Is Nogales Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Nogales, Mexico
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 78 / 100 based on 10 user reviews.

Nogales, located on the US and Mexico border, is one of the most important ports of entry for U.S. tourists.

The downtown area consists of bars, strip clubs, hotels, restaurants, and many curio stores, where tourists can buy a large variety of handicrafts, leather art, handmade flowers, clothes. Local dishes commonly available in restaurants include many types of Mexican food.

Nogales’s proximity to the U.S. border and the abundance of inexpensive labor make it an efficient location for foreign companies to have manufacturing operations.

Сompanies that have established maquiladoras (factory in Mexico run by a foreign company) in Nogales include Continental AG, The Chamberlain Group, Walbro, General Electric.

Warnings & Dangers in Nogales

Overall Risk


Kidnapping is common in Nogales, people can be detained for a long time and forced to withdraw money from an ATM. Being on the street at night is quite dangerous, it is also better to move around the city only in groups.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Travelers should avoid public transportation in the Nogales based on the lack of safety on it. Use only certified taxi services or call it from the app.

Pickpockets Risk


The risk of being robbed by a pickpocket is possible here. Don't flash with valuables and cash, keep an eye on your belongings and you'll be safe.

Natural Disasters Risk


Mostly Nogales can suffer from floods. Explore proven sources on this subject prior to your visit to the city.

Mugging Risk


The consequences of careless behavior in the city can lead to kidnapping, carjacking, and even murder. Travel in a group and do not show up on the streets late at night.

Terrorism Risk


Nogales does not suffer much from terrorism so the risk of it is minimal here. But due to poor border controls and a bad criminal situation in the city, you must always be on the alert.

Scams Risk


There is not much risk of scamming in the city, but you should be careful when withdrawing money ATM and communicating with local people.

Women Travelers Risk


Nogales district is quite unsafe so women traveling alone have a great risk of falling into an unpleasant situation where they can not fight back. Female travel alone is not recommended in this city.

So... How Safe Is Nogales Really?

Nogales is not a tourist city.

The tourists crossing into Nogales are going to visit the dentist or pharmacy, not for having a travel inspiration.

Locals stare at travelers, here you can only be treated like a wallet on your feet.

Often people can come up and ask for money without hesitate.

Nogales is safe enough, but here, every foreigner is closely watched, as if under a magnifying glass.

Travelers can safely walk in the city daytime, but it’s not recommended going for a walk at night.

You can become a target for robbery.

Roads and sidewalks are in bad condition.

Everyone should be watchful to avoid harm yourself, whether you are walking or driving.

Drug cartel-related violence continues to dominate as the motive behind many of the homicides and violent crimes in the Nogales district.

Most crimes in Nogales are armed robbery, assault, and burglary, also the city suffers from homicide, vehicle theft, home invasion, and rape.

But all these crimes occur in this area after dark. Travel throughout the city only during daylight hours.

Avoid walking after dark in Nogales.

How Does Nogales Compare?

CitySafety Index
Playa del Carmen69
Cabo San Lucas68
Mexico City45
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information



No visas required for tourist proposals to enter Mexico for many countries of Europe, US citizens and so on. You should have a valid passport and a tourist permit. The maximum possible of stay is 180 days. For a longer stay or other options, you should visit the Mexican embassy.



The Mexican peso - is the official currency in Mexico. There are one hundred Mexican centavos to every peso. The symbol for the Mexican Peso is $, so you can see MX$ or MN$ in banks and exchange points.



The best weather here is during the month of March and November. The hottest season is in May, June, July, August, September, and October. Most rain month is July.



Nogales International Airport is an international airport located at Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, near the U.S.-Mexico border. It handles national and international air traffic for the city of Nogales.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

The medical travel insurance is required for travelers in any country as well as Mexico. On the border, any traveler may be asked by a customs officer to show insurance.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Nogales Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 8° C
Feb 10° C
Mar 11° C
Apr 14° C
May 18° C
Jun 24° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 17° C
Nov 11° C
Dec 9° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Mexico - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Cabo San Lucas68
Chichen Itza70
Isla Holbox85
Isla Mujeres80
Los Cabos80
Mexico City45
Nuevo Laredo40
Piedras Negras67
Playa del Carmen69
Puerto Morelos85
Puerto Vallarta70
Queretaro City63
San Luis Potosi80
San Miguel de Allende75

Where to Next?

