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US issues travel warning for mega-popular spring break tourist spots

by Staff

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico have issued a travel warning ahead of the busy spring break tourist season.

The message warns about a variety of safety threats in the country, especially threats from violent crime in popular destinations such as Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum. The State Department’s Travel Advisories for Mexico currently range from “do not travel” for places such as Colima, Guerrero and Michoacan to exercising normal precautions for Campeche and Yucatan.

Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, is under the “exercise increased caution” areas due to crime.

“Crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations.  Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations,” the Spring Break warning noted.

READ MORE: US warning tourists to avoid popular travel destination after 18 murders this month

The other warnings covered:

  • Drug possession and use – Drug possession and use, including medical marijuana, is illegal in Mexico and can result in jail. Also, some travelers have become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or tainted prescription pills.
  • Alcohol – Unregulated alcohol can be contaminated. Pharmaceuticals – Counterfeit medication is common in Mexico and can be ineffective or contain dangerous ingredients.
  • Sexual assault – U.S. citizens have reported rape and sexual assault. Drunk or people by themselves can be targets and some cases involve drugs being used to alter the victim’s physical or mental state.
  • Drownings – Beware of strong undercurrents and rip tides. Also, beaches may lack lifeguards, warnings or signs to alert swimmers of unsafe conditions.
  • Medical emergencies – Private hospital prices can be higher in Mexico than in the U.S. and some require payment – possibly only in cash – before providing treatment or discharging a patient.
  • Guns and ammunition –  All guns and even small amounts of ammunition are illegal in Mexico.

Travelers are advised to stay with a group of friends in clubs and bars, while walking home or in a taxi at night. People should also monitor their credit or debit cards for unauthorized transactions.

You can go here for a complete list of safety recommendations.

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