Despite all news outlets pronouncing my almost certain death for doing so, I successfully completed my 22nd “official” trip to Mexico.
I did have one other “unofficial” visit where I hopped over the border when the border guard was passed out drunk and I couldn’t wake him to stamp my passport, but that’s another story.
There is a lot of cartel violence in Mexico. That violence is directed at other cartel members, not the average tourist. You can have an absolutely safe trip in Mexico if you follow my four safety rules:
– Don’t buy or use illegal drugs
– Don’t consort with prostitutes (including random Tinder hookups, which are often one and the same)
– Don’t display ostentatious wealth
– Don’t be an asshole
If you follow these rules in most tourist destinations in Mexico, you will be safer than traveling through any big city in the USA.
Despite staying in local neighborhoods and being out late walking the streets almost every night, the biggest risk we faced was being sun burned and having a hangover after too many margaritas on the beach.
When you are friendly to taxi drivers in Mexico, they may reward your kindness with free tequila shots. Far more dangerous than cartel violence.