I’m Canadian, I visited Mexico and I survived

At Villa Del Palmar Loreto with Ayngelina and Rease

High on many countries “high risk” travel lists these days is the country of Mexico. The news reports are filled with drug smuggling, gang related violence, kidnappings, a long with a few high profile attacks in particular on Canadians and more. That doesn’t make it sound too appealing does it? However… NEWS FLASH as sad as it is to say there is a little bit of all of that in every country, even our own.

I didn’t particularly have Mexico high on my list of places to visit next but when I got that first email asking if I would like to go there and visit the Villa Del Palmar in Loreto, Mexico on the west coast I didn’t even think twice.

Please note in no way am I telling you that you should visit Mexico (as I do not want any blame if something were to happen) but I’m also not telling you that you shouldn’t visit. Nor am I wanting to be insensitive to the misfortunate ones. I went and I had some great experiences.

As a travel blogger I sometimes get invited to visit certain hotels and/or destinations and by strange coincidence I ended up in Mexico twice on three different trips in three different locations all within one month and now I like to jokingly call myself a Mexico expert… I’m no where near close to being an expert but if you are looking for one I recommend you check out my friends Ayngelina and Suzanne.

The view from my room at Villa Del Palmar Loreto

My first trip was to Loreto, Mexico (not to be confused with Loredo). Located on the west coast of the country, north of Cabo San Lucas looking over the Sea of Cortez Loreto is a small city of 14,000+ people and was a great introductory city for a first timers visit to the country. I was there as a guest of the Villa Del Palmar Loreto hotel, a property that is just over a year old and is still expanding with more rooms to be built and a 9 hole golf course to be completed. I enjoyed the gorgeous spa having a massage and manicure, I swam / cooled off in the turtle shaped pool while being served Piña Coladas and the thing I liked most about it (aside from the awesome weather) was the staff. Even though the Villa Del Palmar Loreto is a 150+ room resort the staff were so friendly and personable that I sometimes felt like it was my own little oasis.

Getting excited in Cancun about going swimming with Whale Sharks

My next trip took me to Cancun to the CasaMagna Marriott hotel and JW Marriott Hotel. Located in the “resort zone” of Cancun, my first impression was that Cancun was even more over the top than expected. Big fancy hotels and resorts everywhere and lots of restaurants “Americans” would love, but then I got to know Cancun. I quickly learned that Cancun was way more than what the movies portray it as and there is a lot more to do than just lay on the beach (but there is nothing wrong with that) As you can see in my video Cancun and the surrounding areas has many other things to offer like zip lining, repelling into Cenotes, snorkelling, swimming with whale sharks and more check out my VIDEO to see it all.

No danger yet.

For my last trip I flew from Cancun to Mazatlan with a stop in the Mexico City airport. I was a bit worried about Mexico City but you could pick that airport up and stick it anywhere in the US and you wouldn’t know the difference… aside from all of the spanish.

My view from my hotel El Cid Marina in Mazatlan.

When I first landed in Mazatlan I was late because of flight delays and instead of having a shuttle take me to the airport I was in a Taxi cab. The drive to my hotel (El Cid Marina) was a good 30-40 minutes and at this point was when I felt like I was seeing the “real” Mexico, especially since the cab driver didn’t speak a word of english. I don’t even think he knew the word “Hello” so that made things interesting. He knew where to take me though and thats all that mattered.

While in Mazatlan we were constantly on the go visiting gorgeous hotels for breakfast like Pueblo Bonita, touring the city on the Fun Bus, eating so much shrimp and seafood that I felt like I might turn into a fish and we also got to enjoy the Day of Music. Mazatlan is know for its festivals and has one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in the world and we were lucky enough to be there to experience the Day of the Music where the old town part of Mazatlan basically shuts down and the streets fill with people and stages with various performances of all types of different music.

Entertainment at dinner in Mazatlan.

As we walked amongst the crowds of people I was asked what I thought of Mexico and if I felt safe. I didn’t have to think about it for very long before I could truthfully answer that I felt extremely safe, safer at times then walking down a street in New York and I would recommend for others to visit.

Tips to remember if visiting Mexico or anywhere in general. 1. Always trust your gut. 2. At night time If possible try to stay in a group and if traveling solo find people at your hotel / hostel to be friends with or choose to not go out. 3. Be smart.

I’m Canadian, I visited Mexico and I survived.

and I may of had some tequila….

