A South Carolina mother and her friends were kidnapped in Matamoros, Mexico, across the border from Brownsville. It is believed that a drug cartel mistook them for rivals. Traveling in a white van with North Carolina plates, they couldn't have stood out more.

The victims were traveling to Mexico for a medical procedure.

With the high costs of medical care in The United States, Americans are often enticed to get medical procedures in Mexico, despite the risks.

With the Spring Break season underway and summer coming, Mexico is one of the top destinations for U.S. travelers. Still, incidents like the kidnapping lead to one inevitable question.

Is Mexico safe for Americans to visit?

Photo by Victoria Bragg on Unsplash
Photo by Victoria Bragg on Unsplash

Looking at daily headlines here in The United States, I can't help but sometimes wonder if The United States is safe for visitors.

To begin considering this question, it is vital to understand that Mexico is a large and varied country. Like anywhere else, it has shadowy areas and safe areas.

The conventional wisdom concerning American travel in Mexico is that taking proper precautions and researching the city you are traveling to is generally safe.

The United State Department of State issues advisories for travel to Mexico. The summary states: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread in Mexico. The U.S. government cannot provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

The advisory on this page is detailed.

Despite its growing reputation for violence and kidnapping, which is not undeserved, Mexico has more international visitors than any other country in Latin America, with over 32 million visits. According to Travel Solo Mexico, just as you'd avoid the unsafe areas in your city, state, or country, you should also prevent non-safe places to travel in Mexico.

Photo by Carl Campbell on Unsplash
Photo by Carl Campbell on Unsplash

As pointed out earlier, doing your homework before visiting Mexico is essential.

Travel Solo Mexico has a very comprehensive list of relatively safe tourist places to visit in Mexico. It is an excellent place to start researching Mexico if you desire a safe and relaxing tourist experience.

It can also reveal some hidden gems that offer spectacular views, fantastic food, and friendly people that can lead to experiences you will never forget.

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