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Assessing Travel Risk.

Old Jun 25th, 2019, 04:28 AM
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Ah, mmeperdu, you have explained to me why a Facebook friend asked me if I saw trees growing out of abandoned buildings on Facebook when I posted I was in Tampico (which I found strange as I had not noticed any) and wrote “Be careful!”. She must have seen that same report. In my trip report, I won’t focus on the safety aspect, so here’s a good place—I don’t know how it might have been before but it did not seem now like a city afraid to go out. The Plaza de Armas on Saturday night was bursting with energy with traditional Mexican dancers and a crowd, people
enjoying there outdoor seating at restaurants; there was an area where teenagers were trying out their breakdancing moves. The Aduana Maritima had a regular stream of people doing the tours of that historic building. Couples strolled and people jogged on the paths along the Laguna del Carpintero while children jumped up and down on bouncy castles. Families were out in large numbers sitting under the sea of palapas at Playa Miramar and playing in the cooling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. One thing I will say though is that the warnings seem to be extremely effective—I did not see a single other person who was visibly a foreign tourist!
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Old Jun 25th, 2019, 08:11 AM
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So I assume then that gunfire wasn't part of the music of the streets in Tampico & while a short visit can never be definitive, things must have changed for the better in recent years. Maybe the truth is that violence continuously morphs & moves so no map or website will ever be accurate for very long if not updated regularly. And assuming we can't count on that, I think we're on our own, which we all knew.
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Old Jun 25th, 2019, 06:21 PM
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Daniel, that echoes exactly what we experienced in Tampico. Although some locals did say that during the last 5 years things have improved considerably regarding security.
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Old Jun 25th, 2019, 09:01 PM
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Reading the travel section of the NYTimes today I came across an article discussing a

Reading the travel section of the NYTimes today I came across an article discussing assessing travel risk all over the world.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 06:45 AM
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Regarding TampIco, Tamaulipas: I wanted to add that I just noticed that while the US State Department still says “Do Not Travel” to Tamaulipas State that their site has added since I read the warning last, that the tri-city area of Tampico is a lower crime area of the state due to law enforcement. I was so happy to read this more nuanced advisory; naïvely, I almost felt like the State Department was listening to my criticism of their warning (on a few sites) but was more happy for Tampiqueños that visitors may be more tempted to check out their fascinating and handsome historic city.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 07:00 PM
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Thanks Daniel for the update. As you know, I'm a Tampico fan too. I love the Gulf Coast. I've a 2 month trip planned back to the states beginning next week. But after that I want to work on an entire Northern Mexico trip report of various places we've been in no particular order. We'll be back to Saltillo for the first time in a few years. Do you know the Hotel Urdinola? Then on to either Monclova, Sabinas, or Piedras Negras. Still up in the air both ida y vuelta. Hopefully our 200,000 mile plus Honda Element survives the trip.

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Old Feb 16th, 2020, 03:46 AM
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Hi Baldone,

i stayed at the Hotel Urdiñola when in Saltillo. It was sort of grand and charming in a Spanish colonial way, but the evening was hot and the hotel had no A/C. Even with a fan, I was sweating and sleeping was not coming. As unadvisable as this sounds, I slept with the hotel door open to get a cross-breeze.

I appreciated the central location right by the plazas and the look of the hotel. If they have A/C option rooms now or if it were cooler out, I might consider the place again.

I look forward to your report, as Northern Mexico unbeknownst to many has so much to offer, despite potentially discouraging travel advisories. It seems too your report will be on the area of northern Mexico I know best, the northeast!

Cheers, Daniel
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Old Feb 16th, 2020, 09:58 AM
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I appreciate the heads up on the A/C. I almost always make sure a room has it; I forgot to check before I booked. I thought about canceling, but the forecast calls for a high of only 66 for Friday so I think I'll chance it.
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 07:57 AM
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Regarding both Colombia and Mexico, really you need to find a knowledgeable local and ask. (Someone who travels in the "unsafe" areas and is willing to be honest).

E.g., the headless body found at Boca de Tomates Beach a week after we were there birding, is not likely to be mentioned by your hotel receptionist "friend".

Several of my local guides in Mexico mentioned places where they won't go especially as you go inland from the west coast.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 08:24 AM
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Looking forward to future trip reports from the well-traveled posters on this thread! I know I want to go to the lowland forest around Huatulco for birding again with the same guide I used in Oaxaca. Then I'll add on some independent days.

For anyone looking for local (Mexican) birding tours, here's the link

Mexico-Birding Tours - Birdwatching In Mexico - Bird Guides
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