Discover Safest Cities in Mexico to Live and Travel

Top 10 Safest Cities in Mexico

Despite a reputation clouded by negative media coverage and misconceptions, Mexico remains an incredible destination for travelers and expats, offering a rich tapestry of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. We aim to dispel these myths and present the top 10 safest cities in Mexico, showcasing the country’s captivating diversity and charm.

To evaluate city safety, we’ve employed criteria such as low crime rates, accessibility of essential services, and stable infrastructure. We’ve also considered recommendations and experiences of seasoned travelers, expats, and locals to depict each city’s safety accurately.

Safety concerns can make planning your travels challenging or deciding on a new place to call home. As you read on, you will find valuable insights and resources to make informed decisions for your journey to Mexico. From bustling cosmopolitan hubs to serene island getaways, there’s a perfect destination for every personal preference and need.

To learn more about traveling in Mexico, visit our Mexico Travel Guide for helpful tips and insights.

Top 10 Safest Cities in Mexico

Join us as we explore Mexico’s top 10 safest cities, each boasting unique experiences, attractions, and opportunities. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history enthusiast, or seeking a relaxing retreat, these cities promise to leave a lasting impression.

1. Merida: The Safest City in Mexico

Merida - The Safest City in Mexico

Widely recognized as the safest city in Mexico and Latin America, Mérida captivates visitors with its unparalleled safety record. The vibrant capital of Yucatan boasts a rich history and architectural beauty. As one of the oldest cities in Mexico, Merida’s charm lies in its colonial-style buildings, art galleries, and bustling markets. Strolling through the city’s streets, travelers will encounter historical landmarks such as the Plaza Grande and the Paseo de Montejo, a tree-lined avenue adorned with stunning mansions.

Merida is recognized for its safety due to a low crime rate and strong police presence. The city’s authorities actively work towards maintaining safety by providing information booths and dedicated tourist police, ensuring a secure environment for travelers. Additionally, Merida has adopted the “Mérida Segura” program, which prioritizes the city’s security and aims to provide reliable public transportation.

The city’s rich culture, welcoming locals, and emphasis on safety make it an ideal destination for tourists seeking an authentic Mexican experience. Whether exploring ancient Mayan sites or attending a traditional Yucatecan dance performance, travelers can feel at ease in this charming colonial city.

Location of Mérida on the map

2. Mexico City: The Dynamic Metropolis

Mexico City zocalo square

Mexico City, the capital and largest city of Mexico, offers a diverse range of attractions, from ancient Aztec sites to world-class museums. The city’s rich history is evident in the magnificent architecture of its historic center, while its modern districts boast contemporary art galleries and trendy restaurants. Some of the city’s must-visit attractions include the Zócalo, the National Museum of Anthropology, and the bustling neighborhood of Polanco.

Mexico City’s well-established tourist areas are considered safe for travelers, thanks to increased police presence and surveillance cameras. The city’s government has implemented safety initiatives like the “Mexico City, a Safe Destination” program, which focuses on providing security to visitors. Among its measures is the Safe Taxi Program, which guarantees secure transportation for tourists.

While Mexico City has faced challenges in the past, it has come a long way in terms of safety. The city’s ongoing efforts to prioritize the well-being of its visitors make it an attractive destination for those seeking a taste of Mexico’s rich culture, history, and cuisine.

Location of Mexico City on the map

3. Playa del Carmen: The Seaside Paradise

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a bustling coastal city known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lively nightlife. The city offers a wide range of activities for travelers, from exploring ancient Mayan ruins to indulging in authentic Mexican cuisine at local eateries. Playa del Carmen’s pedestrian-friendly Fifth Avenue is a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment, attracting visitors from around the world.

To ensure the safety of tourists, the city is committed to enhancing security through a combination of increased law enforcement and cooperation from local businesses. Playa del Carmen’s Tourist Security Brigade consists of bilingual officers who patrol popular tourist areas to address safety concerns and offer assistance. Moreover, the city’s authorities work closely with hotel and business owners to maintain high safety standards.

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Playa del Carmen’s stunning beaches, diverse activities, and commitment to safety make it a top choice for travelers seeking a relaxing beachside vacation. With its blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, the city offers an unforgettable travel experience.

Location of Playa del Carmen on the map

4. Puerto Vallarta: The Scenic Coastal City

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a picturesque resort town on the Pacific coast, one of the safest places in the country to visit. Known for its scenic beaches, vibrant nightlife, and charming cobblestone streets, the city attracts tourists from around the globe. Visitors can enjoy an array of activities, including exploring the lush Sierra Mad mountains, visiting the iconic Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, or experiencing the diverse culinary scene.

Puerto Vallarta’s safety measures include a dedicated tourist police force, which patrols the city’s streets and beaches to ensure a secure environment for visitors. In addition, the local government has installed a widespread network of security cameras to monitor public spaces and deter criminal activity.

