If you are considering taking a motorcycle trip through Mexico, the first thing you want to know is that it is going to be hot. If you are a lover of the desert, you are in for some fantastic vistas, windy roads, and incredible rides. Aside from the abundant wildlife and the unique, almost extraterrestrial environment, you may be concerned about how dangerous it may be to travel in Mexico. Others of you probably don’t care—motorcycle riding is already a dangerous pursuit, why not add a little more danger in?
In general, reports of Mexico’s danger have been largely exaggerated, especially if you are a smart traveler. Governments and media alike have disseminated not necessarily false, but inflated claims of violence against foreigners, especially “migrant” travelers, like motorcycle riders, who are constantly on the move and sometimes difficult for the government to track. Largely, these reports play into a fear that the public has already cultivated.
But, let’s be honest. There are bad people everywhere. There are likely parts of your own city or town that you avoid because you know only trouble waits there. Mexico is the same way. If you want to stay safe, there are some parts that you avoid. If you want to enjoy the sun, sand, and people, there are plenty of places in Mexico that are welcoming, friendly, and perfectly safe.
Every border in the world has seen some turmoil. Right now, the border between the U.S. and Mexico is experiencing a little bit of tension, but it’s nothing like, let’s say, the border between the Ukraine and Russia right now. If you are crossing the border on one of the major thoroughfares, going through border control, however, you’re not going to have any problems, just as the hundreds of thousands of people who do that every year have absolutely no problems.
One of the biggest lies that is told about Mexico is the high murder rate. The truth is that more people are killed in Washington D.C. each year than are killed in Mexico’s capital city. There is just as much gang activity in any large U.S. city as there is anywhere in Mexico. For some reason, people really enjoy talking up all of the dangers in Mexico when those same dangers exist in the U.S.
The best way to get into Mexico is to cross the border in the morning. Stay somewhere close to the border the night before and cross as early in the morning as you can. Like any highway, driving at night can be dangerous and should be avoided. Be respectful, especially of police officers. If an officer tries to fine you on the spot, ask them to lead you to the nearest station, where you will be happy to pay a fine for any laws you have actually broken. Use your head and you’ll be perfectly safe!