Travel Advisories

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Travel Advisories

Mexico Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
July 16, 2018
Mexico - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
O E N H U T C

Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico as U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to these areas.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. government employees are also not permitted to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico with the exception of daytime travel on Highway 15 between Nogales and Hermosillo.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

Do not travel to:

  • Colima state due to crime.
  • Guerrero state due to crime.
  • Michoacán state due to crime.
  • Sinaloa state due to crime.
  • Tamaulipas state due to crime.

For all other states in Mexico, please see detailed information below.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving at night.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Aguascalientes state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling between cities at night. Additionally, U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Aguascalientes.

Baja California state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.

Due to poor cellular service and hazardous road conditions, U.S. government employees are only permitted to travel on “La Rumorosa” between Mexicali and Tijuana on the toll road during daylight.

There are no U.S. government restrictions in tourist areas in Baja California, which includes: Ensenada, Rosarito, and Tijuana.

Baja California Sur state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents. 

There are no U.S. government restrictions for travel in Baja California Sur, which includes the tourist areas of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Campeche state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited outside of the state capital.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Chiapas state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

U.S. government employees are encouraged to remain in tourist areas and are not permitted to use public transportation. U.S. government employees are permitted to drive during daylight only.

There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees in tourist areas in Chiapas state, such as: Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, and Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Chihuahua state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are widespread.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez: Due to an increase in homicides throughout Ciudad Juarez, U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to downtown Ciudad Juarez and the area west of Avenida de Las Americas without advance permission. U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel after dark west of Eje Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.
  • Within the city of Chihuahua: U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas port-of-entry.
  • Palomas and the Nuevo Casas Grandes/Paquime region: U.S. government employees must use U.S. Highway 11 through the Columbus, New Mexico port-of- entry.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes: U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel outside city limits after dark.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Coahuila state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime is widespread. Local law enforcement has limited capability to prevent and respond to crime, particularly in the northern part of the state.

U.S. government employees are not permitted to travel in Coahuila state, with the exception of Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente. U.S. government employees can only travel to those cities using the most direct routes and maximizing the use of toll highways. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government employees must remain within Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, or Parras de la Fuente.

U.S. government employees are permitted to travel to Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuna but they must travel to these cities from the United States only.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Coahuila.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Colima state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are widespread.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to Tecoman or within 12 miles of the Colima-Michoacán border and on Route 110 between La Tecomaca and the Jalisco border. 

There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees travel along Route 200 from the Jalisco border to Manzanillo, including the Manzanillo airport.  There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for stays in Manzanillo from Marina Puerto Santiago to Playa las Brisas.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Colima.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Durango state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity along the highways are common.

U.S. government employees may travel outside the city of Durango only during daylight on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government employees must remain within Durango city.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Durango.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Estado de Mexico state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime is common in parts of Estado de Mexico.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the following municipalities, unless they are traveling directly through the municipalities on major thoroughfares:

  • Coacalco
  • Ecatepec
  • Nezahualcoyotl
  • La Paz
  • Valle del Chalco
  • Solidaridad
  • Chalco
  • Ixtapaluca
  • Tlatlaya

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel on any roads between Morelos, Huitzilac, and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Guanajuato state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Guerrero state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Hidalgo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Jalisco state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to areas bordering Michoacán and Zacatecas states. U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling between cities after dark and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta.

U.S. government employees may use federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City. However, they may not stop in the towns of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Jalisco.

There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for stays in the following tourist areas in Jalisco state: Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Chapala, and Ajijic.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Mexico City – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Michoacán state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime. U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel in Michoacán state, with the exception of Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas cities and the area north of federal toll road 15D.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel by land, except on federal toll road 15D.

U.S. government employees may fly into Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Morelos state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel on any roads from Huitzilac to Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nayarit state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Nayarit state.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel in most areas of the state, with the following exceptions:

  • Riviera Nayarit (which includes Nuevo Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas)
  • Santa Maria del Oro
  • Xalisco

When traveling to permitted areas above, U.S. government employees must use major highways and cannot travel between cities after dark.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Nayarit.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Nuevo Leon state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Nuevo Leon state.

