of the 23 municipalities agglomerated within Mexico City has its own local police department.

Overall, the task of these police forces is to control a roiling metropolis of 20 million people — which sadly is uncontrollable. Nevertheless, tourism is very important for the capital, so officers prioritize the safety of its visitors.

Navigating the New Normal: Ensuring COVID-19 Safety in Mexico City

COVID-19 Safety

Passengers don’t require a negative COVID-19 test to enter Mexico City.

Many Mexico City hospitals, clinics, and laboratories provide private COVID-19 testing. Generally, PCR testing cost between 950 and 4500 MXN ($53 and $250), whereas viral antigen tests cost between 200 and 1000 MXN ($11 and $55).

The American Red Cross has a list of safety precautions you should follow to enjoy a healthy trip to Mexico City and avoid the transmission of COVID-19. The primary ones are social distancing and frequently washing your hands.

Perils of Nature: The Risk of Natural Disasters in Mexico City

Three natural forces endanger Mexico City: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes.

Earthquake Information and Precautions

Mexico City is subject to earthquakes due to its position on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, where numerous tectonic plates intersect.

One of the worst earthquakes in Mexico City happened on September 19, 1985. The earthquake had an 8.1 magnitude and completely destroyed the capital.

Earthquake trackers reveal that minor tremors and major earthquakes continue to happen in Mexico City. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has information on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. As an added precaution, you can install the 911 CDMX app on your smartphone to receive an earthquake warning 60 seconds before it occurs.

Volcanic Eruptions Information and Precautions

Mexico City is near several volcanoes, including Popocatépetl, Iztacchuatl, and Tláloc.

Popocatépetl is the only one of the three to have periods of increased activity, and its most recent eruption occurred in June 2022 .

The principal concerns linked with volcanic eruptions in Mexico City include ashfall, potential disruption to air traffic, and respiratory difficulties caused by small particles in the ash.

Visit the Mexican Disaster Prevention Centre’s website for the most recent reports on volcanic eruptions.

Hurricane Information and Precautions

Mexico City is protected from the direct impact of storms due to its higher altitude and inland location. It may, however, suffer the indirect effects of a hurricane, such as increased rainfall and flooding.

Such a severe storm happened in 2011 , causing significant flooding in Mexico City and forcing almost 2,000 families to flee their homes.

Another flood occurred in 2018 , which officials labeled the year’s worst storm. The three-hour storm poured 53 millimeters of rain on the city. The flooded streets buried automobiles and damaged several dozen homes, and the severe winds pulled down and destroyed many trees.

In 2021 , two people died from a flood, and one was reported missing. The storm was said to be so severe that the streets turned into a full-blown river.

For the most recent weather forecasts , check out The National Hurricane Service, and in the event of a natural disaster, be sure to follow the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s safety tips .

Breathing Safely in Mexico City: Carbon Monoxide Awareness and Prevention

If someone inhales carbon monoxide gas for too long, they can become poisoned. What’s worse — one cannot detect the presence of carbon monoxide gas since it has no color or smell.

Carbon monoxide gas may leak from a defective appliance, such as a water heater, stove, or furnace, and if inhaled for a more extended period, it can be deadly.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, disorientation, weakness, chest discomfort, and loss of consciousness.

Mexico City had a case of carbon monoxide poisoning. In November 2022 , three Americans got poisoned by a gas leak while sleeping in their Airbnb.

Even though CO poisoning can be lethal, such a tragedy is preventable with today’s cutting-edge technology. For starters, you can book an accommodation that has a carbon monoxide detector. If the hotel or rental property doesn’t have one, or if it breaks, purchase a backup detector and pack it with you.

Mexico City’s Weather Patterns: What to Expect?

Mexico City enjoys two seasons: wet and dry.

The dry season in Mexico City begins in November and lasts until April. Around this time, the city has warm weather and very little rainfall.

The daily temperatures in the dry season range from the low-70s°F (low 20s°C ) to the mid-70s°F (mid-20s°C). The temperature at night significantly drops, ranging from 45°F (7°C) to 54°F (12°C).

The wet season starts in May and lasts until October. Mexico City is the warmest during this time of year but has the most rainfall and humidity.

The average highs during the day range from the low 70s°F (low 20s°C) to mid-70s°F (mid-20s°C). At night, the temperature drops to 56°F (13°C).

The rainiest months in Mexico City are June, July, and August. However, It’s crucial to remember that just because it rains more frequently during the wet season, it doesn’t mean it rains every day or all day. Mexico City still enjoys sunny days this season; the rain typically starts in the afternoon.

Weather Overview in Mexico City

Mexico City’s summer season spans from June through August. Summers in this region are hot, rainy, and humid. The average daily temperature is around 65°F (18°C), and the maximum it can reach is 67°F (25°C). At night, the temperature drops to 56°F (13°C).

Mexico City’s fall season begins in September and wraps up in November. During this period, Mexico City shifts from the wet season to the dry season, so rainfall is still present but gradually decreases towards the end of the season. The average daily temperature may reach up to 64°F (18°C), and the maximum it can reach is 73°F (23°C). The nights become colder, with a minimum temperature of 47°F (8°C).

Mexico City’s winter season begins in December and concludes in February. Although snowfall is uncommon in Mexico City, the nearby mountains may receive some snow around this period. During the day, average temperatures may reach up to 60°F (15°C), the maximum being 75°F (23°C). Winter nights in Mexico City drop to 45°F (7°C).

Mexico City’s spring season lasts from March until May. In the spring, temperatures steadily rise, and the weather becomes drier with occasional showers. The average daily temperature is around 67°F (19°C), and the maximum is 80°F (26°C). Nights are cooler, with temperatures dropping to 50°F (9°C).

When Is the Best Time to Visit Mexico City?

There is never a bad time of year to travel to Mexico City.

The peak tourist season is between March and May when the weather is sunny and pleasant for outdoor activities, not too cold like in the winter and not too rainy like in the summer.

June, July, August, April, and December are the least busy months. Due to the rainy season in Mexico throughout the summer and the holiday season in December and April, many travelers choose another time to travel. However, many hotels offer discounts around this time, so if you like a more relaxed traveling experience, this may be the perfect month to visit Mexico City.

Between September and November, tourists can participate in some of the city’s most popular festivities and cultural events , such as the Day of the Dead. The weather begins to get chilly, but it’s still pleasant.

In January and February, you’ll need a jacket, since these two months are one of the coldest of the year. So if you are a winter person who enjoys chilly weather, January and February are the months to visit Mexico City. 

March marks the beginning of spring. This is the time of year when the city’s landscape is most charming. Mexico City is famous for its purple jacaranda trees, which bloom in late February and early March, so if you visit during this period, you’ll be in for a treat.

Exploring Mexico City Solo or With a Family: Is It a Good Idea?


Mexico City is a safe place to visit solo and with your family. However, the Mexico Travel Advisory advises that you use caution while there. Here are some pointers for safe city navigation.

Essential tips for staying safe:

  • Learn some basic Spanish
  • ADO is a super reliable bus company (they accept only pesos)
  • Uber and DiDi are excellent cab services
  • Get a Mexican SIM card.
  • Don’t drink tap water
  • Know the emergency phone numbers: 911 for police, 066 for ambulances, and 080 for fire services
  • Book your stay at a reliable hostel, hotel, house-sharing, or rental unit ( Booking and Airbnb are reliable online booking services)
  • Don’t draw money from a public ATM to avoid getting your money stolen. Instead, go to a bank or a supermarket

Tips for traveling alone:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid confrontation
  • Drink responsibly
  • Don’t leave your drink alone to avoid someone putting a narcotic in it
  • When you’re out and about, avoid wearing pricey items like jewelry
  • If you are given illegal substances, simply decline them
  • Never wander alone at night
  • Dress appropriately, especially if you are a female solo traveler
  • Contact the resort’s staff for whatever help or guidance you need during your stay
  • Notify friends and relatives of your vacation schedule and daily plans

Tips for traveling with your family:

  • Never split as a group
  • Always keep an eye on your children
  • Consider renting a car rather than taking taxis
  • Find a hotel that provides a variety of activities for your family
  • Pack a first-aid kit
  • Drink responsibly so you can keep track of your surroundings and children

Take basic precautions, keep vigilant, follow our safety tips, and you’ll have a great holiday!

If you’re wondering if Mexico City is safe, the answer is YES, Mexico City is a safe traveling destination.

The United States State Department has designated Mexico City as a place where travelers should exercise extra caution due to crime — typical advice for every bustling metropolis.

Yes, Mexico City does have some dangerous areas where criminal activity dominates, but if you stick to the tourist areas where people feel the safest and where the crime rate is at its lowest — your trip to this capital will be unforgettable!

Mexico City has a lively arts scene, a buzzing nightlife, and a rich culinary tradition . So, now that you understand safety, it’s time to start making travel plans!

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Is Mexico City Safe for Travel in 2024? 

  • by Nellie Huang

Are you heading to the capital city and wondering , is Mexico City safe? Here I share my research, personal experience and safety tips.

For years, Mexico City was a name associated with violence and drug cartels. The first wave of violence in Mexico came in the 1980s and 1990s when the cartels came into the picture. The second (and worst period in Mexico’s history) wave rocked the country  from 2006 to 2012 when the entire country was drowning in violence due to the narco wars.

But today’s reality is completely different – Mexico City is no longer a crime-ridden metropolis. Crime rates have dropped enormously and the city has done a good job keeping the streets and its people safe. The capital city is no longer the same dangerous place it was a decade ago.

Like in many parts of  the world, safety in Mexico City is a complex subject. In this article, I will break down the topic, share statistics based on my research and discuss where is safe in Mexico City and how to stay safe in Mexico City. 

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Table of Contents

Mexico City Safety Reports 

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Let’s first take a look at some statistics to see whether if it’s actually safe to visit Mexico City these days. According to Numbeo , Mexico City has a moderate crime index of 68.9 – which is relatively high compared to other cities such as New York City (49.8) or Guadalajara (62.11). The safety index for Mexico City is at 31.7, which relatively lower than Houston (36.68) or Monterrey (51.84). 

Mexico City still has high rates of corruption, armed robbery and theft. See the statistics in the screenshot for details. But keep in mind that Numbeo gets these data from surveys conducted among members of the site. While the survey questions are extensive, the responses may not be as accurate.

Another source of data, Crimen En Mexico , show that Mexico City is the 10th safest state in the country , after Yucatan, Baja California Sur, Chiapas and Coahuila. [Check out the safest cities in Mexico .] This website uses data from monthly crime reports published by the Mexican government, which means it’s actually quite accurate.

how safe is mexico city - dangers of mexico city

In recent years, Mexico City’s homicide rate has been relatively stable, with improvements noted. According to data from the Mexican government, the homicide rate in the city has been on the decline since 2018.

Robbery and theft are common crimes that threaten the safety of Mexico City, but they have been decreasing. It’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings and take precautions. Incidents of robbery and theft tend to occur more frequently in certain areas, so as long as you stay informed about safe and unsafe neighborhoods, you can feel safe in Mexico City.

As of 1 January 2024, the U.S. Department of State does not have a travel warning against Mexico City (just to exercise increased warning). On this list , Mexico City is considered one of the safest cities in Mexico .

safety of mexico city

It’s essential to emphasize that Mexico City safety has improved tremendously in the last decade. Increased police presence, enhanced surveillance systems, and the implementation of neighborhood-specific security measures have helped create safer environments for residents and visitors. Mexico City’s commitment to addressing these issues has shown very good results in recent years.

The government and local authorities have implemented various measures to improve safety in Mexico City. Nowadays there is a notable police presence in tourist areas, and authorities have also improved lighting, public transportation security, and the monitoring of public spaces. These measures aim to ensure that both residents and visitors can enjoy Mexico City with greater peace of mind.

is mexico city dangerous?

Dangers of Mexico city

Despite the positive changes, there are still some issues that plague Mexico City from time to time. It’s best to be aware of these potential dangers of Mexico City.

Mexico City still struggles with economic inequality and poverty. These issues are usually linked to higher crime rates. In impoverished neighborhoods, limited access to education and job opportunities can lead to criminal activities. As a result of this, certain areas of the city experience higher rates of theft, robbery, and other crimes.

Mexico City’s rapid population growth has become an issue. The city has a population of over 22 million people , which leads to overcrowding and the expansion of informal settlements, known as “colonias populares”. The challenges of maintaining law and order across its diverse neighborhoods have become a serious issue for the government.

TIP : It’s best to avoid places known by locals as “ colonias populares ”, since these are not the safest places to visit.

Another, and probably the most important factor related to Mexico City safety, is drug-related violence. In the past, drug cartels battled for control of drug trafficking routes, causing violence to occasionally erupt in the city. While Mexico City was not a primary battleground for these cartels, sporadic incidents of violence did occur.

Corruption is a big deal in Mexico City. Corruption affects the actual efforts to combat crime effectively and erodes public trust in law enforcement. Efforts to improve law enforcement transparency and accountability have been ongoing, but addressing corruption is a complex and long-term endeavor.

is mexico city safe - crowds in mexico city

Where is Safe to Visit in Mexico City?

Just like anywhere you go, Mexico City has pockets of unsafe areas as well as districts are safe to visit. Mexico City’s Historic Center, in particular, is a safe and vibrant area teeming with cultural attractions and museums, it’s also where the Day of the Dead celebration s are held, one of the most well-known  Mexican holidays .

Here are some other areas in Mexico City that are safe to visit:

Polanco is often regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods in Mexico City. Known for its upscale shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, this area tends to have lower crime rates than other parts of the city. Here you’ll find large green spaces and some of the best museums in Mexico City ., including the Museo Soumaya. It’s particularly popular with those traveling Mexico City with kids.

polanco - how safe is mexico city

Condesa and Roma are trendy neighborhoods known for their bohemian atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. While they have experienced some safety concerns in the past, increased security measures have made them safer in recent years. These neighborhoods are enjoyable to explore during the day and have a thriving café culture.

safe travel to mexico city

Zona Rosa is a nightlife hub with a variety of bars and clubs. While it can be a fun place to spend an evening, it’s important to be cautious, especially late at night. Stick to well-traveled areas and consider using reputable transportation options to return to your accommodation safely.

how safe is mexico city - zona rosa

Located in the far south of Mexico City, Coyoacán is a historic neighborhood with a unique, small-town feel, cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and lively markets. It’s famous for being the former home of famous Mexican artists , Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and you can visit their museums, Casa Azul (Blue House) and Anahuacalli, to learn more about their lives and work. 

While these areas are generally considered safe, it’s always advisable for travelers to exercise standard precautions and stay aware of their surroundings when visiting any city.

coyoacan mexico city - where is safe in mexico city

What are the Unsafe Areas in Mexico City?

It’s important to know that Mexico City is massive, and there are neighborhoods with higher crime rates, especially in the outskirts of the city. It’s best to avoid places known by locals as “colonias populares”, since these are not the safest places to visit.

Iztapalapa, a vast neighborhood in southern Mexico City, is a complex area with some of the city’s highest rates of violence against women, both domestic and otherwise. Avoid this area, especially the particularly perilous La Joya (also known as El Hoyo) region.

Tepito, situated just off the Centro Histórico in Mexico City, holds a notorious reputation as the city’s black market hub. Its notoriety is well-founded, primarily due to the sprawling tianguis (street markets) that dominate the area. While it’s intriguing, it’s important to be cautious when exploring Tepito. 

Colonia Doctores is famous for hosting lucha libre wrestling at Arena México , which is an exciting experience but the area isn’t safe especially for solo travelers. Opting for an Uber might be a safer choice. After evening lucha events, it’s advisable to promptly secure a taxi without lingering longer than necessary. For what it’s worth, we came here for a lucha libre show and didn’t feel unsafe at all.

Colonia del Valle presents a paradox in safety guidelines for Mexico City. Despite having the highest rate of kidnappings in the city, it appears safe on the surface and offers numerous attractive destinations to explore. However, the kidnapping statistics should be viewed in context; it is predominantly a concern for local residents rather than passing travelers. 

Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, commonly referred to as Ciudad Neza, once harbored parts of Mexico’s largest slum and remains one of the capital’s poorest districts. Consequently, crime and gang violence rates are elevated. It’s important to remember that these assessments are broad generalizations of a vast and diverse part of the city.

dangers of mexico city

In general, Mexico City is an easy place to travel for solo travelers — the tourist trail is well marked, flights here from US and Canada are super cheap, and it’s easy to meet other travelers. Many Mexicans speak English and they’re always helpful and willing to help foreigners. Uber works real well too, which makes it safe and easy to get from one point to another easily.

If you’re traveling solo or you’re nervous about traveling Mexico for the first time, you can join free walking tours or book day trips from Mexico City . They give great insights to a city, and they’re a great way to meet other travelers. Check out these tours in Mexico City .

safety of mexico city - palacio de bellas artes

Going out in Mexico City at night can be safe if you exercise caution and adhere to certain guidelines. Like in many major urban centers worldwide, there are areas of Mexico City where nighttime safety can be a concern due to issues such as petty crime and occasionally more serious incidents.

Practice common sense, staying in well-lit, populated areas, avoid displays of wealth, and avoid walking alone in unfamiliar neighborhoods. While Mexico City has vibrant nightlife [check out our recommended rooftop bars in Mexico City ], it’s important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

is mexico city safe at night

I always enjoy traveling in Mexico City and never felt unsafe at any time. I have visited Mexico City a few times with my husband and daughter, and we have never had any safety issues. We have also ventured out at night with no problems.

Mind you, we tend to stick to the historic center, Polanco, Condensa and Coyoacán – areas that are considered safe. We’re mindful of where in Mexico City we visit and we avoid staying out late. We also speak Spanish , which is definitely an advantage when exploring Mexico. 

My husband is from Spain but can pass for a Mexican – we don’t look like tourists and try to blend in (at least in my opinion). We also make sure not to carry too much cash with us and always keep our passports in the hotel’s safe. 

nellie in mexico city - is mexico city safe for solo female travelers

1. Stay Informed

Before visiting Mexico City, research the current situation and read the latest news to see if there have been any shootings or drug-cartel activities. Staying informed can help you make safer choices.

2. Blend In Try to avoid looking lost and try not to hang your camera out in public. This only applies for the not so safe areas.

3. Use Reputable Transportation 

Opt for authorized taxis or ridesharing services instead of hailing random cabs from the street. We use Uber often in Mexico City and have found it to be very safe.

4. Be Cautious with ATMs 

Use only the ATMs that are inside a bank and avoid withdrawing large sums of money, especially at night.

5. Keep An Eye Open For Scams

Overcharging happens often in restaurants and shops. Always check your bill. If you believe something is not right with the price and you feel like you’re being scammed, you can always negotiate. 

6. Don’t Travel with Valuables

Avoid traveling with your valuables or at least hide your important belongings when in your hotel or Airbnb. Just a few months ago a friend of mine got US$500 stolen from her baggage in a hotel in Mexico City. 

7. Avoid Risky Areas at Night

If you plan to explore the city after dark, stick to well-traveled streets and avoid isolated or unsafe areas.

8. Stay Connected  

Keep your phone charged and stay in touch with someone you trust, especially if you’re exploring alone.

9. Try to Travel in a Group

If you’re traveling Mexico City solo, try to connect with other travelers through meetups and avoid going around alone.

10. Call #911 or *0311

The number for any kind of emergency in Mexico City is #911. And if you need any kind of information you can call *0311. Both are available 24/7 during the 365 days of the year.

mexico city safety

Regardless of whether you’re in Mexico City for a week or a year, I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance. If something unfortunate occurs, such as theft, medical emergencies or even natural disasters ( Mexico City is prone to earthquakes ), having insurance will ensure you get compensated. 

Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan , which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date. Refer to my travel insurance guide for more details.

is mexico city safe - angel de independencia

Mexico City was once considered a dangerous place for visitors – but that’s a thing of the past. Crime rates have decreased substantially, and the city has implemented various measures to enhance security.

As a visitor, I always felt safe in Mexico City. I won’t deny there are neighborhoods with high crime rates, but most parts of the city are safe for tourists to explore. Mexico City is one of the most beautiful cities in the world so definitely don’t miss it!

Just take steps to ensure your safety in Mexico City. Stay informed, use reputable transportation services, be aware of the most common scams. I hope my article has given you enough information to decide for yourself if Mexico City is safe for visitors. Let me know in the comments field if I’ve missed anything.

Read my articles on Mexico below:

  • 20 Safest Cities in Mexico
  • Best Museums in Mexico City
  • Best Rooftop Bars in Mexico City
  • 22 Best Day Trips from Mexico City
  • Visiting Teotihuacan, Mexico City Pyramids
  • Day of the Dead in Mexico City

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

Is Mexico City Safe To Visit in 2024? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips

Written By: ThePlanetD Team

Updated On: April 4, 2024

It’s impossible not to love the sheer scale of Mexico City. The Mexican capital is one of the world’s largest cities. It’s a place of dense population, street food, architecture, and fascinating community dynamics. If you want to experience Mexico as a tourist, head to Cancun. If you want to experience Mexico as a society, head to Mexico City. The history is astounding, with day trips to the Teotihuacan Pyramids and countless museums like Chapultepec Castle in the city center. There’s no doubt about it: Mexico City is an incredible destination for passionate travelers.

Table of Contents

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit?

However, many people ask, “Is Mexico City safe?” How do you go about staying safe in Mexico City? As the largest city in Mexico, it’s no wonder people worry about safety levels. Mexico City is a big city, and like all big cities you must take standard precautions to avoid petty theft and crime. But it also has some specific crime rates to note, so it pays to research first before visiting Mexico City.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit City Center

Staying safe in Mexico City doesn’t have to be something to worry about. In this guide, we’ll give you the rundown on the question of ‘Is Mexico City safe?’ but also guidance on how to make it a safer experience. Statistics speak for themselves, but there’s a lot within your control. Get ready to take a more proactive approach to staying safe while visiting Mexico City.

Short Summary

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit

Mexico City is generally safe, but it’s important to say that crimes do occur throughout the city. Let’s give you an overview of safety in the city to start with.

Usually, non-violent and petty crime is in touristy areas, like the Centro Historic, which ranges from pickpocketing on public transportation to more serious mugging incidents. The city center has some of the safest neighborhoods. If you stick to these ‘safe’ areas, you can stay safe in Mexico City. For instance, avoid carrying too much cash, walking alone at night, and not leaving drinks unattended.

The tourist areas have a good police presence, which deters violent crimes. Mexico City is reasonably safe if you stick to the daylight hours and specific neighborhoods. You can have a wonderful time so long as you practice common sense.

On the other hand, the non-tourist areas and neighborhoods associated with cartels can be dangerous. Examples include Tepito, which is home to La Union Tepito, a cartel organization involved in human trafficking and extortion. Even police presence in Tepito is unhelpful, with some officers taking bribes to turn blind eyes to crime.

Mexico Travel Advisories

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Travel Advisory Aerial

Most visitors have a safe trip to Mexico City. It is a good idea to stay on top of general travel advisories, which you can find on government websites like Gov.UK , Travel.State.Gov for the US, and for Canada. When embarking on solo travel, you should be particularly mindful of these when loved ones back home could lose contact with you or not be aware of your movements.

