Is Cabo San Lucas safe right now? Los Cabos is the top destination for many U.S. travelers, but violent crime is soaring in certain areas because American tourists are buying drugs from local drug dealers.
Once an American tourist is murdered travelers begin asking themselves is Los Cabos safe to visit. The stories go on and on about one murder after the other in Mexico.
In November 2021, four American travelers were hurt in an attack in Cancun when gunmen opened fire on the beach. The month before, a California travel blogger and a German tourist were killed in a shooting in Tulum.
The U.S. State Department recently issued an updated Mexico travel warning about US Tourists traveling to Mexico.
Mexico currently has a level 2 travel warning on a scale of 1 to 4, meaning “proceed with caution.” And some parts of Mexico where drug cartel violence is at its worst have long been on a no-go list, with a level 4 no-go advisory.
“Violent crime—such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery—is widespread and common in Mexico,” warns the State Department.
While I would love to believe we are in a Post-Covid-19 world, Covid is still problematic in my opi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico, indicating a high level of Covid in the country.
For years I wouldn’t travel to Mexico because the U.S. media painted this horrific picture of Mexico and I always wondered if it was safe to travel to Mexico.
I believed Mexico was dangerous, I would be killed, kidnapped, and held for ransom by the cartel because of the Mexico travel warning issued by the U.S. Government.
As my readers are planning their summer 2022 travels I have been receiving a lot of questions on is Mexico safe and more specific questions about Cancun safety, Cabo San Lucas, Tulum, and Mexico City.
I will continually update both the Mexico Travel Warning and the Cancun Travel Warning articles therefore you will always find up-to-date information so that you can plan your vacation without worrying about your safety.
I will also discuss the following on Cabo San Lucas safety.
- Is Los Cabos safer than Cancun?
- Is Cabo San Lucas safe at night?
- Is Cabos safe due to COVID-19?
- Is Mexico safe overall?
Is Cabos Safe for American Tourists 2022?
Omicron (COVID-19) Mexico Travel Restrictions:
June 12, 2022
Mexico – Level 2: Proceed with Caution
The Biden administration will drop the Covid-19 testing requirement for inbound air travelers from abroad on Sunday, June 12, 2022, ending one of the longest-running travel restrictions of the pandemic.
The rule, put in place by the Trump administration in early 2021 and later tightened by the Biden administration, most recently required inbound travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative Covid test a day before boarding U.S.-bound flights.
Travelers entering the U.S. at land border crossings were exempt.
The change takes effect at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday.
Airlines and others in the travel industry had repeatedly pushed the administration to drop the requirement, arguing it was hurting demand for international trips.
The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reassess the decision in 90 days, according to a senior Biden administration official.
“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement — including due to a new, concerning variant — CDC will not hesitate to act,” the official said.
Most noncitizen visitors to the U.S. will still have to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination before flying to the U.S., a White House spokesman said.
Baja California Sur state – Level 3: Exercise Increased Caution
There are no U.S. government restrictions for travel in Baja California Sur, which includes the tourist areas of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.
While there are travel restrictions in other parts of Mexico, Los Cabos and the entire state of Baja California Sur have no restricted travel but there have been less severe Mexico travel restrictions in Cabo.
Currently, the U.S. government advises all citizens to exercise increased caution in the state. Criminal activity and even homicide are a danger in parts of Baja California Sur.
The majority of the problems seem to be competing for criminal organizations targeting each other, not attacks on tourists but this does not mean you should let your guard down and not use the common sense Gawd gave you.
Monkey Pox – U.S. Embassy Cancun, Mexico (July 27, 2022)
Mexico has confirmed 60 cases of monkeypox, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.
To date, there have been no fatalities from monkeypox in Mexico, Lopez-Gatell said.
“Only about five or six people have been hospitalized because they had severe immunosuppression, but in general everyone has recovered in approximately 21 days,” he added.
The cases of monkeypox, which is related to the virus that causes smallpox but leads to milder symptoms and is rarely fatal, have been detected in 11 Mexican cities.
Over 16,000 monkeypox cases and five related deaths have been reported in 75 countries and regions, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization, which on Saturday declared the monkeypox outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern.