10 Reviews on Nogales


    I am curious as to where you got your information from about Nogales. I would visit, as a white female, the city very often from 2013 – 2018 alone, with no issues. I made many friends over the years of visiting. I would also sometimes stay at a hotel on the Mexican side of the border, again alone, with no issues. The town is no more dangerous than any other city in the U.S. after dark. You are not watched “as if under a magnifying glass”. Most of the people who live in Nogales are more helpful than harmful. I ended up moving here in August of 2018. I lived on my own for almost a year before moving in with my boyfriend, who was born and raised in Nogales, Sonora. Are there issues with crime? Of course – like any city. Are there Cartel? Yes – but you don’t have the problems like the U.S. government and media would like one to believe. Additionally, the Cartel fights and Cartel and they try to avoid getting innocents, especially the tourists, involved. This is a beautiful town with beautiful people. I have now been here for 2 years, and I can honestly say I feel safer here than I did when I lived in Phoenix, AZ.
    Also, you do not need a tourist visa to visit Nogales if you are going to stay within the “border zone”, which most tourists do. You do not need proof of medical insurance. Even driving across, I have only been asked once for proof of car insurance and it was with a rental car. There is no international airport. One has to fly into Tucson (about an hour away) or Hermosillo (about 3 hours). I am rarely asked for my passport coming into Mexico, even when I get the red light.
    Nogales is an amazing town to visit. The food is great, the people are amazing and you can have a lot of fun with the shopping. You do not need to exchange your U.S. dollars, as just about everywhere will accept the U.S. currency. I have many friends who have businesses that have suffered from false information about Nogales, especially with the current President, and then COVID hit. As long as you are not acting like an idiot (crazy drunk, fighting, etc) and you pay attention to your surroundings (like you should EVERYWHERE), you will not have any issues in Nogales.

    1. C
      Cheryl Togashi says:

      Visited here on our way to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico December and January 2021. My friend and I, both women and in our 60’s had zero issues with feeling unsafe while traveling through here. We are both careful to pay attention to our surroundings just as we would anywhere. We visited a local Pharmacy without any issues, treated kindly and respectfully. Our biggest issue traveling from Nogales to San Carlos, Mexico was that plumbing isn’t the best. You really should carry personal wipes and never ever put anything in toilet. It will destroy their sewer or septic systems. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t flash your fancy jewelry or open your wallet to expose your cash, etc., just as you should in ANY area you travel. ONLY travel in daylight hours. THIS is a desert. Act accordingly. The people are the same as in anywhere. We were treated kindly and politely at all points. Obey the speed laws. My friend has traveled alone this route many times over the years as a single woman. Now for myself, I wouldn’t but my reasons have nothing to do with personal safety but rather the long drive. Map out your drive and be aware of much needed bathroom stops. There are no trees to hide you in an emergency. Keep a full tank of gas BEFORE you cross the border. Must of all, YOU be respectful and courteous. A few kind words in Spanish wouldn’t hurt to learn, either. Bring pesos with you as there are a few points where they have protesters where a 20 peso bill would be very much appreciated. Most of all, enjoy your visit. Remember, if you are from the USA, you are considered wealthy as the exchange rate is amazingly in your favor. Enjoy your visit to this beautiful country. God bless you. Que Dios te bendiga.

    2. A
      Alicia Williams says:

      I was there just this past Sunday for the first time and actually did not feel any danger but after reading what was said, I was going to never come back for thinking my life is in immediate danger. I appreciate your comment and like you said WATCH YOUR SURROUNDINGS. I will next time take off my wedding ring and proceed on. I was amazed with the scenery and was happy when I saw the wall. Once again & I do feel better and ready to make another visit.

  2. R
    Ranganathan says:

    Very good for a visit and food!

