UK holidaymakers told 'always remain aware' in new alert on travel to Mexico

People on Caleta beach in Acapulco, Mexico
-Credit: (Image: Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

The Foreign Office has issued a new travel alert to UK holidaymakers planning to go to Mexico. It says crime in the country can pose a risk for visitors, particularly in major cities and tourist resorts.

Some 1.3 million Brits go to Mexico every year for the year-round tropical weather, beautiful beaches, water parks, vibrant nightlife and to see the mysterious ancient ruins of the Mayans and Aztecs. But the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advises against all but essential travel to 11 different states in Mexico, namely Baja California, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Colima, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.

It has now issued updated guidance on the threat of kidnapping as of June 10, following a wave of abductions earlier this year. The FCDO says that although tourists are not usually targeted for this sort of crime, people visiting the country must be vigilant - you are advised to research your destination thoroughly, only travel in daylight if possible, and inform trusted contacts of your plans.


The FCDO said: "Kidnapping is more common in some areas of Mexico than others. While tourists are not usually targeted, you should always remain aware of your surroundings." It details the specific regional risks on the Government website.

It added: "Short-term opportunistic kidnapping (called express kidnapping) can happen, particularly in urban areas. Victims are forced to withdraw money from credit or debit cards at a cash point to secure their release. Longer-term kidnapping for financial gain also happens, and there have been allegations of police officers being involved.

"You should remain alert at all times and avoid travelling in higher-risk areas, especially at night. Be discreet about discussing your financial or business affairs in places where you may be overheard by others."

Cancun is among the most popular resorts but there have been several clashes between rival criminal gangs in the city and surrounding areas. While tourists have not been the target, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected, the FCDO says.

It advised: "Exercise increased caution after dark in downtown areas of Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. Remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones. If you are visiting any of these areas, monitor local advice, remain vigilant and follow the advice of the local authorities and your tour operator."