People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches and backache
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
You may experience all or only a few symptoms
- Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
- Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
- Others only experience a rash.
How long do monkeypox symptoms last?
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
U.S. State Department Travel Warnings
This year, the U.S. State Department revamped its travel advisory system. It gave Mexico an overall Level 3 warning for visitors to exercise caution.
Violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery are widespread throughout Mexico.
Los Cabos in particular is noted by the U.S. government for having zero travel restrictions.
Tourism is an important part of the economy therefore the local government has invested time, money, and energy into making sure there are not any Cabo travel warnings and that Los Cabos is safe!
Your safety in Cabo San Lucas is a priority for Los Cabos Tourism so if anything does occur, your resort and the proper authorities will help you sort out any problems and answer any questions about safety in Mexico.
So, is Cabos safe? Yes, but it wouldn’t be wise to assume that there’s never a petty crime.
Due to the crime in other parts of the state, you’ll experience the most safety in Cabo San Lucas around your resort’s property and in other touristy areas.
It’s highly unlikely that any of your walks or excursions will lead you somewhere dangerous.
As you explore the city, exercise caution and avoid flashing a large amount of money or wearing expensive jewelry. These items as well as important travel documents can be kept in your safe at the resort.
If you’re going out at night, stay with a group, and don’t wander off on your own, especially if you’re a woman.
While Mexico is safe you should use safety precautions no matter where you travel, it is important to keep them in mind even in Los Cabos.
You’re not likely to be killed by an organized crime group in a resort city like Cabo San Lucas; instead, you’re more likely to have your valuables stolen while in a touristy area during daylight hours.
The most important thing to remember when traveling to Los Cabos is that for the most part, Mexico is safe if you follow simple rules of behavior.
When my readers ask me is Cabo San Lucas safe, my response is a resounding yes if you do not go looking for trouble! For the life of Gawd do not go to a foreign country buying drugs and then play the victim when something bad happens.
If you can’t spend the weekend in another country without smoking weed you should probably be checking yourself into rehab instead of traveling to Cancun.
Almost all of the American tourists that have been killed in Mexico are due to them buying drugs from the cartel because they were too afraid to fly with weed so someone thought it was a good idea to buy drugs in a foreign country. 😩😩😩😩
Mexico Travel Restrictions 2022
Most of the homicides in Mexico and Cabo San Lucas are isolated incidents targeted by criminal organizations and turf battles between criminal groups.
Which has resulted in bystanders being injured or killed therefore you must remain diligent about your safety in Cabo San Lucas.
Do not let the over-exaggerated news stories deter you from traveling to this vibrant Latin American destination.
Aside from dangerous areas along the U.S. border and other regions where cartels operate, Mexico is safe and I firmly believe it is safe to travel to Mexico including Cabo San Lucas.
In general, if you’re not taking part in illegal activities you don’t have anything to worry about.
To put things in perspective, Level 3 is the same tier given to many other tourist hotspots that have an uptake in criminal activity including the following countries:
Italy has the same level 3 warning so why is Mexico considered more violent and why are you asking is Los Cabos safe?
Cabo San Lucas Safety vs. The US Safety
Mexico is statistically much safer than the United States.
So why is the U.S. State Dept. sending out Travel Alerts, calling Mexico “A Failed State”, and saying that ALL parts of the country (including popular tourist resorts like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun) are now unsafe for travel?
There has been a lot of news coverage about violence in Mexico. But very little of it notes that Mexico is a HUGE country with thirty-one states (+ the Distrito Federal).
They also fail to mention that most of that violence is drug traffic-related, or that you could count the number of tourists who are affected by it on one hand.
Did you know that, according to the FBI, an estimated 15,241 persons were murdered in the U.S. in 2009 111 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, and almost all of them were involved in illicit drug trafficking, gun-running, or smuggling people across the border to/from the U.S?
Imagine 111 people out of the nearly 8 million visitors (about 1 million of whom make Mexico their full-time home). Do you know who else had 111 murders in one year?
Well, Boston for starters. Then there was Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Indianapolis. Is the State Dept. advising tourists to stay away from those places?
Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens died in Puerto Rico, but did anybody raise a red flag about that? The State Department can’t issue a Travel Warning, because it is not a foreign country
How big is your own city doing when compared to Mexico? Here are the annual numbers of MURDERS, given by MSA (or Metropolitan Statistical Area)
- Atlanta – 325
- Baltimore – 298
- Boston – 111
- Dallas/Ft. Worth – 310
- Detroit – 447
- Houston – 462
- Indianapolis – 111
- Jacksonville, FL – 120
- Kansas City – 163
- Las Vegas – 133
- Los Angeles – 68
- Miami-Boca Raton – 377
- New Orleans – 252
- New York City – 778
- Orlando – 111
- Philadelphia – 436
- Phoenix – 302
- San Francisco – 392
- St. Louis – 210
- Washington, DC – 325
To put things in perspective, consider that the murder rate in Mexico’s Yucatan State is 2 per 100,000.
That is about the same as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City’s murder rate is 8 per 100,000, despite being the second-largest city on the planet. That is on par with Albuquerque.
Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico?
No matter where travelers go in Mexico, even if their destination is a place like Los Cabos with no travel restrictions, they should still consider safety suggestions by the State Department.
Los Cabos achieved Sharecare health security verification, becoming the world’s first VERIFIED™ travel destination.
This designation signifies that the majority of the hotels and resorts in the destination continue to ensure that their health protocols are in compliance with over 360 expert-validated global standards.
Los Cabos with Care – A Safer Way to Get Away is Los Cabos’ health and safety protocol system in place for fighting against the spread of infection.
The seven-step system evaluates and strictly implements health and safety protocols across the airport, transportation, accommodations, restaurants and bars, tour activities, the beach, and throughout the local community.
How to Deal with Police Extortion in Los Cabos
We’ve all heard the stories about the corrupt cops south of the border. With stories ranging from extortion to kidnapping, the police in Mexico and the rest of Latin America do not have the best reputation.
Police extortion of tourists detained for minor offenses is often a problem and there have been some grotesque incidents. The authorities cracked down hard, however, and dismissed hundreds of officers, including some top officials. They claim the problem is under control.
If you are stopped for a traffic violation in Mexico, you will be asked for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and possibly proof of insurance. You will also be told what you did wrong.
Of course, in the U.S. we would then be issued a ticket that requires us to pay a fine or appear in court at a later date.
If it is a minor infraction don’t bribe them, even so, it is possible that they ask for some money, the amount depends on the seriousness of the infraction, if you passed a red light it is better if they only give you the traffic ticket
If you drive without a license, the car must be impounded and the fine is higher, in that case, I suggest you offer $ 200 pesos (if you look Mexican) if you are blond with blue eyes maybe about $500 pesos
If you are stopped drinking alcohol in the street, the fine is $ 1500 pesos or 24 hours of jail, you will probably have to pay your full fine
Those are the most common crimes for which a police officer can pull you over, obviously, if you steal or kill, the amount will be considerably higher
The key is to remain calm and accept your mistake and when it is inevitable that they take you to jail then subtly offer the bribe, it is like a negotiation, start with a low amount and they will go up to agree on an amount.
The strategy you Should NOT use to Deal with Corrupt Mexican Police
Don’t be a tough guy or gal
This is the worst thing that you can do. If you act tough and get angry and make threats, the officer will simply arrest you for being disorderly or assaulting him or her, etc.
This is a very big no-no. Towing your car is technically something that the officer can’t do, even though they will threaten it, but if you give them enough of a desire to cause you to harm they will absolutely find a way to make it happen.
While most officers will not do anything illegal beyond soliciting bribes for traffic violations, they most certainly can act above the law when they really want to.
Don’t give them a reason to want to, because you will not win. Having your car towed (and potentially never seeing it again) is a lot more expensive than paying him one hundred bucks.
20 Tips to Stay Safe in Cabo San Lucas
Although a travel advisory is in effect, it’s important to remember that tourists flock to Mexico every year without incident.
The Mexican government is highly motivated to keep tourists safe in order to preserve the tourist trade but you must also do your part when traveling to Mexico.
