U.S. State Department’s Travel Advice for Mexico – Spring 2016 Update

The U.S. State Department issues Travel Warnings to inform U.S. citizens about the overall security situation in various countries. In April 2016, it updated its advisory for Mexico. Take note! The situations in several states have changed.

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Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.

Generally, travel to resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico is fine. The high levels of drug-related violence and crime are concentrated in the border region, and in areas along major trafficking routes.

Below is a brief state-by-state overview of security conditions throughout Mexico. For the full report, go to: Mexico Travel Warnings – April 2016.

Guerrero: There are no problems traveling by air to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo! Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is located in the state of Guerrero, so this advisory is listed first. Other than air travel to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, travel to the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. Government personnel. Exercise caution and remain in tourist areas. The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2015, with a murder rate of 57 per 100,000 residents, but this includes the city of Acapulco which has one of the highest crime rates in the world. For more information specific to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, see: Crime Report for Guerrero, Mexico and Ixtapa Zihuatanejo for 2015 – Compare to your City!

State of Guerrero

Other states:

Aguascalientes: Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.

Baja California: Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. According to the Baja State Secretariat for Public Security, Tijuana and Rosarito continued to experience an increase in homicide rates from January to October 2015compared to the same period in the previous year.

Baja California Sur: Cabo San Lucas and La Paz are major cities/travel destinations in the state. Exercise caution in the state capital of La Paz.

Campeche: No advisory is in effect.

Chiapas: Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas are major cities/travel destinations in Chiapas – No advisory is in effect.

Chihuahua: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua City, and Copper Canyon are major cities/travel destinations in Chihuahua. Exercise caution in traveling to: the business and shopping districts in the northeast section of Ciudad Juarez and its major industrial parks, the central downtown section and major industrial parks in the city of Chihuahua, the town of Palomas, the urban area of the city of Ojinaga, and the towns of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes and their immediate environs. Travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area should be through the Palomas port of entry (POE) on U.S. Highway 11, continuing south until reaching Mexico Highway 2 west to Nuevo Casas Grandes. Travel to Ojinaga should be on the U.S. side via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio POE. Defer non-essential travel to other areas in the state of Chihuahua and travel between cities only on major highways and only during daylight hours. Crime and violence remain serious problems throughout the state of Chihuahua, particularly in the southern portion of the state and in the Sierra Mountains, including Copper Canyon.

Coahuila: Defer non-essential travel to the state of Coahuila except the city of Saltillo, where you should exercise caution.

Colima: Manzanillo is a major city/travel destination in Colima – Defer non-essential travel to the areas of the state that border the state of Michoacán.

Durango: Exercise caution in the state. Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern.

Estado de Mexico: Toluca and Teotihuacan are major travel destinations in Estado de Mexico. Exercise caution in the State of Mexico. Due to high rates of crime and insecurity, defer non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, and Ixtapaluca. Defer non-essential travel to the municipality of Tlatlaya in the southwest portion of the state and non-essential travel on any roads between Santa Marta in the southeast portion of the state and Huitzilac in the state of Morelos, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Guanajuato: San Miguel de Allende and Leon are major cities/travel destinations in Guanajuato – No advisory is in effect.

Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect.

Jalisco: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala are major cities/travel destinations in Jalisco – Exercise caution throughout the state, particularly in rural areas and when using secondary highways. Defer non-essential travel to areas of the state that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas.

Mexico City (also known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect. See also the discussion in the section on Estado de Mexico for areas within the greater Mexico City metropolitan area.

Michoacán: Morelia is a major city/travel destination in Michoacán – Defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacán except the cities of Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas and the area north of federal toll road 15D, where you should exercise caution.

Morelos: Cuernavaca is a major city/travel destination in Morelos. Defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Marta, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Nayarit: The Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas, is a major travel destination in Nayarit. U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa María del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.

Nuevo Leon: Monterrey is a major city/travel destination in Nuevo Leon. Exercise caution in the state of Nuevo Leon. U.S. government personnel and their dependents may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m.

Oaxaca: Oaxaca, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido are major cities/travel destinations in Oaxaca. In Oaxaca City, U.S. citizens should avoid hiking around the auditorium and observatory at Cerro del Fortin, as foreigners are routinely held up and robbed in that area.

Puebla: No advisory is in effect.

Queretaro: No advisory is in effect.

Quintana Roo: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are major cities/travel destinations in Quintana Roo – No advisory is in effect.

San Luis Potosi: Exercise caution in the state. U.S. government personnel may travel outside the City of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Luis Potosi to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Sinaloa: Mazatlan is a major city/travel destination in Sinaloa. Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo, where you should exercise caution. One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada and the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.

Sonora: Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos are major cities/travel destinations in Sonora. Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades and can be extremely dangerous for travelers. Travelers throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours.

Tabasco: Villahermosa is a major city/travel destination in Tabasco. No advisory is in effect.

Tamaulipas: Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico are major cities in Tamaulipas. Defer all non-essential travel to the state. Throughout the state violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, pose significant safety risks.

Tlaxcala: No advisory is in effect.

Veracruz: No advisory is in effect.

Yucatan: Merida and Chichen Itza are major cities/travel destinations in Yucatan. No advisory is in effect.

Zacatecas: Exercise caution in the state of Zacatecas. Robberies, carjacking, and organized criminal activity remain a concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of Zacatecas to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

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For more information about the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area, see:

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