Don’t Let the Bad Press Stop You. Mexico is a Great Place for Canadians to Visit This Winter.

It’s getting cold in Canada, very cold. It’s going to be cold for a few more months. Warming up and relaxing in Mexico probably sounds good.

If you are like many Canadians who consider Mexico, you may also ask yourself how safe it is, especially after some unrelated and terrible things happened to Canadians in Mexico in the past year. I personally think that Mexico is a safe and fun place to visit and encourage you not to rule it out just as you wouldn’t avoid Toronto just becuase someone from your province was killed there this year.

John Youden’s article in the Ottowa Citizen on April 29, 2008 titled Don’t Take Risks helps to put the issues into perspective.  Writing from his current home in Puerto Vallarta, he says “I’m an Canadian ex-pat. I feel much safer walking the streets of Puerto Vallarta than I do the downtown streets of my old hometown of Vancouver!  You need to take into consideration the chance you may be taking or situation you are putting yourself in, no matter what country you are in.”  He goes on to explain that risky behavior is risky behavior no matter where you are and adds that it is foolish to take risks in a country other than one’s own. (Source:

While I cannot comment on the specific circumstances of any incidents involving Canadian citizens in Mexico, I can say that I agree with Youden. You should not be too afraid to travel in Mexico. The benefits of traveling to a country as different from Canada — and as vibrant as Mexico is, are many and are often hard to specify.

To be safe in Mexico, be smart. Don’t indulge in over consumption of alcohol, don’t participate in any illegal activities, don’t stay out alone late at night, and make wise decisions about where you go, when you go there, and what you eat. (By this last statement I don’t mean to imply that you should stick only to the touristy areas. Some of the best experiences in Mexico are to be had in the places frequented by Mexican tourists and I personally feel even safer in these areas because of the community of good people that surrounds me while I am there.)

Enjoy Mexico!


  1. Frank Karau Mar 13

    This is some of the best advice I have read about traveling in general. As a twenty year plus Mexico part time resident I can too say that I feel safer here in the small town of Barra de Navidad, Mexico than I do in my hometown in B.C. I have often had a Canadian vehicle here in Mexico and never had anything stolen from it other than the tire valve caps which the kids take. Three years ago when I was in the town of Golden B.C. I had the hub caps stolen from my pickup there while it was parked overnight next to an R.C.M.P. cruiser at at one of the local hotels. That doesn’t make me say that Canada is full of thieves and that the police are corrupt but if it happens to a Canadian tourist down here that is the story that comes out of it. The recent crack down on drug cartels has caused a lot of violence but generally contained to people involved in the trade. So if you plan on giving the the Mexican mafia some competition I wouldn’t recommend coming down here but if you want a safe, sunny holiday destination with great food, super friendly people and exceptional beer, come on down. Les esperamos!

  2. Julia Taylor Mar 13

    Frank, Thank you so much for your comment. It’s so important that the people who live ordinary lives continue to talk about their real experiences in Mexico!
    Kind Regards,
    Julia Taylor
    Author of Mexico: The Trick is Living Here

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