Traveling anywhere requires a little bit of a safety precaution. So, remember to enlist these general rules during your vacation and you will not have to continually ask is Los Cabos safe?
Here are some precautions that you can take in order to make sure your trip goes as planned:
- Keep Your Nose Clean: As mentioned above, much of the criminal activity in Mexico revolves around the drug trade and sex trade. Although many Americans go south of the border to have a little fun remember the last thing you want is to end up in a Mexican Jail.
- When Driving, Stick to Main Roads, and Daytime Travel: One of the most popular methods to extort money and protect cartel turf is through carjacks or roadblock ambushes. Avoid back roads and nighttime driving and hire taxis and driving services through the hotel where you’re staying.
- Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date about safety news through a few methods. First of all, talk with your travel agent and/or hotel concierge about safety updates, and where to go. They’ll have the most current read on the situation. As an American Citizen, you should also consider signing up for STEP, the Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program. This will sign you up for travel alerts, put you on the consulate and Embassy radar, and make it easier to work things out if there’s an incident.
- Leave a copy of your passport and itinerary with someone at home.
- Keep your valuables locked up when you leave the hotel.
- Learn the language as much as possible (This is not just for safety, but also for courtesy, which can actually keep you safer too!) Remember the old saying you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
- Trust people who are invested long-term in making your stay a good one, like booking agents and hotel staff, and be on your guard with one-off opportunities.
- Research your destination: Make sure you are up to date on the current travel warnings.
- Keep windows shut and doors locked in a car: especially at traffic lights
- Use first-class bus companies– these bus companies take toll roads that have security checks on passengers as they board.
- Don’t walk around by yourself late at night: You are asking for trouble.
- Be careful taking money out of the ATM: these are good spots to rob people.
- Use a money belt: Keep the thieves at bay.
- Don’t get scammed: If someone is asking you for your personal information will are likely scamming.
- Don’t wear flashy jewelry – looking like you are balling out of control will get you robbed. Leave your LV and Gucci in the states.
- Ask for a hotel concierge: The hotel staff will be able to provide full tips about where to eat and what attractions you must see.
- Avoid getting DRUNK: you need to know where you are at all times.
- Don’t try to buy drugs: Don’t ask about buying drugs and don’t even think about buying drugs.
- DON’T travel at night: Most crime occurs at night.
- Only use well-known tour operators: Most of the cheaper tour operators will not have up-to-date equipment and experienced guides.
Beach Safety In Cabo San Lucas
One of the main reasons Americans travel to Cabo San Lucas is to enjoy the warm weather and the relaxing beach.
The beaches in Los Cabos do not have lifeguards, though most resorts have access to medical personnel. Travelers should be careful when they swim and not take any risks like jumping off rocks or swimming near coral.
Finally, while I understand you are in Mexico and “dranking” is at the top of your to-do list remember the heat and too much alcohol do not mix well and can lead to massive dehydration.
Avoid swimming at the beach when a black warning flag is posted. Cover your child with sunscreen or protective clothing before heading to the beach.
Wear Sunscreen in Los Cabos
You didn’t fly all of the way to Mexico to stay inside but please beware that Mexican rays are intense and can lead to a severe burn or sun poisoning, especially during the warmer spring and summer months.
The sun in Cabos San Lucas is pretty strong and high in damaging UV rays. Stay hydrated and limit the amount of sun you get based on your skin type.
• Staying in the shade as much as possible.
• Protecting skin with clothing.
• Applying sunscreen to protect skin from harmful rays.
• Wearing a hat preferably with at least 2-3 inches brim all around.
• Wear sunglasses to protect yourself from UV rays.
The Mexican authorities do not tolerate excessive drinking and rowdy behavior. In Cabos, it is illegal to disturb the peaceful environment, litter, drink on the streets, or in public transport.
• Don’t Get Drunk
• Drink as much water and non-alcoholic beverages.
• Get plenty of rest.
• Take along a friend whenever going to a party or club to guarantee the safety of both.
• Never drink and drive.
Eating Too Much in Los Cabos
Vacations are often synonymous with overindulgence – whether it’s too much food, water, the sun, party, or even rest.
