Should my wife and I avoid Mexico for our first vacation in FOREVER?

We planned and bought a trip to Puerto Vallarta, after doing a lot of reading about PV. The state department website made it sound like it’s very safe for tourists if you’re boring people like us who just want to sit in the hotel and chill the hell out.

Read a bunch of other websites saying its safe for tourists, and while there has been violence in the past few years, there has been a negligible number incidents involving tourists (and nothing appears to happen at the resorts … tourists get in trouble if they go looking for gambling or drugs or prostitution).

But in the past 24 hours a fucking WAR between Jalisco New Generation and the police in PV has broken out and it sounds like we shouldn’t go there at all.

We have the option to switch this package to Cancun or Cabo. For our first vacation in 14 years (and the first since we have been married), we really need to be able to chill the fuck out. We can also pick an alternate in Jamaica, but the price difference is significant enough that we’re thinking of calling the whole thing off.

Are we stupid to even consider going near Mexico?


  1. This is just not true. Or at least a massive exaggeration. There were a few flareups, nothing in any of the tourist zones, and all the good shit was in Guadalajara and the highways outside Vallarta. It is not a war—it’s not even a battle. A few fires in PV’s case. The media loves to play up any incidents like this, because it makes a great story for white people north of the border. It is still completely safe to walk around town, or explore the sights… so it’s especially safe if you’re a “boring hotel dweller”.

    I’ve got numerous friends and family down there. There is zero panic or worry amongst any them and they’re mostly just frustrated at the lopsided media attention. I go to many parts of Mexico regularly, even Mexico City, which if you believe all the media you must be shocked I haven’t been decapitated yet. 🙂 In reality, it’s a wonderful city.

    But, look, serious time — if you and your wife are the nervous types, don’t go to PV. But do NOT just give up your first vacation in 14 years! What a crime that would be. Switch to Cancun (Cabo is not much better in terms of number of minor cartel incidents). Quintana Roo has basically had zero incidents, and I think it’s more beautiful there anyway. There certainly more culture in PV, and Jalisco in general, but if you’re going for a relaxing vacation, I don’t know why you would turn down the white sand beaches and blue Caribbean water of that area.

    It sounds like you may be limited to certain resorts, but if it’s an option, go one hour south of Cancun (a taxi is about $60, or the ADO bus is really nice and really inexpensive) to Playa Del Carmen. It’s a super cute little city and is less “spring break”-y than Cancun.

  2. I literally just got back from a weekend in PV. It was amazing, my girlfriend and I has a blast. We heard about the recent violence last night from our tour guide, and we did notice a lot of heavily armed police here and there, but we never once felt in danger.

    The way our tour guide explained it, this is a dispute between the govt and a cartel, and while it’s bad it doesn’t really have anything to do with tourists. Tourists aren’t being targeted.

    I see it similar to my town, Chicago. 5 people were shot just this weekend. We rode past a two person shooting on our bus ride home from O’Hare. It sucks, but its violence between gangs and people like me aren’t the targets.

    So, I guess what I’m saying is I don’t think it’s worth canceling a trip over. Maybe be a little more cautious and stick to the very touristy areas, and you’ll be fine.

    If you want any tips of cool places to check out, I’ll be happy to give you some input in the morning when I have a real keyboard to use.

  3. If you don’t want to go to puerto Vallarta then just go somewhere else. There are plenty of other beach options – Cabo, la Paz, mazatlan, puerto escondido/coastal oaxaca, cancun, playa del Carmen, Tulum, etc . . . or even Belize

  4. Americans that are too scared to go to mexico don’t realize the privilege of being a tourist.

    I have relatives near chicago and some of them thought I was crazy for going to mexico w/o reflecting on or acknowledging that they live 30 minutes from areas with drug/gang problems where people are murdered everyday.

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