    Both writers are correct. I have been there by myself as well as with my friends, mostly evening/nights. Used to park my car in a fast-food parking lot and walk across. Was never asked for insurance or anything. People were friendly, helpful. Delicious Mexican food, especially at a majestic old mansion converted to a restaurant, close to the crossing, even Mariachi band on weekends. Why would you write such a negative report?

  3. S
    Shella Alcaraz says:

    Truth of Nogales (Sonora)

    Nogales Sonora mexico is Safe! I have traveled alone and with my 2 children many times several times a month for years. I havr stayed in several hotels there and many are so beautiful! One has a gated entryway and another has a garage attatched to the room! The tall white hotel is very updated and has a seperate gated and gaurded parking area a block away down from the nightly Mariachi band posted up.
    As with any city you always have yo be kind and courteous to all when visiting. The only shady people you have to watch for is some drug users near the border or crooked police. But you will not have an issue if you do not break laws, not following traffic laws or not fighting or being an annoying drunk. Many are very kind and hardworking trying to make an honest dollar, so all purchases are very much welcomed for them to feed their families.
    The only time i was asked for insurance was for when leaving sonora (border cities) and going deeper into Mexico it is highly reccomended amd needed just in case. When traveling deeper into Mexico, the best tip is to always stay on the main highways to prevent any further scary occurrances that could possibly be.
    Other than that Mexico amd its people are extremly kind and caring for all humans alike and you are nit watched under a microscope as this article may state! Maybe the perwom whom assumed they were watch, could have a different look or outfit.
    I know i was stared at occasionally but in a good way because i am white with blonde hair and speak spanish. Wo they all had gotten a kick outta me speaking their language with ease and were proud that i tool time to learn to fit in and underatand their way of life.
    My youngest was stared at by many because her hair was long and silky soft, funny one ladybwtopped walking on the widewalk and asked if she may touch her hair. I agreed and she loved how soft her hair was. I also have a significant other who lives in nogales now. It is home my lils and i feel at homr in Mexico, being welcomed there as their own. Many speak english also and are very kind to help.

  4. C
    Cecilia Mihaylo says:

    Crossing the border back into USA

    The only problem I have experienced in Nogales has been the border crossing back driving a private car… it has taken us up to 4 yes FOUR hours waiting on line and there are no bathrooms! Twice On different occasions I had to walk to the border to use the restroom, (no restrooms on the mexican side) and if I had not been traveling in a group so someone else was able to take the wheel I don’t know what I would have done. Once on the line there is no way to turn around. Lots of street vendors came by during out waiting hours offering drinks, food, crafts. A smart entrepreneur would have found a way to carry a port-a-potty up and down the waiting lines… Moctezuma revange really is a thing!

  5. You are a Target if you go to Nogales

    Just remember this. Once you are out of the United States, you have no rights. You can be accused of anything, and extorted by an police officer, and there’s nothing you can do, except pay them money. I’ve been to Nogales, and Rocky Point, and would never go there again. It’s dirty, overpriced, the people hate Americans, except for their money, and if you take a cab somewhere, you’re going to get overcharged, and if you don’t pay, the police will be called and they will arrest you. Pick a spot in the U.S. to go!

    1. J
      Jacob G. says:

      Thank you for pointing this out. I was accused of a crime and had no idea what was going on. I was actually arrested and was stuck in a jail cell for almost 2 days before they finally let me out. They didn’t even give me my stuff back or tell me what I did wrong. Come to find out a taxi driver accused me of running off and not paying him, he was lying! I will never go back.

  6. No problems

    I have visited Nogales many times. Staying in hotels. NEVER had problems. Taxi drivers polite and fast. No meters, so ask the fare before getting in taxi. As with any big city (in the US or elsewhere in the world) watch where you are. Shopping good, pharmacy prices much cheaper than US (and same name brand meds). Good food and if you walk across it is fast and faster than driving.

  7. A
    Anonymous says:

    If you want to avoid Montezuma’s Revenge eat in Nogales, Arizona. To avoid other types of problems, park on the American side and walk across the boarder.

Nogales Rated 3.9 / 5 based on 10 user reviews.

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