The stark language of the State Department’s Mexico Travel Warning, combined with media reports on the country’s battle with the drug trade, are enough to unnerve even the most intrepid traveler. Clearly, Mexico is not a place to take unnecessary risks. But visitors are extremely unlikely to encounter problems in places where I recommend hotels. In fact, the Travel Warning does not apply to most areas of interest. During our recent trip, we did not feel unsafe, even walking around cities after dark. There were too many families and couples out enjoying themselves. That said, the State Department does warn against travel in rural Michoacán, including Lake Pátzcuaro, and I can’t recommend ignoring this advice as we did.
This article appeared in the November 2014 print edition of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report under the headline “Safety Concerns.”