This is why it is called a vacation. And when you are in Cabo – you are bound to overindulge in all the above. But when it’s over, it’s back to reality.
Cabo San Lucas offers variety in its cuisines and budget. Take your time, it’s a vacation, not an eating marathon.
• Packing a few healthy snacks with you.
• Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
• Avoiding ordering the “fancy drinks” available at pool bars. Packed with calories!
• Take in a run or head to the hotel gym every morning before heading out for sightseeing.
Is Cabo Safe for Families?
Mexico is safe but if you are traveling with small kids the beach resort areas of Los Cabos and other popular Mexican cities are popular vacation destinations for families with young children.
These areas provide you with the opportunity to introduce your kids to a new culture, new food, and a different way of life.
Is it Safe to Rent a Car in Los Cabos?
For the most part, bus travel is the best way to get around in Mexico, but if you are anything like me I prefer to be on my own time and not have to wait on other people.
I like to explore and make up my itinerary as I go and those tour buses do not give me the freedom and they may not cover every place I want to see.
The Yucatan, for example, is especially suited to driving: Many beaches, barely developed ruins, and intriguing villages lie a good distance from the main road.
Highways are well-maintained, constantly being improved, and so straight that the slightest curve bristles with warning signs and reflectors.
It’s generally safe to drive in Los Cabos, but I suggest parking your car at night and don’t stay out too late.
Is it Safe to Drink The Water in Los Cabos?
Even the locals don’t drink the water in Mexico.
You can buy bottled water anywhere, but when you buy water, make sure it is factory sealed to guarantee it is safe to drink. Crystal is one popular brand in Los Cabos.
Use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Most ice in the area comes from factories and is purified. If you are uncertain about the ice, ask your waiter.
Many travelers take risks with food and water. If you are on a long trip, being sick for a few days isn’t such a big deal.
If this is a week-long vacation, do you really want to spend half of it sick just because you were too lazy to get the bottled water when you brushed your teeth?
Best Time to Visit Cabo San Lucas
For fewer crowds, go in spring or fall which is when I went, the temperatures are still mild and rain is less likely and the rates are at their lowest.
Not only are the rates at their lowest but you literally have the resort to yourself!
From late November to mid-May, conditions are ideal to visit Cabo San Lucas, with sunny days with temperatures around the 80s and cooler nights.
Things heat up in the summer when temperatures reach the high 90s. Some visitors prefer to avoid Cabo during March and April when tipsy spring breakers descend upon the town.
Fishing tournaments are held between June and November, but before you pack your rod and reel, keep in mind that it’s also hurricane season, so plan accordingly.
Click here for my Travel Resource page to help you book your vacation to Los Cabos.
What Not To Miss in Los Cabos
Traveling to Cabo San Lucas means experiencing one of Baja’s most indulgent areas, pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and fine dining will bring the most exhausted travelers back to life with a dose of adrenaline.
Some highlights from our Cabo San Lucas travel guide include:
- Aquatic Activities like fishing, snorkeling
- Visit the beaches
- Whale watching
- Arch of Los Cabos
- Camel Ride in the desert
With nearly 6000 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Mexico is great for families, couples, and solo travelers who love great beaches.
Millions of people visit Mexico each year and 99% of travelers do not run into any trouble but the 1% that makes the news is all that you hear about and you began asking yourself is Cabo safe.
Mexico Travel Warning
ASSISTANCE FOR U.S. CITIZENS
Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.
Conclusion: Is Cabo Safe
Is Cabos safe? Yes, if you stay abreast of all Mexico travel warnings, exercise common sense, and pay attention to news about safety in the city you are visiting I don’t think you will have any issues.
Keep in mind that bad things can anywhere not just in Mexico but I am sure there are crimes taking place right in your very own neighborhood.
No matter where you go in Mexico, follow the common-sense rules that are listed above like drinking only in moderation, getting a cab instead of wandering around after dark, and leaving your expensive watches and rings at home.
Mexico is safe to visit so long as you stay out of trouble, take precautions, don’t buy drugs, and ladies do not allow men to buy you a cocktail and I don’t care how cute he is. BUY YOUR OWN COCKTAILS!
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