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Don’t Drink The Water: Busting Mexico’s Safety Myths

by Matthew Rimer

Dec 2, 2014

Dia de los Muertos in Mexico City © Javarman | Dreamstime


Although Mexico is a beautiful city, throughout the years it has gained an unsavory reputation to outsiders. Problems like water cleanliness, drug crime and unsafe cities lead many travelers to look elsewhere for their vacation destination. While safety should always remain paramount when traveling, the question remains: Is there any validity to these myths? The answer, largely, is no. With few exceptions, Mexico is nearly as safe as any other country a tourist may visit. Ahead are three common misconceptions about Mexico their realities.


The Water Is Dirty

For a long time, foreigners questioned the sanitation of Mexico’s drinking water, and feared the accompanying digestive problems in the form of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Some tourists go so far as to not order drinks with ice for fear of illness. In reality, the water in the country is not dirty, but rather has different bacteria and minerals than the ones foreigner’s bodies are accustomed to. In reality, these days most areas have state-of-the-art microfilters that create nearly mineral-free, clean water. If nothing else, travelers can trust the bottled water available at any corner store.


Drug Related Crime Is Rampant

While illegal drug distribution and its related violent crime can be a problem in Mexico, the areas that it affects are few. Most of this activity is found in border towns to the north like Juarez. Most other areas of the country are relatively safe, however, popular tourist city Acapulco has the highest crime rate in the country, so travelers should be careful if vacationing in this area.


You Must Stick To Resorts and Touristy Areas

Often, tourists do ignore the negative aggrandizement of Mexico and travel to the country — but do so under the disclaimer they must stay close to their resorts or hotels. By doing so, they avoid the true culture and customs of the country. Venturing away from these typical tourist areas, however, can generally yield more fruitful experiences.



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