While drug war violence has sent Mexican PR into a whirlwind, spring breakers have been unswayed by the persistent safety warnings and bad press. According to the AP, spring break reservations to Mexico remain resilient in the face of such setbacks, even growing slightly over last year. The big three of the Yucatan peninsula – Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and the Riviera Maya, are the top destinations according to reports.
The students, party-monsters, and brus hit these resort communities for good reason and with high confidence. With patrolling guards and a resort safety buffer, a city like Cancun is likely safer than St. Louis. While the resort areas in Mexico are generally quite tame, Acapulco is a recent example of how bad things can get. Acapulco, the original Mexican beach destination on the Pacific Coast, saw a string of gruesome gang violence earlier this year in the form of 14 beheadings. There is no priceline deal to Acapulco that can fill the void left by that kind of press. Predictably, travel to this region has lapsed dramatically.
The beautiful beaches, low prices, and an 18 year old drinking age form an alliance of desirability that many students adore. This spring break, grenade horns will sound and tank draped bros will mockingly shout “Cabs a’here” at every feasible opportunity, but there will almost certainly be no gang violence in tourist areas. As with all travel, as long as vacationers exercise caution and stay in the resort comfort zone, all will be fine. In fact, I will be visiting the Mayan Riviera in June, and my only concern is whether I will have time to go swimming with Whale Sharks.
flickr image via PriceTravel Pictures’