Mexico Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
July 12, 2021

Mexico - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

O K E N H U T C

Reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19.

See state summaries and advisory levels below for information on your specific travel destination. Some areas of Mexico have increased risk of crime and kidnapping.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mexico.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. 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 certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

Restrictions on U.S. government travel: 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 app-based services like Uber, and 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, between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas.

Read the country information page.

Do Not Travel To:

Reconsider Travel To:

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Review the U.S. Embassy's webpage on COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s web page on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
  • 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.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts, which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Aguascalientes state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common.  Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:

  • Mexicali Valley: U.S. government employees should avoid the Mexicali Valley due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions. The boundaries of the restricted area are: to the east, the Baja California/Arizona and Baja California/Sonora borders; to the south, from La Ventana (on Highway 5) due east to the Colorado River; to the west, Highway 5; and to the north, Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas/Highway 92/Highway 1 to Carretera Aeropuerto, from the intersection of Highway 1 and Carretera Aeropuerto due north to the Baja California/California border, and from that point eastward along the Baja California/California border.
  • Travelers may use Highways 2 and 2D to transit between Mexicali, Los Algodones, and San Luis Rio Colorado during daylight hours. Travelers may also use Highways 1 and 8 to transit to and from the Mexicali Airport during daylight hours. Travel on Highway 5 is permissible during daylight hours.

There are no other travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in the state of Baja California. These include high-traffic tourism areas of border and coastal communities, such as Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarito.

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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 – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

Chiapas state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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 – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common. The majority of homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.  Battles for territory between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees, including restaurants and malls during daylight hours.  Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez: U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juarez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ochampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.

Direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport (officially called Abraham Gonzalez International Airport) and the factories located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted. Travel to San Jeronimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa U.S. Port of Entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.

U.S. government employees may only travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Federal Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Federal Police station, the Umbral del Milenio overlook area, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Federal Highway 45 in the town of Villa Ahumada.

  • Chihuahua City:  U.S. government employees may travel at any time to the area of Chihuahua City bounded to the north by Avenida Transformación; to the east by Avenida Tecnológico/Manuel Gómez Morin; to the west by the city boundary; and to the south by Route 16/Calle Tamborel.

  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime): U.S. government employees may only travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States, entering Mexico at the Palomas U.S. Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Federal Highway 2, and subsequently Federal Highway 10, to Nuevo Casas Grandes. Employees are permitted to stay overnight in the cities of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes only.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 and enter through the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas.

  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the U.S. Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Chihuahua, including Copper Canyon.

Coahuila state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Coahuila state.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel 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 curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. in both cities.
  • Federal Highway 40 and areas south within Coahuila state: This area includes the metropolitan areas of Saltillo and Torreon.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Coahuila state.

Colima state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Tecoman: U.S. government employees may not travel to Tecoman.
  • Colima/Michoacan border: U.S. government employees may not travel within 20 km of the Colima/Michoacan border.

  • Highway 110: U.S. government employees may not travel on Highway 110 from the town of La Tecomaca to the Jalisco border.

  • Manzanillo: U.S. government employees may visit the tourist and port areas only; all other areas are prohibited. Employees may travel on Federal Toll Road 54D between Guadalajara and Manzanillo.

Durango state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

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

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • West and south of Federal Highway 45: U.S. government employees may not travel to this region of Durango.

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

Guanajuato state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state. Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence.   

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Areas south of Federal Highway 45D: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area south of and including Federal Highway 45D, Celaya, Salamanca, and Irapuato.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees, including to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, and surrounding areas.

Guerrero state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread. 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. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

  • Taxco: U.S. government employees must utilize Federal Highway 95D that passes through Cuernavaca, Morelos, and stay within downtown tourist areas. Employees may visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park during the day with a licensed tour operator.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Guerrero, including AcapulcoZihuatanejo, and Ixtapa.

Hidalgo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Jalisco state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Jalisco-Michoacan border: U.S. government employees may not travel within 12 miles of the Jalisco-Michoacan border.

  • Federal Highway 80: U.S. government employees may not travel on Federal Highway 80 south of Cocula.

  • State Highway 544: U.S. government employees may not travel on State Highway 544 between Mascota and San Sebastian del Oeste.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Puerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit), Chapala, and Ajijic.

