If you are here that means you are researching the safest cities in mexico for your next vacation. Mexico is an extremely popular vacation destination but one that also tends to have a bad reputation because of reports from the U.S. media.
Is it safe to travel to Mexico right now? If you are asking yourself should I travel to Mexico right now or is Cancun safe for travel keep reading.
Mexico has a reputation for being not only the party capital of the world for spring breakers but fears of whether Mexico is safe has plagued the country for as long as I can remember.
If fact I wouldn’t travel to Mexico because I allowed the U.S. media convince me I was going to be killed, kidnapped, mugged or rapped.
Because of Mexico’s bad reputation many people tend to avoid the country but Mexico is extremely safe so keep reading and I will provide you with my list of the safest cities in mexico for your next vacation.
You should be researching the safety of any destination before you travel not just Mexico.
The Mexican cities listed below are are not only beautiful, but they are equally safe to visit as long as you exercise caution and common sense!
The travel and tourism industry is a major economic driver for Mexico with an expected 44 million visitors traveling to Mexico in 2020.
To help you determine which city is best for you, I have compiled this list of the top destinations in Mexico for travelers based on cultural attractions, beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and you will also find the latest travel advisory to Mexico for 2020.
Safest Cities in Mexico For Travelers
Bad things can happen right in your own city just as they can in some of these Mexican towns.
No matter what city you decide to explore you should use your common sense and not take drinks from strangers, wear exepensive jewelry or wander around at night alone.
For many solo travelers looking for an exciting, affordable experience – Mexico is a great destination so all you need to do is pack your bags.
1. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is now one of the most coveted and luxury vacation spots for luxury travelers. While Mexico is known for exaggerated crime sprees and drug-related violence, Tulum has remained a relatively safe travel destination.
If you are traveling to Tulum you should still exercise common sense when venturing out into the downtown area – Don’t walk around alone at night, lock your doors and be aware of your surroundings.
In Tulum, you’ll find preserved Mayan ruins, crystal clear waters, cenotes and delicious cuisine.
Tulum is relatively safe because it’s not filled with spring breakers and party goers – safest alternative to the other areas on the Riviera Maya especially during spring break season.
Where To Stay In Tulum
Set on a secluded beach near the Mayan ruins, Habitas aims to be more than just a hotel— rather, a place for escape and maybe even cultural exchange, achieved through regular events like musical performances, wellness retreats, mezcal tastings, and outdoor cinema nights.
In case you do just want to get away on a pretty beach, Habitas has you covered: its 32 rooms are thatched-roofed, and you’ll hardly be able to tell where the infinity pool ends and the ocean begins.
Check Prices for Habitas Tulum in Tulum, Mexico
2. Puerto Vallarta
There are no travel restrictions for U.S. citizens and there are currently not any official Puerto Vallarta travel warnings.
The U.S. State Department advises against traveling to approximately 31 of Mexico states. Jalisco, which the state Puerto Vallarta is located in, curretly does not have a travel ban.
The reason there is not a Mexico travel advisory 2020 in Puerto Vallarta is because the local government in Puerto Vallarta is very present and visible at all times.
If you feel unsafe the local police is there to assist you or simply call 911 as if you were in the states. Hotels and resorts also have heighten security around the hotels and the private beaches to ensure safety of its guest.
Where To Stay In Puerto Vallarta
Hacienda San Angel
Hacienda San Angel is the most gracious lodging in the heart of Old Vallarta. The resort is five blocks from the bay with impressive downtown views and is close to the best restaurants, galleries and shops.
The property is popular among honeymooners and couples because of the romantic atmosphere and modern amentities which include private terraces with private hot tubs overlooking the deep blue Banderas Bay.
Check Prices for Hacienda San Angel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
The U.S. Department has issued a “Do Not Travel” warning for certain Mexican states due to violent crimes mostly gang related.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico and specifically Huatulco which is located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, you should not be concerned with safety. Huatulco is one of the safest Mexican cities to visit in 2020?
Huatulco is considered extremely safe, especially in comparison to other areas of Mexico. This quiet Mexican city is like visiting a small town in the midwest where people leave their doors open and crime is non-issue.
The U.S. State Department’s advisory was updated December 2019 and issued a level 2 travel advisory for the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where Huatulco is located.
The only crime you might find in Huatulco is petty crime – Identity theft, pick-pocketing, and the occasional purse snatching.
Where To Stay In Huatulco
Dreams Huatulco Resort
Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa offers sun-seeking guests prime access to the Pacific shoreline, as well as a number of other relaxation-inducing features.
