General Warning Info, Mexico City
With a little common sense Mexico CIty can be enjoyed greatly. Here are a couple of tips....First...AVOID drinking the local water, drink only bottled water !!!! or soda's or beer !!!! Avoid having drinks with ice !!! The ice is made from the local water and unless you want to spend yours days in Mexico City in the bathroom...STAY AWAY FROM IT !!!!!!
Leave all your expensive jewerly home.....ask Don King and his $100,000 Rolex some one polietly took off his hand as he faced the barrel of a gun !!!!! and of course keep aware of your surrondings !!!!! Walk in pairs or groups, avoid Taxi's or the subway at night and you'll be just fine !!!!
As a in a big city is normal that you get lost, if you get lost in a non touristic area and need assistance, don't panic and don't take out any map, go to a store or a place where you can take out your map and maybe if you feel like to ask for any directions do it. This is only a gernal precaution that you would take in any other city. I have to add that people tend to be very friendly and if they see you in problems they can help, ibut if you dont need any help and feel treded just thank and go to any store or a place where you can see people.
Real Mexican food is a problem to many foreigners... why? Food tend to be spicy and sometimes if you eat more than two different dishes in one day, you can have a boom in your stomach. This is beacuse many people is not used to eat this kind of food, and I need to tell you that even if you tried ever some mexican food before, it's not the same, so, I warn that you should bring with you some stomach medicine just in case.
Also there are plenty of places where you can eat food, be aware that the place looks clean and is not a place in the middle of the street, this places aren't clean enough and it's almost a guarantee you can be sick - So be careful, the best thing is to eat in a normal restaurant. Trust my mexican tips.
It's a good idea to take it easy on your first day or two in Mexico City because of the combination of the high altitude and the pollution problem. The city sits at 2240 meters above sea level (Denver, Colorado - "the Mile High City" - is only about 1600 meters), so the altitude is a reality, however, I did a fair bit of walking on my first day and didn't feel any effects. I think the key is to be aware of it and to walk a little more slowly than usual.
The pollution is also a real problem, however, I found that it wasn't as bad as the awful stories I had heard. During my time here, there was almost always a blue sky above. The smog sits farther on the horizon and usually is very visible near the base of the mountains where it tends to get trapped.
When visiting, try not to take too much money, no expensive jewelry and only take what is essential to wonder around town. Try to avoid place where large crowds and small markets meet. Do not wear a wallet or carry a purse. If you need a watch, use one that is low profile and cheap. Learn the local languege and idioms. Only get on marked taxi cabs. If you need info on specific locations email me to get them.
Travelers' Diarrhea (TD )
TD is a syndrome characterized by a twofold or greater increase in the frequency of unformed bowel movements. Typical associated symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, urgency, fever, and malaise.
An important determinant of risk is the destination of the traveler. High-risk destinations include Mexico. TD is usually acquired through ingestion of fecally contaminated food or water, or both. Both cooked and uncooked foods might be implicated if they have been improperly handled. Tap water, ice, and unpasteurized milk and dairy products can be associated with increased risk of TD.
No data have been presented to support noninfectious causes of TD, such as changes in diet, jet lag, altitude, and fatigue.
Paying meticulous attention to food and beverage consumption can decrease the likelihood of developing TD. Most travelers encounter difficulty in observing the requisite dietary restrictions. Use of antibiotics is not recommend to prevent TD because they can cause additional problems.
For treatment, fruit juices, soft drinks (preferably without caffeine), and salted crackers are advised.
Travelers should be advised to consult a physician for antimicrobial drugs prescription and dose schedules rather than attempt self-medication if the diarrhea is severe or does not resolve within several days; if there is blood or mucus, or both, in the stools; if fever occurs with shaking chills; or if there is dehydration with persistent diarrhea.
Antidiarrheals can decrease the number of diarrheal stools, but can cause complication for persons with serious infections.
KEEP IN MIND
If bloody diarrhea, dehydration, fever in excess of 38°C, or persistent vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical help!
Drugs should be prescribed with caution for children, infants, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
In la Zona Rosa, you're pegged as someone with money, so watch yourself. Do not walk alone. Men will be approached constantly and persistantly by guys who tell you that they can get you into a gent's club for no cover. Don't fall for this - you MIGHT get in free if you go with them, but then you'll get hustled for drinks. They will get your money if they get you inside the club. Also, watch out for the shoe shiners. They aggressively ask for your business. Some of them actually will bend down immediately and put some substance on your shoes. Don't let this happen, because now you're on the clock!
...when the next Big One hits Mexico City. They say the city's sinking, well, here's proof: the old Shrine of Guadaloupe is tipping a liiiiittle bit more each year. Oh it's fine and safe to enter on a regular day, but all it might take is one major something-point-something on the Richter scale, and Look Out. I'm just saying. ;-O
It is recommended that for your personal security not to wear expensive jewelry, ostentatious articles and other valuables; instead they should be placed in the safe deposit box of the hotel.
