How Safe Is Monterrey for Travel?

Monterrey, Mexico
Safety Index:
55

Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city, is located in the northeast section of the country and is a little over 100 miles west of the U.S. border.

It is the capital of the state of Nuevo Leon and boasts a bustling metropolitan hub of activity, yet quaint and old-world at the same time.

There is something for everyone to enjoy, from its rich culture and history to its exquisite restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls.

Monterrey covers an area of 125 square miles which is certainly not wasted in the least.

You’ll find a plethora of museums, art galleries, bars, clubs, and local neighborhood charm.

If you don’t have a car, no worries because public transportation is in abundance and very convenient.

Warnings & Dangers in Monterrey

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Monterrey is generally safe, but there are very dangerous areas of the city. Take proper precautions to minimize risk. Local professionals and cab drivers can be useful sources for suggesting safer destinations within the district since they know the area.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transportation areas such as bus and railway depots tend to be places where people are most pickpocketed. You should take care to call ahead for a taxi or keep your belongings secure to your body while on a train or bus.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Public places such as stations, streets, and airports are common areas for theft. Always keep your purse, wallet, baggage, and other valuable belongings secured and close by your side. Make sure you don’t have cash or credit cards loose and exposed.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW

Although there is little risk, Monterrey is prone to flooding since it is divided by a river that lies along the main thoroughfare. It is not serious, but you should be aware of it during inclement weather. Also, be careful when swimming on beaches and avoid the ocean during high tides.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

The chances that a tourist will be mugged are rare but can happen if one leaves oneself vulnerable. Stay in areas that are well-lit and not deserted. If you can avoid it, do not travel alone. There is more safety in numbers.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There haven’t been any attacks in Monterrey's recent history, but you should always be wary of the possibility in today's volatile world. It behooves us all to be watchful and keep abreast of local threats in the news and areas of heightened security.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Scams can happen in Monterrey or anywhere. There are always con artists that will sense an opportunity that presents itself, especially with out-of-town visitors who can be carefree and naïve. Please do not accept any drinks, food, or favors from strangers as you don’t know their intent.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

If you are traveling alone, avoid local clubs and bars where you could be exposed to sexual and violent predators. You lower your risk by vacationing with a partner or group. If you must travel alone, stay within a close radius of your hotel or another source of accommodation. If you experience a threat, you have the safety net of a 24-hour hospitality staff nearby.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Drinking water is generally safe in Monterrey because Mexico has progressed in the last ten years with improvements to sanitation and piping procedures. The water quality is much better in larger municipalities and major cities like Monterrey than in rural areas.

Safest Places to Visit in Monterrey

Although Nuevo Leon is not without local gang crime, Monterrey is generally safe for tourists.

Whether you are interested in shopping, art, history, city tours, or nature, there are destinations to choose from.

At the same time, you can avoid wandering into local neighborhoods or on unfamiliar streets that could be dangerous.

Among the safest and most pleasant areas to visit are in the main hub of Monterrey.

One is the Macroplaza, a mecca of Latin-American art and history.

You have your pick of museums, such as the popular one of modern artists, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MARCO).

At the northern end of the plaza, there is the Museo del Palacio, which chronicles the history of Nuevo Leon from its days as a colony to its current statehood.

The other main attraction is Barrio Antiguo, a community lined with colorful adobe homes, galleries, and nightclubs to please many tastes.

There are day trips and excursions in “Matacanes” cannon and the Garcia Caves for those seeking a physical challenge.

You can take in such activities as mountain climbing, cave exploration, hiking, or bungee jumping.

For milder exertion, book a walking or bus tour of a natural park to learn about the geography and geology of Monterrey and its surrounding areas.

You can opt for a historical tour such as the Las Grutas de Garcia and Monterrey or enjoy a relaxing hot springs experience in the oasis of the Coahuila desert.

If you like waterfalls, there’s the Horsetail Falls Park Tour.

Placess to Avoid in Monterrey

In recent years, Mexico has experienced fewer instances of crime due to a new governor’s crackdown on gang war activity.

However, there are bordering communities to Nuevo Leon that remain risky and that the U.S. State Department has advised avoiding.

They are Tamaulipas in the northeast, Coahuila to the west, and San Luis Potosi` to the south.

Another area to avoid is the Colonia Independencia in northwestern Monterrey, as it is notorious for drug-related crimes.

Although wealthy businesspeople tend to be the targets of extortion and kidnapping, tourists are also liable to be victims of theft and violent crime.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Monterrey