The city actively collaborates with businesses and the community to maintain a secure environment. Puerto Vallarta’s “Safe Destination” program involves hotel owners, restaurant managers, and local businesses working together to ensure high safety standards and share information with the authorities.

With its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and dedication to safety, Puerto Vallarta remains an attractive destination for travelers seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether exploring the vibrant Malecón boardwalk or simply soaking in the sun on the golden-sand beaches, visitors can feel confident in the city’s commitment to their well-being.

Location of Puerto Vallarta on the map

5. San Miguel de Allende: The Historic Art Haven

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. Popular attractions include the stunning Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the Fabrica La Aurora art center, and the El Jardín central square.

This culturally rich city takes safety seriously with a responsive police force, well-lit streets, and easily accessible emergency services. Community-driven safety initiatives, such as the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Council, help maintain the city’s status as a secure destination for travelers. The council works closely with local businesses, authorities, and residents to create a safe and welcoming environment for tourists.

San Miguel de Allende’s charm, artistic heritage, and emphasis on safety make it an ideal destination for travelers looking for an immersive cultural experience. Whether participating in a local art workshop or simply wandering through the city’s picturesque streets, visitors can feel at ease in this enchanting destination.

Location of San Miguel de Allende on the map

6. Tulum: The Tropical Beachside Escape


Tulum is a captivating coastal town renowned for its lush tropical landscape, well-preserved ancient ruins, and pristine beaches. The city offers a unique blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and modern amenities, attracting tourists seeking a balance of relaxation and adventure. Key attractions include the Tulum ruins, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and the stunning cenotes scattered throughout the region.

To ensure safety, Tulum’s local government has increased its police force and implemented tourist-oriented safety initiatives. The town’s safety measures also extend to its renowned eco-tourism sites, where well-trained guides prioritize the safety of both tourists and the environment. Tulum’s “Green Police” initiative, which focuses on the protection and conservation of natural resources, further demonstrates the city’s commitment to creating a secure and sustainable destination.

With its breathtaking natural wonders, rich history, and dedication to safety, Tulum remains a popular choice for travelers seeking a memorable and secure beachside getaway.

Location of Tulum on the map

7. La Paz, Baja California Sur: The Serene Coastal Retreat

La Paz, Baja California Sur

La Paz is a tranquil city located along the Sea of Cortez, famed for its picturesque coastline, abundant marine life, and laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, from swimming with whale sharks and sea lions to exploring the serene Balandra Beach and the Espiritu Santo Island.

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With a focus on safety, the city has established a Tourist Care Unit that assists visitors with any concerns or emergencies. La Paz’s commitment to safety also includes a well-maintained urban infrastructure, with well-lit streets and easily accessible medical facilities.

The city’s community plays an active role in maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for tourists. Local businesses and residents collaborate with authorities to share information and address potential safety issues.

La Paz’s unique blend of natural beauty, diverse marine life, and dedication to safety make it an attractive destination for travelers seeking a serene coastal retreat. Whether exploring the pristine beaches or experiencing the region’s abundant marine life, visitors can feel at ease in this tranquil seaside city.

Location of La Paz, BCS on the map

8. Oaxaca: The Cultural and Culinary Capital


Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage city known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and world-class gastronomy. The city’s charming cobblestone streets are lined with colorful buildings, lively markets, and traditional craft workshops, making it a delight for travelers to explore. Notable attractions include the Santo Domingo Church, the Monte Albán archaeological site, and the bustling Benito Juárez Market.

Oaxaca’s commitment to safety is evident in its robust police presence, particularly in the city’s historical center. Authorities work closely with local businesses and residents to maintain a secure environment for tourists. Community-driven initiatives, such as neighborhood watch programs, contribute to the overall safety of Oaxaca.

The city’s warm hospitality, rich cultural heritage, and focus on safety make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking an authentic Mexican experience. Visitors can explore Oaxaca’s bustling markets, sample its renowned cuisine, and immerse themselves in its rich history, all while feeling confident in the city’s dedication to their well-being.

Location of Oaxaca on the map

9. Cancun: The Quintessential Beach Getaway


Cancun is a world-renowned tourist destination famous for its pristine beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant nightlife. The city offers a wealth of activities for travelers, from exploring ancient Mayan ruins to swimming with dolphins and experiencing the region’s unique underwater attractions.

Despite being a major tourist hub, Cancun remains a safe city for visitors due to effective safety measures like the Tourist Police and a comprehensive network of surveillance cameras. The local government also promotes safety through initiatives such as safe transportation options, with registered taxis and tourist shuttles providing secure means of transport for visitors.

Constant communication between tourism businesses and authorities ensures that potential safety concerns are addressed swiftly, further enhancing Cancun’s reputation as a secure travel destination.

