Mexico Travel Warning

February 10, 2012 on 2:22 pm | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, air travel, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

On February 8, 20122 the United States Department of State issued an extremely detailed Travel Warning for those who might want to visit or live in Mexico. Travel to Mexico appears to be increasingly dangerous for the casual traveler intent on exploring areas outside of recognized tourist zones.

The new travel warning provides maps that show the locations of areas to avoid when traveling in Mexico. Note that the travel warning includes this consideration,
“Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes.”

The new travel warning is a “must read” for anyone considering travel to Mexico. It is quite long, but the detail is very useful. Several of the maps are downloadable, so you can keep them for future reference. Read the full text here.

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Ouch – Travel Troubles Everywhere

October 16, 2011 on 6:57 pm | In Egypt travel, Europe travel, France Travel, Greece Travel, Italy travel, London travel, Mexico travel, Paris Travel, Spain Travel, Travel Safety, UK Travel, air travel, england travel, international travel, new york travel, personal travel, rome travel, strikes and travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel alert Greece, travel new york city, travel warnings | 2 Comments

Where to start?

Two of the largest labor unions in Greece have announced a 48 hour nationwide strike for October 19 and 20. Currently, lawyers are on strike, as are customs officers who are on a ten-day strike. See the Belfast Telegraph for details.

The “Occupy Wall Street has gone international with demonstrations in London, Toronto, Mexico City, Madrid, Rome and other locations. Unfortunately, the demonstrations turned violent in Rome. See this article from CNN for a top level overview of the demonstrations.

In Egypt, reform leaders are criticizing Egypt’s Military leadership, while the friction between the Copts (Christians) and some sects of believers in Islam, continues.

All in all, not a good week for travelers, at least those in the centers of major cities around the world. We are unsure what lies ahead for the demonstrations in Europe and the United States, but urge you to search local news sources to see if the activity might interfere with any travel you have planned. Other hotspots such as Greece and Egypt look to be long term problems that might just wind up with you taking these potential travel destinations off your bucket list, at least for a while.

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Princess Cruises Cancels Puerto Vallarta

June 23, 2011 on 8:38 am | In Mexico travel, Travel Safety, cruise travel, things travelers need to know, travel, travel news | 2 Comments

USA Today and other sources are reporting that Princess Cruises has decided to cancel port calls at Puerto Vallarta for the rest of the year. The reason for the change in schedule is “safety” and Puerto Vallarta now joins Mazatlan on the list of dropped ports in Mexico.

Although the Princess line has de-emphasized cruises of the Mexican Rivera over the past few years, the current action is yet another bad omen for tourism in Mexico. The Mexico Tourism Board is, understandably, unhappy about the situation and its response is outlined in this article from PVNN.

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New Travel Warning for Mexico

April 23, 2011 on 11:11 am | In Mexico travel, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | 1 Comment

The United States Department of State has issued an extremely detailed Travel Warning for those who might want to visit or live in Mexico. It contains the usual note that millions safely visit Mexico each year, as well as the obligatory statement that the Mexican government takes considerable effort to ensure the safety of visitors to Mexico. However, travel to Mexico appears to be increasingly dangerous for the casual traveler, especially those intent on exploring areas outside of tourist zones.

The introduction to the Travel Warning includes this quote: “Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes. Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.

It is imperative that you understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico and how best to avoid dangerous situations. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where criminal activity might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.

The remainder of the Travel Warning contains much more dire information and highlights the areas and problems that tourist visiting sections of Mexico may encounter. As expected, the most dangerous areas for tourists visiting Mexico are along the U.S. Border, specifically in Northern Baja California, Nogales and Northern Sonora, Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila and Zacatecas, Monterrey and Nuevo Leon, as well as Tamaulipas. The Travel Warning also includes a detailed examination of violence in other parts of Mexico.

If you are planning travel to Mexico, be sure and read the Mexico Travel Warning. The full text is available here from the State Department of the United States.

