How Safe Is Santa Fe for Travel?

Santa Fe, United States
Safety Index:
32

If you live or have ever visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, you know that it is home to numerous Southwest-inspired art galleries, and is the home of artist, Georgia O’Keefe.

Here is an overview and facts about Santa Fe and all it has to offer, according to SantaFe.com.

  • Loretto Chapel

The chapel is located south of the Santa Fe Plaza and is shrouded in mystery.
 
According to local legend, the sisters of Loretto prayed for help finishing the chapel.
 
After 9 days, a mystery man came to help.
 
He built the entire “Miraculous Staircase” with only simple tools and then disappeared.
 
He created a work of art in the staircase that to this day cannot be explained.

  • Canyon Road Art District

Canyon Road is home to over 100 galleries, shops, jewelry stores, and restaurants.
 
The art galleries feature works by some of the top artists around the world.
 
It is also where Friday nights feature art openings at some of the top galleries.

  • Skiing

Santa Fe offers some of the best skiing in the Southwest.
 
Santa Fe and Taos feature deep slopes for experienced skiers and slow, leisure runs for those that are just starting.
 
The sun, pristine skies, and variety of skiing options make it a great playground for winter sports lovers.

  • Hiking and biking trails

Santa Fe boasts numerous trails.
 
The Dale Ball Trail is one of the most popular.
 
Santa Fe National Forest has even more trails.
 
A trip to the Rio Grande is a real treat with dramatic cliffs, cactus of several varieties, and of course, the Rio Grande.

  • Historic Landmarks

Until around 1580, the Santa Claran people lived in and around the Puye Cliff Dwellings.
 
At one time, up to 1,500 people lived there; they hunted and made the area their home.
 
Compared to some early cave dwellings, these dwellings are a series of complex split-level homes, secret paths, and stairways.

  • Museum Hall

Those that love history will love the 12+ museums found in Santa Fe.
 
Some of the most popular are the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and the International Folk Art Museum.
 
The Botanical Gardens is also located just minutes away.

  • Breweries

Santa Fe has several breweries that date back over 30 years.
 
Some of the most popular breweries include Blue Corn Brewery, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and many others.
 
Many offer very interesting tours, especially when they offer samples.

  • Santa Fe National Forest

This forest is vast taking up 1.6 million acres.
 
It is a great place for hiking, biking, horse riding, fishing, rafting, skiing and just watching the abundant wildlife including deer, elk, bears, and plenty of brilliant colored birds.

Warnings & Dangers in Santa Fe

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : HIGH

Those that are considering places to go in New Mexico, should be very careful if their travel includes a stop in Santa Fe. The crime level is one in 33, which is higher than 98% of the cities and towns in other parts of the state. According to Crimegrade.org, in Santa Fe, a crime occurs 1 hour and every eight minutes, on average. Santa Fe garners a D- grade overall; 91% of the cities in the U.S. are safer than Santa Fe and 9% are more dangerous. The crime rate in Santa Fe is 66.3 per 1,000 residents per year. In central neighborhoods where the crime rate is the highest. 1 in 11 people may become the victim of a crime. In the southeast area of the city, the crime rate goes down to 1 in 29 people.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

For the most part, transportation is safe in Santa Fe and there are quite a few public transportation options. The local commuter rail service is called the Rail Runner Express, which travels between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. They also have The Santa Fe Pic-Up and Santa Fe Trails Transit. There is very little reason for concern when riding public transportation in the area.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Just about any area can be dangerous for pickpockets if you are not careful and Santa Fe and the surrounding areas are no different. There have been numerous reports of pickpockets in and around the Canyon Road area. This area is known for its high-end galleries and restaurants. Just like most cities, areas that are bustling and attract the wealthy can be attractive to pickpockets looking for someone careless with their money, wallets, and purses.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Just about every area in the U.S. has some type of natural disaster threat looming. This is also the case in Santa Fe. According to CityofSantaFeNM.govthis, there are several natural and man-made disasters to be aware of. The city has developed a City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan which identified hazards and what measures should be taken in case they occur. • Urban and regional fire threats • Flooding • Severe weather including extreme heat, extreme cold, and winter snow and ice storms • Severe drought • Human hazards like hazardous material accidents, terrorism, and auto accidents