It is recommended to change in advance sufficient money for spending the first days of your trip, thereby avoiding carrying huge amounts of cash.
It is advisable that when traveling you carry sufficient prescribed medications so they will last during your entire stay and that you also carry all your prescriptions and keep medications in their original containers to avoid misunderstandings with local authorities.
It is suggested that the visitor ask about requirements and services covered by insurance policies in case there is an emergency away from place of origin.
Unfortunately, this is a very unsecure city! But if you always take authorized taxis, there is nothing to worry about. We call it "Taxi de Sitio". Some authorized taxis accept credit cards!
Yeah, it costs much more than the regular taxi!
Many things have been said about Mexico City's security. When I was living in Canada I read about it in local newspapers and believe me, it's not the way the media abroad publishes. I mean, it is as dangerous as any other major city like New York or LA. Of course you have to be careful with your money, when taking a cab, not to show valuable things in public sites, not being alone at night, etc. Be careful but don't panic! It certainly is not the most dangerous city in the world!
No joke, Mexico City is really dangerous.
I myself, being a young girl, would never go there just for a holiday. I can go to DF because I know (or knew) people there, and I stay with them and travel with them, and they have lived there all there lives.
woman = bad idea
woman traveling alone = very bad idea
woman traveling alone who can't function in spanish = are you just stupid?!
The rest of Mexico (maybe save Tijuana...) is pretty safe in comparison, and the mexican people as a whole are awsome. Very giving and very kind. But big cities are dangerous places anywhere in the world. Mexico city is one of the biggest cities.
I definetly recommend knowing someone there.
no girlies this is NOT Cancun!
P.S. to anyone who is going to go blindly stumbling through the capital; stay away from Tepito (duh!) and Nezahualcoyotl (it's on the outskirts - you don't bother Neza and Neza won't bother you :) Tepito is pretty much smack bang in the middle which means you have to be very careful not to stumble on into it. Lagunilla is a really cool market (sundays) but any day the market's not there or after it gets dark it's hella dangerous.
Other comun tourist spots that get creepy after dark are MOST of the Zocalo, and Plaza Garibaldi. This is a comon misconception among tourists, as both places are big attractions, but the fact is, after dark they get nasty. (think about it people if you were dead broke in DF and you resorted to robbing someone, who would you rob, one of your countrymen or some stupid tourist whose money is worth more....) + look on a map, what's smack bang in the middle of Lagunilla, El Zocalo and La Plaza Garibaldi, yep you got it, our little friend Tepito. Here, maybe looking at the Metro map will help get your bearings http://www.metro.df.gob.mx/red/index.html
oh and if you're thinking of taking the metro.....
haha no, no reason to pee your pants, just be careful in the city, always be aware of your surroundings.
Be very careful on taxis on the street. You can be buying a trip to goodbye wallet.
At your hotel ask for a taxi company number and don't forget to buy a telephone card as coin tels are not very common anymore.
I probably spent the first few days tense from having read so much on the dangers of Mexico. I didn't see a single thing that made me feel like the city was dangerous, but I'm from Chicago and vacation in NY and DC several times per year every year. I know how to act in large, metro cities. I stayed in a safe neighborhood, but it was not a tourist neighborhood. I rented a condo in La Condesa Hippodroma where there were only middle class native Mexicans. We took the subway every morning and night during rush hour and had no problems with pick pockets, strange men trying to be helpful, or the like. We learned how to use the subway, so we never had to worry about the safety of taxis. We stayed out late, walked the streets and felt like natives since our local neighborhood vendors would recognize us and say "hola". Jerry and I have a tendency not to speak loudly and frequently don't speak English in public. I'm asian and Jerry is your typical, big and tall German, so we didn't blend in, but we didn't attract attention to ourselves either. Jerry felt like most people didn't approach us because we don't really look like your stereotypical happy, bouncy, friendly, wide-eyed American. We usually looked beat-up and tired after a day of running raged from museums to historical sites to markets. We wear long, black trench coats, no flashy jewelry, and I carry a messenger bag, not a purse. We offered no one an opportunity to get close or take anything from us.
Mexico City has often been painted as a dangerous place to be with frequent kidnappings and daytime robbery and assaults. I just want to say that although this might be true to certain degree but believe me it is not as common as movies or people make it out to be. Staying safe in Mexico City means that you need to exercise some common sense when you are traveling. These are some of the advice that I have which made me feel safe traveling in Mexico City. 1) Avoid traveling by yourself at night time. During the daytime it is pretty safe. 2) Don't dress too much apart from the people. Basically, don't show people that you have a lot of money and don't carry too much cash with you. 3) Learn the railroad system/avoid taxis. If you fear of being kidnapped then stay away from taxis. The railroad system is easy to use, cheap, and safe during the daytime. I don't recommend it after 9pm.