Mexico has it all.  It is full of absolutely stunning beaches, delicious food, and some of the most fascinating culture in the world. However, Mexico has been the focus of many news headlines lately, most of which do not paint Mexico in the most positive light.

There has been some of the worst drug cartel homicide and violence ever reported in recent years. This has caused the United States State Department to issue travel advisories that have warned U.S. citizens to not travel to certain parts of Mexico.

But, is all of Mexico unsafe? The Mexico tourism board has tried to remind Americans that while 5 states have been deemed dangerous, there are 26 states that are completely fine to travel to.  Still, these warning and assurances have left a lot of people confused. Many have decided to abandon their Mexican vacation dreams altogether. However, with careful planning and research, you can still make that Mexican vacation a reality. Here are some areas of Mexico that are both safe and worth the visit:

Mexico City

Mexico City may have a past, but it has blossomed into a very safe a tourist friendly city. It is one of the largest cities in the world and therefore has a wonderful metropolitan culture. Mexico City has no travel restrictions so you can feel safe roaming downtown and walking through the impressive Plaza.

While you are in Mexico City make sure to pay a visit to the absolutely stunning Aztec Templo Mayor.  You will fall in love with its baroque Catedra Metropoltana de Mexico. It is one of the loveliest churches in all of Mexico.

Mexico City has undergone a cultural change in recent years and has become much hipper and bohemian. It has also developed a great foodie scene that is constantly growing. There are some great boutique hotels with all the stylish amenities you could ask for. There is also a wonderful art scene in Mexico City. Make sure you visit the Soumaya Museum. It is owned and operated by Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world. It boasts works from some of Mexico’s most famous artists such as Diego Rivera.

Puebla

Another great city to visit is Puebla, located just two hours to the south of Mexico City.  It is a very popular tourist destination. It is also one of the safest cities in Mexico due to its lack of gang activity.

One of the top activities for visitors is its picturesque cable car. It is nearly a half of mile long and well worth the trip. You will be able to see the whole city. Also, make sure to visit the Ferris wheel that was deemed the world’s largest Ferris wheel. It will give you a bird-eye view of the entire area.

The real draw to Puebla may be the Spanish architecture.  It has some of the best examples of Spanish colonial buildings in the whole country. It also has a very rich culinary history that has attracted a lot of culinary talent as of late.One of the must-try dishes is called a cemitas. It is a type of sandwich that is exclusive to this area. Also, the mole poblano originated in Puebla.  This chocolate flavored chili dish is absolutely mouth-watering.  Puebla really has it all from great shopping to good eats and is definitely worth visiting.

Tulum

Tulum has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. They are sparkly blue and warm.  Tulum also has a laid-back vibe that many tourist destinations are lacking. Many people are ditching Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel for Tulum.

Tulum is a preserved Mayan city that is home to some of the most visited ruins. These archeological sites attract millions of people each year. The Templo Dios del Viento is some of the best examples of Mayan architecture.

Tulum also have some of the best cenotes in the country. What is a cenote, you may ask? A cenote is a pit. It is a natural sinkhole that is a great place to swim. You can dive and lounge in the pool.

Make sure to explore Tulum’s wild jungle beach. Spend an afternoon paddle surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. You are sure to have a great trip.

Bacalar

Bacalar is a hidden gem in Mexico. It is different than many other Mexican tourist spots because there is not a beach. However, it is home to one of the most stunning freshwater lakes, Bacalar Lake. The Bacalar Lake is also known as the “Lake of the Seven Colors.”  It is a colorful crystalline lake.

While tourists enjoy Bacalar, it retains its traditional Mexican culture that other tourist spots in Mexico have lost. It is a great choice if you are looking for a destination that focuses on a strong local culture and Mexican traditions.

If you can, try to visit Bacalar in August. Its Festival of San Joaquin is a sight to behold. The streets light up with dancing, fun games, and some of the best parades in the country.

Todos Santos

Todos Santos is located in Baja California Sur. There are no travel warnings or bans in this area of Mexico.  It is a cute little town full of fishermen and surfers. It is also home to a large group of New Ager spiritualists.

Todos Santos has become a tourist destination for Mexican visitors. It is a haven away from the popular spots in the areas such as Cabo San Lucas and La Paz. It has some cute boutiques and is home to the iconic Hotel California from the hit Eagle’s song… definitely worth visiting.

These are just a few of the safe Mexican destinations. Before you make any travel plans it is a good idea to check for any current travel bans or warning. However, if you are careful, you can have a great Mexican vacation full of beautiful scenery, culture, and good food. So go ahead and pack your sombrero and tequila glass.