With its stunning natural beauty, wide range of activities, and strong commitment to safety, Cancun remains a top choice for travelers seeking a relaxing and secure beachside vacation.

Location of Cancun on the map

10. Sayulita: The Bohemian Surf Village


Sayulita is a picturesque surf town known for its laid-back atmosphere, bohemian vibe, and stunning beaches. The village offers a range of activities for visitors, from surfing and paddleboarding to exploring the vibrant art scene and enjoying the local cuisine at charming eateries.

Sayulita is committed to ensuring a secure experience for travelers by maintaining a visible police presence, especially in tourist hotspots. The town’s safety measures extend to its beaches, where lifeguards are stationed to ensure the safety of swimmers and surfers. Additionally, the community actively participates in safety programs, such as neighborhood watch groups, to maintain the town’s secure environment.

Sayulita’s unique charm, welcoming atmosphere, and focus on safety make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a relaxing beachside escape. Whether surfing the waves or simply soaking in the sun, visitors can feel confident in Sayulita’s commitment to their well-being.

Location of Sayulita on the map

How to Stay Safe in Mexico

Staying safe in Mexico is a top priority for many travelers. While Mexico is a beautiful and culturally rich country, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and take necessary precautions to ensure a pleasant and secure trip. Here are some practical tips on how to stay safe in Mexico:

  1. Research your destination: Before traveling, conduct thorough research on the safety of the specific area you plan to visit. This will help you identify any potential safety concerns and make informed decisions about your trip.
  2. Stay in well-traveled areas: Choose accommodation in well-known, tourist-friendly neighborhoods. Stick to well-traveled streets and avoid wandering off into unfamiliar or poorly lit areas, especially at night.
  3. Utilize registered transportation: Always use registered taxis or reputable ride-sharing services like Uber. Avoid using unmarked or unauthorized taxis, as these may pose safety risks.
  4. Secure your belongings: Keep your valuable items, such as passports, cash, and electronic devices, secure at all times. Use hotel safes or lockers when available, and carry a money belt or hidden pouch for essential documents and cash when exploring.
  5. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks can be vulnerable to hacking and data theft. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when connecting to public Wi-Fi to protect your personal information.
  6. Remain vigilant in crowded areas: Pickpocketing and petty theft can occur in crowded areas, such as markets or public transportation. Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings to minimize the risk of theft.
  7. Stay updated on local news and safety alerts: Monitor local news and government advisories for any safety concerns or alerts in your area. Websites like the U.S. Department of State and the UK Foreign Office provide travel advisories for various destinations, including Mexico.
  8. Follow local customs and dress modestly: Respect the local culture by dressing modestly and adhering to local customs. This will help you blend in and avoid attracting unwanted attention.
  9. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: Limit your alcohol intake, especially when in unfamiliar surroundings or with new acquaintances. Staying sober and alert can help you make better decisions and avoid risky situations.
  10. Have emergency contact information handy: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, such as the local police, the nearest embassy or consulate, and your accommodation. Having this information readily available can help you respond quickly in case of an emergency.
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By following these safety tips and taking necessary precautions, you can enjoy the beauty and cultural richness of Mexico with peace of mind. Always stay vigilant, trust your instincts, and be mindful of your surroundings to ensure a safe and memorable trip.

Frequently Asked Questions about Safe Cities in Mexico

Q: What city in Mexico is the safest?

A: Mérida is widely considered the safest city in Mexico, offering a low crime rate and a welcoming atmosphere for travelers and residents alike.

Q: Is there a safe city to live in Mexico?

A: Yes, cities like Mérida, San Miguel de Allende, and La Paz are known for their safety, making them attractive options for living in Mexico.

Q: What is the best safe area to live in Mexico City?

A: Polanco, Condesa, and Roma Norte are some of the safest and most desirable neighborhoods to live in Mexico City.

Q: Is Cancun Mexico safe to travel?

A: Cancun is generally considered safe for tourists, with the hotel zone being particularly secure. However, it is still important to exercise caution and stay vigilant during your trip.

Q: What part of Mexico has the least crime?

A: The Yucatan Peninsula, including cities like Mérida and Valladolid, is known for having lower crime rates compared to other parts of Mexico.

Q: What side of Mexico is safest?

A: The eastern and southern regions of Mexico, particularly the Yucatan Peninsula, are generally considered safer for travelers compared to the northern border region.

Q: Is Mexico safe to travel to in 2023?

Mexico can be a safe destination for tourists if proper precautions are taken. Visitors should educate themselves about the particular region of the country they plan to visit and use common sense. While crime, including violent crime, can occur anywhere in Mexico, including in popular tourist destinations, most visitors travel safely. Merida, Cancun, and the Mexican Riviera are among Mexico’s safest places to visit. However, recent security incidents have raised concerns about the risks of traveling to Mexico, and visitors should stay informed about news of recent outbreaks before traveling.

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