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UCLA Advises Against Spring Break Travel To Mexico

March 22, 2011 on 11:28 am | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

We were surprised to see that UCLA has warned its students against travel in Mexico during spring break . Citing the State Department Travel Warning of last fall (described and linked to in our Blog), increasing drug-related violence and more than one thousand homicides during the first two months of 2011, UCLA recommended that its students avoid visiting Mexico during spring break and, “…anytime soon.”

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Mazatlan Dropped by Disney, Holland America and Princess

January 26, 2011 on 10:12 pm | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, personal travel, things travelers need to know, travel alert, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

Continuing violence in Mazatlan focused on cruise passengers and crew has caused Disney Cruise Lines, Holland America and Princess Cruises to drop the city as a port of call on their Mexican Riviera itineraries. See this article from Fox News for more information.

Mazatlan now joins former gem of the Mexican Riviera Acapulco as ports no longer served by Disney or Holland America, although Princess Cruise still ports at Acapulco. Indeed, many cruise lines are cutting back their cruises to the Mexican Riviera due to concerns about the drug violence in Mexico. Several lines have already relocated or are planning to relocate their cruise ships based in California that service the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

ThereArePlaces provides coverage of Mazatlan and Acapulco in our guide to the Mexican Riviera for those intrepid travelers who insist on visiting. However we note, both here and in our articles on these two cities, that we currently do not recommend tourists visit either city due to concerns about public safety.

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Legionnaire’s Disease at Two Hotels In Cozumel

January 12, 2011 on 5:19 pm | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel and health, travel news, travel warnings | Comments Off

The Centers for Disease Control today issued a news brief regarding an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Regency Club Vacation Resort and Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa (formerly Reef Club Cozumel).

This warning pertains specifically to the above mentioned hotels, not to Cozumel as a whole. There is no generally elevated risk of Legionnaire’s Disease in Cozumel, the Yucatan Peninsula, or other parts of Mexico.

Following is the text of the news brief:

“Situation Information

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease is ongoing at the Regency Club Vacation Resort and Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa (formerly Reef Club Cozumel) on the island of Cozumel, Mexico. Since May 2008, there have been a total of nine confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease among tourists from the United States and the Netherlands who have stayed at this resort. Based on findings from a public health investigation in April 2010, disinfection of the resort’s shared potable water system was recommended. Although measures were taken at the resort to disinfect the water system, in December 2010, CDC was notified of the ninth case associated with the resort, suggesting that there is an ongoing source of exposure.

Recommendations for U.S. Travelers

Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia caused by inhaling aerosolized water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Legionnaires’ disease is not transmitted from person to person. Misty water such as that given off by hot tubs, cooling towers, spray misters, showerheads, and faucets is a common source of Legionella.

Travelers at high risk of infection should consider staying at another resort or should avoid exposures to misty water at the Regency Club Vacation Resort and the Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa, especially showering. High risk groups include:

* Current or former smokers
* People aged 50 or older
* People with any of the following chronic health conditions:
o Diabetes
o Chronic lung disease, such as COPD or emphysema
o Weakened immune system that might be caused by cancer, organ transplant, certain prescription drugs
o Other chronic conditions, such as chronic kidney disease, asthma, heart disease, or liver disease
o Rarely, people without any risk factors develop Legionnaires’ disease after exposure to Legionella.

Symptoms begin 2–14 days after exposure and include high fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Many people also have diarrhea, headaches, or muscle aches. Legionnaires’ disease can be a severe and fatal illness but most persons will recover with appropriate antibiotic treatment. Travelers who develop these symptoms during their trip or in the 2 weeks following their trip should see a doctor. Travelers seeing a doctor in the United States should be sure to tell the doctor that they have traveled to Cozumel and stayed at the Regency Club Vacation Resort or Wyndham Cozumel Resort & Spa in Mexico. A milder illness caused by the same type of Legionella bacteria is called Pontiac fever. The symptoms of Pontiac fever usually last for 2–5 days and may also include fever, headaches, and muscle aches; however, there is no pneumonia. Symptoms of Pontiac fever go away without treatment.