In this section, we’ll look at some of the 2024 travel advisories for Mexico as a whole. Remember to look at your government’s guidance for advice that is as current as possible. These advisories can change daily, for instance, telling you to exercise increased caution over political rallies or gang-related tensions.

Here are a few to keep in mind as of 2024:

  • Avoid the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas due to the increased risk of crime and kidnapping.
  • Be mindful of the lingering impact of 2023’s Hurricane Otis around Acapulco.
  • Avoid Tijuana and sections of the Baja California Sur peninsula due to rising tensions.
  • Avoid Chihuahua due to current high crime rates.
  • Avoid traveling at night.
  • Be alert even in tourist areas on the Mayan Riviera, like Tulum, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen.

And now that the general Mexico advice is out there, what about Mexico City specifically?

Mexico City’s Current Safety Situation

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Current Safety Situation Coyoacan

As we said, safety can change day by day. It depends on things like political movements and social events. Elections can spark chaos, even in a ‘safe destination’. And riots or incidents can spark cartel violence. So, what is Mexico City’s current safety situation  right now?  Regarding staying safe in Mexico City, knowledge of current affairs is key.

Currently, Mexico City has no elections, controversial political scandals, or warring cartels in tourist areas. There are no inflammatory events, so this is a safe time to visit Mexico City.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Current Situation Mexico General Elections

However, those visiting the city in June 2024 should remember that it is the period of the Mexico General Elections. This is a time when tensions can rise with protests and unrest. If you are visiting during this period, it’s wise to monitor the news and know that you may need to adjust your trip and avoid protesting crowds while out.

You should also monitor the news for any outbreaks of rival cartel violence and take standard precautions at all times. Several cities in Mexico require extra care for tourists. Still, Mexico City is the country’s largest city, so it naturally has more risks and petty crime.

Best Practices For Staying Safe in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Best Practices For Staying Safe

When you visit Mexico City, many ways to stay safe are dictated by you and your behavior. Of course, random incidents that are totally out of your control can occur. But as a general rule, you can avoid incidents by proactively staying safe in Mexico City – so why wouldn’t you?

In this section, we’ll introduce you to the top seven practices to stay safe in Mexico City. We’ll cover everything from tap water to money belts and everything in between. These are the vital tips you will want before visiting Mexico City.

1. Avoid Drinking Tap Water

First things first, make sure you remember to avoid drinking tap water. Tap water in Mexico City is not suitable for drinking. This goes for brushing your teeth and cooking; just buy bottled water and look for recycling points to ensure plastic is reused. The last thing you want is an upset stomach or a serious waterborne disease.

As a general rule, when traveling through Mexico, tap water is not considered safe for consumption. It often does not get sent through filtration or purification systems, meaning there are bacteria in the tap water system. Tourists should not drink tap water, and even locals abide by this practice – instead, drinking bottled water.

The flip side to this is that you want to drink plenty. Staying hydrated is really important, especially in Mexican summers. Don’t drink tap water, but make sure that you drink plenty of bottled and recycle plastics accordingly.

2. Wear a Money Belt

Money belts are fantastic. A popular way to reduce the risk of petty crime and pickpocketing is to wear a money belt. These lie flat around your stomach under your clothes. Then, if you are a victim of pickpocketing or mugging, you can keep your valuables undetected.

Things like money belts are just common sense. You can also leave valuables in your hotel safe and avoid bringing lots of money out and about while sightseeing. Some people carry decoy purses or cards, too – which is a great idea should you be targeted.

3. Learn Basic Spanish

Learning a little Spanish is a great way to stay safe in Mexico City. Mexico City is full of action and is a fast-paced tourist destination. Learning a bit of Spanish, be that ‘por favor’ or some simple directions or phrases, can make a huge difference.

When communicating, you can avoid high-risk areas and take advice from helpful people you meet around the city. It also prevents you from hanging out and looking vulnerable on your phone or simply struggling to communicate. The more capable you are and the less distracted or confused you look, the less likely you are to draw attention to yourself. And this means a lesser chance of being targeted by criminals.

4. Learn the Safe Neighborhoods

Learning safe neighborhoods should be a vital practice when visiting any city. In Mexico City, though, this is especially important, as some neighborhoods are rife with drug cartels. Even locals don’t venture into specific areas, so when you add higher risks, such as solo travel and carrying valuables and obvious luggage, you can see why knowing your neighborhoods makes a safety difference.

A few examples of neighborhoods to avoid in Mexico City are Tepito, Ciudad Neza, and La Merced Market. The neighborhoods that are really safe and popular among travelers are Roma, Centro Historico, and Condesa.

5. Consider Group Tours

Another top tip is related to solo traveler experiences. If you are a solo traveler and need help tackling Mexico City, join a group tour. There are so many capacities in which you can do so – whether you book a single-day tour, a fully guided multi-day trip, or a walking tour around the city center. You could spend your time in a group the whole time or your first day in a group to get a feel of the city. Think of this option as a safety blanket.

One thing to consider as a solo female traveler is that it’s wisest to head out at night in a group. So, if you are looking to do some after-hours exploring, you can join a guided pub crawl.

6. Have Great Travel Insurance

This is a big one. Travel insurance can make or break your trip if the worst occurs. It covers everything from hospital treatment to gear cover and flight cancellations. Brilliant, right? Travel insurance is one of the best things to remember when preparing a visit to Mexico City.

Insurance costs as little as $5 or so for a few days and can cover you for millions in damages. Shop around and see what policy best suits you.

7. Pick a Different ‘Party Destination’

Finally, while Mexico City has excellent nightlife, you can pick a different party destination. You could visit somewhere like Cancun. Or you could head elsewhere outside of Mexico – heading to US cities. If you want somewhere to enjoy late-night partying in a safer environment, reconsider.

Tailoring your activities to a destination is a great practice when traveling in general. If you want to take fewer safety precautions in terms of nightlife, visit Mexico City for its daytime activities and pick somewhere else for its nightlife.

Transportation Safety

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Transportation

As one of Mexico’s major cities, you’d need public transport at some point. There is a metro system and buses. But is public transportation safe in Mexico City? We’d say generally it is safe, as long as you are aware of pickpockets. Exploring Mexico City by public transport is great for your budget, but you should be mindful of safety and the time you use it.

Public transport in Mexico City is rife with petty theft. Tourists are mainly targeted because they are less familiar with theft tactics and often carry so much luggage that they are vulnerable to pickpocketers or bag snatchers. Reduce the amount of luggage you take on public transportation and always ensure valuables are secure – ideally hidden under your clothes in a money belt.

Another thing to remember when using public transport in Mexico City is that it’s more dangerous at night. You can use most transport safely in daylight hours with some common sense. However, we’d recommend skipping Mexico City’s public transport system at night. Opt for a licensed taxi in a group instead. The safest ones are called Sitio Taxis.

If you use public transport in Mexico City, try to know beforehand how they run and where you are going. This way, you won’t flounder at stations looking like a sitting duck for petty crime. Here’s an overview of the city’s public transportation system:

The metro runs until midnight seven days a week for journeys as cheap as 5 pesos a ride. There are twelve lines, and the trains have around nine cars, which remain busy in peak hours. You buy tickets and enter through turnstiles. Google Maps should tell you which route to take pretty effectively, and downloading offline maps or screenshotting your directions will help you avoid lingering in stations. Are you a solo female traveler? Keep an eye out for children and female-only carriages in peak hours – which tend to be the first three cars.

The buses are a bit more hassle than the metro in Mexico City. However, some brilliant female-only buses help prevent harassment in crowded buses. These are ideal for solo female travelers in Mexico City. The bus system is also really budget-friendly.

If you would rather opt for taxis, consider a few different categories of taxis. To stay safe when using taxis rather than public transport is equally important. So keep these three taxi types in mind:

Turismo taxis

Turismo taxis are unmarked luxury vehicles. These are typically booked as transfers online through platforms like Viator and Get Your Guide or affiliated with hotels. Turismo taxis might be unmarked, but they are still safe and associated with formal companies. Because most are booked in advance, you pay premium prices.

Sitio taxis

Sitio taxis are marked taxis and are sent out by radio dispatchers. These are your traditional taxis. They are a little more expensive than your metered and libre taxis. However, the sitio taxis are safer because they are more regulated. Sitio taxis focus on guided experiences and transfers, with a more personable service than a quick A to B drop-off.

Red cabs and libre cabs

These taxis rely on a meter and are the most basic taxis you can get. It can work out budget-friendly, but be aware that Libre taxis are less regulated than the sitio and Turismo options.

Food and Drink Safety in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Food and Drink Street Food

You are visiting Mexico City – of course, you will try some of the delicious things to eat and drink. In fact, a  food tour  is one of the best things to do in the city. The downtown area especially is full of street vendors selling delicious street food. And you can sample Mexican food like tacos as well as tasty cocktails.

Food and drink in Mexico City are super tasty. So, what should you consider from a safety perspective?

The first major consideration should be tap water. The tap water in Mexico City is not safe. It is often not filtered properly, meaning bacteria is left in the water, which you then drink. To avoid this, be mindful of eating fruit and vegetables washed in non-bottled water. You should also avoid ice in drinks.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Food and Drink Icy treat

In 2014, authorities made it a requirement that restaurants in Mexico City serve filtered water to guests for free, which has helped. Many more formal restaurants use filtered water when cooking and preparing dishes. But it’s still essential to watch these things to avoid getting sick. It’s your choice how hesitant or risk-taking you’d like to be regarding the age-old tap water debate.

Finally, eat at places with good reviews. If there’s a restaurant repeatedly making everyone sick, you can bet Google will hear about it. People are quick to leave scathing reviews, so make sure that you check out Google reviews before dining somewhere. You can also do a quick in-person scan – in general, the busy restaurants are the ones where people aren’t getting sick.

Health and Medical Safety in Mexico City

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Health and Medical

We’ll answer this section in two parts. First, we’ll look at the general health risks in Mexico that you should be aware of when staying in Mexico City. Then, we’ll look at the specific health and medical risks of staying in Mexico City itself.

Generally speaking, you should be aware of two viruses in Mexico: Zika and Chikungunya. The Zika virus is spread by mosquitos and causes a rash, headache, and joint pain, often accompanied by red eyes. It is unpleasant but not fatal, although it can carry risks to pregnant women. The Chikungunya virus is also spread by mosquitos, causing similar symptoms. It can also cause chronic chikungunya arthritis, though, which is long-lasting. Mexico also has dengue fever, which is spread by mosquitos and causes flu-like symptoms. Dengue fever can worsen, causing shock and internal bleeding, so early detection – and, ideally, prevention – is vital.

As you can see, the main cause of these three medical concerns in Mexico is the presence of infected mosquitos. The risk of mosquitoes in Mexico City is generally considered low, as there’s no great body of water and areas of undergrowth. But you can still bring mosquito repellent to be on the safe side.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Health and Medical diseases

So, what are Mexico City’s specific concerns? Well, the biggest health and medical risks in Mexico City are related to its pollution. The city has high levels of air pollution, which can aggravate respiratory and heart conditions. You can take preventative steps like wearing masks. Or, if you struggle with existing conditions like asthma, ensure that you bring all personal medication and treatments.

Be mindful of unfiltered and impurified water in Mexico City, too, which can cause bugs like Cyclospora or salmonella. The best way to avoid the dangers of unfiltered water in Mexico City is to  not drink unfiltered water.  Always buy bottled water and use it to drink, brush your teeth, cook, and make hot drinks. The last thing you want is chronic diarrhea when trying to enjoy sightseeing in beautiful Mexico City.

Is Mexico City safe health-wise? It is safer than most coastal areas and places thick with vegetation, where mosquitos thrive. You are less at risk of Zika, Chikungunya, or dengue fever exposure. However, you can still bring mosquito repellent, just in case. You should primarily be mindful of waterborne diseases and air pollution, especially if you are predisposed to respiratory illnesses like asthma.

Is Mexico City Safe for Solo Travelers?

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Solo Travelers Chapultepac

Mexico City isn’t the safest city for solo travelers. However, if you are experienced, savvy, and willing to prioritize safety, you can visit the city safely as a solo traveler.

The main issue for solo travelers in Mexico City is that they are more at risk of petty and violent crime. Solo travel naturally leaves you more vulnerable. For instance, if you look at Google Maps, nobody focuses on protecting your bags. Or if you are walking through an unsafe neighborhood looking at Google Maps to find a way out, there’s nobody to pay attention to what’s happening around you. Safety in numbers is a legitimate safety net you often cast aside on a solo trip.

That’s not to say it can’t be done, though. Mexico City can be great fun for solo travelers, like any major city. We’ll first look at solo travel and then concentrate on Mexico City for solo female travel.

Generally, solo travel is safe if you stick to safe neighborhoods and minimize going out after dark alone. Similarly, if you use common sense and pick marked taxis, you should be fine getting around the city. Little things make a big difference, though, like choosing well-located accommodation and learning directions before you leave your hotel so you aren’t glued to Google Maps.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Solo Travelers Female

If you stay at a hostel, you can soon meet new people and join forces with other travelers to head out as a group anyway. We advise staying in a hostel or organizing group tours and experiences. If you arrive in Mexico City on a solo trip and feel uncomfortable, you have a safety blanket and the option to enjoy the city in a group.

But what about solo female travelers? Is Mexico City safe for solo female tourists? We’d say yes only when you are taking precautions. While the city is generally safe for solo female tourists, many activities and ways of getting around  are  safer in groups. For instance, you can ride in the female-only carriages on the Metro, but it’s safer to travel with a group. Similarly, it’s definitely not safe for a solo female tourist to walk around much of Mexico City after dark. If you want to make it safe, you will spend your time sightseeing during the day around the city center, taking guided day trips to explore other attractions.

The question is not so much ‘Is Mexico City safe for solo female tourists? ‘ but how you are planning on visiting the city. Are you going to be happy making compromises to make your experience safer? We wouldn’t call Mexico City safe for solo female tourists if you want to go out alone and have a carefree experience. If this is the case, consider booking a group tour instead so you can relax a little and enjoy your getaway more.

Is Mexico City Safe: FAQs

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit FAQs

Now that you know all about staying safe in Mexico City, it’s time for some FAQs. As a major city, it’s helpful to compare Mexico City to other cities that may be more familiar. Often, it’s the fear of the unknown that can provoke more anxiety.

In this section, we’ll provide a better insight into whether Mexico City is safe by using comparisons and more general perspectives.

Is Mexico City safer than New York City?

Mexico City is marginally more dangerous than New York City, but not by much. Mexico City and New York City are similar in that crime is concentrated in specific areas. Both experience gang-related violence. If you know which neighborhoods to avoid, both New York City and Mexico City are relatively safe.

Is Mexico City safer than Los Angeles?

Mexico City is more dangerous than Los Angeles. As a whole, it is muggings that make Mexico City more dangerous, with more street robbery incidents than in Los Angeles. However, Mexico City is still safe in the safer neighborhoods and with common sense exercised.

Is Mexico City cheap or expensive?

Mexico City is one of the more expensive cities in the region. But with that said, its affordability is still miles above that of EU or US cities. Living costs – including rent – are around 60% lower for those living in Mexico City rather than New York City. And for those just visiting, you are looking at a $20 average for a meal in New York City versus a $9 average for a similar standard restaurant in Mexico City.

Is Mexico City nice to live in?

Yes, Mexico City is a nice place to live for expats. The city is full of things to do, providing great affordability and a fantastic job market. The tasty Mexican food is another huge plus. And it’s no wonder that a large percentage of people are relocating to the Mexican capital.

Should you Travel To Mexico City Now?

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit To Conclude

As you can see, staying safe in Mexico City is mostly easy. For such a big city, the risks are minimal. Just be mindful of public transportation, have good travel insurance, use common sense, and take extra care if you’re a solo traveler. So, is Mexico City safe? For the most part, we’d say yes. Mexico City is safe when you proactively take the necessary safety steps.

It is easily one of the  best places to visit in Mexico.  But that’s not stopping you from venturing to other small towns and other cities after you visit Mexico City. Check out  the cenotes  on the Yucatan Peninsula and  Mexico’s incredible beaches.  We advise using Mexico City as a launchpad to experience even more of the region.

Is Mexico City Safe to Visit Tepito

The best way to stay safe in Mexico City is to do your neighborhood research. Take out great travel insurance and take standard precautions to stay safe. Take particular care if you are a solo traveler, especially a solo female traveler.

You can enjoy amazing food and fantastic sightseeing in safe neighborhoods with plenty of tourists. It’s equally important to remember that Mexico City is a wonderful experience. It has a historic center, ancient city ruins, and delicious cuisine.

Plan your travels to Mexico with these resources

  • Is Cancun Safe to Visit? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips
  • Is Tulum Safe To Visit? A Comprehensive Guide to Safety and Security
  • 21 Amazing Things to do in Cancun
  • 30 Best Puerto Rico Beaches To Visit
  • 34 Best Things to Do in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
  • 27 Incredible Things To Do In Puerto Rico in 2024

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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1 thought on “Is Mexico City Safe To Visit in 2024? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips”

Thank you for providing such valuable insights into the safety aspects of visiting Mexico City in 2024. Your thorough analysis of travel warnings and safety tips offers a comprehensive guide for anyone considering a trip to this vibrant destination. Your dedication to ensuring travelers’ safety and well-being is commendable, and your expertise in navigating potential risks is invaluable. Keep up the excellent work in providing essential information for travelers worldwide!

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Is Mexico City Safe for Travel in 2024?

Written by Becca

Updated on April 28th, 2024

A Mexico City street vendor selling fruit and vegetables on the side of the road.

Mexico City is worth visiting during travel, but how safe is it? See safety info in Mexico City for women, solo travelers, tourists and expats living in CDMX, discover common scams.

This article may contain affiliate links. We earn a small commissions when you purchase via those links — and it's free for you. It's only us (Becca & Dan) working on this website, so we value your support! Read our privacy policy and learn more about us .

Posted in Mexico

Table of contents

  • Is Mexico City safe for travel?
  • Is there crime in Mexico City?
  • What are the safest areas of Mexico City?
  • Which areas of Mexico City should you avoid?
  • Scams in Mexico City to watch out for
  • Safety items to bring to Mexico City
  • Safest ways to get around Mexico City
  • Food & Water Safety in Mexico City
  • Safest Types of Accommodation in Mexico City
  • General safety tips for traveling in Mexico City

Mexico City is one of our favorite travel destinations for its culture, food, number of things to do and great memories we have there.

But is it safe?

We’ve had friends and families raise their eyebrows when we mention that we’re going to go to Mexico City, and go back to Mexico City, and go back again.

To be honest, in all our time there, we’ve personally never experienced any crime: no small crime, and no big crime, either.

However, there are a good number of things to know about your safety when it comes to taking a trip to Mexico City. Safety can pertain to health, crime, money, scams and more.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the safest areas of Mexico City, the areas to avoid, the safest ways to get around Mexico City and general safety tips that we’re glad we’ve used over the years. Let’s go!

Mexico City's tallest skyscraper.

Is Mexico City safe for travel?

In short, we give this question a big “yes:” we’ve spent more time in Mexico City than in other places to which we’ve traveled, and we love the city for a reason (because it’s awesome and so much fun to visit).

We even recommend it as a great city for first-time travelers .

But also in short, there are a few things to know when it comes to safety, so we’ll be sure to touch on those things.

A bustling Mexico City street filled with numerous pedestrians.

For solo travelers

Mexico City is surely somewhere I’d travel alone, and I’d even say it’s safer than places to which I have traveled by myself, like San Jose, Costa Rica.

If you are trying to go to Mexico City as a solo traveler , I’d have no doubts for you. I’d recommend staying in a fun hostel where you can meet other travelers, and to use a Mexico City travel guide to figure out what to do each day in the well-traveled neighborhoods .

If you’d like the companionship of a group, check out a group tour! There are so many to choose from, like this mezcal tour in a small group. All these reasons make Mexico City one of the best destinations for solo travelers in the world.

A woman walking down a sidewalk in Mexico City.

For female travelers

Women travelers may have a few more questions than men, and that could be because Mexico has a more ‘machismo’ culture than Western countries like the US, Canada and Europe.

What I will say is that for myself, as a petite American woman (who speaks near-fluent Spanish), walking around areas like Roma Norte and Condesa feels completely safe to me. I’ve also walked on my own around Centro, gone shopping in the Mercado San Juan on a lunch break and I’ve taken the metro alone!

These areas (which we will comment on soon!) are common areas for expats, digital nomads and travelers to stay in.

If you’d like the confidence and security of a group, try an intimate guided tour or excursion of Mexico City’s most crowded areas like in Centro. And if you have time to pick up some solo travel items before you go, see my list of the best products for solo woman travelers .

In Mexico City, a woman is standing under a flowering tree.

For couples

Mexico City is a great place for couples, and safe as well. Dan and I have spent seven weeks in Mexico City as professionals working remotely, and we took a “purely vacation” trip to CDMX, so we could enjoy some time as a couple.

If you’re into romance, there are tons of bars we recommend where you can cozy up with a cocktail or live jazz (can you believe it?) and entire lists of excellent dining and entertainment experiences for date nights as well.

For couples, Mexico City is very safe, especially if you’re always traveling in a pair, and if you pay attention to the general safety tips we recommend below!

For families

Mexico City is a family-friendly place, and you can see this in the mothers with children eating at Neveria Roxy, having birthday parties in Bosque de Chapultepec and sitting down for brunch in Polanco.

Mexico City is a place we’d love to take our children some day, to visit all the museums, teach them about what they see in all the markets and let them play in the playgrounds in the big leafy parks.

A tree-surrounded carousel in Mexico City.

Is there crime in Mexico City?

The truth is that yes, Mexico City has crime. The other truth is that as a visitor, you won’t be spending time in the neighborhoods that are magnets for crime, because those neighborhoods are not welcoming to visitors and do not have places of interest for the value of your trip.

Types of crime

Mexico City has various types of crime, from petty crime like iPhone pickpocketing to larger crime pertaining to drugs and cars.

The truth about crime in Mexico City is that we witnessed some during our last trip. Our friend, who is a savvy traveler and always keeps a foot on her bag strap in restaurants and cafes, was in a coffee shop in the Condesa neighborhood, and paid a bill with a barista while taking her view off her bag for about ten seconds.

All it took was ten seconds for a thief to run by, snag her bag without her ever even seeing , and leave, with her laptop, Kindle, AirPods and wallet all inside. The story continues with a bit of a chase, as she was tracking the location of her AirPods through AirTags location tracking, but unfortunately did not receive any of her things back even after speaking with two teams of police who tried to help.

What to do if you experience crime

If you experience crime in Mexico City (and we say this from recent experience because we had to help our friend whose backpack got stolen), call 9-1-1. If you speak Spanish, that is great, for speaking to the operator and describing your predicament. If you do not speak Spanish, they can transfer you to the English-speaking operator.

If you experience crime, find the nearest police officer or police team and report your issue. Police in Mexico City typically do NOT speak English, so have your best Spanish and/or your translation app ready.

