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Travel in Mexico with a guided tour group
Old 08-10-2012, 09:33 AM   #1
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Travel in Mexico with a guided tour group

I am seriously considering a guided tour (G-adventures is the name of the company) in Mexico/Belize. There has been many news reports about the dangers in Mexico so I was wary. I called the tour company and told them my concerns; they said they had no incidents of violence and their excursions emphasise safety. Also they pick up the traveller at the airport. I have been intrigued about archeology and the Mayans since I was a kid and always wanted to visit. I went to the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto) this spring to see the Mayan exhibit, but nothing beats actually going to the sites themselves. Seeing museum artifacts and television documentaries may be my only experience if I let the negative news reports deter me from a trip I've envisioned since chilhood. (I would like to go to Egypt too one day for the pyramids...it is a shame that there too tourists have been warned of violence) .The Mayan tour begins and ends in Cancun, a route with competitive airfares from Canada. I was also considering a trip to the Galapagos with the same provider as I was also intrigued about the islands after reading about Darwin and the ship the Beagle as a kid, but I found the higher cost of that trip and the (much) more expensive airfare cost prohibitive.
I've never been on a guided tour but it seems like a good option for me as a solo traveller (DH not as interested in the history/archeology type travel) Travelling alone is lonely and this option, I believe, is a way to travel in a safer, more social enviroment.
Anyone taken a G-adventure tour? It was originally a tour company aimed at the university crowd for their "Gap" year, now it caters to a range of people. There are two others booked on the Mexico trip I've enquired about. A couple in their 70s!
I haven't booked yet. I'm still thinking the pros and cons.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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Here is the US State Dept's travel advisory for Mexico: Mexico

They take Mexico state by state. No specific travel advisories are listed for Quintana Roo, the state that contains Cancun and some sites of archaeological interest. You may want to review your itinerary and compare it to the state by state travel advisories.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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No comments of the specific company, but I think a tour group is a good idea. Mexico is a really nice tourist destination with lots to see and do, and while the security concerns may be a bit overstated (IMHO), if you don't speak the language and aren't comfortable going out alone in strange places a good tour group will get you there. My mother has taken a number of solo tours and cruises after my father passed away and all of them have gone well. The tour organizations sometimes pair up singles (same gender) to reduce the costs.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
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This company automatically pairs you with a tourist of the same gender, or you can purchase the extra "my own room" option (which I will). I guess the question I am asking myself ....with the fact that DH isn't interested and the travel advisory regarding crime....should I scratch it off my bucket list? I'm healthy and have the time/energy now, free-spirited on one hand but cautious on the other.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
This company automatically pairs you with a tourist of the same gender, or you can purchase the extra "my own room" option (which I will). I guess the question I am asking myself ....with the fact that DH isn't interested and the travel advisory regarding crime....should I scratch it off my bucket list? I'm healthy and have the time/energy now, free-spirited on one hand but cautious on the other.
What are you waiting for? Do it!
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
This company automatically pairs you with a tourist of the same gender, or you can purchase the extra "my own room" option (which I will). I guess the question I am asking myself ....with the fact that DH isn't interested and the travel advisory regarding crime....should I scratch it off my bucket list? I'm healthy and have the time/energy now, free-spirited on one hand but cautious on the other.
I would not hesitate to do it as long as you avoid the hotspots (noted in the link I posted). I would like to take my family with young children down there and would do it to any of the safe areas (and maybe some questionable areas if due diligence revealed that it could be done safely with some precautions).

Canada may be different than the US in terms of guns and safety, but I know every day on the streets in my city I could be gunned down. Odds are very very very minute, but lots of good guys and bad guys have guns. And good guys can mistake me for a bad guy, or just snap. This doesn't keep me from going outside, walking around, showing up at work in the downtown area, etc. A minute risk of being victimized by violent crime is an acceptable risk when the benefit is being able to enjoy the world around me (with appropriate precautions of course).
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #7
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Travel anywhere is subject to risk. The question is, is the counter risk (e.g. armed tour guards) greater than the risk involved?

For instance, DW went on a Nile cruise a few years ago (before the "troubles") along with another gal that she met/bonded with on our previous Australia trip.

While on land (yes, especially in Cairo), they had an armed guard with them at all times while traveling.

Extreme? No, not at all.

During my "productive" years (e.g. employed), I worked/traveled in France quite often.

When taking the metro in southern France (e.g. Lyon), late night runs were "monitored" by security personnel (with automatic weapons) due to possible trouble from the Algerian folks who resided in the area.

As one who served in Nam, I'm well aware of the security issues of each country and the necessary measures required.

Go, and have fun on your trip. While you should have concern, just remember that (on a guided tour), the tour operators are aware of the risk, and have put in place safeguards to protect you.

It's a different world. Unfortunately we (in the US) are unaware of how challanging it is in the rest of the world, to be safe - even in a post 9-11 world. The option is to just bury ourselves in a hole (e.g. not travel) or travel as we wish, but ensure that proper security measures are in place to support our travel (I/DW opt for the latter)...
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Frugalityisthenewblack View Post
I guess the question I am asking myself ....with the fact that DH isn't interested and the travel advisory regarding crime....should I scratch it off my bucket list? I'm healthy and have the time/energy now, free-spirited on one hand but cautious on the other.
Sensible question that only you can answer. I suppose you could allow your husband 1/10 of a vote also?

Ha
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