I would not go to Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta or pretty much anything on the west coast. East coast, sure. Riviera Maya, Cancun – no problem.
From this article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/01/06/f-mexico-q-a-walter-mckay.html
Where do you see it going in the next year or so?
McKay: It’s about as violent as it can get. When that many people get killed in horrific manners — decapitation, burning, bodies dissolved in acid — you can’t get much worse than that.
The violence has now spread out from Ciudad Juarez as the cartels fight for different areas. The declining violence in Ciudad Juarez is because one side is winning. I think, what you are seeing is the dominance of one gang taking over because you’ve got more members on the same team now.
Other areas — Culiacan, Puerto Vallarta , Jalisco — are starting to heat up. These are now battlefronts.
In 2010 there were some 15,000 execution-style murders. This year it’s 18,600 so it’s worse than last year.
What tourist areas of Mexico are the safest?
Tourists walk underneath a pier in Cancun on Feb. 1, 2011. At the time, Mexico was seeking to overhaul its image abroad during a raft of bad publicity over drug-related violence, including beheadings and shootings, that has been taking a toll on the holiday industry. Foreign tourism is a key source of income for Mexico. (Gerardo Garcia/Reuters)
McKay: The east coast, Cancun, Merida, are still fine. Veracruz is a state I would avoid. When you have gangsters dumping 35 bodies on a freeway in the middle of the day, that just does not give me confidence about the city or the state of Veracruz.
Oaxaca, all the beaches along there are secure.
If I wanted to be absolutely safe, I would go to Cancun. Los Cabos, Baja California as a state, is fairly free of violence.