The US is issuing a new spring break travel advisory for Mexico

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As American travelers enjoy or prepare for spring break, the United States government has just issued a travel warning for one of this season’s top destinations: Mexico.

The US State Department issued an official travel warning on Monday, addressing multiple concerns, acknowledging security threats and sharing advice related to current events.

Congo Bar Cancun, people waiting to enter the bar

A document published on the website of the US Embassy and Consulates in Mexico explains to travelers the main factors to consider when traveling to the country, including the risks of crime, drugs, assaults, medication and other warnings such as drowning and arrests.

Also included is a list of actions to take when traveling to Mexico, such as reading the Mexico travel advisory page, recommendations for safety apps travelers can download, and general warnings.

In considering the best spring break destinations, authorities have specifically targeted places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and other popular beach spots in the Quintana Roo region.

A busy street in Playa del Carmen at night

Just a few weeks ago, the US State Department issued a special travel advisory for US citizens visiting Cancun due to disputes and violent incidents between taxi and Uber drivers in the region.

While US authorities are warning travelers against traveling to Mexico, the Mexican government is assuring tourists that Mexico is a safe destination.

Considering the current situation in Mexico, there are new updates for tourists. Here’s what travelers need to know about this latest travel advisory issued by the US government.

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US State Department logo on computer screen

Factors to consider when traveling to Mexico

The US government says most visitors travel safely in Mexico (Cancun is still considered a safe destination for many travelers), but those planning a trip to the country should consider many factors.

buildings next to a beautiful beach at sunset

Regarding safety, travelers are encouraged to maintain a high level of awareness and avoid risky situations, as crime (including violent crime) can occur even in popular tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum, especially after dark.

US citizens have also been attacked, and lone or intoxicated travelers have been targeted.

Authorities also remind travelers about illegal acts and behavior in Mexico and that Mexican law differs from American law and travelers should keep that in mind.

The document emphasizes that guns and ammunition are illegal, as well as possession of drugs, including medical marijuana, public urination, and drinking and driving. Violators of these conditions may be arrested.

Police patrol the beach in Isla Mujeres, Mexican Caribbean, Latin America

US citizens are being warned about using drugs or unregulated alcohol as travelers have been injured by contaminated alcohol, synthetic drugs and counterfeit prescription pills. Counterfeit medicines have also been reported. Travelers should consult medical professionals and purchase medicines from reputable establishments.

In the event of an emergency or medical need, the document notes that private hospitals may be more expensive in Mexico than in the United States, and that a cash payment may be required. This is one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to buy travel insurance.

As for natural factors, it warns of high tides and strong undercurrents, as well as the lack of safety measures and lifeguards. Drowning is considered a relevant risk factor for visitors.

Man diving underwater looking at sea starfish in coral reef and tropical fish, Caribbean Sea

Travelers are advised to respect the legal conditions of residence and visas, as violation of these conditions may result in detention or fines.

Activities for travelers

After considering all risks, travelers are also encouraged to take action. The US government advises:

A fenced border crossing between Mexico and the United States near El Paso, Texas
  • Reading Mexico’s travel advice page and country information page.
  • Call 911 in case of emergency
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers Mexico or make sure health insurance covers the destination.
  • To receive updates and relevant information about safety in Mexico, travelers must register with the Smart Traveler Registration Program.
  • Drink responsibly and don’t leave drinks unattended. Travelers should seek medical attention if they feel unwell and report alcohol-related contamination to the Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS).
  • Stay in groups of friends and get to know your drinking buddies, especially at night and in clubs and bars.
  • Monitor credit cards to confirm all transactions are correct, bring limited cash and be careful when withdrawing money from ATMs.
  • Notify family and friends of travel plans.
  • Download the Guest Support app when traveling in the Quintana Roo region for relevant updates, information and traveler assistance.
  • Keep passports safe.
  • Travelers can contact a US embassy or consulate if they need assistance.
Hiking woman using smart phone, travel and active lifestyle

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