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Mugging is considered a violent crime, and the rate of such crimes is up in Santa Fe. In early 2022, the mayor of Santa Fe introduced stiffer penalties to try to reduce the increased rates of gun violence and other violent crimes. Government officials in Santa Fe reported seeing some of the highest rates of violent crime against individuals in the last decade. More crimes are being committed using weapons and guns, and people are getting injured more. Just like all cities, travelers should be careful at all times and stay in safe areas. All valuables should be protected and people should avoid going out at night, alone.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

The risk of terrorist acts in New Mexico is very low. Most terrorism is on a Federal level and intercepted by the FBI. Even though this is the case, the governor of New Mexico is being proactive by creating a domestic terrorism summit to make sure the state is prepared should anything unexpected occur.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

It often seems like there are scam risks around every corner. In many cases, they seem to target residents and not tourists. Still, it is important to stay vigilant while traveling. Don’t purchase things from unknown entities as they may be fakes. Also, make sure all taxis and public transportation have logos and the driver has an ID before you get into the vehicle.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

Anyone that is traveling alone should be extra careful, but according to JourneyWoman.com, the crime rate in and around Santa Fe for women is pretty low. The site reports that there is a lot of entertainment, educational and culinary options available, and even for women traveling alone, it should be safe as long as common-sense precautions are followed.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

According to tapsafe.org, the tap water in Santa Fe is safe to drink. The tap water meets EPA guidelines and won’t make you sick. Keep in mind, that it can contain unregulated contaminants in trace amounts. This will not affect a traveler but extended, long-term use may impact some individuals. If you are concerned about drinking tap water, bottled water is always an option.

Safest Places to Visit in Santa Fe

While Santa Fe is considered a pretty safe place, the landscape is changing, so everyone needs to be careful.

Safehome.org warns that property crime like burglary and auto theft is on the rise, it is still a great place to visit.

Some of the safest areas of Santa Fe include:

  • La Cienega
  • Las Dos
  • Eldorado at Santa Fe
  • Kennedy
  • Cañada de los Alamos

One thing to keep in mind about both Albuquerque and Santa Fe is there is a poverty problem, and along with poverty comes crime.

Those traveling should be aware of their surroundings and travel in groups at night.

Placess to Avoid in Santa Fe

To stay safe in Santa Fe, you should avoid the outlying areas of the city.

Most people travel to the area to see the rich landscape and enjoy the art, entertainment, and dining venues.

These are the areas you should stay in.

There are some desolate areas and also many areas where there is a lot of drug activity.

You should not stray too far from the tourist areas unless you do your research and know where you are going.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Santa Fe

No matter where you may be traveling, staying aware of your surroundings is the best thing you can do to stay safe.

Here are some additional tips for safe travel:

  1. Auto safety. Keep car doors locked at all times. Keep any purchases in the trunk.
  2. Be safe around water. There are many snakes in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas. Take extra precautions around pools and lakes, as there may be a snake lurking close by.
  3. Be alert at all times. Whether you are in Santa Fe or the surrounding areas, it is important to be alert to your surroundings at all times.
  4. Fire warnings. Like many areas in the southwest, Santa Fe is experiencing severe drought. This can lead to dry woods and forest fires. Please be careful when out in nature and heed fire warnings.
  5. Be careful of the altitude. Santa Fe has an altitude of 655 feet, and the mountains can be as high as 12,000 feet. Hiking or exerting yourself in the mountain areas can result in headaches and dizziness in higher altitudes.
  6. Let friends/family know where you are. It is always a good idea to let friends or family know when you are traveling and when you are expected to be home. This is important, as if you are late returning and there is an issue, they can reach out to you to make sure everything is OK. It is also wise to send someone a copy of your itinerary, just as an added precaution.
  7. Check your car before getting on the road. Many parts of New Mexico are very remote, so you should be sure your car is in perfect condition before you set off on any daily drives.
  8. Be careful on the road. Stay in safe tourist areas. Because of the degree of drug and alcohol abuse, driving into unknown areas may not be safe.
  9. Drink enough water. Temperatures can get pretty high in the summer, so you should always have plenty of water or sports drinks to stay hydrated, especially when taking part in outdoor activities.
  10. Keep valuables hidden. When in crowds, keep valuables and jewelry hidden. Pickpocketing can be a problem in areas like Canyon Road, so be extra safe.
  11. Listen to your instincts. Stay close to tourist areas and don’t go into unknown areas. If something is telling you that you are not safe, trust those instincts.

