If you are planning a trip to Mexico the following year, you must be careful of a few things. First, traveling in some areas of the country is unsafe, especially in the Quintana Roo state, which includes popular resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Riviera Maya. The state has had some of the worst homicide statistics in decades, and last year was the most violent on record.
Drug-related violence in Mexico has reached a dangerous level, with a high death toll and an increasingly militarized country. The country has created a National Guard, a force comprised of military personnel and some federal police agents, to fight crime. However, many deaths are also attributable to the security forces, which should have a more limited mission: arresting criminals.
Although the Biden administration is placing a bounty on the heads of the Guzman brothers, the country continues to struggle with deadly mass violence by criminal groups. Since 2017, more than 30,000 homicides have been reported in Mexico, with many deaths resulting from organized criminal violence. At the last count, at least 543 armed groups were operating in Mexico.
While most academic literature on the drug conflict in Mexico focuses on state intervention against the drug cartels, international factors have also fuelled this violence. For example, Stephanie Erin Brewer, a global legal officer for the Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Human Rights Center, looked at how the United States of America has influenced Mexico’s drug conflict, including the Merida Initiative. Further, Ted Galen Carpenter, an expert on U.S. national security and Latin American policy, critically examines Mexican anti-drug initiatives.
As of 2021, the COVID-19 virus has yet to be eradicated in Mexico, but it is still present in the country. Various measures are in place to address the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Non-essential travel between the two countries is an additional risk factor. This puts the populace of both nations at greater risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus, especially given the chances of the virus’ new variants and sustained human-to-human transmission. While travel restrictions are not as strict as they were in the past, there is still a risk.
Travelers should consult their doctor or health provider before traveling to Mexico. Vaccinations against Covid-19 are essential to avoid infection. It would help if you visited your doctor for about a month before traveling to Mexico. To get vaccinated, go to the Find a Clinic page for more information.
Travelers should follow the latest travel guidelines of the CDC. Its website includes information about the COVID-19 virus, including country-specific warnings and travel advisories. The website also has an interactive map that helps travelers navigate the terminal.
Driving on toll roads
The country has recently invested heavily in road infrastructure, making it possible to drive on toll roads in Mexico. These toll roads are typically four-lane highways with a single lane on either side of the road. Going on them can speed up your journey while providing a safer environment for drivers.
However, driving on Mexican highways is not without its risks. Drivers must remember that the roads are only sometimes in the best condition and can have uneven paving. Drivers should always be attentive to the cars ahead, even if they are on the right. Also, brake lights only sometimes work.
The roads are generally safe, although the only exception is the state of Michoacan. For a safe journey, it is best to plan a route using a map and a website. Websites will also suggest exciting side trips. These excursions will add to the discovery of your journey and allow you to get away from the crowds.
To avoid tolls on Mexico highways, you should be aware of the various options available. For example, Google Maps can show you alternate routes or free roads to your destination. If you don’t want to pay the toll, you can mark your destination on the map and select “Avoid tolls.”
Avoiding public transport
There are many benefits to using taxis rather than public transport in Mexico City. These are radio taxis, autorizados, or “taxis de site.” In Mexico City, ride-share apps are popular and an excellent way to get around without spending much money. While they are not always convenient, they are a great alternative to hailing a taxi on the street.
There are numerous safety measures that travelers should follow while driving in Mexico City. First, it is essential to follow the traffic rules. Traffic police are often on the lookout for foreigners. In some areas, the traffic police will confiscate license plates as an alternative to issuing tickets. The process of restoring your license plate can be time-consuming and expensive. It will help if you park your car in a hotel with secured parking. Second, you should know that residents of Mexico City are prohibited from driving on a particular day of the week. This ban does not affect rented cars and is only enforced if a resident is driving a vehicle.
Third, travelers should avoid crowded metros and buses. Most public transport in Mexico is crowded, especially during rush hours, and pickpockets often wait in the corners of metro stations. Lastly, tourists should be familiar with the peso currency.
Swimming in flagged areas
If you plan a beach vacation this year, you should know that not all beaches in Mexico are safe. Some may have bacteria in the water. In those areas, you should be cautious and avoid swimming if possible. You can check water quality levels by visiting the Cofepris website—other precautions to take if you want to swim in the water.
Lifeguards designate flagged areas, and they indicate the safety of swimming. Red flags signify dangerous conditions, while yellow flags indicate safe conditions. In case of a yellow flag, you should still use your best judgment and avoid these areas. Purple flags indicate that there may be harmful animals near the beach, including jellyfish and stingrays. A green flag, on the other hand, means that the water is safe for swimming.