safest parts of mexico

The 16 Safest Parts of Mexico to Travel to in 2024

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With its stunning beaches, rich culture, and flavorful cuisine, Mexico remains an incredibly popular travel destination. However, many travelers have concerns about safety given Mexico’s reputation.

The good news is that by doing proper research and taking precautions, there are  safest places to visit across Mexico’s vast and diverse landscape.

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Tulum, Mexico

The 16 Safest Parts of Mexico to Travel to in 2024

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The safest places to visit in Mexico include popular destinations like

  • Mexico City
  • San Miguel de Allende
  •  Puerto Vallarta
  •  Los Cabos
  •  Tulum
  • Cancun
  • as well as some hidden gems like
  • Oaxaca city
  • Bacalar
  •  Isla Holbox
  •  and Loreto

 I break down the safest regions, cities, and towns in Mexico based on recent crime data, traveler experiences, and local insight. Keep reading for more details.

I analyzed data and traveler experiences to determine the 15 safest parts of Mexico to travel to right now.

These destinations have low crime rates, visible security enforcement, and positive reviews from past visitors. They range from tranquil beach towns to lively cultural hubs filled with amazing food, sights, and activities for travelers.

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Safest Regions in Mexico

Yucatan Peninsula – Has lowest homicide rate in Mexico at 2.3 per 100,000 in 2022

Baja California Sur – Had 5th lowest homicide rate at 4.99 per 100,000 in 2022

Safest cities in Mexico – safest place in Mexico to visit 

When determining the safest places in Mexico, it helps to understand which regions tend to be safer overall based on crime data.

The Yucatan Peninsula along the Caribbean coast is widely regarded as the safest region in Mexico. States like Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo have very low crime rates compared to the rest of the country.

The Baja California Peninsula is another relatively safe part of Mexico to visit, especially the state of Baja California Sur. Popular beach destinations like La Paz, Todos Santos, Los Cabos, and Loreto are quite safe.

Central Mexico also has several secure tourist destinations, such as Queretaro, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, and Mexico City. There is a strong police presence and lower reports of violent crime in these areas.

Safest Cities and Towns to Visit in Mexico Yucatan Peninsula

The Mexican region with the lowest crime rates is the Yucatan Peninsula along the Caribbean coast. Destinations here are very safe for travelers, which is why it draws over 14 million visitors per year. Let’s explore some of the stand-out safe spots in the Yucatan that you should consider visiting.

Tulum 

What was once a sleepy beach village has boomed into a trendy, jungle-fringed hot spot. While Tulum’s growth has brought some crime, it remains very safe compared to many other beach destinations in Mexico. The main tourist areas and hotels have visible security patrols, although incidents can still occur at night far off the beaten path. Use common sense and take precautions after dark.

tulum mexico safest part of mexico

Tulum – Murder rate of 4.2 per 100,000 and safety score of 63.38 out of 100

Cancun

As one of the most visited destinations in Mexico with over 9 million annual visitors, Cancun has invested heavily in security over the past decade. The hotel zone has police and military protecting all access points and patrolling 24/7. While petty crime still occurs, violent incidents are rare. Visitors should exercise common sense solo safety measures.

Cancun – Murder rate improved to 1.83 per 100,000 in 2022, safety score of 62.75 out of 100

Mérida

Consistently ranked the #1 safest city in Mexico, Mérida is a colonial gem filled with culture, museums, markets, and amazing regional Yucatecan cuisine. Its historic downtown center is vibrant and walkable day or night due to its strong security. Violent crime is extremely rare, although petty theft can occur if valuables are left unattended. Overall, Merida’s high safety scores make it a stress-free base to explore the region.

Photo of a Monument in Mexico

Mérida – Crime rate of 21.84 per 100,000 people

Mérida – Robbery rate of 21.8 per 100,000 and safety score of 74.95 out of 100

Valladolid

Located just 30 minutes from the famous Chichen Itza ruins, the small colonial town of Valladolid oozes charm and safety. Its pastel-hued historic buildings now house boutique shops, cafés, and art galleries. Violent crime is virtually nonexistent in Valladolid, although visitors should still take normal precautions with valuables as opportunistic theft can occasionally occur.

Valladolid – Extremely low crime score of 2.27 out of 100 and safety score of 91.71 out of 100

Cozumel

The island of Cozumel off the Yucatan coast consistently ranks among the safest places in Mexico with one of the lowest crime rates in North America. Its economy relies heavily on cruise tourism, so local officials ensure a secure environment. The main town and port area have frequent police patrols and crimes against tourists are extremely rare.

Beach on Cozumel Island in Mexico

Cozumel – Violent crime rate of 2.1 per 100,000 and safety score of 65.46 out of 100

Bacalar

An emerging destination in southeast Quintana Roo, Bacalar and its striking blue lagoon offer great safety. This region by the Belize border sees very little crime, and Bacalar town has retained its small, community vibe. Visitors can relax while enjoying Bacalar’s Caribbean-style beaches, cenotes, lake activities and natural beauty knowing security is not a major concern.

Safest Cities and Towns to Visit in Baja California: safest part of mexico

The Baja California peninsula on Mexico’s west coast contains several extremely secure vacation spots to choose from, many catering to Americans due to the proximity to the California border. Here some of the top safe picks in Baja.

