The answer is mostly “YES”. Based on my experiences.
I’ve just returned from my ninth visit to Puerto Vallarta. In the last 15 years, I’ve also been to Puerto Escondido twice, Cozumel once (going back in December) and Playa Del Carmen once.
I’ve never had anything remotely sinister happen.
It’s not news that some parts of Mexico are dangerous. I’ve never been to those areas and have no plans to visit.
There’s no question the tourist areas of Mexico are feeling the consequences of the negative headlines. Besides the drug violence, friends in Puerto Vallarta tell me tourism has fallen off for other reasons that include the downturn in the American economy and residual fears from the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic.
It’s true tourists have been harmed in tourist areas. I have no information to suggest they behaved in a way that caused themselves to be victimized.
Random acts of violence aside, staying safe isn’t hard. Travel in any country requires a certain amount of smarts and common sense.
Here are some tips for the tourist areas of Mexico:
- Don’t bring valuables on the trip. Put your tablet, money, passport, travel docs and credit cards in the hotel’s safe until you need them. If you cannot part with your smartphone, don’t carry it in your back pocket where it can be snatched.
- Keep an eye on your stuff. ALWAYS.
- Don’t ever start a tab on your credit card in a bar. You may forget to take the card back or it may get handed to another patron by mistake.
- Don’t taunt or be excessively loud or foolish around the police. Some carry big guns.
- Stay sober. Don’t get drunk with strangers and let them into your hotel room. You may find things missing when you sober up. (This happened to a traveller I met in Mexico a few years ago. Will blog the entire story at a later date.)
- Make only legal purchases.
- Be respectful of the Mexican people.
The internet has lots of tips for people travelling outside of Mexico’s tourist areas, especially by vehicle. I profess no expertise in this area.
I love Mexico. And I don’t expect to stop visiting.