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Mexico woos tourists as U.S. advises travelers to avoid parts of the violence-plagued country

Tourists have to weigh the conflicting signals and decide for themselves whether to travel south of the U.S. border. One California family isn't worried enough to stay away from Cabo San Lucas, but they will be more alert.

May 07, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

"This episode of violence has been concentrated in very specific pockets of the country," Lopez-Negrete said. "You're not going to stop going to New York because there's an incident in Dallas."

Salvador Gonzalez, owner of Baja Adventures & ATV Tours in San Diego, has fielded a flurry of questions from concerned American clients.

"It's frustrating, since unfortunately only the bad news gets out. But Mexico is so much more than that," said Gonzalez, who leads small groups on weekend tours of sites in northern Baja California.

The State Department advisory pointed out that the violence common in border regions tends to be less pronounced in Mexico's tonier resort areas and tourist destinations.

Realtor Clink, 38, and his wife and two young children have visited Cabo San Lucas before and feel safe there — more or less.

Because Clink "definitely wouldn't drive at this point" through the volatile border regions, he'll be flying down. And instead of exploring the tiny towns on Cabo's isolated fringes, the family will stick to the populated tourist bubble.

"We've heard all the concerns, all the people saying we're crazy for going down there," Clink said. "In the back of my mind, I'll be alert and aware, using more caution this time than any other time."

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