The resort’s all-inclusive Unlimited-Luxury package allows visitors to participate in an array of activities, including kayaking, snorkeling and poolside lounging. The nightly rate here also covers meals and drinks at seven restaurants and five bars and lounges.
Check Prices for Dreams Huatulco in Huatulco, Mexico
4. Mexico City
Mexico City is a destination on the rise and apparently has an unfounded reputation for being unsafe. Contrary to popular belief Mexico City is not a dangerous destination.
As with any large metropolitan city there are areas you need to steer clear of, especially if you are walking around looking like this is your first time out of the country and you don’t speak a single word of Spanish.
In the most touristy areas of Mexico City, like Condesa, Roma, and the historic center, you will find it’s mostly safe but still be aware of your surroundings and petty thieves.
Where To Stay In Mexico City
It’s no surprise that the St. Regis takes the crown as the most luxurious place to stay in Mexico City.
The New York-based design stars Yabu Pushelberg are responsible for the hotel’s marble and onyx guestrooms, which come with private butlers and tech perks like TVs in the bathroom mirrors and bedside touch-screen control pads.
What we love best: the morning yoga on the rooftop helipad and the 11-course tasting menu at the acclaimed French restaurant, La Table Krug.
Merida is stunning colonial city just a few hours from Cancun. The city is bright with well-preserved building, amazing Yucatecan foods and luxury resorts.
Merida is the epitome of luxury from boutique hotels, 5 star resorts, and upscale delicious local restaurants and pricy boutique clothing stores to find the latest silk beach caftan.
It’s a small peaceful city that has not been affected by crime or the drug war. When you think about Mexico safety Merida is the eptiome of safety.
Where To Stay In Merida
Hacienda San Jose
Ensconced in a gorgeously gardened pocket of jungle, Hacienda San Jose is one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s best-kept secrets.
Rescued from ruin and rebuilt with relaxation in mind, its 15 cream-and-terracotta coloured rooms are ideal rest-stops for expeditions to the capital city of Mérida, the ‘yellow city’ of Izamal, and ancient city and new wonder of the world, Chichen Itza.
Check Prices for Hacienda San Jose in Merida, Mexico
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6. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende oozes old Mexico charm from the cobblestone streets, colonial-era buildings and the neo-Gothic steeples that are high above the skyline.
San Miguel has been named the best city in the world and is loved by both locals and tourist alike.
San Miguel de Allende is one of the safest cities in Mexico is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The small town offers cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial churches, and dozens of great restaurants.
Sanctuary of Atotonilco, less than 10 miles away, is also a World Heritage Site and an important pilgrimage site for penitent Mexicans and tourists alike.
Where To Stay In San Miguel
San Miguel’s first attempt at modern, chic hospitality has been a roaring success. Matilda, and its restaurant Moxi (under the direction of famous Mexico City chef Enrique Olivera), are a world apart in colonial and quaint San Miguel.
Not only is the interior decor eclectic-hip, but the clientele is younger, more moneyed and more urban than the average tourist.
The hotel is often host to DJ nights on the rooftop bar, special Chef appearances at Moxi and local fashion events executed with flair.
Check Prices for Hotel Matilda in San Miguel, Mexico
Puebla is one of the larger cities in Mexico and is located 82 miles from Mexico City. The city of Puebla offers beautiful colorful buildings from the Baroque era, amazing food and historical culture.
Since the Spanish conquistadors founded Puebla in the 16th Century, the city has been the heart of colonial Mexico.
Only an hour from the madness of Mexico City, Puebla marches to a different, more gentle rhythm, and its proud people (the poblanos) place a big emphasis on traditional Catholic values and practices.
Puebla was named one of the top 10 cities in the world that should be visited by National Geographic Magazine.
Lonely Planet named Puebla as one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit and The New York Times names Puebla #13 on the list of the cities in the world that you should visit.
If National Geographic, Lonely Planet and The New York Times suggest putting Puebla on your bucket list what in the world are you waiting on.
Start packing for Mexico now because Puebla is definitely one of the safest cities in Mexico.
Where To Stay In Puebla
A former water-bottling factory finds new life as La Purificadora hotel, bringing industrial-chic into the baroque heart of Puebla with an innovative use of indoor and outdoor space.
Adding rich details including shiny black marble staircases, glass panels and couches around open coal fires in an inspiring study of repurposing an industrial building into a stylish destination.
Check Prices for La Purificadora in Puebla, Mexico
8. Oaxaca City
The southern state of Oaxaca is one of the most diverse regions of Mexico. Think lush green mountains, beautiful beaches, colonial cities and impressive ruins.