Lastly, if you experience crime in Mexico City, enlist the help of your embassy. It’s a good idea to have your country’s embassy information at the ready, and you can usually call to talk to someone about obtaining a police report from a reported issue, or, a replacement of your passport if it was stolen.

What are the safest areas of Mexico City?

There are many safe areas of Mexico City where you can spend your trip. We’ve spent time in various neighborhoods and have personally never experienced crime, although as we’ll touch on, crime is a possibility and we have to be transparent about that.

Mexico City street with cars and pedestrians.

This area is where you’ll find hotels, trendy nightlife , restaurants and lots of expats. Roma Norte is an area right next to Condesa (see below), and is popular with expats, travelers, digital nomads and young families.

The interior of a colorful ice cream shop in Mexico City, Mexico.

Condesa is a beautiful neighborhood with art deco architecture where you can visit Parque Mexico, check out the boutique shops and visit lots of nice cafes . See just how pretty it is at our Condesa neighborhood photos .

A man riding a bicycle in front of a building in Mexico City.

Polanco is an upscale residential area north of Bosque de Chapultepec known as a place where expats and young families live. There is lots of luxury shopping and a great dining scene. For a full visual, view our photos of the Polanco neighborhood .

A patio with tables and chairs in Mexico City under a yellow umbrella.

Coyoacan is a kind of hipster neighborhood in the southwest of Mexico City, and it’s accessible by metro. This is where you’ll find the Frida Kahlo Museum, Coyoacan Market and a lovely central park and fountain.

Juarez is one of Mexico City’s newest trendy neighborhoods, and has great cafes, restaurants, yoga studios, architecture and pedestrian streets.

A large tree in front of a building in Mexico City.

Other safe areas for visitors

Other safe (but less central) areas include Lomas, Santa Fe, San Miguel Chapultepec, Napoles, Del Valle, Escandon and Narvarte. Any of these areas would be nice to stay in, although it depends if you’re going to CDMX to visit a friend, or family, or if you’d prefer to be in the center of the city to do sightseeing.

Which areas of Mexico City should you avoid?

The areas to avoid in Mexico City are the ones where tourists don’t have a reason to go, so that’s good news!

At all costs, you can avoid the following areas: Iztapalapa, Ecatepec, Tepito, Guerrero, Lagunilla, Tlahuac and basically all the outskirts of the city. You could also avoid certain areas of Centro depending on the time of day.

A man walking down a narrow street in Mexico City.

Nighttime is never suggested for walking around alone if you’re outside the safe areas mentioned above. If you need to go to these areas, it is advised to be very careful. Go in the daytime only, dress down, with no sunglasses or jewelry visible, and go with at least one other person.

If you do wish to walk around at night, we suggest going with a local guide who is fluent in Spanish who can guide you around typical things going on in the city after dark. Try a guided walk like this!

Thanks to our friends Rachel and Diana, for helping us out with this list, and more info you’re finding here!

People walking down a sidewalk in Mexico City.

Scams in Mexico City to watch out for

There are a few common scams to look out for in Mexico City. Some of them may seem familiar if you have done a lot of traveling. Be aware of the types of scams and how to not fall for them, listed below.

A Mexico City street market filled with an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The Mustard Scam

This scam is increasingly common, especially toward foreigners. Someone will squirt mustard at your back, and in making you think it was bird poop, a team of two nice-looking people (could be women, or nicely-dressed men) will come to “help you clean it off” with napkins or wipes, and in the meantime, will take your wallet or any of your other things that can be quickly swiped.

Serial scam artists

Expats have reported a serial scam of scam artists, usually women, who pretend to be your friend, complain about having bad roommates or some type of excuse, and they follow you and ask for money. They may make a plea to ask to stay with you for safety and guilt you into providing her with a place to stay. Ultimately, these women will steal from you, so never invite any strangers home to where you’re living or staying!

Cell phone scam

Scam artists will look for foreigners who look busy texting on their phones while walking down the street and they’ll bump into you so you drop your phone. The aim is to crack the screen, so that you feel obliged to go to their shop or market and ‘have your screen repaired.’

The ‘repair shop’ will be in the back room of a store or market, where a group of individuals will surround you and demand that you pay an exorbitant high fee, or, if you say you cannot afford the price, they will request that you hand in your phone to them as compensation. If this happens to you, involve the police immediately.

Text money scam

There have been reports of visitors checking out for a purchase on their phone, when they receive a text message, asking to verify the purchase or enter bank information. After going through the requests to “unblock a credit card,” scammers are able to withdraw money from your account (for example, 9000 pesos) without even having access to the actual card.

Lesson: never open text messages that ask for bank information in Mexico!

Metro boarding/exit scam

If you’re boarding or leaving a train car on the CDMX metro, beware of groups of people that may push you around. Have your bag close to your body or worn on your front, and do not have anything in your pockets while riding the metro. Groups of men may push you around and while you are distracted, take your wallet or phone. You’ll probably never see your phone again.

A group of people walking in a subway station in Mexico City.

Safety items to bring to Mexico City

You can never be too safe, especially in one of the world’s biggest cities! Here are some ideas to make your trip as safe as possible.

With a money belt , keep the bulk of your money and credit cards hidden, and close to your body. This is handy in case you fall victim to any of the scams above!

Purse with a zipper

Having a purse with a zipper like my any of these fanny packs (which has both a high-quality zipper and a magnetic flap) is an extra layer of security when compared with a simple open-top tote bag.

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Shop the deal

Dummy wallet or second wallet

I learned about a dummy wallet, or fake-out wallet, from my friend Joe, when we were traveling in Nicaragua!

Having a “dumb wallet” in your pocket in addition to a money belt where all your real things of value are kept will help in case your pockets get swiped in the Metro or if someone comes up to you demanding for your wallet.

Keep about $5 worth of money in your dummy wallet, and no credit cards. This type of wallet will make a thief happy, and will keep your real money stash even happier. Here’s a super cheap wallet to get before your trip.

Apple AirTag

Apple’s new AirTags help to keep track of and find your items alongside friends and devices in the Find My app. We saw these become immediately useful when our friend’s backpack was stolen in Condesa.

An Apple Airtag 4 pack box with four AirTags on top of it.

We were able to track the location of her AirPods that had an AirTag on them and it was incredible. A simple one-tap setup instantly connects your AirTag with your iPhone or iPad.

A woman sitting at a table in Mexico City looking at her cell phone.

Wire-style lock

Our friend Jimmy says he never travels without a retractable wire lock , especially in Mexico, due to theft of laptop bags being common as soon as you step away from your bag in a cafe.

The great thing about a product like this is that it is super lightweight and mobile, and it could be the single item that prevents your purse, bag or backpack from being stolen from a restaurant or coffee shop. (You can also use them on buses, on airplanes and in airports.)

Safest ways to get around Mexico City

There are loads of safe ways to get around Mexico City, from walking, to Uber to taking the metro. We’ve done them all, with no problems!

People walking down a hallway in a building located in Mexico City.

We like walking in Mexico City! We find it to be a great option, especially if we’re on an itinerary of locating all the photography spots in a certain neighborhood.

A woman walking down a street in Mexico City.

Uber is a great method of transport in Mexico City because you can use your travel credit card in the app just like at home, and the fares are super affordable. As it regards safety, you’ll always be able to see your driver’s name and rating, and if you leave something in the car, there’s a way to get back in touch.

A crosswalk in the heart of Mexico City.

The Mexico City Metro

The Mexico City Metro is a robust transportation system. We have mostly used Line 1, from Insurgentes (Juarez) to Salto del Agua (Centro).

If you are female, choose the women & children metro train car at the left of the platform.

While the metro is generally safe, there are a few stations to avoid, according to locals: Pantitlán, Tacubaya, Cuatro Caminos, and most of Líneas A and B.

A group of people waiting to board a train in Mexico City.

As for when to travel on the metro, service ends at midnight each night. Metro service is reliable, safe and pretty convenient all day long if you are smart, not flashy and know how to blend with people and keep an eye on your belongings.

The entrance to a subway station in Mexico City with a large building in the background.

According to local Mexico City friends of ours, any time could be good or bad, depending on your luck. You should exercise increased caution after 10 pm.

As a resource, you can learn more about the Mexico City Metro at this metro map page .

A group of people standing at a train station in Mexico City, Mexico.

Food & Water Safety in Mexico City

Dan and I have experienced different issues with food in Mexico City (and sometimes, none at all!). Most recently, I got sick in Mexico City from we’re-not-sure-what, and we’re not even aware of what I could’ve avoided to have not gotten food poisoning. While in Mexico City for nearly seven weeks the time before, I did not get sick from food once.

You could be totally in the clear during your trip, despite eating every type of taco from the street, or you could get food poisoning at a five-star restaurant (I mention that this happened to my friend, in my tips for how to avoid getting sick while traveling ). It’s luck of the draw, and there are a few tips for playing it safe with food.

A restaurant and a motorcycle parked on a street in Mexico City, Mexico.

Eat fully-cooked foods

If you have a weak stomach, consider only eating foods that are fully cooked-through. This includes runny egg yolks in your chilaquiles, unfortunately. You can ask for “huevos revuletos,” which means scrambled eggs.

A woman is sitting at a table in Mexico City with a plate of food and a glass of juice.

If you think your stomach may have an issue with things like cut fruit from the street, other street food or salsas that have been sitting out in the heat for a while, avoid these things.

For ideas on restaurants where I’ve eaten, check out my Mexico City taco guide .

Three tacos on a plate in Mexico City.

Never drink the tap water. Even locals don’t drink the tap water.

Never drink the tap water! NEVER, ever drink from the tap. It will be bad news for your stomach and for the rest of your trip.

A glass of water with a slice of lime, popular in Mexico City, Mexico.

Only drink bottled water

Yes, only drink bottled water! You can always buy bottled water at a 7-Eleven or OXXO convenience store, if not a restaurant, cafe, shop or vendor.

A sidewalk bench in Mexico City.

Watch out for street food

Generally, street food is safe because it’s fully cooked (especially meat) and isn’t sitting for too long. Go to food carts during popular times to make sure that the food hasn’t been sitting for many hours.

A group of men standing in front of a tandoor in Mexico City, Mexico.

Cross contaminating your cooked food after toughing raw food can happen everywhere. People working in food carts aren’t trying to make you sick by any means. If you have a very serious allergy, it may be best to avoid street food because food is rarely made to order, and is often made in batches.

A man standing next to a food cart in Mexico City.

When you visit a food cart, observe if the vendors are actively dealing with any raw food. Most of the time raw food is added to the grill all at once.

Another thing to watch out for is the “public” salsa. You’ll sometimes see cups of salsa at a small table or a counter somewhere. If you want to play it safe, avoid these salsas, because many people have dipped in them, and they may have been sitting out since morning.

If you have a strong stomach (we had no problem with these salsas!), you can be sure that they’ll be delicious and authentic.

A Mexico City street vendor selling fruit and vegetables on the side of the road.

Watch out for ice in your drink

If you are choosing to buy a drink from a street vendor with a little cart or with a homemade concoction of fruit juice or coffee, we suggest foregoing the ice.

You can never be sure if the vendor is making ice from 100% completely filtered water, or if they are mixing it and diluting it with tap water, which is likely to make anyone ill.

At sit-down restaurants, especially in areas that cater to visitors and tourists , ice in your drink will more than likely be from a filtration system or bottled water from jugs, which is very common.

Roll the dice

You can be super safe, overly cautions, only eat and drink packaged foods and still get sick. When you travel, there’s a balance of having a good time and enjoying yourself vs. second guessing everything you consume.

If you know you have a weak stomach, be on the cautious side, and if you’re an experienced traveler, you probably already have your own tricks.

If you’ve never had issues before while traveling, you can be assured that Mexico City is generally an okay place in terms of food safety.

Safest Types of Accommodation in Mexico City

We typically have a lot of trouble deciding among Airbnb, Hostelworld and for hotels.

We’re well-rounded in that during our three different visits to Mexico City (ranging from seven days to seven weeks), we’ve stayed in apartment rentals, hotels and hostels, too. There are safe options for all these types of places to stay.

The lobby of a large building in Mexico City with a stained glass ceiling.

Hotels are a sure way to go about staying in Mexico City if you look closely at reviews and at location. Make sure the hotel’s location is mentioned in the reviews by other travelers, and do your research regarding what’s nearby in terms of restaurants, cafes, things to do and even your country’s embassy.

We stayed in a great hotel during our last trip called Condesa Cibel, in Roma Norte. The location was super safe, as was the security (each guest is given a front door security code).

A living room in Mexico City with a blue couch and a coffee table.

You can book on , which was what we did, to be sure of seeing all the amenities.

A Mexico City hotel room with orange walls and a bed.

For Airbnb rentals , read the listing’s reviews as it regards safety, access to the host, and noise complaints.

After reading several instances of street and club noise for a listing in Juarez, we decided against staying at a property we had been eyeing for its great location and amenities.

We’re both tried-and-true hostelers who have had great luck staying in hostels over the years! Given the size of Mexico City, it will not surprise you that there are tons of hostels to choose from. Here are a few:

  • Selina Mexico City Downtown : In regard to safety, the hostel has a security person at the main door who checks bracelets. The area itself is in Centro/Downtown, so keep that in mind. The hostel is near a big market and a metro station.
  • Wanderlust Mexico City : This hostel is located in Roma Norte, which is an area we like to stay in!
  • Hostel Home : This one has great reviews and is located in Condesa, near Parque Mexico, one of our favorite locations.

A walkway in Mexico City's park.

General safety tips for traveling in Mexico City

Here are some of the safety tips I’ve employed that can keep you safe during your trip!

Never leave your bag out of sight

Even though Dan and I have remained unscathed in all our days and months spent in Mexico City, all it takes is a span of three seconds for a thief to snatch your entire purse or backpack when you’re seated at a cafe or restaurant outside.

A restaurant in Mexico City with outdoor seating.

If you’re traveling alone, take your bag with you if you get up to pay a bill or go to the restroom. If you are indoors and feel a bit secure but you’ll be leaving your bag out of view, you can still use a travel-sized retractable bag lock to clip your backpack to a chair or table. Lock the zippers with a small zipper lock .

If you are traveling with someone else, always have that person watch your entire purse or bag when you get up. They should keep a foot on the backpack strap or have a purse strap wrapped around their wrist or ankle.

Always count the change you receive in cash

Don’t be afraid to ask for more change if you feel like you didn’t get enough. If you receive the wrong change, it really could have been an honest mistake. This has happened to us with street vendors as well as proper stores.

When in doubt, stick to tourist areas

Mexico City is very, very, very big, and we can’t stress that enough. As a visitor, there are so many interesting things to do that it’s not even possible to do it in three months, which is the amount of time Dan has spent in CDMX over the years!

Your best bet is to stick to the places outlined in some of our Mexico City photo spots guide, and we assure you that there’s no need to wander off the traveler path.

The sky is cloudy in Mexico City, Mexico.

Learn some conversational Spanish and emergency words

During emergency situations, pre-download Google Translate, one of our favorite apps for travel and make sure the Spanish dictionary is also installed.

If you have slow (or no) cell service and need to translate something, you won’t want to be stuck.

A few words that may help in emergency situations are:

  • ¡Socorro! (help)
  • ¡Ladrón! (thief)
  • ¡Ayúdame! (Help me!)
  • ¡Emergencia! (Emergency!)

Take Uber rather than regular taxis

Ubers are generally safe in Mexico City, and you can pay with your credit card (make sure you don’t get international fees, and read our guide to traveling internationally with money ).

If you pay with your credit card, you should never have to pay cash. You should never need to give your Uber driver any cash.

Note: apps like Cabify may differ in this regard. We recommend sticking strictly to Uber, and you’ll see that the rates are very affordable when compared with your home region.

A street in Mexico City, Mexico.

Always be aware of your surroundings

There’s never any harm in being completely aware of your surroundings as a traveler, no matter where you are. Mexico City is very safe, but as we mentioned, crime can happen to anyone, even someone who has been in Mexico City for a month already.

Always be aware of anyone walking to close to you, following you, looking at you intently or trying to talk to you. If you find that someone is following you or watching you, ask for help from a local or dial 9-1-1 on your phone.

A person sitting on a bench near a fountain in Mexico City.

Get travel insurance

In our explainer for travel insurance , we talk all about how travel insurance can help you with issues specifically related to your trip, whether you’re the victim of crime or whether you have an unexpected health mishap.

We recommend two providers for travel insurance:

  • Safety Wing : travel insurance on a monthly basis, ideal for long-term travel
  • World Nomads : pay up front on the website for coverage during the dates of your trip and in the country where you are headed

Don’t let your guard down while on guided tours

We’ve done plenty of tour experiences in Mexico City, like the Eat Like a Local Food Tour and going in a hot air balloon over Teotihuacan, recommended in my best day trips from Mexico City . Purchasing a guided tour experience is an excellent thing to do in Mexico and in Latin America, to ensure you’ll be going to safe areas and that you’ll be with a local expert who speaks fluent Spanish.

While on guided tours, you may go to villages, crowded markets or other environments. While it is rare to experience crime of any sort on a guided tour experience, petty theft like a phone being snatched from your pocket in a city market is always a possibility, so always use general safety tips to secure your belongings!

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Essential Tips for Staying Safe in Mexico City

Kimberlie Wong /

Northern England Writer

Over the past few decades, Mexico City has made headlines for crime and violence, but that shouldn’t overshadow the world-class cultural and historical experiences it can offer to travelers. Of course, as with anywhere, it is still essential to have your wits about you while traveling around the country’s capital, so here are our top 10 tips for staying safe while there.

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Use public transport during the day and private transport by night

The public transport system in Mexico City is chaotic and crowded but very affordable, and using it will certainly give you a taste of local life. However, the UK Foreign Office website states : “Be particularly alert on public transport, at airports and in bus stations,” and warn that women should be especially careful. Women should take advantage of the “female-only” carriages available on the Metro whenever possible.

At night, especially if you’re travelling alone, you shouldn’t hesitate to order a taxi to get from one place to another. Use sitio taxis from authorised cab ranks, or ask your hotel to order you a car,rather than hailing one down on the street. While in the cab, always make sure that your driver is using their taximetro to ensure you pay the correct fare.

Learn basic Spanish

Having some knowledge of basic Spanish will help you immensely on your trip. Mexico City is neither Cancún nor Puerto Vallarta, and the number of people who speak English fluently or near fluently is far lower than in both those places. Learning some basic phrases, therefore, will make you seem far less ignorant and will help you navigate your way around.

Kimberlie Wong /

Exercise caution in certain areas of the city

Some neighborhoods in Mexico City are considered more dangerous than others. Tepito, a barrio located in the Cuauhtémoc borough, is one, as are the areas of La Lagunilla, Mercado Merced and Doctores. Outlying barrios like Ciudad Neza and Iztapalapa have also developed dangerous reputations. Stick to well-lit, central streets while in these areas and try to avoid them at night.

Be cautious with your cash

This encompasses everything to do with money and cash-carrying while in Mexico City. Obviously, don’t carry around every peso you brought with you. Only carry what you’ll need for the day and preferably in two different locations; for example, take 200 pesos in your purse and another 200 in an inside pocket. Take care when withdrawing money, too. “It’s generally safer to use ATMs during daylight hours and inside shops or malls,” says the UK Foreign Office.

Be careful with the cuisine

Mexico has a reputation for excellent street food , but you should always choose wisely. To avoid getting ill, stick to the stalls that have people flocking to them, especially if those people are locals. That way, you know they’re reputable and affordable. It is also considered best practice to avoid drinking the tap water in Mexico City and stick to bottled instead.

Kimberlie Wong /

Keep your valuables hidden

This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous point, but don’t make yourself an obvious target. Keep jewellery to a minimum—no flashy earrings or designer watches—and please carry your camera in a bag rather than slung round your neck. That DSLR probably set you back a chunk of money, so you wouldn’t want to have it snatched within your first few hours in the city. Keep wallets and purses out of pockets that are in easy reach, as cramped, rush-hour Metro travel will see them swiped in the blink of an eye.

Know your emergency numbers

This is a crucial piece of advice for anyone traveling in a foreign country, whether it’s Mexico City or elsewhere. Keep a list in both your phone and on a separate piece of paper of all necessary numbers. In Mexico City, the police can be reached by dialling 911 and ambulances and fire services are available on 066 or 080, although it’s worth adding that you’ll need to know Spanish to communicate with any of these services. You should also carry the number of your home country’s embassy with you, as well as any personal emergency contacts.

Many travelers come to Mexico City expecting the tropical weather of Cancún , and while the country is definitely not cold all year round, you should make an effort to do as the locals do. Try not to wear shorts, sandals and vest tops when everyone else is in jeans and jumpers. That’s not to say you need to be uncomfortable, just don’t dress for a day at the beach when you’re actually just exploring the city.

Kimberlie Wong /

If something does happen, don’t fight back

If you are unlucky enough to be mugged or, worse, kidnapped while in Mexico City, you should never resist. On this topic, the UK Foreign Office says:

“Short-term opportunistic kidnapping—called ‘express kidnapping’—can occur, particularly in urban areas. Victims are forced to withdraw funds from credit or debit cards at a cash point to secure their release. Where victims have friends or relatives living locally, a ransom may be demanded from them. You should comply with requests and not attempt to resist such attacks.”

As frustrating as it might be, you should allow your attacker to take the possessions they want. Purses, phones and money can all be replaced, and they are not worth risking your safety for.

It is important to note here that you should invest in decent travel insurance that covers all these eventualities before setting off on your trip.

Keep copies, not originals, of important documents with you

It’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your passport and visa with you at all times. However, instead of carrying the original, which, if lost, could cause some serious problems at airport immigration, just take a decent-quality photocopy instead. If anyone asks to see your documents at any point (unlikely, but it sometimes happens), show them the photocopy and explain the original is at your hotel .

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Mexico travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: May 24, 2024 15:10 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, mexico - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico due to high levels of criminal activity and kidnapping.

Guerrero - Avoid all travel

This advisory excludes the cities of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, where you should exercise a high degree of caution.

Regional Advisory - Avoid non-essential travel

  • all Chihuahua
  • all Colima, except the city of Manzanillo
  • all Coahuila, except the southern part of the state at and below the Saltillo-Torreón highway corridor
  • all Durango, except Durango City
  • Highway 45 between León and Irapuato
  • the area south of and including Highway 45D between Irapuato and Celaya
  • all Michoacán, except the cities of Morelia and Patzcuaro
  • the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park
  • the municipality of Xoxocotla
  • the area within 20 km of the border with Sinaloa and Durango
  • the city of Tepic
  • all Nuevo León, except the city of Monterrey
  • all Sinaloa, except the cities of Los Mochis and Mazatlán
  • all Sonora, except the cities of Hermosillo and Guaymas/San Carlos and Puerto Peñasco
  • all Tamaulipas
  • all Zacatecas

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General elections

General elections are scheduled to take place on June 2, 2024. Demonstrations and other political gatherings could occur before, during and after the elections. Road closures and blockages may cause travel disruptions. A strong military and police presence is expected.

You may face deportation if you participate in demonstrations as a foreigner.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Levels of crime, particularly violent crime, are high throughout Mexico. Arrest and detention rates are low and don’t deter criminal activity.