So... How Safe Is Santa Fe Really?

During the day and in the tourist areas, Santa Fe can be a great place to visit.

There are so many great galleries to visit and restaurants to dine in, but you should be very careful where you go.

Here are some interesting facts about Santa Fe:

  • Santa Fe, NM, has the oldest capital city in the U.S., it was established in 1607.
  • A significant part of Santa Fe’s culture is connected to the 23 Native American Tribes, Nations, and Pueblos who reside in New Mexico.
  • New Mexico has a very big drug and alcohol problem, so you should stay close to resorts and tourist destinations.
  • Santa Fe is home to one of the largest art markets in the U.S.
  • The Santa Fe opera is world-renowned.

How Does Santa Fe Compare?

CitySafety Index
Santa Fe32
St Louis58
Los Angeles56
Oakland57
New Orleans57
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information

  • Visas - Those traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico, from outside of the U.S. will need a passport to enter the U.S.
  • Currency - In the U.S. we use the dollar as our standard form of currency. You can get U.S. money at banks and the airport.
  • Weather - Santa Fe can have very warm weather in the summer. Alternatively, the skiing areas can be very cold, so be prepared for both hot and cold weather.
  • Airports - The largest airport is the Albuquerque International Airport. Santa Fe has an airport as well but it is a smaller regional airport.
  • Travel Insurance - No matter where you plan to travel, protect yourself from the unexpected with travel insurance. If you need to cancel your trip or are stuck away from home, having travel insurance will give you peace of mind that you are protected.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Santa Fe Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -1° C
Feb 1° C
Mar 5° C
Apr 9° C
May 14° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 22° C
Aug 20° C
Sep 17° C
Oct 11° C
Nov 4° C
Dec -1° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
681317222830282519116
Low
°C
-8-6-30510131282-4-8
High
°F
434655637282868277665243
Low
°F
182127324150555446362518

Where to Next?

1 Review on Santa Fe

  1. B
    Barbara says:

    So impressed with everything

    Minding your business and avoiding getting into verbal fights with locals, no matter how non-threatening they look. I find the safety index way too low, especially if you’re visiting and not thinking about relocating there. My partner planned a foodie trip which ended up with both of us wanting to reschedule a second trip as soon as possible.

    The high altitude wreaked havoc on my health, leaving me dizzy and confused for the best part of the first day.

    Agree with those stated above regarding public transportation, it’s safe, cheap and reliable. We’ve switched between this and hitching a taxi when nothing else was available, both were ok. The taxi driver was chatty yet helpful, he suggested we get the New Mexico CulturePass, a pass that granted us access to a ton of museums and historical sites, which were totally not on our list but worth the hype. Walking is super safe as well, Santa Fe has the perfect infrastructure that allows tourists to pace themselves about the city while discovering its art, history, science and foodie scene.

    If you’re traveling solo, especially if you’re a woman, I would be wary of partying til dawn with total strangers in a busy nightclub. You are safer getting drinks at a restaurant near your hotel.

    Their spas are a must-check, especially Ojo Caliente, it was exactly what we hoped to find and more! Guys, they have puppies here!!!

    Went on a spiral here and I’m usually not the type who leaves reviews or comments but I wanted to make sure you won’t be deterred. While I don’t necessarily recommend Santa Fe for a family trip, especially if you have kids, for a couple getaway it’s perfect! Safe, entertaining, a bit expensive but worth it in the end. Plus, we made some new friends, people are very friendly here!

Rated 4 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

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