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Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
7 posts
29 reviews
Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

My wife and I are thinking about places to go for our anniversary next year and we haven't been to Mexico before. We tend to not like overly touristy areas and we're a bit ambivalent towards the resort experience. That said, we would also like to go somewhere that is relatively inexpensive to fly to and get around in. And then lastly, we want to be somewhere that is safe to mix in with the locals when desired or if we decide to rent a car and explore the area as well. We did this in the Dominican Republic and the impoverished nature of country had us swarmed by locals anywhere we went and you couldn't trust anyone either.

Anyways, I know that's a lot of criteria but I wasn't sure if going somewhere like Cabo, but then staying somewhere off the beaten path might work for us? Or if there are other communities nearby people would recommend like La Paz or even further north on the Pacific coast. Open to any and all suggestions anywhere in Mexico or even the Caribbean. Thanks!

12 replies to this topic
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Level Contributor
7 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Oh, and we would be flying out of Indianapolis airport. Many of the flights to Mexico's largest destination cities are pretty inexpensive. Flying to the Caribbean is also fairly cheap to some destinations but more expensive if you're going to some of the more secluded islands to the east or south.

Baja California...
Level Contributor
617 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

san felipe

Baja California...
Level Contributor
617 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

best thing to do is to have a guide in my opinion and experience

Mexicali, Mexico
Level Contributor
461 posts
113 reviews
4. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Mexico is a large and diverse country so it would help to know a bit more about your interests. Are you more interested in nature, history, culture, or just a time to relax? You say you don't care for overly touristy areas - and, of course, there are places that have been developed for the sole purpose of separating tourists from their money - but know that some places attract tourists because they are just incredibly interesting. What time of year will you be visiting and how long do you plan to stay? For a stay of a week or less, I'd pick one spot - with, perhaps, some short excursions into the surrounding area. If you're planning on a couple weeks or more you can see a variety of sites. I wouldn't recommend renting a car but there are very nice air-conditioned buses that can take you to just about any place in the country. Please fill in some of the blanks and I (and other ta members) will be happy to help you plan your anniversary trip. Meanwhile, you may want to take a look at some of my favorite places. For natural beauty, Copper Canyon in Chihuahua and Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas. For archeology, Chichen Itza in Yucatan (but accessible from Cancun) and Palenque in Chiapas. For colonial history, Puebla is my favorite but you can find historical sites all over the country. For beaches, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
2,725 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

if you do not want to be in the touristy places -

I recommend Mexico City and Guanajuato, San Miguel OR, Mexico City Puebla and Oaxaca.

these are quite safe, wonderful cities , experiences in history culture architecture , food, etc.. and you will feel more like a local.

additionally the cities are relatively wealthy. thus you will not be chased around by impoverished people hoping to get a dollar from you. ( not that there's anything wrong with people trying to get money - this will not be the case in the cities that I mentioned)

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Tijuana, Anaheim
Level Contributor
4,384 posts
10 reviews
6. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

I don't think you're going to find what you want in Cabo San Lucas or San José del Cabo. Baja is a very different place than the rest of Mexico—it is thinly settled and the road that runs from the border to Cabo wasn't even finished until the 1970s, and not consistently paved the whole way until about 20 years ago.

If you're flying from Indianapolis, my suggestion would be to fly to Mexico City and spend a couple of days. From there you can either take a bus to anywhere you like (Mexican intercity buses are seriously nice) or fly on Volaris or Interjet from the airport for cheap.

DYNAMISTO's suggestions are good. San Miguel de Allende is very touristy but still feels very much like "real Mexico". Puebla and Oaxaca are absolutely just steeped in culture; you could easily spend two weeks in Oaxaca and never scratch the surface.

I would avoid Acapulco, areas in the north of Jalisco (but Guadalajara and the tequila regions are fine), and the state of Tamaulipas, as well as the city of Ciudad Juárez.

Level Contributor
64 posts
1 review
7. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Your question is the equivalent of "Where in the U.S. should I travel to?" with little more than the opinion that it shouldn't be touristy. Frankly from your posts and comments about the D.R., you don't strike me as intrepid travelers, but typical tourists. Touristy places are "touristy" (and more expensive) for a reason, one of them being the conveniences most tourists insist upon. Hence, Baja (especially Cabo) has almost anything you could want from back home and all the conveniences ... at all the same or higher prices. Less touristy places don't exist to cater to you and, thus, tend to mean you're having to put up with inconveniences (like poorer people harassing you to earn money to survive).

My suggestion would be to for you to figure out the priorities of what you want to do and/or see on your trip, accept them and look for destinations which will meet your needs (thankfully, Mexico is extraordinarily diverse and can satisfy almost any traveler except the really unrealistic and demanding ones, who'll be pleased by nothing anyone offers or does). But based on what you write, I'd suggest you stick to the areas you claim you don't want to be in: touristy places. You can very easily go to the Mexican Riviera (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen; Cozumel, etc.) and move to a hotel two blocks away and avoid all the Americans and Canadians you want to, but still be close to the action and be able to take side excursions to other sites for a wonderful experience. That's the wonderful thing about Mexico: you can be surrounded by tourists but have nothing to do with any of them, if you don't want to.

Edited: 11 October 2017, 03:06
Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
Level Contributor
4,520 posts
134 reviews
8. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

I'll pile on to the already suggested Mexico City. Stay in the Zona Historica and you can easily get to great restaurants by safely walking and sightseeing as you go. The Anthropological Museum has been classed as one of the top 10 museums in the world. The Palace of Fine Arts is a beautiful building with a Tiffany glass stage curtain--yes, really, a glass stage curtain (you have to wonder what it weighs). There are the pyramids... The list goes on.

Sydney, Australia
2 posts
1 review
9. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Hi there, I'm planning to spend a couple of nights in and around Ensenada and Acapulco in May next year. I'd be coming across the boarder from San Diego. Can I get some advise from those who have done it as to the best way to travel around as I think we will need to leave our car in San Diego.

- Whats the best way in and out. I've been to Tijuana but went through on a day bus tour, this time we want to go in and travel down the coast

- Do you recommend hiring a car from Tijuana or such for the drive down and back.?

- Where would you recommend staying tha'ts on the coast and doesn't cost and arm and a leg?

- Did you find it expensive?

- Any safety concerns?

- Any helpful tips once I leave the USA for a few night stay would be a great help.

Edited: 16 October 2018, 15:53
San Diego...
Level Contributor
1,266 posts
20 reviews
10. Re: Safe Places to Travel and Explore in Mexico

Well for ensenada i will take the the abc bus which is about 11 or 12 or and uber to ensenada is around 70 dollars.its about an hour n half ride to ensenada.. To Acapulco i would go back to Tijuana and fly from there..

As for hotel i would look at the tripadvisor reviews and read like the last 4 or 5 recent reviews . unless i know the area or been to the hotel .. I usually go to hotels rated 4 out 5 by people .most hotels in ensenada are not that much..

As for safety in ensenada i find it very safe..just from my experience being there a few times.. I have not been to Acapulco but i would go on that forum and read there post about how safe it is im sure there were people asking that same question..i can not say id its safe or not cause i have nit been there i only can say from cmy experience from places i been.

Edited: 17 October 2018, 00:31
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