Famous for its immaculate beaches, archeological ruins, and enchanting colonial cities, Mexico has everything from stunning natural scenery to romantic architectural landmarks. A fascinating people and a rich culture add to the irresistible charms of this great nation. Many historical sites in Mexico are maintained at world-class standards but enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of European or American attractions. Unfortunately, many Americans and Canadians fear for their safety while traveling in Mexico, thus preventing them from experiencing this exciting country. This misplaced fear stems from the fact that Mexico is a developing country that is quite different from the United States. But different does not mean unsafe.
Statistically speaking, Mexico is a very safe country for visitors. Most of the crime in Mexico is drug-related and concentrated in a few areas near the border like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Ninety-five percent of Mexico is as safe as ninety-five percent of the US or Canada. Visitors to Mexico are not targets of public violence. But just like in other travel destinations, every visitor should watch out for petty theft or property crimes. There are pickpockets in Mexico in the same way that that there are pickpockets in Paris, the world's leading travel destination. As Edward Hasbrouck, author of "The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World", puts it, "the biggest danger for a law-abiding traveler in Mexico is probably the same as the big danger in the U.S. - road crashes. Almost everything else is negligible by comparison."
For a safe trip to Mexico, you should begin by choosing a safe yet exciting destination like the quaint Mexican towns located in the center heartland. Unlike the well-known beach destinations, these lesser known destinations offer you an authentic experience of the Mexican way of life. Best of all, these off-the-beaten-path attractions tend to be safer, cheaper, and less crowded.
One fine example of romantic "old Mexico" is the city of Guanajuato. Set in the rolling highlands of Central Mexico, this UNESCO World Heritage site has one of the best-preserved colonial architecture in the country. Guanajuato was built on the enormous wealth derived from huge deposits of silver mined within its area during the mid 16th century. Traces of its opulence are still visible today in the baroque buildings, aristocratic haciendas, a magnificent basilica and churches, impressive plazas, and colorful houses perched on hillsides or along cobblestone streets. These colonial elements blend well with organic urban structures like narrow passageways, underground tunnels, an opera house, museums, art galleries and cafes. With friendly and accommodating residents, Guanajuato is a pleasurable and safe city for visitors.
Visiting Guanajuato is guaranteed to be an unforgettable and enriching experience for you. To keep you safe throughout your trip, you need to properly plan before leaving and observe the following safety precautions while traveling into and around Mexico:
Throughout your trip in Mexico, you are going to be mobile much of the time. Mobility may expose you to some risks unless safety measures are taken. With a well thought out itinerary, good preparation, alertness, caution, and prudence, you will arrive at your destination and return home safely.