It is strange how Mexicans have more commone sense about the dangers in Mexico than the so called experts in this forum. Ask a Mexican who lives in some of the danger areas listed on the USA warning and they will tell you that they do not leave the house after dark. Yet some on this board will talk about boondocking in those same areas. Most RV'rs travel with "blinders" like a horse. They speak no Spanish and rarely go to any areas where there are no Gringos. Their information does not come from: Mexican radio or TV, Mexican papers or from speaking to Mexicans. Texan is not only a retired law officer he has LIVED in Mexico and traveled extensively in Mexico. His advice is sage.
The photo with all the empty sites seems to say quite a bit.
In any event, to answer your question drgeorge63, we quit going into Mexico several years ago. I began to notice that even the positive comments include such qualifiers as "don't go out at night", or "keep a close eye on your surroundings", or "travel with a group, and never alone", or "be careful what part of Mexico you go to or through", so I felt that it was time to reassess exactly what the point was of going there any longer. The comment about it being safer than Philadelphia just underscores the situation.....I wouldn't consider RVing in Philadelphia either, so that wasn't saying much. We found that many areas of the southern U.S. offer great RVing experiences without the safety concerns, and I can't think of anything that Mexico has to offer that you can't find here, and without having to ask the question of whether it's safe or not. And by the way, if you have to lock yourself in at night, watch your surroundings, travel as a group, and concern yourself about whether you're in the right area or not, you probably won't enjoy your trip all that much anyway.
Looks like a sunburn risk to me. BTW here in Laguna del Tule in Melaque, every site is full and has been for the past month. As soon as one opens up, it gets filled with another scared RV'er.
BTW I notice that PP pic was form June. not too many RV in June in Mexico, I am surprised it is as full as it is.
I can't think of anything that Mexico has to offer that you can't find here
Uh, sun; ocean; RV sites that don't require you sign a mortgage; people who would give you the shirt off your back; different, & more interesting, culture from what you get at home. Apart from that, holed up in an RV park in Arizona in the middle of a desert with a bunch of snobs who seldom exit outside, sounds pretty appealing.
Yes, there are dangers and risks to travel in Mexico just as there are anywhere else. But if we pay attention we learn that almost all the death and destruction has to do with this "drug war" as cartels fight each other for routes and territory. We hear of horrible stories but they have to do with the gang members doing horrible things to other gang members of other gangs. Thousands of murders but the vast majority are criminals killing criminals. Sometimes police and prosecutors and judges and reporters who say bad things about criminals also get killed. But tourists? Almost never. Certainly no more than anywhere else.
Then there are the warnings? There are killings in Guadalajara so the whole state of Jalisco is now a crime zone? Or the killings in Juarez and all of Chihuahua is a crime zone? This is like saying in South Central LA meana all of California is a crime zone - and maybe it is.
My first RV trip to Mexico was in 1971. I traveled all over down as far as Mexico City and over to the coast and back up - crossed at Juarez and back to the US at Nogales. Since then I have made countless trips to Mexico. In our current motorhome we travel all over Mexico for the past 6 winters. I have never experience, encountered, witnessed any crime. I have never been asked to pay a bribe. Yet for 40 years I have been told each and every time I go to Mexico that I must be out of my mind and I am going to be killed or have any number of horrible things happen to me.
When in the US we know where the bad areas are and we don't go near them. Talking to people on this forum can educate you about safe places to visit. But of course crime can happen anywhere so you roll the dice. This winter we spent a lot of time at Hacienda Contreras south of Lake Chapala - we also spent time on the other side of Lake Chapala - we spent time on the coast between Barra de Navidad and Punta Perula. Today we are in Patzcuaro. Next we think we will be in Guanajuato. We stay in one place for awhile and venture out to see the surrounding areas. We like almost everything about Mexico but there are certainly some differences - you will find some rough roads for example. But those who venture out will also find bad roads in the US.
What does Mexico have that you will never see in the US? Two of the world's 3 largest pyramids in the world are in Mexico but all we ever hear about are pyramids in Egypt? The ancient ruins of some of the largest and most advance civilizations on the planet. When Columbus "discovered" America there were millions of people living here and one city was among the 5 largest in the world. The largest cathedral in the western hemisphere - and the oldest. Colonial towns with hundreds of buildings over 400 years old. Food? Amazing. People? Some of the friendliest and most hospitable you will find on the planet.