La Paz

As the capital city of Baja California Sur state, La Paz offers laid-back seaside charm with modern tourism infrastructure. The government ensures low crime rates to protect the critical tourism economy. Visitors can unwind along La Paz’s scenic waterfront boardwalk (the Malecón) or golden sand beaches knowing security is not an issue.

La Paz – Crime risk level of 32.24 per 100,000, Numbeo safety score of 67.12 out of 100

Los Cabos

At the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, Los Cabos remains one of the safest regions in Mexico thanks to heavy tourism police presence. The main hotel zone and downtown areas have extremely low violent crime rates, although tourists should stick to authorized taxis at night and watch belongings as pickpocketing sometimes occurs on crowded beaches.

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico

Los Cabos – Crime risk level of 46.51 per 100,000, safety score of 55.57 out of 100

Ensenada

Located two hours south of San Diego, Ensenada is popular with cruise ship and weekend travelers from California. As tourism makes up a major part of Ensenada’s economy, officials maintain rigorous security enforcement in the downtown and port areas with police/military patrols and surveillance cameras. Violent crime involving tourists is rare, although petty theft is possible.

Ensenada – Crime risk level of 39.06 per 100,000, safety score of 60.96 out of 100

Loreto

This charming small town on the Sea of Cortez focuses on eco-tourism and outdoor adventure. Visitors praise Loreto’s welcoming community atmosphere and security compared to larger resort areas in Baja Sur. While petty crimes do occasionally occur, violent incidents are extremely uncommon in Loreto. It makes for a stress-free destination to enjoy Loreto’s beautiful beaches, mountains and marine wildlife.

Loreto – Low crime risk, safety scores N/A

Safest Cities and Towns in Central and Western Mexico: safe places to go in mexico

In addition to beach vacations, Mexico offers vibrant inland cultural cities that are also quite safe to visit. Central Mexico has several secure destinations located in key states. Here are some top picks:

San Miguel de Allende

This picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site in Guanajuato state has earned a reputation as one of the overall safest places in Mexico. Over 8,000 American and Canadian expats even call San Miguel home long-term. While petty theft occasionally occurs downtown, violent crimes against tourists are rare thanks to ever-present police patrols and attentive locals invested in protecting the city’s image.

Church in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato

San Miguel de Allende – Crime risk level of 66.45 per 100,000, safety score of 48.42 out of 100

Queretaro City

Lesser-visited Queretaro state is rising up security rankings as an attractive destination given its rich culture and significantly lower crime rates compared to neighboring areas. Queretaro City offers a charming mix of historic plazas and architecture with modern amenities, all easily walkable. New security investments by state tourism authorities ensure low risk for visitors.

Queretaro City – Crime risk level of 39.02 per 100,000, safety score of 62.74 out of 100

Guadalajara

As Mexico’s second largest metropolis, Guadalajara has improved security substantially in recent years with investments in surveillance systems, increased police patrols, and community partnerships. Its picturesque historic center and neighborhoods like artsy Tlaquepaque district make for safe, rewarding exploration. Use common sense precautions you would in any major city and violent crime risk remains minimal.

Guadalajara – Homicide rate of 10.35 per 100,000 in 2022, safety score N/A

Puerto Vallarta

On Mexico’s central Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta remains one of the country’s most popular and continuously safe beach destinations. Local officials and tourism leaders work closely with law enforcement to actively prevent crimes regularly in the downtown and hotel zone. While petty theft is possible as anywhere with large crowds, risks are low.

Puerto Vallarta – Crime risk level of 38.82 per 100,000, safety score of 64.21 out of 100

Oaxaca City

Southern Mexico’s cultural epicenter, Oaxaca City delights visitors with its Indigenous Zapotec heritage, bustling markets, famous regional cuisine and stunning colonial architecture. Oaxaca feels both profoundly Mexican and safer than many locales. The historic center has cameras and frequent police patrols, while the close-knit community helps prevent crimes against tourists. Petty theft is still possible as in any city, so keep valuables secured and use hotel safes.

Street in Old Town 

Oaxaca City – Crime risk level of 42.31 per 100,000, safety score of 57.86 out of 100

Safety Tips When Traveling in Mexico: safest place to vacation in mexico

To ensure the best experience traveling in the safest parts of Mexico, keep these additional safety tips in mind:

  • Only take regulated taxis or ride shares, never unmarked cars to avoid “express kidnappings”
  • Avoid driving or traveling highways at night
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry or carry lots of cash
  • Don’t leave drinks unattended at clubs/bars to prevent spiking
  • Walk and travel in groups when possible
  • Stay on toll roads with Tourist Police (Policia Turistica) escorts when possible

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Safest places in mexico to visit 

I hope this guide has helped showcase that there are many incredible places you can visit safely across Mexico beyond the headlines. By using current data sources and traveler testimonies for our analysis, we’re confident recommending these destinations.

The spots listed offer lower crime rates and visible security compared to other parts of Mexico. However, one should still exercise common sense solo safety measures as anywhere else in the world. Avoid sketchy areas, don’t flash valuables, steer clear of illegal activities – and your Mexico trip will surely be amazing

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