Mexico City – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely. Petty crime occurs frequently in both tourist and non-tourist areas. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

Mexico state (Estado de Mexico) – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Both violent and non-violent crime are common throughout Mexico state. Use caution in areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

Michoacan state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

  • Federal Highway 15D:  U.S. government employees may travel on Federal Highway 15D to transit the state between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Morelia: U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Federal Highways 43 or 48D from Federal Highway 15D.
  • Lazaro Cardenas: U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Michoacan, including the portions of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve located in Michoacan.

Morelos state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

Nayarit state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common near the border with Sinaloa.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Tepic and San Blas: U.S. government employees may not travel to Tepic or San Blas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to other parts of Nayarit, including tourist areas in: Riviera Nayarit (including Nuevo Vallarta, Punta MitaSayulita, and Bahia de Banderas), and Santa Maria del Oro.

Nuevo Leon state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

Oaxaca state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Isthmus region: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Oaxaca bounded by Federal Highway 185D to the west, Federal Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca-Chiapas border to the east. This includes the cities of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.

  • Federal Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa: U.S. government employees may not utilize Federal Highway 200 between Pinotepa and the Oaxaca-Guerrero border.

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

Puebla state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

Queretaro state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Quintana Roo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: CancunCozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del CarmenTulum, and the Riviera Maya.


San Luis Potosi state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Sinaloa state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime is widespread.  Criminal organizations are based in and operating in Sinaloa. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

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

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel to Mazatlan by air or sea only, are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport and sea terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo: U.S. government employees may travel to Los Mochis and Topolobampo by air or sea only, are restricted to the city and the port, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Sinaloa.

Sonora state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Travel between Hermosillo and Nogales: U.S. government employees may travel between the U.S. Ports of Entry in Nogales and Hermosillo during daylight hours via Federal Highway 15 only.

  • Puerto Peñasco: U.S. government employees may travel between Puerto Peñasco and the Lukeville-Sonoyta U.S. Port of Entry during daylight hours via Federal Highway 8 only.

  • San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta: U.S. government employees may travel directly from the nearest U.S. Port of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta but may not go beyond the city limits.

  • Triangular region near Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry: U.S. government employees may not travel to the triangular region west of the Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar municipality.

  • Nogales: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area north of Avenida Tecnologico, west of Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio (Periferico), and east of Federal Highway 15D (Corredor Fiscal) and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles. U.S. government employees may not use taxi services in Nogales.

  • Eastern and southern Sonora (including San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos): U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16.

U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Federal Highway 15 (south of Hermosillo), as well as all points south of Guaymas, including Empalme, Guaymas, Obregon, and Navojoa.

U.S. government employees may travel to San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos; travel to Alamos is only permitted by air and within city limits.

Tabasco state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Tamaulipas state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria. Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo. In these areas, local law enforcement has limited capacity to respond to incidents of crime. Law enforcement capacity is greater in the tri-city area of Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira, which has a lower rate of violent criminal activity compared to the rest of the state.

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

  • Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros: U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius around and between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, their homes, the respective U.S. Ports of Entry, and limited downtown sites. U.S. government employees must observe a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

  • Overland travel in Tamaulipas: U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways. Travel between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey is limited to Federal Highway 85D during daylight hours with prior authorization.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Tamaulipas.

Tlaxcala state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

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

Veracruz state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity occur with increasing frequency in Veracruz, particularly in the center and south near Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos. While most gang-related violence is targeted, violence perpetrated by criminal organizations can affect bystanders. Impromptu roadblocks requiring payment to pass are common.

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

Yucatan state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

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

Zacatecas state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are common in parts of Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Western Zacatecas: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Zacatecas south of Federal Highway 45 and west of Federal Highway 23.

  • Fresnillo: U.S. government employees may not travel to the municipality of Fresnillo, although employees may transit Federal Highways 45 and 23 through Fresnillo without stopping.

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

Last Update: Reissued with updates to Baja California state

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Ciudad de Mexico
Mexico
Telephone
+52-55-5080-2000
Emergency
U.S. Citizen Services: (From Mexico) 1-800-681-9374 (From the United States) 1-844-528-6611
Fax
+52-55-5080-2005

Mexico Map