Featuring charming towns, ancient ruins, and picturesque beaches, Mexico is the 7th most popular country to visit in the world.
However, there is a dark underbelly that many tourists consider before visiting – violent crime because of drug cartels and organized crime.
Street or public transit robbery or theft has a rate of 6,900 victims per 100,000 inhabitants.
Also, Mexico has seen an 84.1% homicide rate increase since 2015, five Mexican cities have the highest homicide rates on Earth and the country has the ninth-highest homicide rate.
Tijuana topped this list with 134 deaths via homicide per 100,000 inhabitants.
Despite these high crime rates, it does not mean the entire country experiences violent crimes against property and humans.
There are plenty of safe cities in Mexico to visit.
To learn more, keep reading!
- 10 Safest Cities in Mexico
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Mexico
- Mexico Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Safest Cities in Mexico
The 10 safest cities in Mexico include:
Considered the safest city in the country and Latin America, the greatest safety concern you will experience in Merida is the traffic.
This Yucatan capital is located close to incredible archeological sites, offers amazing food, and is well-known for its colonial architecture.
While Merida has the occasional pickpocket, violent crime in this city is virtually non-existent.
In any case, it is always best to take normal precautions, as you would in any city.
With swaying and relaxing palm trees perched across white sand beaches, Tulum is one of the safest Mexican cities and one of the most popular over the past decade.
Also, one of the best party cities in Mexico, Tulum has something for everyone.
From beach houses to glamping, extensive restaurant options, and proximity to Mayan ruins, Tulum is centrally located for tourists from around the world.
While this is a safe place to visit, always be aware of your surroundings and watch your belongings when taking mass transit.
8. Playa Del Carmen
As one of the most famous coastal cities in Mexico, Playa del Carmen is close to beautiful cenotes and Mayan ruins.
With crystal clear, sparkling blue waters and long white beaches, Playa del Carmen has become a popular tourist destination in recent years.
As a result, it is a safe destination in Mexico, suitable for families and solo travelers.
While there have been some recent drug-related violence incidences in nearby cities, the State of Quintana Roo has a very small amount of violent crime directed at visitors.
Regardless, it is always best to take the necessary safety precautions such as staying away from recreational drugs and not wandering around alone at night.
7. Puerto Vallarta
Another reputable destination, known for its beautiful marine life, bustling nightlife, and pristine beaches, Puerto Vallarta is another one of the safest destinations in Mexico.
In addition to being family-friendly, Puerto Vallarta is an excellent destination for same-sex couples and has been uninvolved in cartel conflicts.
As a result, crime rates are significantly lower than rates in major U.S. cities.
Theft, pickpocketing, and bag snatching occasionally occur, so it is best to remain vigilant at all hours of the day and night.
6. La Paz
Another beautiful Mexican beach city, La Paz is located on the Baja California peninsula and is considered one of the safest destinations in the country.
Although the city is flat, it is surrounded by mountains, adding more adventure options for visitors.
The city has a low crime rate with the beaches and town limits regularly patrolled by police.
Visitors only need to worry about petty theft, like pickpockets and purse-snatchers, like in any city.
5. San Miguel de Allende
As a popular destination for ex-pats with 8,000 American, British, and Canadian residents living in the city, San Miguel de Allende boasts amazing heritage sites, excellent restaurants, and stunning Spanish colonial churches.
San Miguel de Allende is not a well-known tourist destination but has many attractions to offer.
Additionally, crime rates in the city are low, but you must keep an eye out for your belongings while riding public transport and be cautious while wandering around at night.
Located only 30 miles from Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is the ideal destination for surfers and nature lovers.
In addition to being friendly and safe, Sayulita’s economy is primarily based on tourism.
While the crime rate is incredibly low, there is a considerable number of stray dogs, so it is important to stay away from them.
If you approach, and they feel threatened, they may bite you.
With so many amazing attractions in and near Cancun, the government keeps the hotel zone incredibly safe for visitors.
Generally, it is safe to get around the city via taxi or mass transit but be on the lookout for pickpockets.
As one of the top destinations in the country, Cancun has created a well-developed travel infrastructure with countless resorts, attractions, shops, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants, all of which are patrolled by police.
2. Mexico City
Despite having a reputation for kidnapping and violent crime, Mexico City is safe, especially in the city center.
At the beginning of the 2010s, Mexico City’s crime rate drastically decreased while the police presence increased.
That trend continues into the early 2020s and the result has been visitors reporting feeling safe.
Mexico City is a cultural gem with over 150 museums, many street art pieces, and colorful markets that you do not want to miss.
Despite the safety improvement, take all regular precautions while visiting.
Located in Oaxaca, Huatulco offers countless surf spots and water activities, making it an excellent destination for families.
Huatulco is often considered safer than multiple U.S. cities, but visitors should be aware that some organized crime exists in the area.
Luckily, tourists are not bothered by these criminal activities.
Huatulco offers a glimpse of Oaxaca’s rich heritage, with half the population speaking Indigenous languages.
While the area is not as popular as other beach towns, this is still an appealing and safe destination.
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Mexico
While there are many safe destinations in Mexico, crime and violence still exist, like in any country.
However, you can keep yourself safe by following these safety tips:
Be Careful with your Cash
Be smart and do not flash your cash or valuables in public, or you will be asking for trouble.
Also, never carry around all your credit cards or cash at the same time.
Just bring what you need for the day.
Be Cautious of the Cuisine
Mexico has amazing street food but you should choose wisely.
To avoid becoming ill, go to the stalls with lines or people flocking to eat there.
Know Emergency Numbers
This is critical for traveling to any foreign country, including Mexico.
Keep a list of emergency numbers on your phone and a separate piece of paper.
Try to Blend In
Try to wear what the locals wear.
That means if everyone is wearing jumpers and jeans, then do not wear vest tops, sandals, and shorts.
This does not mean you should be uncomfortable, but do not dress for a day at the beach when you are simply walking around the city.
Blending in will help make you less of a target to criminals.
Utilize Mass Transit During the Day and Taxis at Night
Depending on where you are, mass transit could be dangerous at night.
Therefore, use it during the daylight hours and rely on taxis and other private transport at night.
Mexico Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Mexico Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: MEDIUM
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
- MUGGING RISK: MEDIUM
- TERRORISM RISK: LOW
- SCAMS RISK: HIGH
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit Mexico?
Although there are regional differences in weather, Mexico is best to visit from mid-September to mid-May.
The Gulf of Mexico is susceptible to hurricanes throughout the summer and fall, and into November, so plan accordingly.
April and May are the hottest months with June through September having the most rain.
What type of food is typical in Mexico?
As mentioned, street food is an excellent option and can range from seafood and vegetables to liquors, wines, cheese, fruits, and meats.
In any case, be cautious of what you eat and never drink the water from the tap as you will fall ill.
Bottled water is inexpensive in Mexico, so stock up at the beginning of your trip.
Should I bring cash, traveler’s checks, or credit cards?
In case there is a safety issue, it is advisable to bring all three.
In smaller towns, cash exchanges and ATMs may be limited, or non-existent and credit cards may not be used, so it is important to have all three.
In major cities and shopping areas, all major credit cards are accepted.
Keep local currency and traveler’s checks on hand in case you need them in more remote areas.