  1. Know the laws – Be aware of local laws and customs before you leave home to avoid possible fines or arrests. Consult the State Department’s travel page for specific information about Monterrey’s regulations.
  2. Protect your vehicle –  Car theft and carjacking are common in parking lots. Use public transportation whenever possible or park in well-lit areas that are police secured.
  3. Leave it or lock it – Leave valuables at home that you don’t need or lock them in a hotel safe. Keep personal belongings close to you and expensive items hidden, especially in open public places.
  4. Check for COVID-19 Protocols – Check ahead of time that your hotel has Covid-19 protection measures in place and that they are aligned with international health authority requirements.
  5. Assure protection for risky excursions – If participating in physically exertive activities, be aware of hazards and ascertain that staff is trained in what to do in an emergency. Consider purchasing travel insurance.
  6. Prepare for medical emergencies – Learn if you can easily obtain medical care should an accident, illness, or injury occur. Don’t travel if you are sick or under a doctor’s care.
  7. Set the stage for safety – Keep to designated tourist spots or stay within a close radius of your hotel or the main thoroughfare. Do not wander off in unfamiliar territory or unlit areas alone. It’s always best to travel with others or congregate in areas with many people.
  8. Carefully plan local travel – Order public transportation or have your hotel staff arrange it in advance. Never hail taxis or wait for buses, especially at night.
  9. Be wary of others’ intentions – Do not accept gifts or offers from strangers who may be looking to take advantage of you.
  10. Choose fair weather seasons to travel – Consult the local weather report and refrain from traveling to Monterrey during times of heavy rain and flooding.

So... How Safe Is Monterrey Really?

Like most major cities, Monterrey is not free of crime yet is relatively safe to travelers because its tourist areas are heavily protected and patrolled by police.

Although Monterrey is frequently affected by organized crime and gang activity, tourists are rarely victims, while those who live and work there are the most vulnerable.

Still, travelers can be unsuspecting targets if perpetrators see them as an opportunity to prey on.

Therefore, it is necessary to take extra safety measures to avoid being open to risky situations such as car theft, pickpocketing, mugging, or scams.

For more information about safety in Monterrey, consult the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) for a current crime and safety report for this municipality.

With the cooperation of the U.S. Department of State and the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, statistics on crime incidents and an overall safety assessment for this municipality are documented to inform you best.

In addition to receiving information on overall crime and safety, you can also retrieve safety data for other concerns such as transportation, airport conditions, terrorism threats, environmental hazards, the status of medical emergency care, and more.

How Does Monterrey Compare?

CitySafety Index
Monterrey55
Playa del Carmen69
Cabo San Lucas68
Acapulco63
Cancun71
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60

Useful Information

  • Visas - Legal entry to Monterrey is fairly easy. Nationals can obtain a traveler’s permit for 15 USD upon entering Mexico. If you are unsure about your visa status as per your nationality, contact your local Mexican embassy for more information.
  • Currency - The official currency in Monterrey is the Mexican peso. Mexico is considered mostly a cash economy, although credit cards are accepted at most tourist locations, such as major hotels, restaurants, and stores. ATMs can be found throughout the country.
  • Weather - Monterrey has a dry, arid climate with very little rainfall during the year. July is the warmest month, while January is the coolest. Temperatures can get as high as the 90s in summer and as low as the 50s in winter.
  • Airports - Monterrey International Airport is located in Apodaca, Nuevo León. In conjunction with Del Norte International Airport, the airport handles domestic and international flights for the city of Monterrey and its surrounding area. MIA is conveniently small with a fast, friendly, and English-speaking service.
  • Travel Insurance - Be prepared with insurance should you have a medical emergency or a victim of theft. Travel insurance is always recommended when traveling to Monterrey or anywhere else outside your country. There is nothing like having that peace of mind in the event of misfortune so far from home.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Monterrey Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 14° C
Feb 17° C
Mar 20° C
Apr 24° C
May 26° C
Jun 28° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 29° C
Sep 26° C
Oct 22° C
Nov 18° C
Dec 16° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
202326303234353531272321
Low
°C
81013182022232321171210
High
°F
687379869093959588817370
Low
°F
465055646872737370635450

Where to Next?

4 Reviews on Monterrey

  1. L
    Light Yagimae says:

    More Info Needed

    If there IS any truth to this (which I am REALLY skeptical about seeing as, I CANNOT FIND a “Paraiso Avenue” anywhere on the map), the the Monterrey visitors center needs to post on their website.

  2. M
    Marshall Faarup says:

    Monterrey is beautiful and the people are generally very nice.

    I am from Texas but have been to Monterrey several times in 2019 and 2020. I have never had an issue here. People have always been very friendly. I am not fluent in Spanish but people here are always so nice about it and will help. Of course it has some not nice areas, like any city in the US (Think South Side Atlanta, nobody goes there at night either) but I always use Uber, if the person doesn’t match the picture, I don’t get in the car and report them to Uber. Only happened once. Uber is MUCH cheaper than renting a car and you don’t have to worry about parking. I have seen the police driving around in the big truck with guns on the back, and I have also seen the police carrying machine guns along Fashion Drive and other areas. While I don’t trust the cops in the US, that doesn’t change when I go to Mexico. I appreciate their presents and don’t go out of my way to antagonize them. They were very helpful once when I was lost and asked one for directions. He walked with me all the way to the area I was going to make sure I found it because of my limited Spanish. I go back as often as I can.

  3. J
    Jonny Five says:

    There aren’t any beaches near Monterrey lololol. It’s pretty inland.

  4. C
    Cyndy G says:

    Good experience in MTY

    I lived in Monterrey for a semester as a student and I really enjoyed my time there. I travelled by public transport and I didn’t have any issue with safety beyond standard precautions as a single female. I found the locals to be quite friendly as well.

Rated 3.5 / 5 based on 4 user reviews.

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