The Andrew Harper Travel Office offers insight into traveling in Mexico.
Is it safe to visit?
Andrew Harper Travel Office Director Sandi Ferreira visited in August 2010, and reports feeling "completely safe." She hired travel partner Journey Mexico to take her group to Chichen Itzá, and she "never once felt uncomfortable." In fact, Sandi says that she "would go back without fear or hesitation."
Travel Consultant Megan Leininger spent a week in Cancún in January of this year. She enjoyed staying in the heart of the hotel zone, and "even walked around at night." She notes, "There are tourists everywhere, even at midnight!"
The consensus in the Andrew Harper Travel Office is that travel in most of Mexico presents a similar level of risk as does travel to New York or Chicago, for example. Of course, no destination offers 100 percent risk-free travel, and Mexico is no exception. But drug-related violence continues to be limited mostly to border cities, and has had limited effect on tourist areas, most of which are hundreds or even thousands of miles from them.
However small the risk of running into trouble may be, if travelers are unalterably frightened of visiting Mexico, they shouldn't go. It's supposed to be a vacation, after all, and if someone is on edge for the entire visit, the holiday won't be very relaxing.
Are there any routine precautions travelers should take?
We arrange transfers with drivers through our Harper-recommended resorts or our travel partner, Journey Mexico. Hiring a private driver is much safer than taking a taxi. Journey Mexico offers wonderful private sightseeing experiences as well, which it operates with the utmost care and caution. Making use of Harper-recommended hotels and Journey Mexico ensures that any safety risks are negligible.
What are some of your favorite destinations in Mexico?
Loretta Conmey: I would love to go to Las Ventanas al Paraíso in San José del Cabo. It's a beautiful resort in a great location, and it receives so much positive member feedback, I have to see it for myself!
Bonnie Minutillo: In the Riviera Maya, you have easy access not only to Cancún, but also to Playa del Carmen and the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.
Megan Leininger: I love the Four Seasons Punta Mita north of Puerto Vallarta because of the best, most fabulous staff anywhere and the amazing food and spectacular views. I loved Maroma for its authentic Mexico experience. It's romantic, with a great staff and a wonderful spa. But I really loved Las Alamandas in the Costa Alegre area, because it's a true "hideaway." The gardens are magnificent, the staff is so friendly [that] you feel like you're at a private house party, the accommodations are lovely and private, and the food is great! The beach is deserted and rugged, and huge boulders jut out from the water. It's really breathtaking.
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