Now that it’s Cancun…
Mexico is without question a place worth visiting. The country offers a wide variety of swoon worthy tourist destinations, like Mexico City – where and incredible food and art revolution is sweeping the vibrant young city. And of course, for those just looking for some fun in the sun- Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and many Mexican destinations offer some of the best options anywhere on earth. But sadly, a recent crime wave has prompted further travel advice from the U.S. State Department, and with the violence reaching Cancun, it’s beginning to feel very real.
While there have been longstanding advisories fervently warning against travel to drug cartel controlled areas of Mexico such as Sinaloa, Guerrero or Michoacán, travel advisories against the Quintana Roo area are a relatively new phenomenon. In March, the U.S. State Department issued “Level 2” warning for popular areas such as Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Tulum and Cozumel after a series of unexplained explosions rocked tourist areas, including ferries. Cancun is now the latest popular destination to experience increased drug related violence, with 8 bodies in the last week discovered. Now before you panic – “Level 2” warnings are currently in effect for places like Italy, so it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go.
Realistically, these bodies are believed to be the result of drug turf wars between drug gang members, and did not occur in the main beachfront hotel areas. But the increased violence and callous spraying of bullets has given the U.S. State Department good reason to stress cause for concern, and issue a formal travel warning. None of the recently discovered bodies are believed to include tourists. The new travel warning calls for exercising increased caution, avoiding travel late at night and sticking to toll roads when traveling.
Have plans to Cancun, or the surrounding Quintana Roo area? A level two warning of increased caution doesn’t merit refunds from airlines or hotels, so without some serious negotiating skills, expect to pay for your trip – whether you go or not. It’s important to note that many popular areas around the world, such as Germany, India, Italy Indonesia and Turks and Caicos are at the same “Level 2” travel advisory, so it’s not as if this is something inherently dangerous. If you wouldn’t change plans to visit Italy, you shouldn’t necessarily change yours here. Just be smart. Leave the Rolex at home, stick to the main (guarded) beach areas and avoid buying dodgy goods at dodgy hours of the day. Basically, be the same smart traveler you should be in any part of the world.
Does this travel warning impact your Mexico travel plans?
Featured image copyright: DronePicR on Flickr.