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Holidaying In Mexico: Is It Safe?

It’s a dreamy place, and if you haven’t been yet, this stunning area of Central America is surely on your list of destinations to tackle in the not too distant future. Mexico holidays provide tourists with the perfect mix of relaxation and exploring opportunities, as well as some much-needed sunshine which is why the country is such a pull for Brits.

But exactly how safe is it to visit for holidaymakers? What is the latest up-to-date* government advice? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

*Correct as of time of publication.

How popular is Mexico as a holiday destination?

Mexico welcomes millions of tourists every year, particularly during peak party seasons such as Spring Break. More than 500,000 Brits visit the country annually, with the vast majority of trips trouble-free.

How well protected are holidaymakers in touristy areas?

Most of Mexico’s main crime and gang-related activity takes places far away from the popular tourist resorts. To combat any potential risk there might be to foreigners, an increased police presence can be seen and whilst tourists may not be the intended target of such disturbances, you should still always remain alert and vigilant.

Could there be a threat of drug-related violence?

Mexico has a history of drug-related crime and violence, though any conflicts typically occur between rival gangs and tourists are very rarely caught up in the middle of it. The main tourist hotspots of Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen are well protected and have not seen anywhere near the high levels of drug-related activity and violence experienced in other parts of the country.

Is there any recent history to suggest tourists might be at any other risk?

There isn’t any recent history at all to suggest tourists or locals are at threat of terrorism in Mexico, though you should still always keep an eye out for the latest government advice and on local news as attacks can’t be completely ruled out anywhere in the world.

Politically-motivated protests and demonstrations can also take place in big cities or highly populated areas. You should stay away from these areas as the Mexican constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners.

What’s the climate like and are there any extreme seasons I need to be aware of?

In general – hot! Average temperatures throughout the country push the 30°C mark, though hurricane season runs from June to November and impacts both coastlines, the Pacific and Atlantic. In very extreme cases, this can cause flooding, landslides and disruption to local services such as transport.

Monitor local and international weather updates during your stay in order to be prepared should the need arise.

How about if I’m planning to book some activities and excursions?

Adventure sports such as scuba diving, jet-skiing, sky diving and paragliding amongst others are often undertaken by holidaymakers in Mexico. Always make sure any activities you participate in are safe and meet UK safety and insurance standards. Have a read through popular review websites before booking any tours or excursions to ensure the operator is reputable as well as fully licensed and insured.

If you take out any travel insurance prior to your trip, make sure it covers you to participate in adventure sports, or upgrade your cover if it doesn’t.

What entry requirements should I know about?

Of course, your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You do not need a visa to enter Mexico, though you will need to fill out an immigration form and have it on your person when travelling in and out of the country.

You might want to consider obtaining one from the National Institute of Immigration before travelling for ease, or alternatively you will normally be offered one either on your flight or at the arrivals area of your airport in Mexico.

How about departure tax?

You might need to pay a tourist departure tax when leaving Mexico, though the cost can differ dependent on where you are and, sometimes, where you are going. A lot of airlines include this cost within the price of your ticket, though it’s advisable to double check before travelling.

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Do you have any other questions relating to Mexico holidays? Tweet us via @icelollyholiday and we’ll do our best to help.

The information in this article has been taken from the government's latest travel advice and is correct as of the time of publication, 20th December 2018.

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