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mt. laurel, nj
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365 posts
3 reviews
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I am considering taking my wife to Amuleto in Zihua to celebrate her 40th b day. However, I am curious/concerned if there are armed guards (Army) and dogs patrolling the airport as this will likely freak her out. We've only been to Mexico one other time (Cabo -- pre 9/11) and I don't recall this being the norm. I'm just curious what this airport is like and what to expect --- I'm sure it's different than Mexico City or Juarez?? Any advice or insight would be appreciated......

Queretaro City...
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1. Re: Customs/Immigration

I don't know a major airport in the world that doesn't have armed security and dogs somewhere around (the dogs are for detecting drugs in bags). I wouldn't expect to see the army in any Mexican airport - usually just airport security guards and Federales (national police). Zihuatenejo airport is fairly small and shouldn't have an overt military presence. However you will probably see armed forces of some kind in that part of Mexico on your travels but I don't really see why this should be a great problem.

Clearwater, Florida
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7,553 posts
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2. Re: Customs/Immigration

The airport scene, whatever it is, shouldn't freak her out - but seeing military and state police in the city/area heavily-armed might. There have been grenade attacks against the police station(s) in Zhiua recently and for a short period the entire police force is said to have walked off the job. The President dispatched additional soldiers to the area. If you pass a bank you're likely to see guards with machine guns, or rifles - and that sight scares some tourists unfamiliar with such procedures.

I remember going to San Juan, Puerto Rico in the '70s when, on the beach at the resort, there were armed-soldiers on horseback . . . protecting us. And also when I was in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the "troubles," and when I was in a hotel that was bombed. And when I was in Montreal during martial law with soldiers patrolling the streets, and in Paris when terrorists were tossing bombs in the early-80s.

Yes, all of this violence or threats or thoughts of it scares many people. Some places should be avoided, but in others, probably such as Zihua., advance planning and caution when traveling works well. Though, I realize there are many destinations where these risks aren't as present as they are in parts of Mexico right now.

Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, Cabo San Lucas
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10,993 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Customs/Immigration

Only reason to be nervous about any police and dogs is if you have something to be nervous about!! Every airport has dogs of all sizes and kinds...Houston has the little beagles who sniff for food and are so adorable..as long as they don't sit down by you!! There are drug dogs in all airports in the USA...I am sure you have seen them either on TV reports...or at the airports. Trust me there were police in Cabo...you just were not looking around for them...as they ARE there and so are the dogs.

The airport in Zihua is small...you disembark down the steps of the plane..most of the time using both front and back doors...same for when you leave. You will gasp at the sudden heat and humidty...and then marvel at the beauty of the mountains and the smells of the area. You line up inside in nice a/c...and get your passport stamped...then off to find your luggage...there are men there to help you if you wish...then hit the red/green lite and buy your ticket for the taxi...or find your tour company with your ride to the hotel...AVOID the TIMESHARE people...they are soooooo dangerous...so expensive and so many problems for so many people who think there is still a free lunch in this world! NOT!!

There will be guards around your hotel, too...they guard it heavily so that not just anyone can walk in there...so don't let that shock you, either.

If your wife is that afraid of police and dogs...might want to consider staying home and just going out for a nice local meal. Remember in your banks in NJ the guards are wearing blue blazers and grey pants..and are packing guns, too...just that you can't see them, is the difference! I guess I would like to know who has the guns by seeing them...

West Kelowna, Canada
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1,081 posts
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4. Re: Customs/Immigration

You are going to see a lot of military in ZIH,

First it is a military training base - Armado, mainly Navy.

Then not that this would matter to a common tourist Second, the Mexican government doesn't play games, unlike the US or Canada, they shoot, ask questions later as it should be done.

You won't see any more armed personnel, dogs, etc. than you will see at your departure/arrival airport in the US.

Freak her out? Call it education into the real world. Most are way to protected, what happened to the draft? It educated many.

5. Re: Customs/Immigration

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