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The US State Department is currently advising against travel to six states in Mexico, giving them a Level Four – Do Not Travel travel advisory.
A Level Three warning – Reconsider Travel has been issued for an additional seven states in Mexico.
These travel advisories may give Americans pause when considering whether or not to plan a trip to Mexico.
But should Americans be concerned about these travel warnings and avoid traveling to Mexico?
Here’s what you need to know about the current travel advisories for Mexico:
“Do Not Travel” Advice for Mexico
It is important to note that a Level Four – Do Not Travel alert is not a travel restriction. It means that the US State Department strongly advises against traveling to a specific destination.
However, Americans are still free to travel to these places.
Currently, the US State Department recommends avoiding all travel to six Mexican states: Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
While there are certainly areas in every state that Americans would want to avoid, these are places that tourists wouldn’t visit in the first place.
Applying a broad “Do Not Travel” warning to entire states ignores the fact that there are many places within these states that are very safe and offer a lot of tourism value.
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Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism has even asked the US State Department to rethink how travel advisories are implemented.
For example, while the entire state of Sinaloa is designated Level Four – Do Not Travel “due to threats of crime and kidnapping”, there are some places in Sinaloa, like Mazatlán, that are very safe and beautiful.
Similarly, Acapulco and Zihuatanejo in Guerrero, the monarch butterfly reserve in Michoacán, and the city of Colima in Colima are safe for tourists to visit.
“Review Travel” Advisors For Mexico
Like the Level Four – Do Not Travel alerts, the Level Three Travel alert from the US State Department is not a restriction, but a recommendation to avoid unnecessary travel to certain locations.
In Mexico, seven states currently fall under a “Review Travel” alert, including several states that are popular with tourists, such as Baja California and Guanajuato.
If American travelers were to “rethink travel” to these places, they might miss the stunning beauty of the colorful city of Guanajuato or the stunning beaches of Cabo, recently ranked as the best destination in Mexico.
In fact, research also shows that Cabo is one of the safest destinations in all of Mexico.
Once again, these travel advisors lack nuance and are overly cautious about destinations that are completely safe for tourists to visit.
Should Americans Worry About US Travel Alerts For Mexico?
According to Kashlee Kucheran, founder of Travel Off Path and longtime Mexican expat, the answer is:
“I think the United States Department of State unfairly placed a Level Four – Do Not Travel advisory on the entire situation in Sinaloa, including the tourist city of Mazatlán, which does not deserve such a severe warning.
I have lived in Mazatlán for four years now, and I personally feel much safer here than I do in most of the United States. Crime in general, but especially against tourists, in Mazatlán is almost non-existent. The people here are extremely polite, welcoming to foreigners, and very interested in a peaceful, happy life.”
While it is always important to be careful and take basic safety precautions when traveling in Mexico or anywhere else in the world, Americans should not be afraid to visit worthwhile destinations just because of warnings US State Department travel.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com