What The U.S. Travel Warning About Mexico Means For Spring Breakers

aerial view of hotel zone in Cancun
aerial view of hotel zone in Cancun

The United States Embassy & Consulates in Mexico are warning U.S. springbreakers to be careful during upcoming travels to the country. The message, shared on the consulate’s website, said that thousands of U.S. travelers have safe visits to Mexico, but mentioned several areas of concern to “consider” when planning upcoming travel to or around Mexico. The list of concerns included drugs, crime, unregulated alcohol, sexual assault, and counterfeit medications, among others.

According to the message, spring breakers are encouraged to exercise caution around drug use and drug possession due to many substances being illegal in Mexico, the “lengthy” jail sentences associated with them, and previous instances of travelers becoming ill or even dying from synthetic and prescription drugs. Regarding pharmaceutical use, it said, “counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients.”

Violent Crime Concerns

Crime, including rape, sexual assault, and other violent crimes can occur anywhere, including resorts and tourist areas. The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico advise spring breakers to “maintain a high level of situational awareness” and avoid areas that could be dangerous, particularly in hot spots like downtown Cancun or downtown Playa Del Carmen and Tulum after dark.

Unregulated alcohol could also be contaminated and result in injury or loss of consciousness. Other areas to note included the illegality of guns and ammunition, drunk and disorderly behavior that can result in arrest, and the potential for drowning at Mexico’s beaches due to rip tide and “strong undercurrents.”

Planning for Spring Break Travels to Mexico

The Feb. 27 message listed several actions to take in preparation:

  • Read the Mexico travel advisory and country information page

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

  • Drink responsibly

  • Travel in groups

  • Keep loved ones in the U.S. aware of your movements and itinerary throughout the trip

  • Download the “Guest Assist” app (if traveling to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, or other areas in Quintana Roo)

  • Purchase travel insurance with coverage in Mexico

  • Report suspected unregulated or contaminated alcohol to the Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk (COFEPRIS) by calling +52 01-8—033-5050, online, or visiting a COFEPRIS office