The entire state is scattered with colorful markets. Oaxaca City is much more calm and relaxing than its metropolitan counterparts – Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Oaxaca City is lined with Cobblestone streets, plazas, authentic Mexican cuisine and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
With increasing crime in Mexico, vacationers want to know is Oaxaca safe?
The answer is a resounding yes that Oaxaca is one of the safer cities in Mexico and I am planning a return visit sooner than later.
Where To Stay In Oaxaca City
Quinta Real Oaxaca Hotel
With a stay at Quinta Real Oaxaca, you’ll be centrally located in Oaxaca, steps from Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca and Panuelito Garden.
This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Quetzalli Gallery and Oaxaca Regional Museum.
Rich in history and culture, the Quinta Real Oaxaca hotel is a beautiful boutique property in the expertly restored 16th century Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena.
Located in the heart of the stately city of Oaxaca on Calle 5 de Mayo, this architectural wonder has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in honor of the four centuries of history preserved in the building’s colonial design.
The hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Oaxaca airport.
Offering the perfect balance of old-world charm and modern amenities, the guestrooms and suites feature colonial-style décor in spacious yet cozy settings, with large windows overlooking the manicured gardens, captivating courtyards, or the streets of Oaxaca.
Check Prices for Quinta Real Oaxaca, Mexico
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Bacalar is a small town, about three and a half to four hours from Cancun. Bacalar is not far from the border of Belize and is also home to the Lake of Seven Colors.
Lake changes colors from crystalline to deep turquoise due to underwater cenotes and limestone lakebed.
Bacalar also has some of the most spectacular views so if you need to disconnect from social media, relax in a hammock with cocktail in hand then Bacalar is the perfect destination for you.
Where to Stay in Bacalar
Located in Bacalar, Casa Shiva Bacalar offers accommodation with lake views and a garden. All accommodation has a terrace overlooking the garden.
The property offers a bicycle rental service. Free WiFi is available near the reception. The internet zone is not stable. Chetumal is 34 km from Casa Shiva Bacalar.
The nearest airport is Chetumal International Airport, 32 km from the property.
Check Prices for Chambres Hotel in Bacalar, Mexico
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Izamal is a small and quaint town on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It’s known as la Ciudad Amarilla de Yucatán, meaning “the yellow city of Yucatan.”
The entire city is painted a bright vibrant color of yellow with white trim and there are ancient Maya ruin sites at every turn.
If you are worried about crime when traveling to Mexico then Izamal should be on your bucket list as one of the safer citites in Mexico.
Izamal is completely off the beaten that features authentic Mexican cuisine, cocktails and that small town family feeling.
Where to Stay in Izamal
Macan Che Bed & Breakfast
Macan Che Bed & Breakfast is located in the charming city of Izamal, known as the “Yellow City” and the “City of Three Cultures” for the Mayan, Spanish and Meztiso cultures which thrive here.
Behind the humble doors on Calle 22 lies a little jungle paradise!
The bungalows at Macan ché are charming and private. Scattered about the property, each cottage has ample space within the tropical gardens and many of the bungalows have individual porches.
Decorated in unique themes including Mayan, Asian, Colonial, and Safari, the rooms are rich in color and personality.
Check Prices for Chambres Hotel in Bacalar, Mexico
Don’t Be Fooled Mexico is Extremely Safe!
Boasting a rich and vibrant history, delicious local cuisine, incredible landscapes, and plenty to see and do, you can have fun exploring the tourist hotspots and hidden gems throughout the country.
You will not be disappointed by what you find because Mexico is safe and don’t be afraid to venture out and explore the country alone.
Are Solo Female Travelers Safe In Mexico
Updated Mexico travel warning has encouraged visitors to steer clear of certain areas and as a precaution, a lot of travelers have to been told to reconsider travel to Mexico.
While it’s always smart to heed travel warnings and be cautious when exploring new places, you shouldn’t let these keep you from visiting Mexico.
Instead, you just need to be a bit more careful when you choose your vacation destination – especially if you’re a solo female traveler in Mexico.
Dress in Mexico Traveling Solo
According to a 2019 research, over 60% of Americans have either traveled solo already or would consider doing so. And women are leading the charge.
A recent survey by Booking.com reveals that 65% of women in the U.S. are going on a vacation on their own.
Don’t let your fears hold you back! Just follow these expert-approved tips for a safe and comfortable solo female travel experience:
To avoid unwanted attention, physically and verbally, in big cities, or upsetting the locals in more conservative towns and villages, wear modest clothing and be polite but confident to establish boundaries.