More Information

The Legionella bacteria got its name in 1976 when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion suffered from pneumonia (lung infection). Each year, 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the United States. People get Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with the bacteria.

For more information about Legionella, visit CDC’s Legionellosis Resource Site.

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23 Murders Include 15 Beheaded in Acapulco

January 9, 2011 on 11:49 am | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel, travel alert, travel warnings | Comments Off

Yesterday’s news from Acapulco was that twenty-three people were murdered, including fifteen men who were decapitated. Although the killings did not take place in the tourist zone, the bodies were found next to one of the main roads leading into the tourist zone. This article from AFP provides details

Acapulco is no longer the jewel of Mexico’s Pacific Coast, although it has several attractions that continue to lure some tourists (see ThereArePlaces for details). We do not recommend visiting, but if Acapulco is a destination you are determined to see, be sure to stay inside the tourist zone and avoid wandering the city.

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New Travel Warning for Mexico

September 10, 2010 on 2:10 pm | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, things travelers need to know, travel warnings | Comments Off

The U.S. State Department issued a new version of its August 27th travel warning for Mexico. The only change we could find was that the new warning indicated that “The status of authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros ended on September 10 following the expiration of the maximum 180 day period.” In addition, the warning indicated that children of US workers in the consulate in Monterrey have been removed from Monterrey. Guess that should give you some idea of the problems Monterrey is currently facing.

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Trouble in Puerto Vallarta

August 27, 2010 on 2:55 pm | In Mexico travel, ThereArePlaces.com, Travel Safety, things travelers need to know, travel, travel warnings | Comments Off

August 27, 2010

It may seem like we are beating up on Mexico by releasing three “negative” stories in one afternoon. While the Mexicana Airlines bankruptcy article was conditioned by a news release from the airline, the other two articles represent the U.S. State Department’s concern over the deteriorating travel conditions in Mexico. We suspect that the Puerto Vallarta story below helped speed the general warning on travel in Mexico that was published today. In any event, we publish our blog articles to provide data that might help you can make informed travel decisons. Our publishing schedule is driven by our discovery of travel news, not by malice.

The U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara released the following Warden message on August 26, 2010:

“Yesterday, August 25, 2010, at approximately midnight, a hand grenade went off at a bar popular with locals in a residential area near, but outside of the main tourist district of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Information indicates this incident might be related to local drug rivalries. Several persons are reported to have serious injuries. Similar events in the past have been quickly followed by retaliatory events.”

“In reference to that warden message, the Consulate General now has specific, credible information that the subject locations of retaliation in Puerto Vallarta may be either La Vaquita Grill located at Lazaro Cardenas #567, 48290. El Pitillal, Puerto Vallarta, or the Mandala near the corner of Central and Margarita Maza de Juarez. ”

“The Consulate General strongly encourages U.S. residents and travelers Mexico to refer to the personal safety practices contained in the Travel Warning for Mexico dated July 16. Security updates are also available on the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City’s website at http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_MexicoSecurityUpdate.html.”

“For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).”

“The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara is located at 175 Progreso Street; Col. Americana, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara’s telephone number is 011 52 33 3268 2100; the fax number is 011 52 33 3825 1951. For after-hours emergencies, please call 011 52 33 3268 2145.”

“The U.S. Consular Agency in Puerto Vallarta is located at: Paseo de los Cocoteros No.85 Sur, Paradise Plaza, Interior Local L-7, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit. Paseo de los Cocoteros #85; Sur Paradise Plaza, Interior Local L-7, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit. The U.S. Consular Agency in Puerto Vallarta’s telephone numbers are 011 52 322 222 0069 & 011 52 322 223 3301; the fax number is 011 52 322 223 0074. For after-hours emergencies, please call 011 52 33 3268 2145.”

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