Insight Mexico Insight Mexico outside the warning zones By Meagan Drillinger / September 06, 2017 Share 1 Campeche is known for its walled, historical city center on the Gulf of Mexico, with cobblestone streets. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger -- Mexico is in the hot seat once again as a recent travel warning has sent the travel community spinning over safety concerns. While Mexico is typically on the State Department's travel warning list, often the country's tourist destinations are left off. For the most recent update, however, popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Baja California Sur were included in the list of places tourists should avoid. Travel experts and professionals maintain that these areas are safe for tourists."The State Department's travel advisories are important and cannot be dismissed; however, they should be read carefully and taken in context," said Tim Mullen, president of Apple Vacations. "The crime and violence rates referenced in the travel advisory are for broad regions while the incidence of this activity tends to be highly concentrated in areas which are not frequented by travelers. Visitors who use common sense [and] travel in areas frequented by other tourists are safe and have enjoyable visits."Still, for those agents whose clients are expressing concern about travel to Mexico, here are five destinations not cited in the State Department warning.CampecheQuintessentially colonial Mexico, Campeche City is a picture-perfect painting of color and charm. The capital of the state is known for its walled, historic city center on the Gulf of Mexico, with cobblestone streets, main square and white-washed cathedral. Outside the city, 40% of the state is shrouded in jungle and has some of the best Mayan ruins in the entire country. Calakmul is the most popular, within Mexico's largest biosphere reserve.The city is also going through a foodie revolution, showing off a blend of European, Mayan and Caribbean flavors. With a Gulf of Mexico location, seafood is undoubtedly the first choice among diners in Campeche. Visitors can sample dishes from dogfish, or shark, to stone crabs and octopus. Some of Campeche's most emblematic culinary creations include pan de cazon (a tortilla lasagna stuffed with dogfish or shark meat), coconut shrimp, pompano fish in salsa verde, along with tender pit roasted pig, turkey with black stuffing, or pork and black beans. Other traditional dishes with strong Mayan and Mexican influences are stuffed dutch cheese, tamales, black bean tostadas and sherry-sweetened ham.San Cristobal de las CasasIn Chiapas state, U.S. government personnel are advised to stay in tourist areas such as this colonial city. Characterized by its low-rise, colorful colonial buildings on either side of cobblestone streets, the main central plaza opens to views of the surrounding valley, with the intimidating yellow-and-red Cathedral de San Cristobal overseeing all. Different from other Mexican destinations, San Cristobal has almost an Alpine feel, with crisp, cooler weather, thick forests, and mist-covered mountain peaks. It is a prime destination for backpackers and spiritual seekers, with Mayan shamans offering yoga and cleansing rituals, vegan and vegetarian eateries, and block after block of budget accommodationsCathedral de San Cristobal in San Cristobal de las Casas. Photo Credit: Meagan Drillinger San Cristobal is also a perfect home base from which to explore nearby attractions. The Canon del Sumidero in Sumidero National Park is a massive canyon cut by the Grijalva River, and has walls that climbs as high as 3,200 feet. Another option is to do a day tour to El Chiflon and Lagunas Montibello. El Chiflon is a series of waterfalls that ends at Velo de Novia waterfall, a massive fall that drops nearly 400 feet. Lagunas Montibello is on the border of Guatemala, and consists of a series of lakes that are tucked within pine forests. BuceriasAbout 20 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta is the bohemian-luxe Riviera Nayarit and its collection of coastal communities. Bucerias is one of the closest to the Puerto Vallarta airport, but being in the state of Nayarit is almost like another world away from the beach-city vibe of Puerto Vallarta. With delicious seafood, a lively culture, and a beautiful beach scene, Bucerias should be on the list for sun worshippers. Bucerias also has a strong art scene, flower-lined streets and one of the longest stretches of bars and restaurants in Riviera Nayarit. It's known as the "Wind Capital" of Riviera Nayarit because of the wind surfers who flock there to practice on this side of the Bay of Banderas.While in town, camp out at Seafood The Fat Boy, a palapa-shielded seafood restaurant on the sand with casual seafood dining and drinks. Families will love Breakers Beach Bar for its Wit Floating Water Park, a floating obstacle course in the middle of the bay. There is also the Sukha Beach House, an alfresco beachside lounge with swinging bungee chairs, hammocks and long communal tables. For the art scene, experience the Bucerias Art Walk Plaza Premier Art Center, a collection of shops and galleries including A Broken Art, Galleria, Reynosos, Galleria Perrech and others. Mexico CityIf you haven't been to Mexico City yet, now might be the perfect time to start, as the nation's capital is without any travel advisory warnings. The vibrant metropolis has skyrocketed to popularity among millennial and luxury travelers, due to the explosion of luxury and boutique hotels and its international dining scene, nightlife, history and culture. Consider booking a stay in one of Grupo Habita's boutique hotels in the city, whether it's Downtown Hotel at the Centro Historico, Hotel Habita in chic Polanco, Distrito Capital in Santa Fe, or Condesa DF in bohemian Condesa. VeracruzThe State Department advises that government personnel remain in tourist areas in the state of Veracruz, which is often overlooked for the beaches of Quintana Roo but has its fair share of colonial charm and beach resorts. It is also home to the Unesco World Heritage site of Tlacotalpan, as well as several Magic Towns, and Mexico's highest peak: Pico de Orizaba, which is surpassed in North America only by Denali. When visiting Veracruz City, be sure to stop at the zocalo, framed on three sides by arcades, the 17th century Palacio Municipal, and the cathedral. For beach life, head south to Mocambo Beach, which is partially in the city itself and partially in neighboring Boca del Rio. Beachfront hotels and watersports are the draw to this seaside destination. For something more secluded, consider Anton Lizardo, home to lazy beach restaurants and dive shops. It's not as action-packed as other tourist destinations, but a large coral reef makes it ideal for a private snorkel session.