Visiting the most popular tourist sites in Mexico is generally considered safe or only moderately risky. In simple terms, the U.S. Department of State has classified them as Level 1 or Level 2 destinations, with Level 1 being the lowest risk level a place can have and Level 2 being the second lowest.
Under Level 2, you will find:
Aguascalientes (State of Aguascalientes)
Aguascalientes, one of the smallest Mexican states, is also known as a production center and for its table wines, brandies, aguardiente and other fruit liquors. Despite its small size, Aguascalientes has a rich culinary heritage.
Crime in Mexico’s main cities is similar to crime elsewhere in the world. You will be fine if you are mindful of your surroundings. Maintain your usual degree of caution.
Thousands of tourists visit the city during the “La Feria de San Marcos” fair season. Be cautious if you are going to Aguascalientes at this time. Carry a backpack or bag in front of you and keep it in your field of view to avoid robberies.
Other cities at level 2 are:
- Calakmul (State of campeche)
- Cancun (State of Quintana Roo)
- Los Cabos (State of Baja California Sur)
- Mexico City
- Monterrey (State of Nuevo Leon)
- Pachuca (State of Hidalgo)
- Puebla (State of Puebla)
- Puerto Escondido (State of Oaxaca)
- Saltillo (State of Coahuila)
- San Cristobal de las Casas (State of Chiapas)
- Tepic (State of Nayarit)
- Toluca (State of Mexico)
- Torreon (State of Coahuila)
- Tulum (State of Quintana Roo)
What Does It Mean To Be A Level 2 Destination?
American citizens should exercise “increased caution” when visiting any of the cities mentioned, as ” crime may occur” in the states where they are located. Nevertheless, a Level 2 classification does not always mean that there is a higher level of danger: Cancun is one of the safest vacation destinations in Mexico and has consistently been on this list.
Cancun has really managed to keep the crime rate down. This is due to the local government’s tough stance against crime and quick response to crises. Los Cabos has also been named the safest place to visit in Mexico for 2023. This shows that a city with Level 2 status is no less safe than a Level 1 city.
Which Mexican Destinations Are Under Level 1?
Travel within a Level 1 zone means that Americans are not at special risk and can take “normal precautions.” For example, taking extra safety precautions in public, such as keeping valuables at home and being on the lookout for suspicious activity, may not be necessary. However, they are still a good idea because less crime does not mean there is no crime.
Only two Mexican states, Campeche and Yucatan, both located on the Yucatan Peninsula and bordering Quintana Roo, are classified as Level 1 destinations by the U.S. Department of State. Merida and Valladolid are two of Yucatan’s best-known cities, with the former recently attracting media attention as one of the country’s fastest-growing cultural hotspots. Here is why you pay them a visit:
Merida (State of Yucatan)
The city has a long and illustrious history dating back to the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Explore the city’s cobblestone streets, well-preserved buildings and fountain-adorned plazas to get a sense of it. In addition to a lively arts scene, Merida is home to some wonderful restaurants serving original yet traditional Mexican dishes from around the nation..
Valladolid (State of Yucatan)
A visit to Valladolid is definitely worthwhile. With a population of only 48,000 residents, it is a quaint little community with a small downtown, colorful houses, old colonial churches, and traditional Mexican culture free of many foreign influences. Valladolid is a great place to stay for a few days, as there is plenty to do and see nearby.
Calakmul (State of Campeche)
Calakmul is a lost treasure of the Mayan city hidden in the dense jungles of Mexico. It is located near the Guatemalan border in the state of Campeche, on the Yucatan Peninsula. It is one of the largest Mayan ruins ever found!
It is important to emphasize that there is no accommodation within the boundaries of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Staying in the small town of Xpujil is your best and closest option. You can get a sense of how little it is by the fact that less than 4000 people called it home in 2010. Calakmul is still quite far from Xpujil; it takes two hours to get there by car.
San Franscisco de Campeche (State of Campeche)
The only walled city in Mexico, San Francisco Campeche is the state capital and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This category honors the city’s remarkable past and beautiful present, exemplified by its pre-hispanic, colonial and independent history.
Its defining characteristic is the harmony that can be seen in the location of the city of Campeche between sea and land, the relationship between bastions and buildings, fortresses and squares, the fusion of nature and human creation, and many other aspects.