Mexico Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
November 15, 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 travel by U.S. government employees to these areas is prohibited or significantly restricted.

U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including from app-based services like Uber, or those from regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico with the exception of daytime travel within Baja California, and between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D.

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 detailed information on all states in Mexico, please see below.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • 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.

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

Baja California state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and 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 may only travel on Highway 2D between Mexicali and Tijuana via “La Rumorosa” during daylight hours.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California, which includes tourist areas in: 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 a primary concern throughout the state. While most homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and 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 restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Campeche state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

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

Chiapas state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state, which includes tourist areas in: 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. While most homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and 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. 

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

  • Ciudad Juarez: U.S. government employees require prior approval to travel to the downtown area (i.e., the area south of Calle Malecon, west of Calle 5 de Mayo, north of Calle 18 de Marzo, and east of Avenida Francisco Villa). They may access the Paso del Norte (Santa Fe) Bridge, the Bridge of the Americas, and the Stanton Street Bridge via the border highways only. They must access the San Geronimo Port of Entry through the United States or the Anapra-San Geronimo Highway in Mexico. U.S. government employees require prior approval to travel after dark to areas east of Bulevar Independencia. They must travel to and from the airport after dark via Mexico Highway 45, using the most direct route north of Bulevar Zaragoza to access the highway.
  • Chihuahua City: U.S. government employees must travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Highway 45, stopping only at the shops at Highway 45/Miguel Ahumada in the town of Villa Ahumada. They may not travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts of Chihuahua.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grades, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime): U.S. government employees must travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States. U.S. government employees should enter Mexico at the Palomas Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Highway 2 to Nuevo Casas Grandes.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas Port of Entry. U.S. government employees may visit the city during daylight hours only.
  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the Palomas Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Coahuila state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Coahuila state.

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

  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña: U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a midnight to 6:00 a.m. curfew in both cities.
  • Highway 40 and areas south

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.

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

  • Colima City: U.S. government employees must travel on toll road 54D to reach Colima City from Guadalajara.
  • Manzanillo: U.S. government employees may travel by air or on route 200 from the Jalisco border. U.S. government employees are limited to the tourist and port areas between Marina Puerto Santiago and Playa las Brisas.

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 are common in parts of Durango state.

U.S. government employees may not travel to the area west and south of Highway 45 and the city of Gomez Palacio.

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

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Estado de Mexico state – Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Both violent and non-violent crime is prevalent in the Estado de Mexico. Mexican government statistics indicate criminal incidents in the Estado de Mexico occur at a significantly higher rate than much of the rest of Mexico. Pay particular caution to areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well.

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

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Guanajuato state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

The majority of gang-related violence occurs in the south of the state, near the border with Michoacán, and is often linked to the widespread theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers.

There are no restrictions on travel for 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 may not travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa, and Taxco.

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 restrictions on travel for 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. In metropolitan Guadalajara, turf battles between criminal groups are taking place in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders.

U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • Within 20 km (12 miles) of the Jalisco/Michoacán border, south of Route 120
  • Highway 80 south of Cocula
  • Highway 544 from Mascota to San Sebastian del Oeste

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Riviera Nayarit (including 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.

Both violent and non-violent crime is prevalent in Mexico City. Mexican government statistics indicate criminal incidents in the capital city occur at a significantly higher rate than much of the rest of Mexico. Pay particular caution to areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well. Neighborhoods such as Tepito and Guerrero warrant additional vigilance, especially at night.

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

Michoacán state – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime.

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

  • Highway 15D: U.S. government employees may travel on federal toll road (cuota) Highway 15D and to those parts of Michoacán north of Highway 15D and can utilize Highway 15D to transit between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Lazaro Cardenas: U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.
  • Morelia: U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Highway 15D to Highway 45D that leads directly to Morelia.

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.

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

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 may not travel to:

  • Tepic
  • San Blas

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Riviera Nayarit (including Nuevo Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas) and Santa Maria del Oro.

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 in Monterrey must stay within the San Pedro Garza Garcia municipality, south of the Santa Catarina River, between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., except for direct travel to and from the airport.

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

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Oaxaca state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

U.S. government employees may not travel to:

  • Isthmus region of Oaxaca, defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/ Chiapas border to the east. This includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.
  • Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in: Oaxaca City, Monte Alban, Puerto Escondido, and Huatulco.

Puebla state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Gang-related violence is often linked to the widespread theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers.

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

Queretaro state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

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

Quintana Roo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and 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 restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: 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.

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

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.

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

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must use direct routes when traveling to and from those locations and the airport and cruise terminals.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo: U.S. government employees may travel by air or sea only. U.S. government employees are restricted to the city and the port, and must use direct routes when traveling between these locations and to and from 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 may not 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 Avenida Instituto Tecnologico and between Periferico (Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio) and Corredor Fiscal (Federal Highway 15D), and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles.
  • 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).
  • All points south of Hermosillo (south of Highways 100 to the west and 20 to the east) including San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme.

In addition, U.S. government employees may not use taxi services in Nogales.

U.S. government employees may travel between the Nogales border crossing points of DeConcini and Mariposa in Nogales to and from the Hermosillo Consulate during the day only on Highway 15D. U.S. government employees may stop in the towns of Santa Ana and Imuris and at restaurant/restroom facilities located along the highway.

U.S. government employees may travel to Puerto Peñasco via the Lukeville/Sonoyta crossing during daylight hours on Federal Highway 8, or by using Federal Highway 15 south from Nogales and east via Federal Highway 2 and State Highway 37 through Caborca during daylight hours. U.S. government employees may also travel directly from the nearest U.S. Ports of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta, but may not go 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 travel for 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 and blockades, is widespread. Armed criminal groups target public and private passenger buses as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments. Federal and state security forces have limited capability to respond to violence in many parts of the state.

U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros and their respective U.S. Ports of Entry. U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways and they must observe a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m. in the cities of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo.

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 travel for U.S. government employees.

Veracruz state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

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

Yucatan state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which includes tourist areas in: 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.

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

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