Country-specific safety instructions
Travel to the state of Tamaulipas that is not absolutely necessary is strongly discouraged.
Travel to rural areas in the states of Guerrero, Michoacán, and Jalisco is also strongly discouraged. Rioting and armed conflicts between organized crime, security forces and vigilante groups are frequent there.
For this reason, we strongly advise against using the coastal road between Acapulco (Guerrero) and Manzanillo (Colima). Overland trips to the cities and tourist zones of the states of Guerrero and Jalisco should only be made during the day and only directly via the motorway. In the past, the disputes described above also occurred in tourist areas, including Acapulco. Further incidents of this kind cannot be ruled out.
Nationwide, the main traffic connections can repeatedly be blocked by demonstrators, which, as most recently in the state of Oaxaca, may be broken up by force.
Due to widespread crime and the tense security situation in a number of states, the recommended rules of conduct should be strictly observed and additional precautionary measures should be taken if necessary.
In some cases, police or uniformed security personnel are also involved in crimes or criminals posing as such. The violence ranges from robbery to kidnapping and homicide. Armed clashes between state security forces and organized crime occur in many regions. The violence is particularly pronounced in northern states such as Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, but also in Zacatecas, Durango, Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero and Morelos. Large cities such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Reynosa, Matamoros, Tampico, Acapulco and Torreón are particularly affected. The number of violent crimes has also continued to increase in the municipalities of the Estado de México bordering Mexico City and in the state of Veracruz.
The violence is by no means limited to these places. Virtual kidnappings or extortions, in which a kidnapping or an accident of a relative is only faked, are also widespread. In the case of unknown callers, travelers should be reluctant to provide personal information, keep calm and try to establish contact with the relative in question in other ways.
Violence against women has increased, also in the tourist regions. Women should not be alone, especially at night and in remote areas. Sexual assaults should be reported immediately to the nearest office of the “Ministerio Público” (public prosecutor’s office).
People who are planning a longer, not purely tourist stay in Mexico (especially in the context of voluntary services) are advised to contact the German embassy in Mexico in advance.
Registration in the electronic list of Germans is also recommended for short-term stays: External link, opens in a new windowhttp: //elefand.diplo.de
Travel over land
It is recommended not to visit the ruins in Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, by bus, but to use tourist buses to get there. If a trip to the northern and central parts of the country is necessary, it is advisable to find out about necessary behavioral measures on site, such as certain parts of the city that should be avoided, especially at night.
Because of the increased risk of accidents and assaults, it is strongly advised to only travel during the day and to avoid night trips – including by bus. In addition, even when driving on motorways, you should only stop at busy rest areas and petrol stations. Stops at small bays should be avoided. When driving overland, it is recommended not to stop under any circumstances if the request for breakdown assistance is signaled at the roadside. In such cases, travelers better inform the police at the nearest police station or petrol station about the emergency.
Travelers should definitely refrain from hitchhiking and taking hitchhikers with them.
Particularly during the holiday season, demonstrators can block the main roads in a way that is effective for the public. In some cases, you are allowed to continue your journey against a “mileage charge”. Discussions about its legality are not recommended.
Individual trips to remote areas should not be undertaken without professional guidance. It should generally be ensured that the tour guide or tour guide is in possession of an official ID from SECTUR (Mexican Ministry of Tourism). When hiking in nature reserves, e.g. climbing volcanoes, there is a risk of robbery. Travelers should inform themselves well in advance about the destination area and, if possible, travel in larger groups.
Because of the insufficient number of guarded campsites, we are not advised to take a vacation trip with a mobile home / camper.
Further notes on safety:
- Victims of a robbery should not put up any resistance, as the perpetrators immediately use weapons!
- Conspicuous (fashion) jewelry should be avoided and money and valuables should only be taken with you to the extent necessary. These should not be worn visibly on the body. However, some thieves specialize in stealing concealed belt pouches.
- Beware of ATMs: If possible, only use ATMs that are located in secure buildings such as banks, hotels or shopping centers. Even there, travelers should pay attention to people in the immediate vicinity who may spy on or follow them. There have already been fatal attacks on German nationals.
- Important documents (passport, plane ticket, etc.) should be deposited securely in the accommodation. Copies of these documents should be stored in electronic form in the private mail so that they can be called up if necessary.
- Cars should only be driven with closed windows and locked doors.
- Taxis should be taken from official taxi stands (Sitios) or ordered by telephone or via a taxi app. If taxis are stopped on the street, there is a considerable risk of being kidnapped and / or robbed, especially after dark, but also during the day.
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages in public (for example on the street) is prohibited throughout Mexico and is punishable by fines or imprisonment.
According to mathgeneral, the whole of Mexico is earthquake-affected. Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the southern states of the USA have hurricane season from May to November. Tropical storms, heavy rainfall and, as a result, heavy floods and landslides must be expected. There are natural disaster apps such as Sky Alert, Alerta Sísmica DF, wArning and the twitter account Protección Civil CDMX, via which instructions from the authorities are published if necessary, see also external link, opens in new window www.proteccioncivil.gob.mx
Current hurricane information can be found at external link, opens in new windowwww.nhc.noaa.gov and external link, opens in new windowwww.wunderground.com/tropical.
Travelers should follow the regional weather forecasts and heed the advice of the local security authorities.
The Popocatépetl volcano has been increasingly active again since 1994. There is a restricted zone of 12 km around the crater. Up-to-date instructions on how to behave and set warning levels can be found on the external link, opens in a new window, the homepage of the Mexican civil defense.
Restrictions for air traffic in the greater Mexico area may arise at short notice.
The older districts of Mexico City on the former lake bed are particularly at risk of earthquakes. The metropolitan area of Mexico City (approx. 25 million inhabitants) and the particularly earthquake-prone states on the Pacific coast have so far only been partially affected. Evacuation measures are therefore primarily planned by the authorities in safe zones of the high valley of Mexico City or in safe zones of the respective state concerned. The authorities recommend, if possible, to stay indoors for the first few days and have durable supplies ready (including batteries and cash reserves).
Instructions on how to behave in the event of an earthquake can be found on the external link, opens in a new windowWebsite of the Embassy of Mexico. In the tourist areas on the coast, the hotels are included in the protective measures and are obliged to inform the authorities (protección civil) of the number and nationality of their guests in the event of an alarm. The instructions of the Mexican authorities in the event of a crisis must be followed. The “National Risk Atlas (external link, opens in new window www.atlasnacionalderiesgos.gob.mx) provides an overview of the dangers posed by natural disasters.