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25 Safest Cities in Mexico (With Pictures)


Some areas in Mexico are quite dangerous, while others are safe. Some are designed to be more tourist locations, while others are safer to live in but aren’t very touristy.

With that said, there are very few unsafe incidents in Mexico when it comes to tourists, especially if you stay in the safer areas. While Mexico may not be as safe as the United States, it is still a lot safer than some other countries in the world. While some incidents happen in Mexico, they are often isolated situations.

Mexico is one of the top tourist destinations for Americans, likely because it is so close and has some beautiful destinations.

divider 1The 25 Safest Cities in Mexico

1. Tulum

Image Credit: Needpix
  • Population: 42,000
  • Tourists per Day: 30,000
  • Murders in 2021: 65

Tulum is generally considered one of the safer cities in Mexico, especially for tourists. It is known for its white sand and beautiful beaches. With that said, violence is on the rise. It isn’t as safe as it used to be, though it does depend on the area. There are still beautiful beach houses for you to rent, as well as glamping opportunities.

There are also lots of restaurant opportunities. The area is made for tourists, so it is an excellent option for those on vacation.

2. Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 221,200
  • Tourists Annually: 5 million (pre-Covid)
  • Murders in 2021: Not Reported

Puerto Vallarta is known as one of the safest destinations in Mexico. In fact, it is safer than many United States cities. Therefore, if you’re looking for a safe place to visit, this may be an excellent option for you.

There are many beautiful beaches in this area, which is why it is such a popular tourist destination. It is famous for its beautiful city beaches. You can also participate in Parasailing, jet skinning, and other popular water activities.

3. La Paz

La Paz
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 766,468
  • Tourists Annually: Not Reported
  • Crime Rate: 29

This city is in Baja California and is one of the safer cities on this list. For instance, this is much safer than New York or Los Angeles. Therefore, it is a decently safe city to visit. However, as a city, it is still more dangerous than some of the other locations out there. Cities tend to have higher crime rates, and this city is no different.

The city itself is very flat, though it is surrounded by a mountain range. It has one of the most stubbing beaches in Mexico and is renowned as a coastal city. Therefore, it tends to be a typical tourist destination, though we don’t have an estimate on the exact number of tourists that visit this city every year.

4. Sayulita

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 2,262
  • Tourists Annually: Not Reported
  • Murder Rate: Practically zero (no hard numbers reported)

While this smaller city is full of restaurants, bars, and places to shop, the real draw is the beach (as it is for most cities on this list. Surfing is a common occurrence, and there is something for just about every skill level.

If you can’t surf, there are also plenty of surfing lessons.

5. Cancun

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 971,798 (World Population Review)
  • Tourists Annually: Over 15 million
  • Murder Rate: 83

Everyone has heard of Cancun. It is one of the most popular tourist locations in Mexico, and there is no shortage of things to do there. Many people stay at all-inclusive resorts where they never have to leave, which tend to be relatively safe. There is a “hotel zone,” which is basically a long strip of land that works as the main tourist zone.

This area is pretty safe. However, if you go out into the actual city, you may find more dangerous areas.

6. Huatulco

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 50,000 (US News)
  • Tourist Annually: Few thousand
  • Murder Rate: Practically zero (no hard numbers reported)

With more than thirty beaches, this town is one of the better tourist destinations for those set on going to Mexico. There are over nine bays, as well, so you’ll have plenty of room to do stuff on the beach. There are snorkeling and diving activities though out the shoreline.

7. Mazatlan

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 470,000
  • Tourist Annually: Decreasing (no hard numbers reported)
  • Murder Rate: Increasing (Yucatan Times)

While you may not have heard of this place before, it is a very special tourist destination if you’re looking for a memorable vacation. While the area around the city is known for being a bit dangerous, the city itself isn’t. It is full of many great restaurants with live entertainment, and it tends to be less touristy than the other locations on this list.

8. Cozumel

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 88,626
  • Tourist Annually: At least 423,023 (CEIC)
  • Murder Rate: 1 approximately

This island is one of the better places to go in Mexico. It has a mellow vibe and is much more mellow than other options on this list. It is a great place for those that want a relaxing vacation without the hustle-and-bustle of other cities on this list.

You can stop at any beach club and snorkel for free, which typically isn’t possible in most city areas. It is known for its white sandy beaches and has an enormous lighthouse.

9. Ensenada

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 443,807
  • Tourist Annually: Over 300,000 (no hard number reported)
  • Murder Rate: 1741

In Baja, California, this city is another good tourist destination. It is known for its great beaches and is well-known as the birthplace of fish tacos. It is also very close to the U.S. border, which may be one of the easiest places to visit, especially if you live in California. This city is also known for its fresh seafood, as well.

10. Holbox Island

Holbox Island
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 2,000
  • Tourist Annually: Low (Wit Press)
  • Murder Rate: Practically zero

While this island is only a short distance away from Cancun, it is a unique vacation destination. It is a Caribbean Island that is owned by Mexico, though it is mostly utilized as a tourist destination. This island is only accessible on a ferry from Chiquila, Mexico, so it does tend to be relatively safe.

This area is known for having a small-town feel. However, it also has a lively night scene with plenty of bars and restaurants that stay open late.

11. Puerto Escondido

  • Population: Around 29,300 (updated population counts are lacking)
  • Tourist Annually: 342,534
  • Overall Crime Rate: 25

This small fishing village may not look like a destination spot. However, it has great beaches and is much quieter than other options on this list. Plus, it is also much safer because of the lower population. The surf break is famous and draws surfers from all around the world.

12. Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 22,686
  • Tourists Annually: Over 238,000
  • Murder Rate: Around 0.3

Just a few minutes off the coast of Cancun is this Caribbean island. It has a smaller population and a laid-back vibe, which makes it one of the safest islands to visit in Mexico. Once upon a time, this island functioned as a Mayan pilgrimage site for women. Today, there are lots of Mayan ruins for you to explore, leading to a memorable vacation.

13. Loreto

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 20,385
  • Tourists Annually: 54,000
  • Murder Rate: Practically zero (nothing reported)

This small town is known as one of Mexico’s “magic towns,” thanks to its historical importance. If you come at the right time, you can even see the whales migrating into the bay. There are even tours in the area that will take you to see the blue whales.

14. Akumal

  • Population: 1,310
  • Tourists Annually: Low due to limiting
  • Murder Rate: Increasing (though still low)

This town is home to rare and protected sea turtles. In many cases, you can swim with these sea turtles in the bay, which is the main reason that people visit. However, to protect the turtles, the town limits the number of tourists that can visit. Therefore, you must book a tour to go.

15. Bacalar Lake

Bacalar Lake
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 11,084
  • Tourist Annually: Unknown
  • Murder Rate: Unreported

This lake is the second largest lake in Mexico. It is one of the country’s hidden gems. While it may not be a beach, it is absolutely one of the best and safest places to visit. It has been slowly gaining in popularity over the years, but it still isn’t as touristy as other locations.

16. Merida

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 1,181,000
  • Tourist Annually: 2 million
  • Murder Rate: 2

If you’re looking for an exciting city vacation instead of a beach vacation, then you may want to consider Merida, which is one of the safest cities in Mexico. However, because it is a city, it is still a bit less safe than the other options on this list.

17. Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: Over 300,000
  • Tourist Annually: 1,121,615 (CEIC)
  • Murders Total: 67 per year

This colorful and exciting city is a great place for those looking for an exciting and different vacation. With lush mountains and colonial architecture, this area is known for its fascinating festivities, such as its Day of the Dead celebration.

18. Mexico City

Mexico City
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 7 million
  • Tourists Annually: 1,483,416
  • Murders Total: 34,515

As one of the largest cities in Mexico, you would think that Mexico City would also be quite dangerous. However, it does have quite a few safer areas that seem built just for tourists in mind. There is a lot to do here, and you can generally find something for just about everyone.

19. San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 174,615
  • Tourists Annually: 556,799
  • Murder Rates: 61 per 100,000

As a world heritage site, this city gets tourists from all over the world. It is a very safe place to visit and is even known as one of the better retirement spots. Many people in America retire to this beautiful city. There is a large population of ex-pats here, so much of the population speaks English.

20. San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas
Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 186,000
  • Tourists Annually: 132,737 (CEIC)
  • Murder Rate: Not reported

This is another “magic town” that is known for its beautiful architecture and colorful streets. It is one of the safest places to get the authentic cultural experience of Mexico, though it won’t provide you with a beach vacation like other areas. This place is the center of the Zapatista movement and has many indigenous communities around it.

21. Guadalajara

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 46 million
  • Tourists Annually: 2,333,843.5
  • Murder Number: 460

This is Mexico’s largest city. However, it has many quint neighborhoods, and it doesn’t necessarily feel like one of the bigger cities. The locals are known for being extremely kind, and the days are long and beautiful.

22. Valladolid

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 298,866
  • Tourists Annually: Minimal (no hard numbers reported)
  • Murder Rate: Low (no hard numbers reported)

This charming town is one of the prettiest colonial cities in Mexico. It is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, just like many of the towns on this list. It is also about two hours away from Merida, which makes it easy to see the bigger city as well.

23. Puebla

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 3,295,000
  • Tourists Annually: 459,951
  • Violent Crime Rate: 36

While this city is one of the largest in the United States, it is one of the safest vacation spots in Mexico. It is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so there is a lot of colorful history for you to explore in this city. While it is close to Mexico City, it has a very different vibe that makes it a unique spot to explore.

24. Monterrey

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 4,956,000
  • Tourists Annually: 1,526,712.500
  • Murder Rate: Varies widely

Monterrey is not very far from the Texas-Mexico border. For this reason, you may expect it to be unsafe. However, it is one of the safer places you can visit. It isn’t known for much, but it does have some surreal natural beauty.

25. Queretaro

Image Credit: Pixabay
  • Population: 05 million
  • Tourists Annually: Not reported
  • Murder Rate: Low

As the last city on our list, Queretaro isn’t the safest city in Mexico by any means. However, the violent crime rate is low enough that you don’t have to worry too much about visiting. Plus, it is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

There are some unsafe areas in this city, just like in every city. However, the safer areas are fine for those that want to visit.

How to Stay Safe in Mexico

While there are some more dangerous places in Mexico, there are also some very safe places as well. You just need to be careful regarding where you spend your time. Just like most cities, many larger cities have their unsafe areas. If you stay away from those areas, you’ve already won half the battle.

For instance, you should preferably not travel alone or at night. Just like anywhere, these are the most dangerous times to be out and about. Solo travelers tend to be less safe. Of course, it is best to leave expensive items at home, as these tend to be stolen. You also shouldn’t accept drinks from people you don’t know.

Generally speaking, just use the same be-safe tips that you typically use in larger cities.

Related Read: 25 Most Dangerous Cities in Canada (with Pictures)

divider 1Conclusion

There are many safe places to vacation in Mexico, especially for those looking for a tropical beach location. Tons of people vacation in Mexico every year, and violent events are quite rare (though they do make very good news). While Mexico may not be the safest country on that side of the world, it isn’t the most dangerous one, either.

We highly recommend visiting one of the cities on our list.

Featured Image Credit: Needpix

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