But Mexico is definitely different and not for everyone. Many people are happy to live in gated communities in the US and travel to RV resorts which are also gated - and they carry their guns wherever they go. Then they tell us the US is safe. What's that about?
Pueto Penasco (Rocky Point) is not Mexico. Those who go there and insist on calling it Rocky Point instead of Puerto Penasco do not know Mexico. But it could be a good first stop along your way. We have never been there and have no intention of going there so cannot report about it.
I am sitting on a hilltop overlooking a colonial city in the mountains. My view includes and large lake with and island which has a statue similar to our Statue of Liberty - but of one of Mexico's leaders of the revolution. His arm is raised in victory just as our Statue of Liberty is raised. We have climbed up into the raised fist.
Everyday is a new and interesting adventure in Mexico. So much to see and do. We will never see it all. We fulltime in our Bus and travel about 8 months a year in the US and will never see all of the US either. We know there is lots to see in the US and do most definitely love traveling all over to see all that we can see. But Mexico is also worth seeing and experiencing. This has nothing to do with prefer one over the other or even comparing. It is just all about this thing called life and how we choose to live it. If you don't want to go somewhere for some valid reasons then don't. But saying the drug war in Mexico means you are more likely to be killed in Mexico than the US is not a valid reason - they are not killing tourists - they are killing each other - they could care less about us and do not bother us.
We have been wanting to go to Mexico for years. Finally bought an RV and you know the rest about the crime in Mexico. Want to go to Rocky Point, first. Any advice would be appreciated.
Just like the US - Mexico is a big country and it all depends on where you go and what you want to do when you get there. There is a nice video of PP in another thread on this forum you might want to check out. We come to the southern Baja and love it. Baja Sur doesn't even get a blip on the State Department's warning about Mexico. Here in La Paz we did have a murder . . . about 3 years ago.
When anyone tells me the US has everything Mexico has, I always ask them if it has the Sea of Cortez. Only here have we experienced kayaking with a pod of dolphins or the giant whale sharks. The water is clear and beautiful and the sea life more abundant that I thought existed anywhere. Of course Mexico has many other things as well - but we spend 3-4 days a week on the water and have never been happier.
If you decide you want to come further south of the Baja, I can share with you our experiences, list of RV parks, and any other information we have collected - feel free to PM me or go to my profile where I have my web page listed and go there for information.
If you decide Mexico isn't for you yet, that's okay too. It's not for everyone but so far I've not met anyone who came (south of the border towns that is) that didn't go away with a completely different picture of Mexico than what they started with.
Good luck to you as you contemplate your travels and we wish you well!
We have traveled four winters out of the last five in Mexico, five months per year. We do not hole up in a gated compound or settle in one park full of gringos for the entire season. We are constantly on the move, staying a week or so when we find a place we especially like. We have stayed in small pueblas where we are the only English speaking people in town. We have boondocked in Walmart, restaurant and Pemex parking lots many times. We have visited every Mexican State except one and it is on the list.
We took last winter off simply because we wanted to see the Southeast USA so we froze there and saw the sights. We are back in Mexico this year.
We have stopped to help Mexicans at the side of the road and they have stopped to help us. We have made friends of Mexican, French, Dutch, Swiss, Canadian and American travelers we have met along the way.
Over the years we have been ripped off twice by Mexican gas stations for about $200 pesos ($15) each time. Contrast this to the USA where we have also been ripped of in gas stations twice (one double billed our CC for a $150 USA tank of gas and another "swiped" and sold our info to the tune of $4000 USA).
Other than that we have never had a problem in Mexico that was not of our own making. Never!
We always exercise the same caution as we do in any country and practice what our friend Belgique calls "Situational Awareness" which is basically to always be aware of your situation and surroundings and to know when and how to quickly get out of that area or situation. We do not drive at night or spend time in late night bars and we spend as little time as possible near the border. We are polite and respectful of the people of our host country. We cross the border early in the morning and put on a hundred KM or so before we stop. Pueto Penasco (Rocky Point) is close to the border and is an exception to this rule. We have been there and it is as safe as anywhere. Just follow the above advice and have a great time. We expect to hear back from you.
That statement about not paying attention to people who have never gone to Mexico does not apply to people who have gone, right? There are an awful lot of armchair experts about everything -- forums are full of them, especially Mexico travel forums. All of we regulars here are familiar with your Mexico experience. There is little chance you would be taken for a novice :-)