The question of safety is at the top of many people’s minds now, as the Coronavirus pandemic continues, and the world of travel is topsy-turvy. As of September 2020, there are still many countries with sealed borders and many others who are only letting in certain nationalities.
Luckily for us, since we operate trips in Baja, California, Mexico, the border between the US and Mexico, and Canada and Mexico is open for those who travel by airplane or train.
Mexico has a wide variety of wonderful attractions including rich indigenous cultures, splendid colonial cities and towns, a delectable culinary scene, architectural treasures, and vibrant, bountiful nature. With so much to offer, there is no shortage of safe destinations within the country. Our focus is on just two of Mexico’s 31 states, as these are the location for our trips. These are Baja Sur (mostly) and Baja Norte (a little). The U.S. State Department has good information on its Travel Advisories page, including information about Mexico.
How do we monitor conditions in Baja?
What does the U.S. State Department say?
The U.S. State Department has Mexico listed as Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” and something that may surprise you is that this is the same level as many European countries including France, England, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Baja in particular is listed as “Exercise Increased Caution” and specifically, the State Department webpage says: “There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.” You can read about all the States in Mexico on the U.S. State Department site, here.
What does the Canadian Government say about Travel to Baja?
The government of Canada travel warnings list MEXICO as “Exercise a high degree of caution” which is also the same level as France, the UK, and other European countries.
So how does a person decide it’s okay to travel?
Our best source for travel information in Baja is the people on location that we know. We have a number of guides and other support staff who live and work there and with whom we have a long relationship of friendship and trust. I ask them the question, “Is it safe for my family?” Over the past years, the answer is always “Yes” and it remains so now.
Of course, there is crime in Mexico, just like there is in the U.S. If you read the travel warnings from the U.S. State Department carefully, you will see that there are pockets of Mexico that are considered more dangerous than others, and certain cities in particular. Luckily, Baja is not considered one of the riskier areas.
Baja Travel Safety Tips
The U.S. State Department maintains a traveler’s checklist, with good information on preparing for international travel. Much of the advice is common sense and practices that are relevant to travel when visiting almost any place or any big city. There are suggestions such as using caution around the use of ATM’s; not driving at night; being aware of your surroundings, especially at bars or clubs; staying alert and not displaying fancy jewelry, etc.
Governments are responsible for the safety of their citizens and if a citizen gets in trouble, they may need to take action. Thus, these warnings should be viewed from that perspective. Travel always has risks, as does life in general. I was reminded of this last night as my wife and I drove from our home into town for dinner. Without warning a deer darted out from across the road, weaving between two oncoming cars and running directly in front of our car. I hit our brakes hard, but hit the deer solidly, killing it instantly and doing some serious damage to the front of our car. Accidents happen so quickly and can happen at any time.
Our Bubble Journeys
For many people in these times, traveling in a private group is attractive. For that reason, we have designed several new culturally-immersive tours to Baja as part of our 2020-21 Bubble Journeys series. These allow you to travel in your own private group of family and/or friends. We take you to places well off the beaten path where few other travelers go. The trips are a magical mix of time exploring coastal Baja with its huge beaches, mangroves, and wildlife, combined with time in the interior, where hidden villages, mission history, and vibrant cultures welcome us.
Tourism is very important to the Mexican economy, but especially to certain areas, including Baja. For this reason, law enforcement works hard to keep tourists safe. They understand the importance and the economic ramifications of a loss of tourism. All of us have our own tolerance for risk, and the choice to travel or not is strictly a personal one. If you do decide to join us in Baja, rest assured we will do all we can to make sure you are secure and can relax and enjoy the wide-open spaces we visit, usually far from the crowds and often in places where we are surrounded by nature and spending time with friendly locals.
We welcome you to contact us with any questions.