U.S. government employees may travel outside Monterrey only during daylight on toll roads, with the exception of travel to the Monterrey airport, which is permitted at any time.

U.S. government employees must remain within San Pedro Garza Garcia or Santa Catarina (south of the Santa Catarina river) municipalities between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Nuevo Leon.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Oaxaca state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

In Oaxaca, U.S. government employees are encouraged to remain in tourist areas and are not permitted to use public transportation.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas.

Puebla state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Queretaro state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Quintana Roo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred.

There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in Quintana Roo state, which includes tourist areas such as: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.

San Luis Potosi state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of San Luis Potosi state.

U.S. government employees may travel outside San Luis Potosi city only during daylight hours on toll roads. U.S. government employees must remain within San Luis Potosi city between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in San Luis Potosi.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sinaloa state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime. Violent crime is widespread. Criminal organizations are based and operating in Sinaloa state.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel in most areas of the state. In areas where travel is permitted, the following restrictions are in place:

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government travel is permitted only in Zona Dorada, the historic town center, and direct routes to and from these locations and the airport or the cruise ship terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Port Topolobampo: U.S. government travel is permitted within the city and the port, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Sonora state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. However, northern Sonora experiences much lower levels of crime than cities closer to Sinaloa and other parts of Mexico. U.S. government employees visiting Puerto Peñasco may use the Lukeville/Sonoyta crossing, and are required to travel during daylight hours on Route 8. U.S. government employees may also travel to Puerto Peñasco from Nogales by using Route 15 south and east via Routes 2 and 37 through Caborca during daylight hours. U.S. government employees may travel between the cities of Nogales and Hemosillo, however, travel is restricted to daylight hours and only on Route 15 through Imuris, Magdalena, and Santa Ana.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from travel to:

  • The triangular region west of the Mariposa port-of-entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar.
  • The district within Nogales that lies to the north of Ayenida Instituto Tecnologico and between Periferico and Corredor Fiscal, and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles. U.S. government employees are not permitted to use taxi services in Nogales, but bus travel is permitted. Movement around the city after dark is by vehicle only. U.S. government employees should avoid El Centro and all night clubs after 10:00 p.m.
  • The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and state Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).
  • South of Hermosillo, with the exception of the cities of Alamos, San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme.

Travel of U.S. government employees to the following cities is permitted with the noted restrictions:

  • San Luis Rio Colorado: U.S. government employees must travel during daylight hours through the San Luis, Arizona port-of-entry and may not travel beyond the city limits.
  • Cananea: U.S. government employees must travel during daylight hours through the Naco, Arizona port-of-entry and along Route 2 to Cananea, including the Cananea mine, and may not travel beyond the city limits. 
  • Agua Prieta: U.S. government employees must travel during daylight hours through the Douglas, Arizona port-of-entry and may not travel beyond the city limits.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Tabasco state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Tamaulipas state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime. Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common. Gang activity, including gun battles, is widespread. Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments. Local law enforcement has limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state.

U.S. government employees are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Tamaulipas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Tlaxcala state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no travel restrictions on U.S. government employees.

Veracruz state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

U.S. government employees are encouraged to remain in tourist areas and are not permitted to use public transportation. U.S. government employees are permitted to drive during daylight only.

Yucatan state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited outside of the state capital.

There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in Yucatan state, which includes tourist areas such as: Chichen Itza, Merida, Uxmal, and Valladolid.

Zacatecas state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime. Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Zacatecas state.

U.S. government employees may travel outside Zacatecas city only during daylight hours on toll roads. U.S. government employees must remain within Zacatecas city between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

U.S. government employees are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in Zacatecas.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.
06500
Telephone
011-52-55-5080-2000
Emergency
American Citizen Services: 01 800 681 9374 (toll free in Mexico) / 81 4160 5512 (from within Mexico) / 844 528 6611 (toll free in the U.S.)
Fax
011-52-55-5080-2201
Mexico Map