Criminal groups, including drug cartels, are very active. ‎Clashes between cartels or gangs over territory, drugs and smuggling routes are common.

In some parts of the country, military, navy and federal police forces have been deployed to combat organized crime and improve security conditions. They maintain a visible presence by:

  • patrolling the streets
  • setting up roadblocks
  • conducting random vehicle checks  

If you plan on travelling to Mexico:

  • remain vigilant at all times
  • stay in tourist areas
  • be very cautious on major highways
  • avoid travelling at night
  • monitor local media closely

If you’re the victim of a crime, you must report it immediately to local authorities. No criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint. Complaints must be made in person before leaving Mexico. You should hire a local lawyer to represent your interests and follow up on your case after you return to Canada. Failure to do may result in incomplete investigations or long delays in bringing cases to trial.

Violent crime

There are high rates of violent crime, such as homicides, kidnappings, carjacking and assaults, including in popular tourist destinations such as the Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum), and Acapulco.

Criminal groups and drug cartels are present in tourist areas. Inter-gang and cartel fighting has taken place in restaurants, hotels and nightclubs frequented by tourists.

Innocent bystanders have been injured or killed. You may be in the wrong place at the wrong time and become a victim of violent crime.

Border areas often see higher criminal activity and violence, including in rural areas. Confrontations between organized criminal groups and Mexican authorities continue to pose a risk. Shootouts, attacks and illegal roadblocks may occur without warning.

You should travel to Mexico by air to avoid international land border crossings, particularly along the border with the United States, in the following cities:

  • Ciudad Juárez
  • Nuevo Laredo

If crossing an international land border:

  • remain extremely vigilant
  • use only official border crossings

Armed robbery

Armed robbery occurs. Foreigners have been targets of robberies that sometimes involve assault.

Robbers will follow a victim after they exchange or withdraw money at airports, currency exchange bureaus ( casas de cambio ) or ATMs.

  • Stay in hotels and resorts with good security
  • If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and don’t resist
  • Avoid withdrawing or exchanging money in public areas of the airport

Canadian travellers have been physically and sexually assaulted. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel at popular tourist destinations were involved. In some cases, hotel staff are not helpful and try to dissuade victims from pursuing the incident with police.

  • Avoid walking after dark, especially alone
  • Avoid isolated or deserted areas
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

Are you a victim of sexual violence? – Government of Canada and British Embassy Mexico City

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card and ATM fraud occurs in Mexico. When using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when others are handling your cards
  • use ATMs located in public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements


Some bars and nightclubs may try to charge exorbitant prices. Discussions about overcharging may lead to threats of violence and security guards may force you to pay. Avoid running a tab or leaving your credit card with bar or restaurant staff.

Overseas fraud

Police officers

Legitimate police officers have extorted money from tourists or arrested tourists for minor offences such as :

  • drinking alcohol on the street
  • urinating on public roads
  • traffic violations

They have requested immediate cash payment in exchange for their release. Travellers driving rental cars have been targeted.

If this occurs:

  • don’t hand over your money or your passport
  • ask for the officer’s name, badge and patrol car number
  • ask for a copy of the written fine, which is payable at a later date, or insist on going to the nearest police station

Virtual kidnappings

Extortion, including virtual kidnappings, is the third most common crime in Mexico. Criminals use a variety of tactics to gather information about potential victims for extortion purposes, including using social media sites or eavesdropping on conversations

In a virtual kidnapping, criminals contact the victim’s hotel room landline and threaten the victim to stay in their room. The criminals then instruct the victim to provide information needed for the caller to use to contact family and friends, to demand the immediate payment of ransom for their release.

  • Don't discuss travel plans, your room number or any other personal information around strangers
  • Never leave your cellphone unattended
  • Ensure your cellphone is password protected
  • Don't divulge personal business details to strangers in person or over the phone or on social media, especially when using hotel phones
  • If you're threatened on the phone or hear screams, hang up immediately
  • When you answer the phone, wait for the caller to speak. If the caller asks who is speaking, hang up immediately.
  • Don’t answer unrecognized or blocked phone numbers
  • Don’t answer hotel landlines


Mexico has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world. Kidnapping, including virtual and express kidnapping, is a serious security risk throughout Mexico.

Kidnappers target all classes. Canadian citizens and contractors working for Canadian businesses have been kidnapped, mostly in areas that are not under the control of police and security forces.

If you're kidnapped:

  • comply with the kidnappers’ requests
  • don’t attempt to resist

Express kidnappings

Express kidnappings occur in large urban areas. This is a method of kidnapping where criminals ask for a small and immediate ransom.

Thieves most commonly work in cooperation with, or pose as, taxi drivers. They force victims to use their debit or credit card to withdraw money from ATMs in exchange for their release.

  • Use only a reputable taxi company or a trusted ride-sharing app
  • Book taxis through your hotel or an authorized taxi stand ( sitio )

Petty theft

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common in Mexico.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times, even in areas normally considered safe
  • Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Avoid showing signs of affluence, such as flashy jewellery, cell phones, headphones and designer bags
  • Carry only small amounts of money
  • Be cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs

Home break-ins

Tourists staying in rental homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglaries. Whether you're staying in private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Some incidents of assault, rape and sexual assault against Canadian women have occurred, including at beach resorts and on public buses. 

  • Exercise caution when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances
  • Be wary of rides or other invitations

Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Unregulated alcohol

Some bars, restaurants and resorts have served counterfeit alcohol. Some travellers have reported getting sick or blacking out after drinking alcohol.

  • Be cautious if you choose to drink alcohol
  • Seek medical assistance if you begin to feel sick

Alcohol, drugs and travel

Height standards for balcony railings in Mexico can be considerably lower than those in Canada. Falls have resulted in deaths and injuries.

  • Exercise caution when standing close to balcony railings


Demonstrations take place regularly throughout the country. Protests and roadblocks are common in:

  • Mexico City, including to and from the airport
  • the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán and Oaxaca

Such incidents may last a long time, leading to shortages of fresh food, medicine and gasoline.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.

Many beaches don’t offer warnings of dangerous conditions and they don’t always have lifeguards on duty.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

  • Consult local residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Always obey warning flags at beaches
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

Water sports

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. Many operators don’t conduct regular safety checks on their sporting and aquatic equipment.

Also, Canadians have been involved in accidents where operators of recreational vehicles, such as watercraft, have demanded compensation exceeding the value of the damage caused to the vehicle or equipment.

If you undertake water sports, such as diving:

  • choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
  • ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose
  • wear the appropriate safety equipment, such as helmets and life jackets
  • ensure that equipment is available and in good condition
  • don’t consume alcohol before the activity

If in doubt concerning the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism  

Outdoor activities, such as white water rafting, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, bungee, zip lining, paragliding, hiking, mountain biking, etc and other adventure activities can be dangerous if unprepared. Trails are not always marked, and weather conditions can change rapidly, even during summer.  

Tour operators may not always adhere to international safety standards. 

If you intend to practice adventure tourism: 

  • consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company 
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be setting out  
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation   
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal  
  • pay attention to the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, both of which can be fatal  
  • avoid venturing off marked trails  
  • ensure that you’re adequately equipped and bring sufficient water   
  • stay informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard  
  • refrain from using facilities or equipment if you have doubts on their safety  
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary  

Road travel

Road conditions and road safety.

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country.

Road conditions can be dangerous due to:

  • sharp curves
  • poorly marked or hidden road signs
  • construction sites
  • roaming livestock
  • slow-moving or abandoned vehicles

Toll highways are typically safer and better maintained than secondary highways.

Mexican driving styles are very different from those in Canada. Many drivers don’t respect traffic laws, and police don’t strictly enforce these laws. Drivers often drive at excessive speeds and may be aggressive or reckless. Drinking and driving laws are not strictly enforced. Accidents causing fatalities are common. Police don’t regularly patrol the highways.

Roadblocks and checkpoints

Illegal roadblocks and demonstrations are common. Heavily armed gangs have attacked travellers on intercity highways. Criminals especially target sport utility vehicles and full-size pickup trucks for theft and carjacking.

The military searches for drugs and firearms at military checkpoints throughout the country.

  • Avoid road travel at night between cities throughout the country
  • Ensure that you only stop in major centres, at reputable hotels or at secure campsites
  • Keep your car doors locked and the windows closed, especially at traffic lights
  • Avoid hitchhiking which is not a common practice in Mexico
  • Don’t leave valuables in the vehicle
  • Rent cars that don’t have stickers or other advertisements for the rental company on them, as rental cars have been targets for robbery, sometimes using force
  • Ensure operators provide insurance and helmets if renting scooters
  • Travel on toll roads to lower the risk of targeted roadblocks and robberies
  • Never attempt to cross roadblocks, even if they appear unattended

Public transportation

Remain vigilant in airports, at bus stations, on buses and on the metro.

The Mexico City metro is often very crowded and a popular place for pickpocketing. There are metro cars dedicated to women and children during rush hours. They are located at the front of the trains.

The Metrobus in Mexico City, which has dedicated lanes and stops, is relatively safe. There are sections dedicated to women and children at the front of the buses.

The “colectivos” and “pesero” mini-buses that stop when hailed are frequently targeted for robbery.

When travelling to other cities, use bus companies that offer VIP or executive class transportation. These buses only travel on toll roads, which lower the risks of targeted roadblocks and robberies, and follow a speed limit.

Taxis and ridesharing services

Disputes between taxi and ridesharing application drivers may occur, especially in Quintana Roo. They may result in:

  • altercations

Although tourists have not been targeted, you may be caught up in these incidents and harassed or injured. 

In Mexico City, all government-authorized taxis have licence plates starting with “A” or “B.” Taxis from designated stands have both the logo of their company and the plate number stamped on the side of the car. Official taxis in Mexico City are pink and white. Users can validate the pink and white taxis on the CDMX app.

  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Don't share taxis with strangers

When arriving at an airport in Mexico, pre-pay the taxi fare at the airport (inside or outside the terminal) and ask to see the driver’s official identification. You can also use a ridesharing app to arrange for a pickup at certain airports. Not all airports in Mexico allow ridesharing service pickups.

If you use a trusted ridesharing app, confirm the driver’s identity and the licence plate before getting in the car.

Mi Taxi  – CDMX app (in Spanish)

Cruise ship travel

Plan carefully if you plan to take a cruise departing from or stopping in Mexico.

Advice for cruise travellers

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters of the Bay of Campeche. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report  - International Maritime Bureau

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Mexican authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the expected duration of your stay in Mexico.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required Business visa: required Work visa: required Student visa: required

Required documents

To enter Mexico, you must present a valid passport and a duly completed tourist card (Multiple Immigration Form). Carry documents to prove the purpose of trip, such as hotel or tour booking confirmations, as immigration officers may request them.

Tourist card

You must obtain a tourist card to enter the country unless you stay in Mexico for less than 72 hours within the northern border zone. 

If you don’t obtain a tourist card upon arrival, you may face:

It is highly recommended to keep your digital tourist card, or tourist card if entered by land, with you at all times as proof of your legal stay in Mexico. You may be asked to show it to Mexican officials when exiting the country or if you are stopped on an immigration check point.

If you are stopped at an immigration check point and you are unable to prove your legal stay, you may be fined, detained or expelled from the country.

Entering by land

If entering Mexico by land, you must stop at the immigration office located at the border to obtain a tourist card, even if not explicitly directed by Mexican officials. Immigration officials will write down on your tourist card the number of days you are allowed to stay in Mexico.  

You may complete the tourist card form online before your arrival. However, you must print the form and present it to the migration official at the port of entry.

Multiple Immigration Form  - Government of Mexico

Entering by air

If entering Mexico by air, you are advised to download your tourist card issued by Mexican officials upon entry.

Depending on your airport of entry:

  • the immigration official will stamp your passport and note the number of days you are allowed to spend in Mexico or
  • you will go through an E-gate kiosk where you will scan your passport and self-register your entry in the country. Only use this option if you are entering Mexico as a tourist.

Once in the country, whether you entered via a E-gate or not, you will be able to access the digital tourist card online. You have 60 days to download it.

If you are unable to show your tourist card or digital tourist card upon departure, you will have to pay for a replacement at the immigration office of any international airport before boarding.

Make sure to plan sufficient time at the airport to obtain a new card in time for your flight.

Portal access for digital tourist card  - Government of Mexico

Length of stay

An immigration official will determine the number of days you can remain in Mexico and note it on your tourist card. The maximum length granted for a tourism-related trip is 180 days; the maximum number of days is not granted by default.

If you're seeking the maximum number of days, you may be required to:

  • explain the purpose of your trip to the immigration official
  • provide details about your trip (accommodations, funds, return flight, etc.)

You won’t be able to request an extension or change the condition of your stay from inside the country.

Canadians travelling to the northern border zone (within 21 kilometres of the U.S. border) for work don’t require a visa for stays of 72 hours or less.

If you require a business or work visa, you should take care of the process yourself. If a prospective employer is processing your visa for you:

  • obtain copies of all correspondence between the employer and Mexican immigration authorities
  • verify that these copies are stamped by the immigration authorities as proof that your papers are being processed
  • request a receipt from your employer for any document that you provide for purposes of obtaining the visa
  • avoid surrendering your passport to your employer

Volunteer, religious, research and eco-tourism activities

You may not be able to undertake volunteer, religious/missionary, research or certain forms of eco-tourism activities while visiting as a tourist. Contact the Mexican Embassy or closest Mexican consulate for information the type of visa required for these activities.

Tourism tax

Most visitors to Mexico must pay a tourism tax.

This fee is normally included in airline ticket prices. Visitors arriving by road or sea will have to pay this fee at any bank in Mexico. There is a bank representative at every port of entry. The bank receipt must be attached to the tourist card for submission at departure.

You don't have to pay this tax if:

  • you're entering by land for tourism purposes, and your stay will not exceed 7 days
  • you're travelling to the northern border zone for less than 72 hours
  • you're travelling to Mexico on a cruise ship

Dual citizenship

If entering and leaving Mexico as a dual citizen, you must identify yourself as a Mexican citizen. You must carry valid passports for both countries.

Laws about dual citizenship

Criminal records

Canadians with a criminal record or a warrant for arrest may be refused entry and returned to Canada or to a third country on the next available flight.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • Dengue: Advice for travellers - 6 May, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Salmonellosis is a common illness among travellers to this country. It can be spread through contaminated food or beverages, such as raw or undercooked poultry and eggs, as well as fruits or vegetables.

Practice safe food and water precautions . This includes only eating food that is properly cooked and still hot when served.

Pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, those over 60 years of age, and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.

Cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Salmonella have been reported among Canadian travellers returning from Mexico. These strains of Salmonella do not respond to some of the recommended antibiotics if treatment is needed.

Most people recover on their own without medical treatment and from proper rehydration (drinking lots of fluids).

  • Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Travellers with severe symptoms should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease)   is a risk in this country. It is caused by a parasite spread by infected triatomine bugs. The infection can be inactive for decades, but humans can eventually develop complications causing disability and even death.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from triatomine bugs, which are active at night, by using mosquito nets if staying in poorly-constructed housing. There is no vaccine available for Chagas disease.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

The quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.

Good health care is available in private hospitals and clinics, but it’s generally expensive. Most private facilities won’t agree to deal directly with medical insurance companies and will require payment with a credit card in advance or a bank transfer/direct deposit.

Mental health services are extremely limited in Mexico, particularly outside of Mexico City. Services and treatment standards may differ substantially from those in Canada.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medical tourism

Medical tourism is common in Mexico. Canadian travellers have had serious health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries abroad.

Before leaving for medical travel, you should do your research, especially on:

  • the health and financial risks
  • the medical facility where the procedure will be performed
  • language barriers, which can lead to misunderstandings about your medical care and conditions
  • travel insurance that includes coverage for the type of medical procedure you will be undergoing

You should discuss your medical plans with your primary healthcare provider in Canada before travelling. Most provincial and territorial health care programs are extremely limited in their coverage offered abroad.

  • Make sure that the healthcare providers you choose are authorized by the Mexican health authorities
  • Ask to see the credentials of the healthcare providers
  • Obtain a written agreement detailing the proposed treatment or procedure
  • Receiving medical care outside Canada
  • If you become sick or injured while travelling outside Canada or after your return
  • Medical tourism – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining their legality in Mexico. 

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a copy of your prescriptions

Medication cannot be sent to Mexico from Canada via courier services.

Many types of medication—both over-the-counter and prescription—are readily available with little oversight. Counterfeit medication is common in certain parts of Mexico. If you need to purchase medication while in Mexico, make sure to get it from a reputable location.

Federal Commission for protection against sanitary risk  (in Spanish)

Air quality in Mexico City

In Mexico City, you may experience health problems caused by high altitude or by air pollution, which is at its peak during the winter months.

Consult your doctor before booking your trip if you have lung, heart or respiratory problems.

Death in Mexico

If you plan to retire or spend long periods of time in Mexico, or travel there for medical procedures, you should:

  • share your plans or wishes with relatives
  • make sure important documents can easily be located
  • make arrangements in case of your death while in the country
  • What if I Die in Mexico? – Fact sheet
  • Death Abroad Factsheet

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Penalties for breaking the law in Mexico can be more severe than in Canada, even for similar offences.

Foreign nationals are often held in pre-trial detention and there can be lengthy delays before a trial.

Many petty crimes (such as public urination, failure to pay a bill or disorderly behaviour) can result in a 72-hour detention by police. Paying a fine can secure an early release from detention.

Detention conditions are below the standards of Canadian prisons.

  • Overview of the criminal law system in Mexico
  • Arrest and detention

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Smoking is prohibited in all public places except for clearly marked designated smoking areas. This includes but is not limited to:

  • restaurants

You may be fined if you’re caught smoking in public.

Electronic cigarettes

It’s illegal to bring electronic cigarettes/vaping devices and solutions into Mexico.

You could have these items confiscated by customs officials if you have them in your possession. You could also be fined or detained.

It is strictly prohibited to sell or distribute these devices and solutions in Mexico.

Imports and exports

The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws concerning possession, importation and trafficking of firearms.

Anyone entering Mexico with a firearm or ammunition without prior written authorization from Mexican authorities is subject to imprisonment.

It is also illegal to enter the country with certain types of knives.

Importing vehicles and boats

Mexico has very strict rules regarding the importation of foreign vehicles and boats.

You must enter Mexico with the proper import permit and insurance, since it cannot be obtained once you are in Mexico. You may face a fine and have your vehicle seized if you enter Mexico without the proper permit.

You must present a paper document of your vehicle registration to obtain a vehicle importation permit from the Mexican authorities. If you present a digital document of your vehicle registration, your vehicle may be refused entry into Mexico.   

  • Vehicle importation  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Temporary vehicle import application system  – Banjército
  • Travelling to Mexico by land  – Mexican Embassy in Canada

Cigarettes and alcohol

If you are older than 18, you are allowed to bring into Mexico up to:

  • 10 cigarette packs
  • 25 cigars or
  • 200 grams of tobacco
  • 3 litres of alcohol and
  • 6 litres of wine

If you bring more alcohol and cigarettes into Mexico than allowed, even if you declare your imported items, you will be subject to a high import fee. You will still be subject to a significant fee if you decide to relinquish your imported items

It’s illegal to possess archaeological artefacts or to export such items from Mexico.

  • Goods you can bring to Mexico as part of your personal luggage  – Government of Mexico
  • Goods you cannot bring into Mexico  – Government of Mexico
  • Agricultural product restrictions  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

Political activity

It’s illegal for foreigners to conduct political activity in Mexico, including participating in demonstrations.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Mexican law does not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. However, homosexuality is not widely accepted in Mexican society, particularly in rural areas.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are disproportionately targeted for violence and can face discrimination.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Mexico.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Mexico, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Mexico.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Mexico, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Mexican court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Mexico to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

There are no clear procedures or regulations about surrogacy in Mexico.

If you're considering surrogacy, seek advice from legal professionals knowledgeable in Canadian and Mexican laws and citizenship procedures.

Identity documents

The names on your identity documents must be identical to those on your birth certificate to obtain official Mexican documents, such as marriage certificates, immigration documents or passports.

Middle names are often left off Canadian identity documents. This has caused significant difficulties for many Canadians. If you plan on residing in Mexico or dealing with the Mexican Civil Registry, obtain a Canadian passport that will meet Mexican requirements.


You should carry photo identification.

Authorities can ask you to show identification and a proof of your legal status in Mexico. They can demand to see your tourist card at any time. You must carry the original at all times. You must carry the original at all times, and should also carry a photocopy of the identification page of your passport.


If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in Mexico, seek legal advice in Canada and in Mexico. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.

Mexican real estate agents are not licensed or regulated.

  • Choose your own lawyer
  • Avoid hiring a lawyer recommended by a seller

Problems with timeshare arrangements occur.

Timeshare representatives may be very persistent. They use pressure tactics and offer free tours, meals, gifts or alcoholic beverages.

It's illegal for timeshare companies to ask you to sign a waiver that prevents you from cancelling a contract. You're legally entitled to cancel a timeshare contract without penalty within 5 working days. Contracts must be cancelled in writing directly with the timeshare company.

Before purchasing a timeshare:

  • gather as much information as possible
  • review carefully the contract; anything not included in the contract will not be honoured
  • provide your credit card only if you are sure you want to make the purchase
  • keep copies of all correspondence

If you suspect a fraud in the real estate procedures, contact the Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer immediately.

  • Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer (PROFECO)  – Mexican Government (in Spanish)
  • Should I buy a timeshare in Mexico? - Embassy of Mexico in Canada
  • Should I sell my timeshare in Mexico? - Embassy of Mexico in Canada

Rental accommodations

Rental agreements between two individuals in Mexico are considered a private matter and are not regulated by the government.

If you encounter difficulties with a rental agreement, you must obtain the services of a Mexican lawyer.

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

Auto insurance

Mexican liability insurance is mandatory. Canadian automobile insurance is not valid in Mexico.

You can obtain insurance at the Mexican border. You should obtain full coverage, including coverage for legal assistance.

Automobile insurance is much more expensive in Mexico than in Canada. Many local drivers don’t have any form of car insurance.

If you’re involved in an accident, and you don’t have Mexican liability insurance, you could be prevented from leaving the country until all parties agree that adequate financial satisfaction has been received. If you’re found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident, or if you don’t have a valid driver’s licence, your insurance will be considered invalid.

If you’re involved in a traffic accident, you may face serious legal problems, including imprisonment. You could be taken into custody until responsibility for the accident is determined and all fines are paid. You must report any accident you’re involved in to the police.

Driving restrictions in Mexico City

The Hoy No Circula (No Driving Today) program restricts some cars from driving in Mexico City and in some municipalities of the State of Mexico, from Monday to Saturday, from 5 am to 10 pm.

You will face driving restrictions depending on:

  • your car’s emission sticker
  • the last digit of your license plate
  • where your license plate was issued

Hoy No Circula program is strictly enforced. You may face heavy fines and temporary confiscation of your vehicle if you don’t comply. Consult the Hoy No Circula calendar before driving.

Electric and hybrid cars are exempted from these restrictions. Gas-fueled cars of a 2008 model or later may obtain a tourist pass valid for selected drive days.

