All major Mexican tourist destinations are given are generally safe to travel to, except for Acapulco. This includes Mexico City, Cancun and the Riviera Maya, the Costa Maya, Chichen Itza, Merida, Campeche, Baja California Sur, Los Cabos, La Paz, Todos Santos, San Ignacio, San Miguel de Allende, Leon, Oaxaca, Pueblo, and more.
Northern Mexico isn’t considered safe including Baja California (not Baja California Sur which is safe), Tijuana, Nuevo Leon and Ciudad Juarez. Crimes are not targeted against foreigners; they are gang related drug violence that foreigners sometimes get involved with.
Mayan Dollar Scam: In Mexico you may be walking past a shop and they yell out 5 dollars. You agree to purchase what they are selling and then they say 5 Mayan dollars. Mayan Dollars are just made up and the exchange rate is whatever the seller decides. You can always back out, but just know that Mayan dollars don’t exist.
Police Scam: If you are driving in Mexico the police may pull you over just to get money from you. They may take your license and won’t give it back until you pay. You can bring fake licenses for that reason. Be careful when driving. Don’t drive out in the middle of nowhere, it really isn’t safe. We have driven in Cabo San Lucas and were fine. Use common sense. Lock doors and don’t drive at night.
Gas Pump Scam: This scan can happen anywhere but is common in Cozumel. The gas attendant quickly approaches and asks how much fuel you want. The attendant says “250 pesos worth?” You think that sounds right. You get into your car and wait. You may even hear a hum and a click of the pump. You get out and pay him, but when you get back into your car, the gas needle hasn’t moved. You think maybe it is broken, tell him it’s not a big deal and drive off to find that you paid 250 pesos to run out of gas. Make sure you look at the gas pump before you give him the money to make sure it is on 0 before he pumps the gas. Don’t get into your car, stand next to him and watch him pump the gas.
Tour Scam: Tour kiosks on the piers will sometimes charge you for the wrong tour. You ask for a specific tour that isn’t on their brochures and they pull up a webpage it says $99 at the bottom. You say you want to go there. He gets on the phone and arranges a time for pickup. You pay $50 down payment. When you arrive at the tour it is not what you signed up for and is half the cost. The down payment went to the kiosk guy. He probably showed you another tour that isn’t his and typed in the one you wanted in the URL, but didn’t navigate to it. That is why it said the tour you were asking. Best thing to do is plan ahead and use a tour company that has good ratings. If you do end up paying for tour, then pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge when you get home.
Taxi Scam: This happens all over the place, they pretend not to know where to go and take you the long way. They say they don’t have change or take credit cards. Agree upon a price beforehand. Bring small bills. Make sure they aren’t already charging a service fee before you tip them.