I don’t suggest dressing like a nun but I do think you need to be aware that unwanted attention will happen if you have on a thong, low cut tanks with your boobs exposed.
While you may say I should be able to wear what I want the reality is you can but expect cat calls and unwanted attention.
Do your homework before Traveling to Mexico
Before you set off for your trip, do your research about the place you’re planning to visit.
Find out what’s the exchange rate, customs restrictions and visa requirements, how’s their public transportation system, which neighborhoods you should avoid, safety precautions to take, local emergency contacts to save on your phone, etc.
Look up their local customs and traditions so you can carry yourself accordingly. Show as much respect to the local culture as possible when traveling to another country.
Trust your Instincts & Street Smarts
When you’re traveling alone, it’s crucial to stay cautious and read situations in an instant. If something feels off, walk away from that place or person immediately.
When you travel solo, you and your needs are all that matter so always trust your gut.
You’ve every right to change hotels, get out of a cab, fly to a different city, or walk away from someone or someplace if you feel like something is off.
Avoid walking with your head buried in your phone as this is a green light for criminals no matter the destination.
High-tech devices are not only appealing to petty thieves but also draw attention to your traveler status. Foreign women, especially, are perceived as easy targets. Keep your phone and cash out of sight.
Always carry a photocopy of your identification with you at all times in case the police stop you. Keep the real deal locked up in a safe back at your hotel.
Let your bank know when you are traveling so they don’t cut off your funds and keep an eye on your account when you return for any suspicious activity.
Avoid carrying around a lot of cash and withdraw small amounts of pesos from ATMs and avoid withdrawing money at night.
While most crime against women in Mexico is either drug/gang related if you use common sense, Mexico is not any more dangerous than the U.S.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Don’t open your room door unless you know/trust the person
- Under no circumstances disclose where you are staying to a stranger
- If you are invited to a party/event, always imply that you will bring someone along and let a friend, or even the receptionist at your accommodation, know your whereabouts. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t go
- Avoid traveling at night or wandering around in poorly lit areas and beach locations
- If you’re traveling alone and don’t feel confident exploring a place, join a tour. Aside from the safety aspect, it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers
- While it’s extremely rare, women travelers have reported drink-spiking in bars/clubs, on public transport and even at the beach
- Research the neighborhood you are staying in, and ask the locals where the no-go areas are. As much as the cheap places per night are great for your bank account, make security your priority when choosing your accommodation.
Getting Around Mexico
Mexico has the most unsafe transport system in the world from overcrowding, groping and sexual harassment being the main culprit of the Mexican transportation system.
Mexico City now has women-only taxis, buses, and train carriages as part of a holistic campaign named Atenea (Athena), after the Greek goddess of war and courage.
Not sure which spots are safe to go as a solo female traveler in Mexico? This list contains a few cities where you’ll be safe – and guaranteed to have a great time, as long as you practice some basic safety rules:
- Steer clear of spots with a bad reputation, known gang activity or place that give you bad vibes. Stick to well-traveled places.
- Check in with friends and family back home as often as you can. Make sure someone knows where you’re at and when you expect to check in next.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This is a good rule of thumb in general, but it’s especially important when traveling alone.
- Don’t drink too much. Make sure you know your limits. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position.
Are Uber’s Safe in Mexico
The most practical thing if you do not want to use public transportation is to download the Uber app.
This offers a fantastic and simple solution to safety worries and possible problems when traveling from one destination to the next. Because many taxis are not to be trusted uber is an excellent alternative.
Don’t get wasted
It might seem obvious but getting blitzed drunk while you’re traveling alone is a big no-no.
I always make sure that I limit my alcohol consumption to two drinks and make sure that I have transportation back to my hotel to avoid being a target on the streets at night.
Keep all of these tips in mind, and you’ll have a blast as you visit these safe cities in Mexico for your next vacation. Remember Mexico is safe as long as you use common sense.
My Opinion Personal Opinion on Mexico Safety
As I stated, in the beginning, Mexico is a country that’s rich in food, culture, music, and history. Do not allow the media to scare you into missing your blessing.
While warring drug cartels have resulted in an increasingly higher than normal murder rate and violence Mexico is safe just like most U.S. cities that have higher than normal crime rates.
The travel advisory is in place for a reason but the locals are really friendly in Mexico, so if you’re traveling alone, you should easily be able to find a few locals to hang out with when you are in need of company.