  • Hoy no circula – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Tourist pass  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Ministry of Environment  – Government of (in Spanish)

Buying/selling a vehicle

You must be either a temporary or a permanent resident if you wish to buy a car in Mexico.

It’s illegal to sell your imported vehicle in Mexico. If you do, your vehicle may be seized and you may be subject to a fine and deportation.

The currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso.

In some parts of Mexico, particularly tourist destinations, hotels and other service providers may advertise prices in USD.

There is a limit to the amount of U.S. dollars that residents and foreigners can exchange in Mexico, depending on your immigration status. The rule doesn’t apply to Canadian dollars but some financial institutions, hotels and currency exchange bureaus don’t make the distinction.

When carrying more than US$10,000 or the equivalent in other currencies, cash, cheques, money orders or any other monetary instrument, you must declare the amount exceeding US$10,000. Failure to make this declaration is against Mexican law and often results in detention.

Climate change

Climate change is affecting Mexico. Extreme and unusual weather events are becoming more frequent and may affect your travel plans. Monitor local news to stay informed on the current situation.  

Mexico is subject to various natural disasters such as:

  • earthquakes  
  • extreme heat
  • floods  
  • forest fires 
  • hurricanes  
  • torrential rains  
  • tsunamis 
  • volcanic eruptions  
  • Secretary of Integrated Risk Management and Civil Protection  – Government of Mexico City (in Spanish)
  • National Center for Disaster Prevention  (CENAPRED) – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Get prepared

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings  - United States’ National Hurricane Center

Heat may be most severe during the hot season, from April and May in the south, and July to September along the Pacific Coast.

Know the symptoms of dehydration and heatstroke, which can both be fatal.

Sun and heat safety tips for travellers  

Flooding and landslides

Heavy rains can cause flooding and landslides. Roads may become impassable and infrastructure damaged.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Mexico is located in an active seismic zone. Earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions can occur.

A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Useful links:

  • National Seismological Institute  – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)
  • Latest earthquakes  - U.S. Geological Survey
  • Tsunami alerts  - U.S. Tsunami Warning System
  • Centre for Studies and Research of Volcanology  - University of Colima (in Spanish)

Forest fires

Forest fires may occur, particularly during the dry season from:

  • January to June in the centre, north, northeast, south and southeast
  • May to September in the northwest

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • always follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel, including any evacuation order
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

Daily report on wildfires – Government of Mexico (in Spanish)

Local services

In case of an emergency, dial 911.

Roadside assistance

The Angeles Verdes is a highway patrol service that provides free assistance on all major toll highways from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can download the App on your mobile device.

In case of an emergency, you can also dial 078 or 800 006 8839 (toll-free in Mexico) to reach them.

Consular assistance

Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Estado de Mexico, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Morelos, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luís Potosí, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Zacatecas.

Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo north of the municipality of Solidaridad, including Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres and Holbox

Baja California, Sonora

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Mexico, in Mexico City, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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safe travel to mexico city

Latest update

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico overall due to the threat of violent crime.

Higher levels apply in some areas.


Mexico (PDF 1007.79 KB)

Americas (PDF 3.25 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 911 or go to the hospital.

Call 911 or go to the local police station.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution in Mexico overall.

Reconsider your need to travel to Michoacán (except Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas and the Monarch butterfly reserves), Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua and the states of Guerrero (including Acapulco), North-eastern Sinaloa, North-western Durango, South-eastern Sonora (except for the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway), Tamaulipas and Zacatecas.

Reconsider your need to travel to:

  • Michoacán (except Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas and the Monarch butterfly reserves)
  • Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua
  • Guerrero State (including Acapulco)
  • North-eastern Sinaloa State 
  • North-western Durango State
  • South-eastern Sonora State (except for the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway)
  • Tamaulipas State and
  • Zacatecas State

due to high levels of violent crime (including kidnapping and extortion) and their volatile security situation.

  • Avoid protests and large public gatherings. These can become violent. It's against the law for foreigners to participate in political activity. 
  • Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, including murder, armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping. Don't travel at night outside major cities. Drug-related violence is widespread.
  • Kidnapping and extortion are serious risks. Don't draw attention to your money or business affairs. Only use ATMs in public spaces and during the daytime.
  • Stop at all roadblocks, or you risk getting killed.
  • Hurricanes and earthquakes are common in Mexico. Local authorities will direct you to your nearest shelter in the event of a hurricane. Know the earthquake safety measures where you're staying.

Full travel advice: Safety

  • Malaria and Zika virus are risks in Mexico. If you're pregnant, ask your doctor about the risk of Zika virus before you travel.
  • Mexico has insect-borne diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent.
  • Parts of Mexico are at high altitudes. Air pollution can also cause health issues, particularly over winter (December to February). Talk to your doctor before you travel if you have heart, lung or breathing issues.

Full travel advice: Health

  • Smoking, including vaping, is banned in all public places in Mexico, including beaches, parks, hotels and restaurants. Importing electronic cigarettes and vaping devices is also prohibited. You may be fined or arrested.
  • Some activities are illegal for foreigners in Mexico. These include political activity, driving without insurance, and failing to report a road accident. Ensure you understand and follow local laws.
  • Possessing or exporting ancient Mexican artefacts and carrying firearms or ammunition without a permit are also illegal. Apply for a firearm permit at a Mexican embassy or consulate before you arrive.
  • Although same-sex marriage is legal in Mexico, some parts of the country are conservative. LGBTI travellers should consider limiting public displays of affection.

Full travel advice: Local laws

  • If you're visiting for 180 days or less as a tourist, you'll receive a visa on arrival for the duration of your planned stay. You can't extend your visa if you plan to stay longer than advised to the immigration officer on arrival. Mexican authorities advise to avoid being detained or deported, you must complete an online Multiple Immigration Form (FMM) and obtain a QR code. 
  • Make sure immigration officials stamp your passport on arrival, as this will state the number of days your visa will be valid. Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Mexico for the latest details.
  • To cross the land border between Mexico and the US, you must provide a verbal attestation for your reason for travel. Make sure you receive an entry stamp in your passport. 
  • Periodic closures of Mexico's land borders with Guatemala and Belize may occur. Check with local authorities before crossing the border or taking a flight.
  • If you're taking public transport or taxis, use only first-class buses and official registered taxis. Use ride-share services where possible instead of taxis. Crime levels on intercity buses are high, especially after dark.

Full travel advice:  Travel

Local contacts

  • The  Consular Services Charter  tells you what the Australian Government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts: ( Facebook ), ( X ).
  • The  Australian Embassy in Mexico City  can provide consular assistance by email, phone, or appointment.
  • You can also  contact the Australian Consulate in Cancún  for limited consular assistance.

Full travel advice: Local contacts

Full advice

Violent crime, violent crime.

Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, especially after dark.

Murder, armed  robbery ,  sexual assault  and  kidnapping  are high risks. These crimes can occur at tourist spots and resorts.

Criminals posing as police officers have committed sexual assault, extortion and robbery. They may drive fake police cars.

Gangs have attacked travellers after they've changed money at airports.

To protect yourself from violent crime:

  • avoid travelling at night outside major cities, including on major highways
  • monitor the media for new safety risks
  • don't change large amounts of money at the airport

Crime on intercity buses and highways is common in Mexico.

Thieves have robbed tourists on buses along the Pacific Highway, including from Acapulco to Ixtapa and Huatulco.

Violent carjackings have increased. The northern borders and along the Pacific coast are high-risk areas.

Criminals have attacked tourists on toll roads and highways. The Sonora, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and border regions are high-risk areas.

Organised crime groups have targeted large campervans and SUVs travelling in and out of the United States.

To reduce the risk of crime when travelling by road:

  • use ride-share services where possible instead of taxis
  • use official taxis from airports and pre-pay your fare at an official taxi company booth in the airport terminal
  • use radio taxis or taxis at assigned stands (sitios), especially in Mexico City
  • use first-class buses
  • only travel during daylight hours and allow enough time to get to your destination before dark
  • drive via toll roads (cuota)

Watch out for drink and food spiking, which can occur in bars, clubs and restaurants. You're at higher risk of sexual assault and theft if you get drugged.

Drug and gang violence

Violent crimes related to the drug trade are widespread in Mexico.

Shoot-outs, grenade attacks and car bombings have occurred in public places.

Targeted attacks have increased on the military, government officials and journalists.

You may become a victim of violence directed against someone else.

Federal police and the military use roadblocks and random vehicle checks to deal with drug-related violence.

Drug cartels set up unofficial roadblocks in the northern areas of Mexico to obstruct military and police movement.

Stop at all roadblocks, or you risk getting killed. Comply with the instructions given.

Risks are higher in those areas most affected by drug-related and gang violence, including:

  • Northern border states – Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas
  • Pacific coast states – Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit and Sinaloa
  • Central region states – Guanajuato, Durango, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas
  • State of Mexico and the State of Veracruz on the Gulf coast
  • Major cities along Mexico's border with the United States – Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Nogales, Piedras Negras and Reynosa

State of Guanajuato

Violence and drug cartel activity are on the rise across the State. 

Gang members are known to erect roadblocks on major highways. Murders, including mass killings, occur regularly. 

Even as a tourist, you risk getting caught up in violence inadvertently. 

Avoid known hot spots such as Acámbaro, Celaya, Irapuato, León, Salamanca, Silao and Santiago. 

State of Guerrero

The violent crime rate remains high, and the security situation is volatile.

Violent criminal gangs are more active in rural areas than cities.

Acapulco has high levels of violent crime, such as murder and shootings. The resort city is unsafe, especially outside tourist areas. Due to the precarious security situation following damage by Hurricane Otis, there's a threat of armed violence, banditry, and looting in cities and on roads.

Crime risks are lower in the tourist areas of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and Taxco and on the toll road to Taxco than in other parts of Guerrero.

Protesters can disrupt toll booths along the road to Taxco, causing delays.

State of Michoacán

Many 'self-defence' groups have formed in the State. They are unpredictable, and the security situation is volatile.

Security near the Monarch butterfly reserves, including on the border with the State of Mexico, has deteriorated due to cartel activity.  

Crime is lower in Morelia city.

State of Tamaulipas

Tamaulipas has widespread criminal activity linked to drug trafficking. Kidnapping and extortion are also common.

State of Quintana Roo

Violent crimes related to the drug trade have occurred in tourist areas of Quintana Roo, such as Cancun, Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Shoot-outs have occurred in public places, injuring or killing tourists.

State of Zacatecas

Zacatecas has widespread criminal activity linked to drug trafficking. Violence is increasing due to clashes between competing drug cartels. Kidnapping and extortion are common.

Other violent areas

High levels of violent crime and lawlessness occur in:

  • the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains in southern Chihuahua State
  • north-eastern Sinaloa State
  • north-western Durango State
  • south-eastern Sonora State

Organised crime gangs operate in these regions. The Chihuahua-Pacific Railway is less affected.

The State of Mexico has a high level of violent crime. Murder,  assault , armed robbery, extortion and kidnapping are common.

According to Mexican Government statistics, Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo have reported significant increases in drug-related violence, particularly murder. The states with the highest homicide rates are Baja California Sur, Colima, Quintana Roo, Morelos, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Baja California, Chihuahua, Michoacan and Sonora.

To reduce your risks if travelling to violent areas, stay in:

  • tourist areas
  • well-known and well-frequented public areas with good access to safe transport in the evenings

To protect yourself from crime in violent areas:

  • avoid road travel, especially at night
  • avoid isolated locations
  • pay close attention to your personal security
  • stay alert to possible threats around you
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • monitor the media for safety or security risks

Other crime risks

Petty crime.

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching, is common. Take care on public transport, at tourist spots, airports, hotels and bus stations.

Thieves often work with or pose as taxi drivers. Be aware travellers have been robbed when using taxis hailed from the street. 

More information:

  • Preventing crime and petty theft

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological, and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas whilst travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime, including in destinations that are typically at lower risk. 

Kidnapping is a serious risk in Mexico. Kidnapping occurs throughout the country, with the highest number of cases recorded in and around Mexico City, along the Gulf Coast from Tamaulipas to Tabasco states, and in other large cities. Kidnappers target a broad demographic, including foreigners and expatriates. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid. In some cases, the captors receive a ransom and kill the victim.

Some victims claim police officers are involved in their kidnapping.

Virtual kidnappings target people over the phone to extort money. Kidnappers pose as officials or cartel members and demand payments for the release of a family member they have allegedly detained. If you receive a call or message, contact local police.

Express kidnappings are also regularly reported in Mexico. Kidnappers force victims to withdraw funds from ATMs before they are released.

If, despite our advice, you travel to an area with a high risk of kidnapping, our ability to provide consular assistance in these destinations will be limited. 

To reduce the risk of kidnapping: 

  • always be alert to your personal security and surroundings 
  • get professional security advice for travel in locations with a heightened kidnap risk 
  • check your accommodation has appropriate security measures 
  • avoid isolated locations, particularly when travelling alone 
  • notify family or friends of planned travel and share your location 
  • avoid talking about your money or business affairs 
  • use ATMs in public places and during daylight hours 
  • avoid giving personal details to strangers online or over the phone 

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers. Ransom payments to kidnappers have funded further terrorist attacks and criminal activity. Paying a ransom to terrorist groups will likely break Australian counter-terrorism financing laws. 

More information: 

Civil unrest and political tension

Demonstrations and protests.

It's illegal for foreigners to take part in political activity in Mexico.

Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. They're common and often:

  • disrupt public services
  • cause traffic delays
  • stop movement around affected areas

Protesters may blockade roads.

Public protests in Mexico City are common. Expect protests and potential roadblocks in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacán.

To protect yourself during periods of unrest:

  • check local sources for details of possible strikes or unrest
  • follow advice from local authorities
  • change your travel plans in case of disruptions

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Swimming safety

Even strong swimmers can be at risk from undertows and currents on both coasts of Mexico. Obey the beach warning flags.

Climate and natural disasters

Mexico experiences  natural disasters  and  severe weather , such as:

  • earthquakes
  • volcanic activity

If you're involved in a natural disaster:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • keep in contact with your friends and family
  • monitor local media and other sources
  • contact your tour operator or airline

Register with the  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  to receive alerts on major disasters.

Hurricanes and severe weather

Severe weather occurs in Mexico.

The hurricane season is from June to November. The direction and strength of hurricanes can change with little warning.

Landslides, mudslides and flash flooding can also occur, including in Mexico City.

If there's a hurricane or severe storm:

  • you may get stuck in the area
  • flights could be delayed or suspended
  • flights out may fill quickly
  • adequate shelter may not be available
  • electricity supply, communication networks and transport options may be disrupted. 

To protect yourself if a hurricane is approaching:

  • listen to the instructions of local authorities
  • know the evacuation plan for your hotel or cruise ship
  • identify your local shelter
  • monitor alerts and advice from the  US National Hurricane Center  and local authorities


Mexico experiences earthquakes and tremors each year. Aftershocks are common and can damage already weakened structures.

Earthquakes can disrupt power and communication systems.

Get to know the earthquake safety measures for each place you stay and visit.

Tsunamis may occur in Mexico.

Receive tsunami alerts by registering with the following:

  • Global Disaster Alert and Co-ordination System
  • Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre

If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities or if you:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
  • feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, check local media.

Active volcanoes include the Popocatepetl and Colima volcanoes.  

Volcanic ash from eruptions of these volcanoes can disrupt domestic and international flights and cause airport closures. Exposure to falling ash and toxic fumes from active volcanoes can also affect your health, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments.

  • Avoid the affected areas
  • Monitor local media to remain informed
  • Contact your travel agent or airline regarding airport and flight status
  • Be prepared to change your travel arrangements or evacuate the area on short notice
  • Follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders

The  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  can give you general volcano alerts.

Travel Insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave.

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you’ll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of someone you know, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Mexico. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Health risks

Insect-borne diseases.

Malaria  is a risk in Mexico, particularly in:

  • the State of Chiapas
  • rural areas of Nayarit, Oaxaca and Sinaloa
  • some parts of Chihuahua, Durango and Sonora.

Zika virus  is widespread in Mexico. There's no vaccination for Zika virus.

Read the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care page on  Zika virus  for advice on how to reduce your risk.

If you're pregnant, the department recommends that you:

  • discuss travel plans with your doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas.

In Mexico, there's also a risk of:

  • chikungunya
  • chagas disease
  • leishmaniasis

To protect yourself from disease:

  • make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • consider medication to prevent malaria

Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

Other health risks

High altitude and air pollution can cause health issues in some regions. Pollution peaks in winter from December to February.

If you have heart, lung or respiratory problems, ask your doctor for advice before you travel.

Foodborne, waterborne and other diseases are widespread. These include:

  • tuberculosis
  • cyclosporiasis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
  • get vaccinated before you travel
  • avoid contact with dogs and other mammals

If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.

Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

  • Infectious diseases

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Private hospitals in Mexico City and other major cities provide a reasonable standard of care. Services are limited in rural areas.

Treatment at private clinics and hospitals is very expensive.

Doctors and hospitals are unlikely to work with your overseas travel insurer. You'll need to pay before they'll treat you, even for emergency care.

You can find hyperbaric chambers in major cities and resort towns where scuba diving is popular.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our  Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Smoking, including vaping, has been banned in all public places, including beaches, parks, hotels and restaurants. You may be fined or arrested.

Property laws

Property laws and time-share agreements can be complex.

Before you buy or invest in property, do your research and get legal advice.

In Mexico, it's illegal to:

  • conduct political activity, including demonstrations
  • possess ancient Mexican artefacts or export them from Mexico
  • carry firearms or ammunition without a permit, including in Mexican waters
  • drive a car without insurance
  • fail to report a road accident.

If you need a firearm permit, apply at a Mexican Embassy or Consulate before you arrive.

You're responsible for any illegal items found in rented or borrowed vehicles. This applies even if you don't know they're there.

If you're the victim of a crime and want to report the incident, do so immediately to the nearest branch of the state prosecutor’s office (Agencia del Ministerio Público). A criminal investigation is not possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities. Complaints must be made in person before leaving Mexico.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Check if being an Australian-Mexican dual citizen may affect your travel.

Always travel on your Australian passport .

  • Dual nationals

Local customs

Although same sex marriage is legal in Mexico, some parts of the country are conservative.

LGBTQIA+ travellers  should consider limiting public displays of affection.

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

If you visit for 180 days or less as a tourist, you can get a visa on arrival. Be aware of the date that's stamped in your passport on arrival, as you may not receive the full 180 days. Your visa will expire on the entry stamp date. This is usually for the amount of time you indicate to the immigration officer that you are staying in Mexico.

To avoid being detained or deported, you'll need to:

  • fill in an online Multiple Immigration Form (FMM) and obtain a QR code
  • make sure your passport is stamped by immigration officials on arrival

You can complete the FMM online before you arrive or on arrival.

If you're entering by road, make sure you get the stamp on your passport at the immigration office  (Instituto Nacional de Migración: Spanish) . These are usually located near, but not directly at, a border crossing.

Present your completed FMM for inspection at immigration if entering by air. You'll need to show it when you leave Mexico.

Border measures

To cross the land border between Mexico and the US, you'll need to verbally provide the reason for your travel.

Periodic closures of Mexico's land borders with Guatemala and Belize may occur. Check with local authorities before crossing the border or travelling by plane.

Confirm your travel and transit arrangements directly with your airline or travel agent. 

Travel via the United States or Canada

If you're  travelling through the US , ensure you meet all current US entry or transit requirements, including if you're transiting through Hawaii. 

If you travel  through Canada , ensure you meet all entry and transit requirements. 

Other formalities

Mexico charges all visitors an immigration fee.

If you arrive on a commercial flight, the cost of your ticket includes the fee.

If you enter by land, the immigration office will arrange for you to pay the fee at a nearby bank. There's no exit tax.

A child under 18 years who's also a citizen or resident of Mexico must carry a  Mexican Minor Travel Consent Form  (Spanish) or a  notarised consent  if travelling with anyone other than their parent or legal guardian. 

You may need a permit if you arrive in Mexico by motor vehicle. Check with the Embassy of Mexico before you travel.

  • Advice for people travelling with children

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This may apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport isn't valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting  a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the  Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest  Australian Embassy or Consulate .

Passport with 'X' gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

Mexico's official currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN).

Declare amounts over US$10,000 or foreign currency equivalent. Do this on arrival and departure. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.

US dollars are widely accepted in holiday resort areas. You can't generally exchange Australian currency and traveller's cheques in Mexico.

ATMs are widely available in cities and towns. Take care as credit card fraud occurs.

Carry cash if you're travelling to rural areas.

Most international hotels and tourist facilities accept credit and debit cards.

Ask your bank whether your ATM card will work in Mexico.

Local travel

Driving permit.

You can use your valid Australian driver's licence to drive in Mexico.

Road travel

Vehicles generally don't stop for pedestrians or indicate when they're turning. Intersections can be confusing, with vehicles coming from unexpected directions.

Strict laws cover insurance and reporting of accidents.

If you drive in Mexico:

  • learn local road use and driving rules
  • keep doors locked and windows up, even when moving
  • use toll roads (cuota) to reduce the risk of crime

If you're a victim of roadside robbery or stopped at a roadblock, do as you're asked.

Driving on rural roads in Mexico is dangerous due to:

  • poor road conditions.
  • pedestrians and livestock on roads
  • inadequate street lighting and signage

Criminals target vehicles, including campervans and SUVs, especially in rural areas.

  • Driving or riding

Use ride-share services, where possible, instead of taxis. If this isn't an option, it's best to use registered official taxis and limousines, preferably arranged through your hotel. To avoid issues:

  • use official taxis from airports
  • pre-pay your fare at an official taxi company booth at the airport
  • use radio taxis or taxis waiting at assigned stands (sitios), especially in Mexico City

Public transport

Crime levels on intercity buses and highways are high, and the risks increase after dark. See  Safety

Use first-class buses.

Women travelling on public transport should be cautious.

  • Transport and getting around safely
  • Advice for women

Check  Mexico's air safety profile  with the Aviation Safety Network.

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter . It details what the Australian Government can and can’t do to help you overseas.

Australian Embassy, Mexico City

Ruben Dario #55 Corner of Campos Eliseos, Polanco Colonia Bosque de Chapultepec 11580 CDMX Mexico Phone: +52 55 1101 2200 Email: [email protected] Website: Facebook: Australian Embassy, Mexico City X: Australian Embassy, Mexico City

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

Australian Consulate, Cancún

EDIFICIO GRUPO VIVO Calle Luciernaga esquina con Avenida Politécnico Región 501, Manzana 13, Lote 7 Cancún, Quintana Roo C.P. 77535, México Email:  [email protected]

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


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safe travel to mexico city

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Safety and security

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice and regional risks advice .

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad .

Terrorism in Mexico

Terrorist attacks in Mexico cannot be ruled out.

Political situation

Political demonstrations are common in Mexico City and can happen across the country. These can be tense and confrontational and could potentially turn violent. Onlookers can be quickly drawn in. Monitor local media and avoid all demonstrations.

It is illegal for foreigners to participate in political activities in Mexico. Participation in demonstrations may result in detention and deportation.

