My husband and I have been traveling to Mexico for a long time now. Both before we were married and then every year thereafter.
Actually, we own a home together there which is about 2 1/2 hours north of Puerta Vallarta in the garden state of Nayarit. In the tiny fishing village of Aticama just south of San Blas. Having a home in Mexico was a childhood dream of mine which makes sense being of Mexican heritage. It's a small piece of Paradise and we feel blessed to be able to call it our second home.
The bad press that Mexico has received by the US press in the last five years has not sidelined our visits any more than all the violence we hear about in the US by assault rifle carrying crazies has caused us to move to Canada. And just like here at home there are certain areas where violence is at an all time high. But unlike here at home, away from those areas you don't hear about the level of random violence that we see and hear on TV here every morning from the comfort of our homes. Violence, a lot of it random that happens literally within miles of our homes.
So arriving in Puerto Vallarta was a pleasure as much for the sun and warmth as for the amazing job they've done to make what was already a great town even more pedestrian friendly. Undulating boardwalk garden planters, pedestrian only streets and art everywhere you look. And at this time of year the crowds of regulars. The 60+ Snowbird crowd who've been coming to Mexico to get away from the cold for as long as they've been able to make their escape plans from the working world. In the morning you see them strolling along. Healthy, suntanned, happy, smiling retirees glad to be back in their second nests.
But, what is so obviously missing is the vacationers that used to flock to Puerto Vallarta from the Northwest and beyond. Not to live dual snowbird lives but to get their much needed annual escapes from the job grind. And we know it's because the press has done a doozy on the tourism business in Mexico. We know, because every 4th person, when finding out we're traveling to Mexico asks us if we aren't worried about crime. We just retort "Did you watch the news this morning?" meaning, "Really watched and listened?"
So if you miss the margharita's, the sun, the friendly Mexican welcome here is an some information that will make you feel better about calling your travel agent.
Going to cruise to Puerto Vallarta this winter? You have reason to feel safe. So far this year, Jalisco, the Mexican state in which P.V. is located, has had a death by firearm rate of just 2.92 per 100,000, which is about 40% of the rate in California, about 30% of the rate in the southwestern United States, and about 8% of the rate in the U.S. Virgins. Going to Baja Sur, there is absolutely nothing. Would anyone like to offer any theories on why the U.S. press so greatly exaggerates the violent death story in Mexico, and so under-reports it in the United States?
No matter if you’re in the States or in Mexico, the key to safety is staying away from the well-known dangerous areas, not looking for drugs, and not flashing wealth. In other words, don't be an idiot. To the best of our knowledge, the only narco violence along the Pacific Coast of Mexico has been in the megalopolis of Acapulco, where there has been some terrible narco-on-narco violence. Nonetheless, we wouldn't avoid Acapulco any more than we'd avoid San Francisco or Oakland because of their drug violence. We'd be particularly careful, to be sure, but we wouldn't avoid them. So as we're about to cast off for another season in Mexico, from the bottom of our hearts, we believe that we’re going to a safer place than the United States. And the facts support our belief.
And if you really want to get away from the beaten path you can always stay at our home Casa Karina which we rent as a vacation rental home since we can only get to Mexico a couple of weeks at a time, a couple of times a year.