Is Guanajuato Safe for travelers in 2020?
For all that did not know, Guanajuato is the name of a province as well as a city in Mexico, nearby to Mexico City.
The state is the sixth-highest populated in the Mexican nation and is famous for, among other things, blue corn tortilla.
It’s right smack bang in the middle of Mexico, so many who travel through Mexico from north to south or vice versa will make the stop.
Is Guanajuato Safe?
The city’s known for its silver mining history and colonial architecture. The narrow streets, alleyways, and tunnels are iconic to the area.
The Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss) is named as such because the balconies are close enough for a couple to reach across and kiss.
Sounds great right? The thing is many visitors who travel to places in Mexico always need to see how safe the area they’re looking at truly is. You can never trust the news reports to reflect reality.
With that in mind, here are some facts to help you trust in Guanajuato.
Is it Safe to Travel to Guanajuato?
With so many things to do in Guanajuato and surrounding areas, thousands of tourists travel to this part of Mexico every year and it’s not difficult to see why. Hopefully, this guide will only aid your plans.
The city of Guanajuato has some amazing pastel-colored buildings that brightly reflect from the rays of the rising and setting sun.
It has all the charm of a Mediterranean city, with deep valleys and hundreds of streets and alleys to get lost in. The architecture reflects the colorful past, but the present is less as colorful.
Because the population of the Guanajuato region is so high and increasing rapidly, the crime rate is on a slow incline.
Guanajuato Safety Facts
Most of the crime within this region is down to drug cartels and gang violence. 99% of the time this doesn’t involve visitors or tourists, but sometimes it can happen.
See these Guanajuato facts:
- The intentional homicide rate of Guanajuato was the highest in Mexico in 2019, with a total of 4,494 deaths.
- According to the UK Government, over 576,971 British nationals visited Mexico in 2017 with most visits being trouble-free.
- Due to the virus, gang wars have been rife in 2020. Most of the turf wars take place in states in central Mexico such as Guanajuato.
- Before the virus, the US government listed the state of Guanajuato as being the same level of risk for tourism as Riveria Maya and Yucatan.
- The COVID-19 virus has seen a sharp increase in violence across all of Mexico and Central America.
Is Guanajuato Safe to Travel Alone?
Guanajuato isn’t exactly the safest location in Mexico to travel to, but there are definitely some safe spots for people to visit.
The region is reliant on tourism for the local economy, so historic cities such as Leon and Guanajuato hope to see visitors flocking after the current virus situation has been resolved successfully.
You’ll need to extensively plan out your trip beforehand and do research based on where tourists are advised to travel to.
The best plan of action would be to take premium costing coaches to chosen locations and moving on to somewhere else.
The frustrating part about traveling to Mexico is how the only thing to worry about is Cartel violence, but you need to keep on your guard for petty crime too.
The reason for all the statistics from this area being so abhorrent is due to the bloody turf war between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel.
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Backpacking Guanajuato Safety
When traveling through this region, it would be best to stay for less than a week at most.
This is due to the fact that any surrounding region to Guanajuato is safer, including nearby Mexico City. Guanajuato has an amazing culture and heritage, but the safety of the tourist is paramount.
The cities of Guanajuato and Leon have some amazing scenes of architecture and cuisine that’s to die for. However, the current situation in this region warrants for some reasonable precautions.
If you cannot wait to go to these amazing pretty spots, be sure to stay out of harm’s way and keep the stopover as quick as can be.
Guanajuato: Travel Safety Tips
The Guanajuato region has seen a major spike in violence recently due to the Cartels fighting over land disputes.
You may decide to still visit the region, in which case you may need to take some special precautions that vary from the typical ones.
- Only travel to Mexico once the borders are open and the COVID-19 situation has resolved itself. Keep safe and keep a social distance of 6 feet at all times if possible.
- As mentioned in the Mazatlan safety guide, don’t accept offers of drugs. Not only is it illegal, but it’s dangerous and you’re helping an industry wrought with crime that the government is trying to stop.
- Find out where the dangerous spots in Guanajuato are so you can avoid them at all costs.
- Stay in the downtown area of Guanajuato city and stay out during the daytime only.
- If you want to take expensive equipment such as cameras or smartphones, keep them hidden, locked away and on your person. A PacSafe backpack is perfect for this.
- Keep dummy wallets for pickpockets and keep your money hidden away. Bras, money belts or secret bag compartments will do.
- Give yourself a curfew in order to stay indoors during dark hours.
- If you are a person that suffers from typical culture shock symptoms see our tips on adapting to new surroundings on this blog.
- Make sure to use trusted and accredited hotels/hostels. Then once you’ve booked your room, book taxis or buses through the hotel.
- Make sure to take sunscreen. This is one of the hottest regions in Mexico.
- There is still a risk of contracting Zika virus. See Travel Health Pro For more information on this visit
- Don’t go where there are few other people in the vicinity; this includes camping in secluded places. A simple rule: if there are families around, you’re probably safe.
- Be wary of attempts at credit-card fraud. One method is when the cashier swipes your card twice (once for the transaction and once for nefarious purposes). It would be best to only use cash, by keeping most in your hotel safe and taking small amounts out with you.
Travelling Around Guanajuato State by Bus
Primera Plus offers eight daily buses at approximately two-hour intervals. The journey takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes with a brief stop in Irapuato. Round-trip tickets cost $433 MXN ($23 USD).
One-way tickets cost $228 MXN ($12 USD). Buying in advance online is the best option since it’s a popular route, especially on weekends.
The tricky part about Guanajuato city is that you pretty much can’t get a coach from the inner city.
The bus station is on the outskirts of the city where the buildings don’t have the same sort of charm.
However, the coach station outside the city has hundreds of destinations to choose from since the region is so central to Mexico.
Is Guanajuato Safe?
Guanajuato City, Leon, and other spots in this region are photogenic beyond belief.
This is why it’s so saddening to see the news report of so much gang warfare within the same region.
As a responsible traveler, the news shouldn’t affect your plans to Mexico whether traveling from the US, the Riviera Maya or from Mexico City.
Hopefully, with time the region can return to the place of safety that it was just a couple of years ago, but the virus isn’t making progress any quicker.
We would advise that you wait before visiting this region, but it is mostly safe in the right areas if you know where you’re traveling to.
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