19 Comments

  • Reply
    Cailin
    July 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Lawrence its a shame that you won’t still visit, especially since you have been so many times. I really hope you change your thoughts in regards to that. :)

  • Reply
    Nikki
    July 8, 2012 at 9:26 am

    You must have had a lot of fun on your tour huh! I love the pictures :-) To some extend it quite a risk you took, but I am glad you survived.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      haha thanks! :)

  • Reply
    Jean Marcus
    July 1, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I have been to Mexico on tour too and I didn’t go through any trouble. I was with two other people on the trip by the way. It is a beautiful country and people shouldn’t be scared of visiting it. They just need to smart and stay in a group as much as possible, like you said.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree more :)

  • Reply
    Andrew Michael Todd
    June 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    I’m a Canadian who has lived in Mexico for over a year now. I’ve driven over 30,000km in my car all over the country with lots of that driving done at night. I’ve stayed off the tourist path and make it a point to visit all the places I’m told not to visit. I’ve lived in Veracruz for a long period of time, tented along the whole coast of Michoacan, and spent a few days seeing Juarez, the most dangerous city in the world.

    The reality is that there is a high level of violence in Mexico but that violence exists almost exclusively between people that choose to engage in drug related activity. As someone who is not employed by the drug trade I have witnessed less violence in the past year first hand than I would on a single night on the town in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, or Halifax. I’ve lived in all those cities and going out to the bars you’re almost guaranteed to see at least a bar fight or a bouncer throwing out a drunk. In Mexico I have never seen any violence.

    Some of the “most dangerous places” have been the best places I’ve visited. There are no tourists so the locals don’t rely on your money to make a living which means that you don’t get treated like a walking dollar sign. It’s a nice change. In a regular tourist destination if a local fisherman asks you if you want to do some fishing that usually means you would end up paying around $40+ an hour per person.

    On the coast of Michoacan it meant waking up at 6 AM the next morning to head out for a great boat ride down the cliff lined coast with two brothers we met over beers the night before, fishing for tuna, red snapper, and lobster for a few hours, and then back to their home in a small seaside town of 90 people, where their mother prepared us an amazing feast of fish and lobster for breakfast, lunch, and supper at their waterfront home and asked us to spend the night. They were just excited to get to spend time with foreigners and show us a bit of how they live.

    Their house – http://bit.ly/LoaaBP

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      Thanks for the great comment Andrew. I had never thought of the non-tourist places where they are not dependant on your dollar being the best or better but it is totally true. thanks for sharing the picture too, gorgeous :)

  • Reply
    Rease
    June 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Funny, I just finished an article on how Mexico is safe. Like you said- there are sketchy parts of the US too! Mexico is such a GREAT country and I am so glad you had fun on all your different trips. Bad things happen in pretty much every country, you just have to be smart about where you travel and what you do. We must visit mexico together again!

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      Very true, sadly bad things do happen everywhere. I would love to travel more of the country with you! :)

  • Reply
    Michael
    June 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Did you buy any of the tequila to bring home? Stephanie and I bought two bottles from that place. It was great. Also the undistilled version was rough.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      No sadly I didn’t because I had carry on luggage :( Boo, wish I had! haha

  • Reply
    Christy
    June 29, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    omg where have you been all my life? You’re blog is great. And your video was even better! Thanks for the fun shots of the whales sharks. I’m heading down there in 5 days to do exactly that! Any tips?

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks so much Christy! I hope your trip went well! To see more videos check out my other site http://www.travelyourself.ca :)

  • Reply
    Ayngelina
    June 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    As you know I went to Mexico 2 years ago, spoke no Spanish and was able to independently, and safely travel throughout the country for five weeks. I’ve been back 3 times since and nothing has ever happened.

    There are places in Mexico that are dangerous but they aren’t anywhere tourists would want to visit. The places I have been people have been so lovely and helpful, sometimes more so than what I would expect in Canada.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      After my experiences there Ayngelina I totally agree with you, some of the people I met went way out of their way for me while visiting to either help me with something or make sure I was happy – more than some Canadians have done for me for sure.

  • Reply
    Emily in Chile
    June 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I think a lot of people forget that Mexico is a big country (and that Latin America is a big region, so no, I do not eat Mexican food all the time in Chile…sorry, tangent). Yes, some scary things are going on, but you can pretty easily stay away from the scary areas and have a great trip.

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      So true Emily people do tend to forget things like that.

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Great post! I have to say, the stories about the dangers to tourists in Mexico are way overhyped – my boyfriend and I visited Playa del Carmen in March and had a great time. We rented a car and drove west, stayed in Merida for a night and explored Chichen Itza and other sites and when we came home and told people they looked at us like we had 3 heads. There are certainly dangerous areas in Mexico, but there are dangerous areas everywhere. It doesn’t matter where you go, generally speaking, as long as you travel ‘smart’ you will be fine. You should never go places alone, especially at night, go anywhere with strangers or explore remote areas that you are not familiar with without any guidance or security. That’s just COMMON SENSE. I don’t even do those things at home! I hate to hear of people getting hurt but I also hate to see countries painted with a negative brush bc of a few news stories

    • Reply
      Cailin
      July 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks Kim! :) Glad to hear you enjoyed your time as well and feel the same way I do about the country. It is a great place that more people do need to visit. :)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php