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Safe Mexico Travel Tips For the Super Paranoid

Part 1: Before You Go

Mexico is a must-see travel destination that boasts of diverse attractions like pristine beaches, ancient archeological sites, and charming colonial cities. Blessed with a temperate climate and teeming with rich culture, Mexico wins the hearts of visitors by offering a unique blend of nature, history and culture at dollar-friendly prices. Despite its location just below the American border, Mexico is an altogether different culture compared to the United States or Canada. Because it is so different, many visitors have some apprehensions about traveling to Mexico.

These fears are unfounded. Mexico is by and large a safe place to travel. While it's true that Mexico has its share of public violence, these crimes are mostly drug related and concentrated in a few areas close to the border like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, and visitors are not targets. Ninety-five percent of Mexico is as safe as ninety-five percent of the USA or Canada. In fact, Mexico is consistently among the top 10 most visited countries in the world, attracting more than 20 million foreigners annually. Mexico could not possibly attract so many visitors if their safety was at risk. This is not to say, however, that all the tourist spots in Mexico are completely crime-free. Like any other travel destination, unsuspecting tourists in Mexico may fall prey to petty crimes unless basic travel safety precautions are taken.

One of the most enjoyable and safest ways to see Mexico is visiting the quaint Mexican towns located in the center heartland. Compared to the Mexican coastlines that are teeming with tourists, these off-the-beaten-track vacation spots offer an authentic Mexican experience without the tourist crowds, the tourist price tags, and the petty criminals out to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. One such example of romantic "old Mexico" is Guanajuato. Guanajuato is a charming, hilly city of Spanish colonial architecture and atmosphere. This picturesque city began as a silver mining camp, but is now dotted with colorful houses, asymmetrical buildings, pedestrian alleyways, narrow passageways, underground tunnels, courtyards, museums, art galleries, churches, and cafes along cobblestone streets. Still an undiscovered jewel for foreign tourists, Guanajuato is a very popular weekend getaway among locals from other Mexican cities. In 1988, Guanajuato was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so visitors, Mexican or foreign, will always be able to enjoy its preserved architecture and cultural heritage. Guanajuato is a safe city, and its residents are very friendly to visitors.

But for the super paranoid among you, before you cross the border en route to Guanajuato, use these travel safety tips to help make your Mexican vacation safe and worry-free.

Follow these safety guidelines before you leave and use sensible judgment throughout your trip. A smart traveler is a safe traveler.

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