If you’re looking for a great spot to visit in Mexico as a lady traveling alone, you can’t go wrong with Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, and Oaxaca City
As you can see, there are plenty of safe spots to explore in Mexico – even if you’re a woman traveling alone.
Whether you prefer to make friends with other travelers as you explore your destination or you truly enjoy your independence as you explore, you’ll worry less about safety – and more about having a great time – in these cities. Use your common sense and make sure you purchase travel insurance.
Travel insurance is one of those things that you probably won’t use but is essential if something goes wrong on your travels like when I got extremely sick in the Czech Republic which was the one time I didn’t purchase insurance. Lesson learned!
If you are a first-time traveler to Mexico I suggest planning out your itinerary to include the following:
- Hotels you will be staying in
- Beaches you want to visit
- Tours or activities you would like to see
Let your friends and family know where you will be traveling to so if something happens they will know where you are staying and what you were doing that day..
If you’ve previously traveled solo, you’ll find Mexico to be an easy destination, especially if you speak some Spanish. But Mexico doesn’t have to be a lie-on-the-beach-and-don’t-leave-the-resort kind of destination.
Whatever you’re into — quaint cities, beautiful scenery and beaches, surfing or hiking.
Mexico is safe as longif you follow the simple common sense rules listed below.
- Do Not allow men to buy you cocktails
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Don’t open your room door for anyone
- Under any circumstances are you tell strangers where you are staying
- Do Not travel at night, walk around in poorly lit areas and that includes the beaches
- Research where you will be staying and ask locals what areas you should stay away from.
Learn basic (Mexican!) Spanish
While many people in Mexico you will have some that speak English, particularly those working in tourist-oriented places such as hotels and bars, but as I found in Cancun a lot of people will not have a clue what you’re saying.
Therefore, for the solo traveler, it’s essential to brush up on your Mexican Spanish with basic phrases and common vocabulary that varies from peninsular Spanish.
Stay in Areas with Heavy Foot Traffic Areas
I suggest staying in places that are filled with foot traffic both day and night with both locals and tourists, you’ll feel and be much safer.
Which means there will always someone around in case you find yourself in a compromising position.
Top Things to do in Mexico
- – The Arch in Cabo San Lucas
- – The Pink Lake in Las Coloradas
- – Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos)
- – Go Diving in Cozumel
- – Check out the ruins of Chichen Itza
- – Eat tacos after tacos after tacos
- – Visit the Pyramids of Teotihuacan
- – Go on a Tequila tasting
- – Explore a Colonial Town
Best Time To Travel To Mexico
Because Mexico is a big country deciding when and where to travel totally depends on the weather and which area you are visiting.
Southern part Mexico has a rainy season which generally starts in May until October. Not to worry it only rains for a short period of time and sun will come right back out.
If you want to travel in the cooler season book your trip from December to February when it is cooler.
I suggest traveling to Mexico is between December and April when the temperatures are more comfortable and the humidity is not at all an all-time high.
Traveling from the U.S. pre-trip checklist:
Read updated Mexico travel restrictions: Travel.State.Gov
As of 6/12/19 if you are traveling to Mexico as a Solo Female traveler there are certain areas you should not travel to but that doesn’t mean Mexico is not safe. Mexico is safe you just need to know which areas to avoid:
Do Not Travel to:
- Colima state due to crime.
- Guerrero state due to crime.
- Michoacán state due to crime.
- Sinaloa state due to crime.
- Tamaulipas state due to crime and kidnapping.
Book flight to and from Mexico: I always fly Delta but that is my preferred airline. Mexico has numerous airports and below is a list of airports you can fly into along with the corresponding airport code.
- Mexico City – MEX
- Cancun – CUN
- Guadalajara – GDL
- Los Cabos – SJD
- Monterrey – MTY
- Puerto Vallarta – PVR
Book a place to stay in Mexico: I love staying at boutique hotels and click to find the cheapest rate for hotels throughout Mexico.
Book activities: We chose to book most of our activities through G Adventures and Viator. I wrote about G Adventures in great detail above.
Download Google Translator: If you do not speak Spanish or not an advance speaker this app is helpful.
Once you download the app make sure to download the Spanish offline translations as you will not have a good signal in Mexico.
Pro Tip: Turn your location sharing on for your friends and family so they can keep track of where you are.
Conclusion of Safest Cities In Mexico
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.
Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!
Additional Articles For Exploring Mexico
Do you allow travel warnings to affect your travel decisions and are you wondering is Mexico safe?
Did any of my favorite safest cities in Mexico make your bucket list? Leave a comment and let me know!
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