Politically motivated violence can happen across the country. Onlookers can be quickly drawn in. You should monitor local media and avoid all demonstrations. If you come across protests, move away from the area.

Crime in Mexico can pose a risk for foreigners, particularly in major cities and tourist resort areas where street crime is a serious issue.

Many Mexican and foreign businesses choose to hire private security. You should:

  • research your destination thoroughly
  • only travel during daylight hours when possible
  • monitor local media
  • inform trusted contacts of your travel plans

If you’re the victim of a crime and want to report the incident, do so immediately to the nearest branch of the state prosecutor’s office (‘Agencia del Ministerio Público’). A criminal investigation is not possible without a formal complaint to Mexican authorities. Complaints must be made in person before leaving Mexico.

The Mexico City Command and Control Centre (‘Centro de Atención a Emergencias y Proteción Ciudadana de la Ciudad de México’) has information and advice in Spanish on safety in Mexico City.

Take care when withdrawing money from ATMs or exchanging money at an exchange shop (bureau de change). It’s generally safer to use ATMs during daylight hours and inside shops or malls. People withdrawing money from airport money exchange shops and ATMs in various locations have later been targeted by criminals.  Avoid withdrawing large amounts of money and be careful of your surroundings and who is around you while you are using the ATM.

Protecting your belongings

Pickpocketing and theft are common, including on public transport. Avoid wearing expensive clothing, jewellery or watches. Limit the amount of cash or credit/debit cards you carry with you. Watch your briefcases and luggage, even in apparently secure places like the lobby of your hotel.

Be wary of people presenting themselves as police officers trying to fine or arrest you for no reason, travellers driving rental cars have been targeted. Some police officers have extorted money from tourists, for alleged minor offences or traffic violations. If this happens:

  • do not hand over money or your passport
  • ask for a copy of the written fine, which is payable later.
  • ask for identification
  • try to take note of the officer’s name, badge number, and patrol car number

Criminals may attempt to contact your friends or relatives to transfer money to Mexico, this can occur following cases of phone theft or hacking, arrange with relatives and friends how you will contact them or how you would arrange to transfer money in advance.

A common scam involves criminals phoning, acting as a distressed member of family, or an employee, claiming to be kidnapped and demanding money for their release. Thieves may also claim that a relative is being detained. If you are threatened over the phone, hang up and check on the safety of your family member or employee.

Drink and food spiking

Do not leave food and drinks unattended in bars and restaurants. Travellers have been robbed or assaulted after being drugged. Tainted alcohol has caused illness or blackouts. If you have any concerns, get advice from your tour operator or the local authorities.

Sexual assault

Sexual offences have been reported in tourist areas. Take care even in areas close to hotels, and especially after dark.

Short-term opportunistic kidnapping (called ‘express kidnapping’) can happen, particularly in urban areas. Victims are forced to withdraw money from credit or debit cards at a cash point to secure their release.

Longer-term kidnapping for financial gain also happens, and there have been allegations of police officers being involved. Be discreet about discussing your financial or business affairs in places where you may be overheard by others.

Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Drug-related violence in Mexico has increased over recent years. Penalties for drug offences are severe, convictions carry sentences of up to 25 years.

Some areas of Mexico have a high crime rate due to the fighting between rival organised crime gangs. In these areas, there is a risk of being caught in the crossfire or of being mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Whilst risks are lower in tourist areas, you should:

  • take advice from local authorities or your hotel
  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • use reputable tourism or transport companies
  • travel during the daytime where possible

Vehicle crime

Stay away from isolated roads and use toll roads (‘cuotas’) whenever possible. Keep car doors locked and windows closed, especially at traffic lights.

Violent car-jackings and robberies happen along the Pacific Highway, if you suspect you’re being followed or watched, drive to a police station or other safe place. Targets have included large camper vans or sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

There have been incidents of criminals deliberately causing traffic accidents in order to make insurance claims or request cash from the other party. They are sometimes accompanied by threats of violence or intimidation. Contact the authorities for support where necessary.

If you are involved in a hijacking, stay calm and surrender your valuables and your vehicle if asked. Resisting demands for your belongings can put you at significant risk of harm.

Public transport

Be alert on public transport, at airports and in bus stations. Theft on buses is common, so always keep your belongings safe.

Buses have also been hijacked. Try to travel on first-class buses using toll roads, which have a lower rate of incidents than second and third-class buses travelling on the less secure free (‘libre’) roads. Most first-class bus companies perform security checks when passengers board the bus.

Women travelling alone on public transport have been targeted with harassment, robbery and sexual assault.

Laws and cultural differences

If you require information on procedures, local laws, development of current events or social services you can contact Mexico City’s public telephone service LOCATEL on 5658 1111. They have English-speaking staff available.

Personal ID

If requested by Mexican authorities, you will need to provide your passport and stamp to prove your entrance and stay, copies and photos are not accepted. To demonstrate your visa status, you can get a digital registry of your entry documents from the Portal de Servicios INM . If you are unable to produce these documents, you may be questioned by Immigration officers and held in a detention centre while the authorities check your immigration status. Depending on the outcome, you can be deported.

Legal status

The Mexican Police have the authority to ask for proof of legal status in Mexico at any time. Several British people have been detained for not having the relevant documentation on them. If you are a resident, you may be asked to provide your residency card issued by the Mexican government.

Smoking and e-cigarette bans

It is illegal to bring electronic cigarettes, vaping devices and solutions into Mexico or to buy and sell them. If found in your belongings by customs officials, these will be confiscated; resulting in being fined or being detained.

You can be fined up to £150 for smoking or vaping in public places.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

Do not become involved with drugs of any kind. Penalties for drug offences are severe and convictions carry sentences of up to 25 years.

LGBT+ travellers

Same-sex relations in Mexico are generally tolerated, rather than accepted. Civil unions between same-sex partners are legal in Mexico. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples may be frowned upon. Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Assisted human reproduction, including surrogacy, is only legally recognised in some Mexican states. If you’re considering a surrogacy arrangement in Mexico, familiarise yourself with the relevant laws and regulations and make sure you meet all legal requirements to take the child out of Mexico before you start the process. Seek independent legal advice before entering into any surrogacy arrangement. For more information see our guidance on surrogacy overseas .

Main tourist destinations

The Mexican government makes efforts to protect major tourist destinations like:

  • Nuevo Vallarta
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Puerto Vallarta

British travellers have been physically and sexually assaulted. In some cases, hotel employees, taxi drivers and security personnel at popular tourist destinations were involved. On occasion, hotel staff have not been helpful and tried to dissuade victims from pursuing the incident with police.

Cancun and Tulum

There have been several clashes between rival criminal gangs in popular tourist destinations in Cancun and surrounding areas.

While tourists have not been the target, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected. Since 2021, there have been several cases of tourists being affected by shootings.

Exercise increased caution after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. Remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones. If you are visiting any of these areas, monitor local advice, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities and your tour operator.

Hotel safety

In some hotels, balcony balustrades may not be as high as you expect and there could be a risk of falling.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

If you take part in adventurous sports (including paragliding, skydiving, scuba diving and jet-skiing), make sure safety precautions are in place. Equipment may not meet UK safety and insurance standards. British nationals have been injured and, in some cases, killed participating in extreme sports.

You should make sure:

  • you only use reputable operators
  • the company is using the most up-to-date equipment and safety features
  • the company are fully licensed and insured
  • you’re covered by your travel insurance for all the activities you want to undertake

Swimming safety

Sea conditions can be unpredictable, and some beaches are unpatrolled. Follow the guidance of the coastguard or other local authorities on whether it is safe to swim.

Shark attacks are rare in Mexico, but you should take care particularly when surfing, research the local area and follow the advice of the local authorities.

Crocodiles are present in Mexico, most commonly in lagoons and coastal areas. Sightings have been reported near tourist areas, including Cancun and resorts on the Pacific coast. There are signs warning about crocodiles around many lagoons in these areas. Respect the warnings and do not walk too close to the water. Tourists have been seriously injured in crocodile attacks in the past.

Transport risks

Road travel.

Driving standards are very different from the UK. Roads can be pot-holed, and driving conditions can be unpredictable. Be prepared to stop unexpectedly and beware of vehicles moving slowly, changing lane without indicating and going through red lights. Many local drivers do not have any form of car insurance.

Licences and permits

You can drive in Mexico using a UK license or an International Driving Permit . If you are planning to drive in Mexico, see information on driving abroad .

Driving restrictions

To reduce air pollution, Mexico City and some other parts of the country have driving restrictions. Cars may be banned from entering certain areas on particular days, based on their number plates, Check the Hoy no Circula programme for further details.

These regulations are strictly enforced and offenders face heavy fines and temporary confiscation of their vehicle. Check if this applies with your car hire company.

There is an additional driving restriction in Mexico City, where vehicles without registration plates from the State of Mexico (‘Estado de Mexico’) or Mexico City are not allowed to enter Mexico City from:

  • Monday to Friday between 5am and 11am
  • Saturday between 5am and 10pm

If air pollution is high, generally between February and June, further driving restrictions may apply.

In remote areas, you may come across unofficial roadblocks, including on main roads. They are manned by local groups seeking money for an unofficial local toll, they can become violent and deny entry.

Passengers have been robbed and assaulted by unlicensed taxi drivers including in Mexico City. Use the better regulated ‘sitio’ taxis from authorised taxi ranks or ask your hotel to order you a taxi. At airports, use only authorised pre-paid airport taxi services.

Licensed taxi drivers have been blocking roads and targeting Uber taxis in Cancun’s Hotel zone, in protest against Uber. Tourists have been affected, including being pulled from Uber taxis and experiencing long delays because of roadblocks, sometimes leading to missed flights. Protests can happen without notice. Listen to local announcements and follow the advice of your hotel on how best to avoid any protests.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

Monitor local and international weather updates from the  US National Hurricane Center  and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour operator including any evacuation orders.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, there can be flooding, high winds and continued rainfall. See the  extreme weather and natural hazards  for further advice about how to prepare for travel during hurricane season, what to do ahead of a storm and what to expect in the aftermath of a hurricane.

The hurricane season in Mexico normally runs from June to November and can affect both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The effects of tropical storms and hurricanes causes flooding, landslides and disruption to local services, including transport networks.

On 25 October 2023, Hurricane Otis hit the south coast of Mexico around Acapulco. as a Category 5 hurricane. It caused significant damage to infrastructure in Acapulco and along Mexico’s southern coast between Zihuatenejo and Punta Maldonado. There continues to be disruption to tourism while reconstruction efforts are ongoing, and the security situation is unpredictable. The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office advises against all but essential travel to the city of Acapulco.


Earthquakes can occasionally happen in most parts of Mexico. Tremors happen regularly, particularly in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake or tsunami as does the Mexican Ministry of Civil Protection (in Spanish).

If you’re travelling in Mexico City you can download the 911 CDMX app (accessible only by local phone numbers: Download on iOS or Android ), which warns you an earthquake will happen 60 seconds before the movement starts. Although these alarms are useful, they cannot detect every kind of earthquake there can be.

Volcanic eruptions

The Popocatepetl and Colima volcanoes are active and closed to the public. There are danger zones around both volcanoes, the size of which can change depending on the current level of activity. A 12km exclusion zone is currently in place around Popocatépetl volcano, which is 92km from Mexico City centre and 64km from Puebla. The alert level at Popocatépetl is Level 2 of the Amber tier. Check with your tour or flight operator or follow Benito Juárez international airport on twitter . Information about the alert level and other Government advice can be found at @SGIRPC_CDMX on Twitter .

Ash fall from Popocatépetl has previously caused flight disruption, including cancellations at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. If you are travelling, you should check your flight status directly with your airline.

Exposure to falling ash and toxic fumes from active volcanoes can affect your health, especially if you suffer from a respiratory condition.

For more updates on both the Popocatepetl and Colima volcanoes and the tier system, visit the website of the Mexican Disaster Prevention Centre .

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safe travel to mexico city

Experts Warn Travelers to Avoid These 15 Dangerous Cities in Mexico

As someone who has lived in Mexico since 2018 , and traveled to more than half the states in the country — I know Mexico is an incredible place filled with vibrant culture, breathtaking nature, amazing food, and rich history.

However, it’s crucial to be informed about the safety risks that come with visiting certain parts of the country.

In this article, I’m going to highlight the 15 most dangerous cities in Mexico, along with practical safety tips to help you navigate your Mexico travels more securely.

Why is Mexico so dangerous?

Danger comes in many forms, including environmental dangers like tornadoes and landslides, but this article is about the dangers associated with crime.

Below, you’ll discover some of the factors contributing to high crime rates in Mexico — but if you’re very concerned, make sure you get Mexico travel insurance for peace of mind.

1. Drug Cartel Activities

Mexico’s high crime rates are significantly influenced by the activities of powerful drug cartels .

These criminal organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel, Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and others, have a stronghold in various regions.

Their influence extends to drug trafficking, extortion, and violent confrontations, affecting both local communities and travelers.

The presence of these cartels often leads to increased crime rates and a general atmosphere of insecurity.

2. Socio-Economic Inequality

Another critical factor contributing to crime in Mexico is socio-economic inequality .

There is a strong connection between poverty and crime, as individuals in impoverished areas may turn to illegal activities out of desperation.

Income inequality exacerbates violence, leading to higher crime rates in regions where economic disparities are most pronounced.

You’ll especially see these disparities in cities where affluent neighborhoods are juxtaposed with impoverished communities, creating a breeding ground for criminal activities.

3. Government Corruption

Corruption within law enforcement and government institutions in Mexico play a significant role in allowing crime to flourish.

When officials are corrupt, they may turn a blind eye to criminal activities or even participate in them, undermining efforts to maintain law and order.

Notable cases of corruption in Mexico related to crime have been reported, further eroding public trust in authorities, and contributing to the overall crime problem.

The 15 Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico for Tourists

All of the most dangerous parts of Mexico featured in this list have been ranked by the number of homicides per 100,000 residents.

These cities in Mexico with high murder rates, as well as other types of crime, should be considered among the least safe cities in Mexico to visit for tourists.

Information for this article to determine the most dangerous Mexican cities was sourced from the U.S. State Department travel advisories,  World Population Review ,  Numbeo  and Statista .

1. Tijuana, Baja California

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 138 (Source: World Population Review)
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Tijuana is in Baja California state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Tijuana: Centro, Rio, Sanchez Taboada, Zona Norte

Located on the U.S.-Mexico border, Tijuana is a bustling city known for its vibrant culture and nightlife. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.

Tijuana has consistently high crime rates, particularly in terms of homicides and drug-related violence.

In fact, the city recorded more than 2,000 homicides in 2020 — making it one of the deadliest cities in the world.

Most incidents in Tijuana involve cartel-related violence, including shootouts and assassinations, particularly in the Zona Norte and Zona Centro areas.

Local authorities in Tijuana have implemented various measures to combat crime in tourist areas, including increased police presence and community outreach programs.

While the effectiveness of these efforts is debated, Tijuana Mexico remains very popular with U.S. tourists driving across the border for weekend trips.

Still, statistically-speaking, it is the most dangerous city in Mexico.

⚠️ Tijuana Safety Tips

  • Avoid areas known for gang activity, particularly at night.
  • Stick to well-populated and tourist-friendly zones.
  • Be cautious with personal belongings and avoid displaying valuables.

2. Acapulco, Guerrero

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 111
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Acapulco is in Guerrero state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Acapulco: Ciudad Renacimiento, El Coloso, Emiliano Zapata, La Laja, Jardín Mangos

One of the top Mexico resort towns , it might seem bizarre to include Acapulco on a list of risky Mexican cities.

While much of the city boasts safety and hospitality towards tourists, with numerous upscale resorts and hotels enticing visitors seeking a lavish Mexican getaway.

However, beyond these opulent tourist hubs, Acapulco presents significant safety concerns.

Regrettably, Acapulco visitors should limit exploration beyond the immediate resort vicinity — In other words: Don’t venture far from the resorts.

Venturing outside the confines of the resort area reveals prevalent poverty and quality of life issues, contributing to heightened crime rates in one of Mexico’s least secure destinations.

⚠️ Acapulco Safety Tips

  • Stay within designated safe zones, like the Acapulco beaches and resort area.
  • Avoid isolated areas, especially after dark.
  • Use reputable transportation services, and avoid hailing taxis on the street.

3. Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 86
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Ciudad Victoria is in Tamaulipas state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods: Northern Ciudad Victoria (all of it)

Plagued by violence from Mexican cartels, Ciudad Victoria is considered one of Mexico’s most perilous destinations.

Despite its allure as one of the country’s most beautiful colonial cities, it’s regarded as a no-go area for Latin America visitors because of alarming homicide rates.

Sadly, Ciudad Victoria isn’t considered safe for local residents nor international travelers, and is one of the most violent cities per capita in Tamaulipas state.

Its strategic location along a key drug smuggling route between the U.S. and Mexico has precipitated the city’s deterioration in recent times.

⚠️ Ciudad Victoria SAFETY TIPS

  • If you’re driving, use only main roads and well-traveled routes.
  • Download the iOverlander App so you can connect with people who are currently driving in the area.
  • Stay informed about current safety advisories.

4. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua

  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Ciudad Juarez is in Chihuahua state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Ciudad Juarez: Delicias, Aldama, Babicora Sur

Ciudad Juárez (often just called Juárez) is located in northern Mexico, close to the border with El Paso, Texas.

It’s one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico — though the El Paso Crossing is one of the most-used border crossings , so exercise extra caution if you’re driving.

Over the past few decades, Juárez has experienced significant population growth, but as the city expanded, the crime rates have risen accordingly.

This has earned Juárez a spot on the list of cities tourists should avoid in Mexico due to safety concerns.

Tragically, the high number of lives lost in Juárez places it among the top 50 most dangerous and violent cities in the world.

⚠️ Ciudad Juárez SAFETY TIPS

  • Use main roads and well-traveled routes.
  • Avoid border areas known for smuggling and violence.

5. Irapuato, Guanajuato

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 81
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Irapuato is in Guanajuato state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Irapuato: Central Irapuato (all parts)

Irapuato, while not as popular with tourists as some major Mexican cities on this list, has gained a reputation for being relatively unsafe.

Tourists should exercise caution because of the increasing crime rates in recent years, particularly kidnappings, violence, and drug trafficking.

While Irapuato has had a relatively safe past, conflicts between rival cartel groups have made it hazardous, posing risks to both tourists and locals.

Despite numerous things to do in Irapuato, like parks, zoos and shopping centers, visitors should exercise caution and remain vigilant while exploring the city.

⚠️ Irapuato SAFETY TIPS

  • Avoid public places known for gang activity.
  • Stay in well-reviewed hotels , and avoid venturing out alone.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid displaying valuables.

6. Cancún, Quintana Roo

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 64
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Irapuato is in Quintana Roo state, which has a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Cancun: Bonfil, Tres Reyes, Santa Cecilia, Valle Verde

Despite being the most-visited destination in Mexico for MANY years now, and like most cities with a lot of tourists, Cancun harbors a darker side.

Beyond its luxurious all-inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches, this coastal destination grapples with a high incidence of violent crime, particularly murder.

While tourists are generally safe within monitored areas, like the Cancun Hotel Zone, they should steer clear of the unsafe Cancun neighborhood on the outskirts of town.


  • Stick to the Zona Hotelera (hotel zone on the beach), and avoid venturing into less touristy areas.
  • Be cautious when accepting offers from strangers.
  • Use trusted transportation options, and avoid hailing taxis on the street.

7. Culiacán, Sinaloa

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 61
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Culiacan is in Sinaloa state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Culiacan: La Retama, El Cóporo, El Seminario, Zopilocalco, Santa Bárbara, Santa Ana

Culiacán, located near the popular Mexican beach town of Mazatlán, is unfortunately among the least safe places to visit in Mexico.

Despite its attractions like nearby beaches, hot springs, malls, parks, and water parks, tourists often avoid this city due to its sinister reputation.

Culiacán is known as the stronghold of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, and the infamous Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo is from a small town not far from here.

While it’s relatively safe in tourist-friendly zones, exploring other parts of the city is not advisable because of high crime rates.

⚠️ Culiacán Safety Tips

  • Avoid areas with known cartel activity.
  • Travel in groups, and avoid venturing out at night.
  • Stay in secure accommodations with good reviews.

8. Uruapan, Michoacán

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 55
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Uruapan is in Michoacán state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Uruapan: The Central and South parts of Uruapan

Uruapan, one of the older cities in Mexico that was founded in 1533, holds significant historical and cultural importance.

It’s a magnet for history enthusiasts due to its rich heritage and numerous landmarks that attract visitors from around the globe.

Despite its historical significance and natural beauty, Uruapan is not currently a top recommendation for tourists.

In recent years, it has gained attention for a surge in cartel-related crime from the so-called avocado cartels that often take violent revenge against advisories.

Violent crime rates continue to rise unabated in Uruapan, according to government reports.

9. Ciudad Obregón, Sonora

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 52
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Ciudad Obregon is in Sonora state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Ciudad Obregón: The northern areas located near the U.S. border

As you might have noticed, many of the most dangerous Mexico cities are the ones located near the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ciudad Obregón is no exception, and yet another city plagued by violence that tourists should steer clear of.

The presence of drug cartels has escalated gang violence, resulting in a rise in shootings, kidnappings, murders, and assaults.

Once considered a picturesque and tourist-friendly destination, Ciudad Obregón has now become a place best avoided, or approached with extreme caution, despite its abundance of natural beauty.

10. Coatzacoalcos , Veracruz

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 48
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Coatzacoalcos is in Veracruz state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.
  • Most dangerous neighborhoods in Coatzacoalcos: La Bahía de San Martín, Cxala, Unidad Habitacional ISSFAM (U.H. ISSFAM)

Nestled along the Mexican coastline in Veracruz state, Coatzacoalcos boasts a rich history and cultural allure. It is also the birthplace of Mexican actress Salma Hayek.

This coastal gem offers visitors a plethora of unique experiences where visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant tapestry of Mexican culture .

Despite its charms, travelers should exercise caution when visiting Coatzacoalcos, as it ranks among the less safe destinations in Mexico.

While a brief excursion of the coast is enticing, you might not want to prolong your stay because tourists have expressed unease about venturing alone or after dark.

Also, Coatzacoalcos grapples with criminal activities ranging from property crimes, vandalism and theft, to severe offenses like armed robbery and assault (Source: Numbeo)

11. Celaya , Guanajuato

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 47
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Celaya is in Guanajuato state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.

Celaya boasts museums, captivating architecture, and a notable presence of candy manufacturers.

However, Celaya has recently experienced an uptick in violence, largely attributed to the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel as it endeavors to protect its interests.

For those who want to explore Guanajuato state, there are safer places nearby you can check out, like Guanajuato City and San Miguel de Allende .

12. Ensenada , Baja California

  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Ensenada is in Baja California state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.

Similar to Acapulco, the tourist-friendly parts of Ensenada are very safe. However, Ensenada also harbors some darker aspects in the surrounding areas.

The fourth-largest municipality in Mexico, it’s renowned for wine festivals in nearby Valle de Guadalupe , and vibrant celebrations, like Carnaval in Mexico .

