The view over Puerto Vallarta Bay

Seven of the safest cities in Mexico


With a stunning beaches, ancient ruins and charming towns, Mexico is a very popular destination for travellers. Saying that, many potential visitors can have some concerns about the safety of the country - mostly due to stories of violent crime, often due to organised crime and drug cartels.

Despite this, there are many parts of Mexico which are not only safe to visit, but are friendly places with beautiful surroundings. Here are some of the safest cities in Mexico to visit.

San Idefonso cathedral in the Old Town of Merida, Mexico

1. Merida

Widely acknowledged as the safest city in Mexico (and even Latin America), your biggest safety concern in Merida will probably be the busy traffic. The Yucatan capital is known for its colonial architecture, incredible food and close proximity to remarkable archaeological sites. Merida does have the occasional pickpocket, so take all normal precautions, just in case.

View of Tulum in Mexico

2. Tulum, Quintana Roo

Tulum is a well-known beach city in Mexico. Although Tulum is one of the more expensive cities in Mexico, it has one of the lowest crime rates. Worry of being attacked, robbed or mugged, or having a car stolen is very low.

Some common practices to remain safe in Tulum include not walking around alone at night; locking your door if you’re staying in a beachside cabana, driving during the daytime instead of at night, and avoiding tap water to opt for bottled water instead.

The view over Puerto Vallarta Bay

3. Puerto Vallarta

Known for its beaches, bustling nightlife and beautiful marine life, Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest places in the country to visit.

Puerto Vallarta has largely remained uninvolved in cartel conflicts and crime rates are very low - significantly lower than the crime rates of major cities in the United States. There is a small amount of petty crime such as bag snatching, pickpocketing or theft, so use all normal precautions.

A festival in Sayulita, Mexico

4. Sayulita

Located about 30 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita is the perfect destination for nature lovers and surfers. Sayulita is both safe and friendly, as tourism drives the local economy. Locals are very welcoming and understand English well.

Just be aware of stray dogs wandering the streets in Sayulita, as some dogs may bite if you approach them.

Scenic view at Basilica of Guadalupe with Mexico City skyline at sunset

5. Mexico City

Despite its reputation, Mexico City is quite safe, especially in the city centre. Between 2009 and 2011, Mexico City's crime rates drastically reduced and number of police in the city increased. Visitors also report feeling safe in the Mexico City, although taking the usual safety precautions is still advised.

The city is also full of cultural attractions for visitors such as colorful markets, over 150 museums, and street art.

Colourful buildings in San Miguel de Allende

6. San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende is a popular destination for expats and is one of the safest places in Mexico. Over 8,000 Canadian, British, and American expats live in San Miguel de Allende, which has beautiful Spanish colonial churches, great restaurants, and heritage sites.

While crime rates in San Miguel de Allende are relatively low, be cautious when out at night and keep an eye on your belongings on public transport.

One of the most modern destinations in Mexico, Huatulco, a jewel of the Pacific coast.

7. Huatulco

Huatulco is a beach town located in Oaxaca with plenty of water activities and surf spots. Huatulco is considered to be safer than many U.S. cities. It's a very family-friendly beach destination, without Cancun's craziness.

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Roxanne de Bruyn

Author - Roxanne de Bruyn

Roxanne is the founder and contributing editor of Faraway Worlds. She travels as often as she can, usually with her husband and young son. With a background in communications, she is interested in ancient history, slow travel and sustainable tourism, and loves cooking, yoga and dance.

Last Updated October 27, 2021

View of Tulum in Mexico


Situated in North America, Mexico is famous for its warm weather, sunny beaches and fascinating history.
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