Beyond the bustling city center, instances of violent killings are unfortunately frequent, indicating a significant concern regarding safety outside the urban core.

13. Tepic , Nayarit

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 45
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Tepic is in Nayarit state, which has a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution warning.

Tepic is situated in a fertile agricultural region, known specifically for sugarcane and tobacco production.

The capital city and largest city of Nayarit state, Tepic is also a vital urban hub.

Regrettably, Tepic grapples with rampant gang activity, earning it the unfortunate distinction of being the 36th most dangerous city globally.

Tourists are strongly advised to steer clear of this city, due to its status as a hotspot for cartel violence.

Though Tepic presents safety concerns, there are other places to visit in Nayarit state. These include the beach towns of Riviera Nayarit, like Sayuilta and Guayabitos.

14. Reynosa, Tamaulipas

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 41
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Reynosa is in Tamaulipas state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning.

Reynosa, a border city located in Northern Tamaulipas, lies close to the Texas border.

There are a lot of great things to do in Reynosa, but despite its cultural attractions, Reynosa poses significant risks of carjackings and robberies.

The city is also notorious for drug trafficking, kidnapping, and violence, making such incidents commonplace.

Due to its high crime rates, Reynosa raises serious safety concerns for both residents and visitors.

15. Chihuahua City, Chihuahua

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents: 38
  • U.S. State Department Warning Level: Chihuahua City is in Chihuahua state, which has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel To warning.

Chihuahua, the capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, is renowned for stunning natural landscapes, including gorges and canyons, and Spanish Baroque architecture.

Despite these attractions, the U.S. State Department advises travelers to think twice before visiting this Mexican city.

Chihuahua is not considered safe for tourists due to violent crime, gang activity, a concerning number of murders, and drug cartel influence.

Like so many other cities, the presence of drug cartels leads to frequent violent incidents that affect locals and travelers alike.

Practical Safety Tips for Travelers in Mexico

Understanding the risks associated with traveling to certain cities in Mexico is crucial for a safe and enjoyable trip.

By staying informed, taking necessary precautions, and following practical safety tips, you can minimize potential dangers and make the most of your travel experience.

Stay vigilant, be cautious, and enjoy the beauty and culture that Mexico has to offer.

General Safety Advice

  • Stay Informed and Aware: Keep yourself updated on the current safety situation in the areas you plan to visit. Follow local news and advisories.
  • Use Trusted Transportation: Opt for registered taxis, ride-sharing services like Uber, or hotel-arranged transportation. Avoid hailing taxis on the street.
  • Avoid Risky Areas and Times: Stay away from areas known for criminal activity, especially after dark. Stick to well-populated and tourist-friendly zones.

Emergency Contacts and Resources

  • Important Phone Numbers: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including local police, medical services, and your country’s embassy or consulate .
  • Local Embassy Contacts: Know the location and contact information of your country’s embassy or consulate in Mexico for assistance in case of emergencies.

Travel Insurance

  • Importance of Having Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, theft, and other unexpected incidents.
  • What to Look for in a Policy: Choose a policy that offers extensive coverage, including emergency evacuation and medical treatment — the company I have used since 2022 is SafetyWing Insurance. You can get a FREE quote here .

Key Takeaways from this Article

1. Of the most dangerous cities in the world per capita, 7 out of 10 are in Mexico, with familiar places like Tijuana and Ensenada on the list. (Source: Statista)

2. The #1 factor attributed to Mexico’s high crime rates is drug cartel activities, but socio-economic inequality, and corruption also contribute.

3. Mexico travelers should practice general safety measures, like remaining aware of your surroundings, yourself and your belongings at all times. This is especially true in Mexico’s top destinations , where tourist scams target visitors.

4. According to the  Global Peace Index , Mexico is the 24th least peaceful country in the world (making it the 140th most peaceful country in the world).

5. The following government travel advisories provide additional helpful resources for your destination to stay safe and informed:

  • 🇺🇸 Mexico Travel Advisories from the United States
  • 🇨🇦 Mexico Travel Advisories from Canada
  • 🇬🇧 Mexico Travel Advisories from the U.K.
  • 🇦🇺 Mexico Travel Advisories from Australia

6. Use the following links to learn more about the safest cities in Mexico , and what is considered the safest city in Mexico .

Curious as to what are the most dangerous cities in Mexico? This list includes the 15 most dangerous Mexican cities that tourists will want to avoid.

Puerto Peñasco summer vacation planner: Passports, safety and the best things to do

safe travel to mexico city

When oppressive Phoenix summers prove hard to handle, some desert dwellers flock south to an escape with sugary white sand and crystal blue water.

Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point, is the closest beach to Arizona. It's about 213 miles from metro Phoenix, a shorter distance than San Diego or Los Angeles.

A trip to Puerto Peñasco is easy to plan. But unlike a Southern California beach trip, you'll have to factor in border crossings on the way. Travelers must have  proper documentation to legally cross the border , and are advised to follow safety precautions.

Lodging options for Rocky Point travelers include Encantame Towers, a condominium resort that continues to expand , as well as resorts along Sandy Beach, Playa Hermosa and Playa Bonita. If you'd rather fly than drive, here's why airlines are adding more flights to Mexico (and Canada) from Phoenix.

Here's how to plan your Puerto Peñasco summer vacation.

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Penasco right now?

The state of Sonora, Mexico, which includes Puerto Peñasco, remains under a Level 3 advisory from the U.S. Department of State , which means reconsider travel. This is because of violent crime and kidnapping in the state.

Puerto Peñasco has a reputation as a safe destination. However, people must still use caution on their visits.

For instance, the State Department advises people not to use taxi services, public buses or rideshare applications in Rocky Point because of a lack of secure dispatching procedures and the potential danger of kidnapping and violent crime.

Do you need a passport to go to Rocky Point?

Yes. A passport is required to cross any international border.

You can use a passport book or a passport card to enter Puerto Peñasco by car and return to the U.S. Here's the difference between a passport book and a passport card:

  • Passport books  are good for all forms of international transportation. They cost $130 plus a $35 application fee.
  • Passport cards  are cheaper — $30 plus a $35 application fee. But they are only valid for land and sea entry to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and Caribbean countries. They are not valid for international air travel.

Do kids need passports to go to Mexico?

All children, regardless of age, must have a passport to travel internationally. Passports for adults are valid for 10 years; passports for children 15 and younger are valid for five years.

To find out how to apply for passports for minors, go to .

Can US citizens drive to Puerto Penasco?

Yes. Driving is the most common way tourists get to Puerto Peñasco, according to the city's convention and visitors bureau.

The State Department says drivers should only use Federal Highway 8 via the Lukeville Port of Entry to travel to Puerto Peñasco and to only drive during daylight hours. Highway 8 was designated a "safety corridor" by Arizona and Sonora officials in 2016 and has bilingual signs, security cameras and locations where drivers can seek roadside assistance.

The Lukeville-Sonoyta crossing is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To get there from central Phoenix, head west on Interstate 10 and take Exit 112 for State Route 85 south. Continue through Gila Bend, Ajo and Why to get to the Lukeville crossing. You can check border wait times at .

Posted speed limits along Highway 8 to Puerto Peñasco range from 40 to 90 kilometers per hour, or 25 to 55 mph. Observe all traffic laws. Enforcement is intense.

Drive especially carefully and mind your speed in Sonoyta, just inside the Mexican border. Watch for stop signs (alto in Spanish) and expect to encounter people who want to wash your windshield or ask for donations that are said to bless your trip. Just slow down and wave if you don't want to contribute.

Do you need Mexican car insurance for Rocky Point?

Yes. You must buy Mexican car insurance for your Rocky Point trip, as U.S. auto insurance policies won't cover driving in Mexico.

Many insurers, including Mexpro, AAA, Geico and Progressive, offer Mexican car insurance that you can buy online in advance. Prices are based on the value of your car, your travel dates and the type and amount of coverage.

You also can buy a Mexican car insurance policy in towns along the way to the Lukeville Port of Entry, including Gila Bend and Ajo.

What is the difference between Rocky Point and Puerto Peñasco?

Rocky Point and Puerto Peñasco refer to the same place in Mexico.

Rocky Point is a common English translation of Puerto Peñasco, with "puerto" roughly translating to port and "peñasco" meaning boulder, crag or pointed rock in English, according to Google Translate and .

Where is Puerto Peñasco?

Puerto Peñasco is a fishing village in Sonora, Mexico, on the northern tip of the Sea of Cortez.

How far is Rocky Point from Phoenix?

It's about 213 miles southwest of the Phoenix city center and 63 miles of the Lukeville Port of Entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Is it worth going to Puerto Peñasco?

For many Arizonans, Puerto Peñasco is a worthwhile destination because it's closest beach to Phoenix and it's less expensive than Southern California.

Travelers and travel agents cite the weather, beaches and resorts as reasons why Rocky Point is worth visiting, as well as its reputation as a safe place compared to other parts of Mexico and its small-town feel in contrast with resort destinations like Cancun.

What is Puerto Peñasco known for?

The top rated attractions in Puerto Peñasco according to Tripadvisor include:

  • El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve.
  • Isla San Jorge.
  • Cholla Bay.
  • Cholla Mall.
  • Playa Bonita Beach.
  • Playa Encanto.
  • Seashell Museum.
  • Mermaid's Market.
  • Tequila Factory.

What is the best month to go to Puerto Peñasco?

It depends what you're looking for, as people visit throughout the year for different reasons.

For budget-conscious travelers looking for the lowest lodging rates, Tripadvisor users suggest visiting between December and February.

Spring and fall tend to be best for people seeking lighter crowds and the most pleasant weather. While summer is a popular time for tourism, weather can be similar to Phoenix with heat and monsoon storms.

What is the weather like in Puerto Peñasco in the summer?

Visitors can expect the hottest temperatures in the summer, peaking around 104 degrees in July, according to data from Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Mexico's weather service. (Temperatures are given in Celsius in Mexico's data; Puerto Penasco's maximum July temperatures are around 40 degrees Celsius, which equates to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Can you swim in the ocean in Puerto Penasco?

Yes. The beaches at Rocky Point are popular for swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing and other activities. Be alert for stingrays and jellyfish.

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at  [email protected] . Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:  @salerno_phx .

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Mexico City is sinking, running out of water: How can it be saved?

The city faces ‘Day Zero’ as aquifers drain and pipes break. Meanwhile, costly workarounds don’t fix the real problem.

Members of the political organization Antorcha Campesina demonstrate against the lack of water in different areas of Mexico, in Mexico City on April 3, 2024. - The problem of water shortages in Mexico, which afflicts both the capital and other states and is aggravated by the heat wave, is beginning to break into the campaigns for the general elections. Less than three months before the June 2 elections and the rainy season, the capital and its suburbs, with more than 20 million inhabitants, have been suffering since January from constant water shortages in many neighborhoods, forcing many to install huge water tanks or build cisterns to store water. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)

Mexico City, Mexico – Walking through Mexico City’s historic Zocalo district, Dario Solano-Rojas points to signs of a subterranean catastrophe that is under way.

The roads are uneven in the city’s central plaza, the streets and walkways are sloped and twisting. Many building foundations have sunk dramatically while others have a visible lean, resulting in cracks in the surrounding pavement. Two of the city’s most iconic structures – The Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Metropolitan Cathedral (built from the stones of the Aztec temple that once stood there) – seem to be disappearing into the earth.

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Inside the cathedral, Solano-Rojas, a professor of geological engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, points to a glass-encased box connected to the ceiling by a taut wire. At the centre of the nave hangs a heavily-weighted point, which charts a line indicating how the cathedral has shifted unevenly over the centuries, with the worst-impacted section dropping by some 2.5 metres (8.2 feet).

At the centre of the nave hangs a weight that tracks the cathedral’s motion across the centuries.

Mexico City is sinking, as are its greatest monuments. Parts of the city of nearly 9 million people are descending into the earth by as much as 40cm (15 inches) annually – all driven by a deepening water crisis with roots that go back 500 years, and that reveals itself today in stunning ironies.

One of Mexico City’s most renowned attractions, the canals of Xochimilco, with their lush lagoons and colourfully decorated boats, date back to the precolonial lake that once satiated the city’s thirst. Today, its adjacent neighbourhoods have run out of water.

To its north is Iztapalapa, one of the city’s most notoriously impoverished, dangerous colonias (neighbourhoods), where the water supply has been inconsistent for years. It frequently slows to a trickle or stops entirely for days and even weeks.

While it is, sadly, not surprising that a disenfranchised district would experience breakdowns in essential services, perhaps more unanticipated are the water shortages in the adjacent region of Coyoacan, an upper-crust neighbourhood best known as the once-home of painting power couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

A boy carries home buckets filled from barrels of drinking water loaded from tanker trucks in the Mexico City borough of Iztapalapa on April 19, 2017. Dozens of municipal tanker trucks in Mexico City distribute water in neighborhoods that do not receive piped water. In Iztapalapa approximately two million people have no running water and have to fill barrels and carry it to their homes in buckets. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY YUSSEL GONZALEZ - TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY YUSSEL GONZALEZ

At the heart of the city’s struggle – and its sinking – is its reliance on underground water. As the underground aquifer drains and the ground above it settles, the city sinks deeper and deeper. “There’s one solution: Stop taking water from underground,” says Solano-Rojas. “But that’s not going to happen.”

The situation in Mexico City shows how the rich and the poor are both ill-prepared for when water supplies run dry – and money can only go so far.

A problem for the ages

“I was born with this problem existing,” says Solano-Rojas. “I thought it was normal everywhere, but it’s not.”

To understand the “subsidence” of the city and the water shortage causing it, it is necessary to look back half a millennium. The Aztecs had already erected a civilisation atop and amid the local network of lakes, most notably the capital of Tenochtitlan, which stood on the site of Mexico City’s present-day central district.

Had the penultimate Aztec ruler Moctezuma’s empire been allowed to continue expanding, it is possible that it would have eventually run into similar water supply issues. But the arrival of the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his colonial forces disrupted all that – they levelled Tenochtitlan and built their own city in its place.

“It’s a historical problem,” explains Elena Tudela Rivadeneyra, a professor of architecture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the co-founder of the Office of Urban Resilience, which develops strategies to help cities weather climate change. “Ever since we decided to dry out the lake system that we had here – and that started [shortly after the Spanish arrived] around 1608 – we started having a difficult relationship with water.”

Draining the lakes and building over them created two major issues. First, it diminished the local water supply, requiring the city to import much of its fresh water – a significant portion of which must be pumped at great expense more than 100 metres (328 feet) up the sierra where the city perches. Second, as the city grew and consumed what water remained, the subsidence began. Problems snowballed from there.

The camera is level but the buildings in the Zocalo are not. Notice the riot police at the bottom behind the barriers. The building to the right is the National Palace where protests are frequent.

A sinking city

One of the first things you notice as you land in Mexico City is that the airport runway is unusually bumpy. The increasingly uneven tarmac is a consequence of subsidence.

Listing buildings and uneven roads may be the most obvious impact of the subsidence, but bigger problems lurk out of view.

A recent study found that the integrity of the metro is progressively compromised – and there is more, “It also breaks the pipes,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra.

When Mexico City began modernising its municipal water supply during the 1940s – an event that Diego Rivera celebrated with the creation of stunning underwater murals you can visit at the Cárcamo Museum in Chapultepec Park – its population was only a few million. As that number exploded to the 22.5 million living there today, the water infrastructure not only failed to keep up with the rising demand, but was continually torn apart by subsidence.

Now, the city is losing some 40 percent of its water due to leaks in broken pipes.

The murals of Deigo Rivera commemorating the construction of the municipal water system at the Cárcamo Museum in Chapultepec Park.

“The leakages are quite difficult to deal with,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “Even if you replace them with new materials and more elastic and technical and technological solutions, you still have quite an issue.”

Water infrastructure has become a top consideration among voters in the city’s upcoming mayoral elections, and while candidates have made bold claims about fast fixes, Tudela Rivadeneyra says these are unrealistic. She notes that even if the city had the money for it – and it does not – the sheer amount of construction required for a rapid infrastructure rebuild is untenable in a city where people are forced to commute sometimes for hours each day. The increase in the city’s already notorious traffic would grind it to a standstill.

As Mexico City runs out of water, for many, the taps are already running dry.

The stones around Bellas Artes are cracking and require frequent repair.

Day Zero is already here

In the discussion of the city’s water crisis, the term “Day Zero” is frequently thrown around to describe the presumed date when wells will run dry. Many have set it for late June. But the situation is complicated.

“I don’t think a Day Zero is going to come,” says Solano-Rojas. “Day Zero has already happened.”

While popular central districts like Condesa and Roma are still relatively unscathed by the situation – though many of their once-majestic fountains now stand dry – residents in areas like Iztapalapa and Coyoacan will tell you that the concept of Day Zero is practically meaningless.

“Day Zero has been here for a lot of people around the whole metropolitan area,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “Twenty-five percent of the population does not receive enough water. Technically speaking, 98 percent of the population has the infrastructure to get it, but that doesn’t mean that you open up the tap and there’s water.”

The issue extends beyond Mexico City proper.

“We don’t have water at home on Saturdays and Sundays,” says Israel, a resident of the nearby town of Toluca. “Monday to Friday, the situation is irregular. There may be a day or two with water and the rest of the weekdays, we only get a very small amount.”

And in Cuernavaca, roughly an hour south of Mexico City, residents have blocked the highway to protest water shortages.

Standing at the high rear of the Church of San Francisco you can see how the nave floor is sinking

The situation has forced the use of stopgap solutions that can only go so far. “People can ask for trucks with water in those areas in which the situation is critical,” says Israel. “But the common solution with some people and local businesses I’ve talked with is that they are paying for private trucks to deliver them water.”

These water trucks – frequently accompanied by armed guards – are becoming ubiquitous throughout the city. Unsurprisingly, there has been talk about the cartel moving into the private water racket. In Mexico, if something can be commodified, the cartel runs it.

So, Day Zero has already come for many in the city, and for those who have not yet experienced it, the issue is more complicated than a date on a calendar.

This theoretical timeline refers specifically to the depletion of the Cutzamala Water System, which draws from neighbouring basins that are currently at approximately 30 percent capacity and provide about 30 percent of the city’s water. But that represents less than a third of the water supply : The rest is in the aquifer directly beneath the city.

“What’s really scary is the possibility of Day Zero for the aquifer, because it provides 70 percent of the water we consume,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “That is catastrophe. Right now, people are suffering and it’s not something to take lightly. Thirty percent is like 5 million people – a quarter of the population of the metropolitan area – not having enough water”, she says, adding that “the aquifer is not replaceable. That is not something you can pull off with water trucks”.

Experts disagree on how much longer the aquifer can last at current consumption rates, placing the number anywhere between five to 20 years. What is certain is that dramatic action must be taken to avoid a total water disaster.

“It’s like a glass where you sip water every day,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “Eventually, it will run out.”

The iconic Bellas Artes Palace is sinking to its left. Viewed from above it’s difficult to tell, but from the lowest point the sinking is evident. Here again the camera is level and flat, the ground is not.

The need for long-term solutions

While the city scrambles for quick solutions like water rationing, water trucks, individual conservation advocacy and rain-collecting (collection setups have been distributed to many businesses and homes but only recently, Mexico City saw its first drizzle in months), the crisis has been a long time in the making and solutions cannot happen overnight.

“There’s not much that can be done in the short term,” Tudela Rivadeneyra admits, “because there’s not enough time or money for it”. She is more hopeful about longer-term solutions but does not “think politicians are being practical about them or investing in them enough”.

Many significant changes must occur, but according to Solano-Rojas, one of the key adjustments is mental. “We’re using water thinking it’s a renewable resource,” he says. “We had this big push against single-use plastic like straws but we still have single-use water.”

In addition to pumping in tremendous quantities of fresh water, Mexico City also pumps out the vast majority of its used water as sewage to the nearby state of Hidalgo. This pipeline – a huge infrastructure undertaking called the Tunel Emisor Oriente – required substantial resources to build, and critics argue that it exacerbates rather than palliates the water crisis by evacuating water from the city rather than retaining it.

“We only treat 15 percent of the water,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “That’s a very low percentage, and almost all of the water we use goes to the sewage. So we’re just importing water and exporting all of the problems without dealing with it locally.”

Soldiers place a water treatment plant in San Lorenzo Park in Mexico City, on April 11, 2024. - The inhabitants of a sector of Mexico City have been affected by the contamination of a water well with an oily substance, in the midst of an extreme drought that affects several parts of the Latin American country. In a second consecutive protest of dozens of people, the inhabitants of the central Benito Juarez mayor's office denounced that the water that comes out of the taps of their homes has "a smell of gasoline" and a "strange taste," which they told local media has caused some skin and eye damage. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)

With a presidential election looming, the incumbent Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s (AMLO) party, Morena, is desperate to appear to be addressing the growing water emergency. One of its primary proposals involves establishing new water wells in the hardest affected areas, but Tudela Rivadeneyra is doubtful, agreeing that in order to construct actual solutions, there must first be a major shift in mindset.

“If we do end up getting all of the water wells, bringing water trucks from wherever we can, from other basins – people will suffer anyways. The demand is too high,” she explains. “What we should be focusing on is what to do next and how to change the way we understand water in the city, and the way that water relates to urban development.”

Privatisation and climate change

One oft-cited contributor to the dearth of water is privatisation. Beer, soft drink, paper and chemical manufacturers have significant operations throughout Mexico City and the adjacent State of Mexico, and are granted enormous water concessions. What water regulations they do face are lax in enforcement or circumvented by corruption.

Experts note that these water rights can be revoked legally and that a precedent has been set by similar actions taken in the past.

“What they should be doing is what they did with the fossil fuel industry,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra. “Just make them go out of the city, because there’s not enough water for them here. They should move to other parts of the country where they have more opportunities to obtain water without drying out the few resources we have.”

She’s referring to a plan established by López Obrador to decentralise the government by relocating Mexico City-based agencies to less populated areas across the country in an effort to ease pollution and infrastructure strain in the megalopolis. While critics have pointed out that this goal was only partially met, it did move the state-owned Pemex petroleum company from its 51-storey tower in the city to the more sparsely populated coast of the state of Campeche, where most of Mexico’s fossil fuels are produced.

This sort of decentralisation, emphasises both Solano-Rojas and Tudela Rivadeneyra, is essential to solving the water crisis. Unfortunately, says the latter, relocating water-intensive industry will require prodigious political capital, but there is little willingness to expend it.

She notes that while the government has engaged in campaigns to raise awareness for the need for individual responsibility – shorter showers and the like – these efforts are not sufficient.

“But even if we all did that, it wouldn’t be enough if we still have these concessions,” she says.

And then, of course, there is climate change. On April 15, Mexico City saw its hottest day on record, amid a historic drought.

Rain is essential for renewing the aquifer and leveraging the city’s catchment strategies. In recent years, Mexico City has received less rain but more intense bursts of it. This complicates harvesting because sudden, short-lived eruptions of precipitation require larger gathering surfaces.

At the same time, it makes the city more prone to flooding, exacerbated by a lack of open and green spaces that would otherwise allow moisture to seep into the earth.

“We should be removing asphalt from parts of the city that don’t really need it, like peripheries,” says Tudela Rivadeneyra.

Asphalt blocks water seepage, which not only drives flooding but prevents rain from reaching the aquifer. The removal of asphalt is especially important in areas like Iztapalapa, which rests on porous basalt rather than an impervious lake bed like the rest of the city, and may prove vital to replenishing the underground reservoir.

“We need to be recharging the aquifer in order to not have a general Day Zero,” Tudela Rivadeneyra emphasises.

From the front of the Metropolitan Cathedral it is clearly evident how its foundation is sinking to the right.

Collective action

Recently, it rained in Mexico City for the first time in a long while. This correspondent watched a tiny, very wrinkled elderly woman gaze up at the sky with unguarded delight that verged on relief, her arms spread towards the heavens.

If Mexico City is going to overcome this crisis, she and everyone else who lives there – industrial inhabitants in particular – will have to change how water is considered.

According to Tudela Rivadeneyra, that means “focusing on solutions that have more to do with collectivity. So, instead of having a building just demanding water because it exists, it’s like, what kind of water is it producing? How can we connect it to another building or area that requires that type of water?”

She encourages understanding where water originates and where it goeswhy streets become rivers.

“Know what’s going on below your feet,” she urges, “because water is very invisible. Making it visible changes the way we relate to it. Dealing with water in different ways that are more circular makes a lot of sense, and it’s not that tough.”

Can Mexico City achieve the ecosystemic circularity necessary to surmount its water emergency? With the worst yet to come, it seems it is not a matter of can but must .

The iconic Bellas Artes Palace is sinking to its left. Viewed from above it’s difficult to tell

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Following Recent Violence, How Safe Is Travel to Baja California in Mexico?

After three surfers were killed in ensenada, travelers may be wondering what kind of safety and security measures are in place for travel to the mexican state of baja california. experts offer their insights and advice..

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Oceanside cliffs in the Tijuana and Ensenada area of Baja California, with little vegetation and calm blue seas

Locals and tour operators in the region advise travelers to use local guides and tour companies when they are traveling in Baja.

Photo by Yitzhak Rodrigguez/Unsplash

Baja California awoke to tragedy on Sunday, May 5. The bodies of three surfers had been discovered, tragically murdered under mysterious circumstances. The case is still under investigation, but it is believed that they were killed resisting a carjacking, CNN reported . The incident has sent shock waves through the tight-knit surfing community and the community of travelers who have been touring Baja for years. It has prompted concerns about the region’s safety among travelers looking to take a trip to the peninsula.

The victims, identified as Jack Carter Rhoad (an American) and Australian brothers Jake and Callum Robinson, were found with gunshot wounds to the head. According to CBS News , the suspect in custody, Jesus Gerardo “N”, aka “El Kekas,” is being prosecuted. The three men had been camping in a remote beachside area when they were killed in what investigators are saying was a robbery attempt.

“Our hearts are broken and the world has become a darker place for us,” Debra Robinson, the mother of the two Australian brothers, said in a tribute . “They were young men enjoying their passion of surfing together.”

The crime is a stark reminder of the inherent risks associated with travel to any destination, no matter how idyllic it may seem. It also is a reminder to travelers to be extremely vigilant.

“The incident took place in a remote region, and the victims were wild-camping alone with no facilities, campground, or other infrastructure—no electricity, mobile phone connectivity, or even paved roads,” Zach Rabinor, CEO of Journey Mexico , a luxury destination management company based in Mexico, told a concerned client—a response he then shared with Afar.

We need to keep in mind that this is a random act of violence and not the case for most of the Baja.

Rabinor’s advice to travelers in the region is to avoid overnighting and wild-camping in remote areas. If you are going to adventure, it is best to travel in groups, even during the day, with a local expert planning and leading the expedition—an expert who has access to real-time, local intelligence.

“We offer our clients fully guided trip extensions in Baja,” said Todd Smith, founder and president of AdventureSmith Explorations , an expedition cruise and wilderness tour operator with tours to Baja. “A lot of people in North America don‘t realize this is a thing. You can go to the islands in the Sea of Cortez. You can go to beautiful beaches with not a soul around. There is this great adventure, and it‘s so cool. We want to raise awareness that fully guided trips are a thing in Baja.”

If you are traveling on your own, staying in reputable hotels or marked campsites is always the safer choice.

“There’s no boondocking in Baja. It’s all private land,” said Nathan Stuart, co-founder and guide with Legends Overlanding . “If you’re somewhere where you think you’re in the middle of nowhere and you think you’re staying for free, you’re only staying for free if the owner doesn’t come and charge you.”

The Mexican state of Baja California borders California. It is home to popular tourist destinations like Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada. When it comes to tourism, Mexico is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, and any attacks directly involving tourists are extremely rare. Still, Mexico is a country that has its share of crime and corruption, like many other countries in the world. Violent crime, including kidnapping and human trafficking, is a risk in parts of the country. As of August 2023, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 classification for the state of Baja California, advising visitors to “reconsider travel,” specifically because of crime and kidnapping.

“The aggression to these three people, a regrettable attack, had nothing to do with these three being surfers. They were killed because they were at the wrong moment,” said Baja California Attorney General María Elena Andrade Ramírez in a taped press conference.

Baja California is not the only tourist destination in the world with a Level 3 advisory. Guatemala, Colombia, and Jamaica also share Level 3 status .

“It‘s also important to put this into perspective in the context of international travel,” Rabinor‘s response continued, noting that violent acts occur throughout the world, including in developing and developed countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and others.

While the incident was an unexpected and horrific tragedy, many parts of Baja are still considered safe, including the tourist areas of Ensenada and Rosarito, as well as the tourist destinations in the southern half of the peninsula in the state of Baja California Sur.

Baja California Sur, which has a Level 2 advisory , is home to popular resort destinations such as Los Cabos, Todos Santos, La Paz, and Loreto.

“I am so devastated about what happened to these young men. As a parent I cannot imagine the grief [theirs] are dealing with,” said Sharon Walters, founder of Sharon Walters Travel , and a homeowner in Baja California Sur. “Unfortunately, the border towns between the U.S. and Mexico along the northern part of Baja can sometimes be a difficult place to visit. While this part of Baja has endless beautiful beaches, there is an element of danger here due to lack of policing and remote locations.”

She added, “Just as you would in any location, it is best to stick to the touristed areas and check with locals and hotel staff about what places to avoid. When something like this happens in Mexico, it seems to get extra bad press than it would in other countries. But we need to keep in mind that this is a random act of violence and not the case for most of the Baja.”

The tragedy highlights the need for travelers to be responsible and informed when embarking on their adventures. This means staying abreast of travel advisories, heeding local customs and laws, and exercising caution and vigilance at all times.

The entryway to the opulent grand Zwinger museum complex in Dresden, Germany

It’s so hot in Mexico that howler monkeys are falling dead from the trees

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in...

MEXICO CITY (AP) — It’s so hot in  Mexico  that howler monkeys are falling dead from the trees.

At least 138 of the midsize primates, who are known for their roaring vocal calls, were found dead in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco since May 16, according to the Biodiversity Conservation of The Usumacinta group. Others were rescued by residents, including five that were rushed to a local veterinarian who battled to save them.

“They arrived in critical condition, with dehydration and fever,” said Dr. Sergio Valenzuela. “They were as limp as rags. It was heatstroke.”

While Mexico’s brutal  heat wave  has been linked to the deaths of at least 26 people since March, veterinarians and rescuers say it has killed dozens and perhaps hundreds of howler monkeys. Around a third of the country saw highs of 113 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday.

A soldier removes the body of a howler monkey that died amid extremely high temperatures in...

In the town of Tecolutilla, Tabasco, the dead monkeys started appearing Friday, when a local volunteer fire-and-rescue squad showed up with five of the creatures in the bed of a truck.

Normally quite intimidating, howler monkeys are muscular and some can be as tall as 3 feet, with tails just as long. Some males weigh more than 30 pounds and can live up to 20 years. They are equipped with big jaws and a fearsome set of teeth and fangs. But mostly they’re know for their lion-like roars, which bely their size.

“They (the volunteers) asked for help, they asked if I could examine some of the animals they had in their truck,” Valenzuela said Monday. “They said they didn’t have any money, and asked if I could do it for free.”

The veterinarian put ice on their limp little hands and feet, and hooked them up to IV drips with electrolytes.

So far, the monkeys appear to be on the mend. Once listless and easily handled, they are now in cages at Valenzuela’s office. “They’re recovering. They’re aggressive … they’re biting again,” he said, noting that’s a healthy sign for the usually furtive creatures.

Most aren’t so lucky. Wildlife biologist Gilberto Pozo counted about 138 of the animals dead or dying on the ground under trees. The die-off started around May 5 and hit its peak over the weekend.

“They were falling out of the trees like apples,” Pozo said. “They were in a state of severe dehydration, and they died within a matter of minutes.” Already weakened, Pozo says, the falls from dozens of yards up inflict additional damage that often finishes the monkeys off.

Pozo attributes the deaths to a “synergy” of factors, including high heat, drought, forest fires and logging that deprives the monkeys of water, shade and the fruit they eat, while noting that a pathogen, disease or other factor can’t yet be ruled out.

For people in the steamy, swampy, jungle-covered state of Tabasco, the howler monkey is a cherished, emblematic species; local people say the monkeys tell them the time of day by howling at dawn and dusk.

Pozo said the local people — who he knows through his work with the Biodiversity Conservation of The Usumacinta group — have tried to help the monkeys they see around their farms. But he notes that could be a double-edged sword.

“They were falling out of the trees, and the people were moved, and they went to help the animals, they set out water and fruit for them,” Pozo said. “They want to care for them, mainly the baby monkeys, adopt them.”

“But no, the truth is that babies are very delicate, they can’t be in a house where there are dogs or cats, because they have pathogens that can potentially be fatal for howler monkeys,” he said, stressing they must be rehabilitated and released into the wild.

Howler monkeys sit in a cage at a veterinarian clinic after they were rescued amid extremely...

Pozo’s group has set up a special recovery stations for monkeys — it currently holds five monkeys, but birds and reptiles have also been affected — and is trying to organize a team of specialized veterinarians to give the primates the care they need.

Belatedly, the federal government acknowledged the problem Monday, with  President Andrés Manuel López Obrador  saying he had heard about it on social media. He congratulated Valenzuela on his efforts and said the government would seek to support the work.

López Obrador acknowledged the heat problem — “I have never felt it as bad as this” — but he has a lot of human problems to deal with as well.

By May 9, at least nine cities in Mexico had set temperature records, with Ciudad Victoria in the border state of Tamaulipas clocking a broiling 117 F.

With  below-average rainfall  throughout almost all the country so far this year,  lakes and dams are drying up , and  water supplies are running out . Authorities have had to truck in water for everything from hospitals to fire-fighting teams. Low levels at hydroelectric dams have contributed to power blackouts in some parts of the country.

Consumers are feeling the heat as well. On Monday, the nationwide chain of OXXO convenience stores — the nation’s largest — said it was limiting purchases of ice to just two or three bags per customer in some places.

“In a period of high temperatures, OXXO is taking measures to ensure supplies of products for our customers,” parent company FEMSA said in a statement. “Limits on the sale of bagged ice seek to ensure that a larger number of customers can buy this product.”

But for the monkeys, it’s not a question of comfort, but of life or death.

“This is a sentinel species,” Pozo said, referring to the canary-in-a-coal-mine effect where one species can say a lot about an ecosystem. “It is telling us something about what is happening with climate change.”

Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Rolling Out

7 international nonstop flights from Houston on United Airlines

  • By Mr. Digital Fingers
  • May 22, 2024

united airlines

Houston is a significant hub for international travel, with George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) being one of the busiest airports in the United States. United Airlines, one of the largest carriers in the world, offers a plethora of direct flights from Houston to various international destinations. These flights provide convenient and efficient travel options for both business and leisure travelers. In this article, we will explore seven direct United Airlines international flights from Houston, highlighting the key destinations, flight details, and what travelers can expect upon arrival.

1. Houston to London (Heathrow)

United Airlines offers daily direct flights from Houston to London Heathrow (LHR), one of the most important and busiest airports in Europe. This route is popular among business travelers and tourists alike, providing access to the vibrant city of London.

Flight Details

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 9 hours
  • Aircraft : Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • Frequency : Daily

Upon arrival in London, travelers can explore iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum. London also serves as a gateway to other European destinations.

2. Houston to Tokyo (Narita)

For those looking to experience the culture and innovation of Japan, United Airlines offers direct flights from Houston to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT). This route connects travelers to one of Asia’s most dynamic cities.

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 13 hours
  • Aircraft : Boeing 777-200ER

Tokyo offers a unique blend of traditional and modern attractions, from historic temples and shrines to cutting-edge technology districts like Akihabara.

3. Houston to Frankfurt, Germany

Frankfurt is a major financial hub in Europe, and United Airlines provides direct flights from Houston to Frankfurt Airport (FRA). This route is essential for business travelers heading to Europe.

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 10 hours

In Frankfurt, travelers can visit the Römer, the city’s medieval town hall, and explore the vibrant arts and culture scene.

4. Houston to Sydney

United Airlines offers a direct flight from Houston to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD), connecting Texas to Australia. This long-haul flight opens up opportunities for adventure and business in the Southern Hemisphere.

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 17 hours
  • Aircraft : Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
  • Frequency : Several times a week

Sydney is famous for its stunning harbor, the iconic Sydney Opera House, and beautiful beaches like Bondi and Manly.

5. Houston to Mexico City

Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is easily accessible from Houston with direct flights offered by United Airlines. This route is perfect for those seeking rich history, culture, and cuisine.

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Aircraft : Boeing 737-800
  • Frequency : Multiple times daily

Mexico City boasts numerous attractions, including the historic Zócalo, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan.

6. Houston to São Paulo

United Airlines provides direct flights from Houston to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), Brazil’s largest city and a key economic center in South America.

In São Paulo, visitors can explore the vibrant arts scene, indulge in world-class dining, and experience the city’s lively nightlife.

7. Houston to Calgary, Canada

Calgary, located in Alberta, Canada, is another direct international destination served by United Airlines from Houston. This route connects travelers to the stunning landscapes of the Canadian Rockies.

  • Flight Duration : Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes

Calgary is known for its proximity to Banff National Park, offering outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and wildlife viewing.

Exploring the world with United Airlines

United Airlines’ direct international flights from Houston provide a gateway to some of the world’s most exciting and important cities. Whether traveling for business or pleasure, these routes offer convenience and comfort, ensuring a seamless travel experience.

As you plan your next trip, consider the advantages of flying directly from Houston with United Airlines. The time saved, the ease of travel, and the wide range of destinations available make these flights an excellent choice for any traveler. Embrace the opportunity to connect with new cultures, conduct international business, and create unforgettable memories — all starting with a direct flight from Houston.

This story was created using AI technology.

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  1. 13 Safest Cities In Mexico Worth Visiting

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  2. Is Mexico City Safe to Travel? (TOP Safety Tips for 2024)

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  3. 13 of the Safest Cities in Mexico for Travelers to Visit

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  1. Mexico Travel Advisory

    Reissued after periodic review with general security updates, and the removal of obsolete COVID-19 page links. Country Summary: Violent crime - such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery - is widespread and common in Mexico.The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to ...

  2. U.S. Issues Travel Warning for Mexico

    The United States is warning travelers heading to Mexico to be aware of their surroundings ahead of the spring break holiday season. The warning, which was issued this week by the U.S. Embassy and ...

  3. Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Here's what you need to know

    Lopez-Aranda lives in Mexico City, where petty crime is a persistent risk and precautions should be taken, he said, "but the most popular locations are relatively safe for all kinds of travelers."

  4. Is Mexico City Safe for Travel? (TOP Safety Tips 2024)

    The short answer is yes, it is safe to visit Mexico City.However, I must also make it clear that you MUST be careful at all times. There are certain things you need to be aware of while visiting Mexico City to ensure you have a safe trip. Mexico City recorded 4,204,414 international visitors by 2022 according to Gobierno de Mexico Tourism with majorly trouble-free visit.

  5. Travel Advisory: Update for Mexico

    Location: Mexico Event: The U.S. Department of State updated the Mexico Travel Advisory and the Mexico country information page on August 22, 2023. The Travel Advisory includes individual risk assessment levels for each state. Actions to Take: Read the Mexico Travel Advisory, including the detailed state summaries and advisory levels for information on your specific travel destination.

  6. Is Mexico City Safe for Travel RIGHT NOW? (2024 Safety Rating)

    Mexico : Safety by City. Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico, divided into 16 boroughs all of which tend to preserve some of their original and unique characteristics. Centro Historico part of the city is where many historic colonial landmarks, and the famous Aztec Templo Mayor, can be found. Mexico City is a metropolitan city with 26 ...

  7. Is It Safe to Travel to Mexico? Here's What You Need to Know

    A spate of incidents, including a kidnapping and the death of two Americans near the border, have prompted travel warnings from the U.S. government. The border bridge between Brownsville, Texas ...

  8. Is Mexico City Safe?

    Mexico City is not a totally safe destination, but travelers who practice safety precautions are unlikely to encounter problems. Using common sense, avoiding certain areas, and employing the same strategies when traveling in any big city are important. There is a significant police presence, particularly in places of tourist interest.

  9. Is Mexico City Safe to Visit in 2024? A Local's Guide

    Crime in Mexico City. Mexico City sees a moderate level of crime and crime has been on the rise here over the last few years. According to a report by Statista, there were 32,078 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021 and 46,032 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2022, representing a whopping 43.63% increase year over year.

  10. Is it OK to travel to Mexico now? What to know, how to stay safe

    Mexico is "a tricky place" when it comes to travel and safety because "the security landscape and the security dynamic is so different state to state and city to city," according to Ballard ...

  11. 11 things to know before traveling to Mexico City

    However, it's best to avoid consuming any type of drugs in Mexico to avoid the legal gray matter. 10. Stay hydrated to help with the altitude. Mexico City sits in a valley in the high Mexican central plateau with an elevation of 2240m. You might notice you are more tired than usual after a day or two of arrival.

  12. Mexico City Safety 2024: How Safe is Mexico City for Travel?

    The crime in Mexico City is moderate, 67.95. The criminal activity in Mexico City is usually concentrated in specific neighborhoods, meaning that if you stick to the safe zones for tourism, you are good to go. Cartel presence is certainly felt, but their strongholds are elsewhere, like the border town of Tijuana.

  13. Is Mexico City Safe For Travel In 2024?

    According to Numbeo, Mexico City has a moderate crime index of 68.9 - which is relatively high compared to other cities such as New York City (49.8) or Guadalajara (62.11). The safety index for Mexico City is at 31.7, which relatively lower than Houston (36.68) or Monterrey (51.84). Mexico City still has high rates of corruption, armed ...

  14. Is Mexico Safe for Travel? (Honest Advice for 2024)

    The safety situation in Mexico does vary considerably by region, however. The U.S. State Department has issued elevated travel advisories for several Mexican states, including a few popular with tourists as well as several bordering the US. These travel advisories mostly related to gang-related crime.

  15. Is Mexico City Safe To Visit in 2024? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips

    Currently, Mexico City has no elections, controversial political scandals, or warring cartels in tourist areas. There are no inflammatory events, so this is a safe time to visit Mexico City. However, those visiting the city in June 2024 should remember that it is the period of the Mexico General Elections.

  16. Is Mexico City Safe for Travel in 2024?

    Metro service is reliable, safe and pretty convenient all day long if you are smart, not flashy and know how to blend with people and keep an eye on your belongings. According to local Mexico City friends of ours, any time could be good or bad, depending on your luck. You should exercise increased caution after 10 pm.

  17. Essential Tips for Staying Safe in Mexico City

    Know your emergency numbers. This is a crucial piece of advice for anyone traveling in a foreign country, whether it's Mexico City or elsewhere. Keep a list in both your phone and on a separate piece of paper of all necessary numbers. In Mexico City, the police can be reached by dialling 911 and ambulances and fire services are available on ...

  18. Travel advice and advisories for Mexico

    Petty theft. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common in Mexico. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, even in areas normally considered safe. Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

  19. Mexico Travel Advice & Safety

    Safety. Avoid protests and large public gatherings. These can become violent. It's against the law for foreigners to participate in political activity. Mexico has a high risk of violent crime, including murder, armed robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping. Don't travel at night outside major cities. Drug-related violence is widespread.

  20. Safety and security

    The Mexico City Command and Control Centre ('Centro de Atención a Emergencias y Proteción Ciudadana de la Ciudad de México') has information and advice in Spanish on safety in Mexico City ...

  21. How safe is Mexico City really? : r/travel

    The homicide rate of Mexico City and State of Mexico are both about 13 per 100k. That is including both the city proper and suburbs. There's few cities in the USA with metro Homicide rates that high. Basically Mexico City has a lower homicide rate than baltimore, New Orleans, Memphis and a couple of other places.

  22. Experts Warn Travelers to Avoid These 15 Dangerous Cities in Mexico

    U.S. State Department Warning Level: Ciudad Victoria is in Tamaulipas state, which has a Level 4: Do Not Travel To warning. Most dangerous neighborhoods: Northern Ciudad Victoria (all of it ...

  23. Why Digital Nomads Are Flocking To This Exciting City In Mexico

    Mexico City is the number one digital nomad destination in Mexico, with an expat population of around 104,000, according to the most recent census, easily surpassing Cancun - and its accompanying Mayan Riviera resorts Playa Del Carmen and Tulum - Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.. The capital's popularity can be attributed to a number of factors, but a running theme among nomad reviews is how ...

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    Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, also known as Rocky Point, is the closest beach to Arizona. It's about 213 miles from metro Phoenix, a shorter distance than San Diego or Los Angeles. A trip to Puerto Peñasco is easy to plan. But unlike a Southern California beach trip, you'll have to factor in border crossings on the way.

  25. Mexico City is sinking, running out of water: How can it be saved

    Mexico City, Mexico - Walking through Mexico City's historic Zocalo district, Dario Solano-Rojas points to signs of a subterranean catastrophe that is under way. The roads are uneven in the ...

  26. Is It Safe to Travel to Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico?

    The Mexican state of Baja California borders California. It is home to popular tourist destinations like Tijuana, Rosarito, and Ensenada. When it comes to tourism, Mexico is generally considered a safe destination for travelers, and any attacks directly involving tourists are extremely rare. Still, Mexico is a country that has its share of ...

  27. It's so hot in Mexico that howler monkeys are falling dead ...

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — It's so hot in Mexico that howler monkeys are falling dead from the trees.. At least 138 of the midsize primates, who are known for their roaring vocal calls, were found ...

  28. Travel Advisory Update for Mexico

    Event: Travel Advisory Update for Mexico (U.S. Embassy Mexico City - March 7, 2022) Location: Mexico. Reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19. Read the Department of State's COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico ...

  29. 7 international nonstop flights from Houston on United Airlines

    Flight Details. Flight Duration: Approximately 9 hours. Aircraft: Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Frequency: Daily. Upon arrival in London, travelers can explore iconic landmarks such as the Tower of ...