What are the safest states in Mexico to visit?
Mexico has always been a popular country to travel around. From its Pacific beaches to crumbling ruins found throughout the mainland, there are many eye-catching attractions worth visiting and learning about.
However, the main concern for new travelers is how safe the country is, given Mexico hasn’t exactly had the best reputation in the past century.
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Safest States in Mexico
This guide will explore the current safety situation in Mexico by looking at some of the safest states you can travel to in this Latin American nation.
I’ve covered some of the most dangerous places in Mexico on this blog but this guide will focus on specific states in Mexico so you can see other places you may not have heard of from a new and different perspective.
Which is the safest state in Mexico and why?
Out of all the states you can visit in Mexico, and from my research, I have concluded that the Yucatán region is the safest in the whole country.
Even in some of the biggest cities within this region, you’ll be free to roam without worry and safely visit the awesome attractions, including Mayan Ruins, Cenotes, remote beaches and much more.
Obviously, we all must consider some basic safety precautions no matter where we go in Mexico or the world. But when it comes to visiting the safest city in Mexico you can expect to find it right here in the Yucatán.
The Safest Mexico States
Now, let’s begin to explore some of the safest states in Mexico. This article uses data gathered from a variety of sources so hopefully, it will give you a much clearer image of what to expect and where you can plan a trip to.
Let’s kick off this list with the Yucatán region, which is not only one of the most popular regions in Mexico but the safest too. Even the main cities such as Mérida and Valladolid hardly have any safety issues at all!
The local people are known for fiercely valuing safety above all, which has prevented any Cartels from even being able to set up here.
Pickpocketing is not much of an issue in more touristy centers, however, you’ll still want to be cautious when heading into the outskirts.
The most impressive attractions such as the Mayan Ruins and Cenotes are also very safe too, usually with security guards who patrol the area.
Oaxaca is another Mexican state that’s known for its safety. Oaxaca City is one of the safest cities you can visit in the country, although you’ll still want to take certain precations and avoid certain neighborhoods (although these are far from the historic center anyway).
Other popular areas such as Puerto Escondido and Huatulco rarely have issues, even with the likelihood of being robbed quite low.
When in the coastal cities your biggest concern will be when at the beach, since certain beaches along the Pacific are known for being very strong with dangerous tides for swimming (always check which beaches are safe before going for a dip). Also, carry reef free suncreen no matter what!
Another lesser-trodden region of Mexico, Campeche is a great state for those looking to explore authentic colonial cities and a more humble way of life. Campeche also ranks as one of the safest regions in Mexico too, along with Yucatán.
The capital of Campeche City is fine to walk alone during both the day and night, which is similar in other destinations such as Ciudad del Carmen as well as Escárcega. It’s the same with the ancient ruins found here too, with those such as Edzná having little to no safety issues whatsoever.
This tropical region is by far one of the most popular for travel in Mexico. The main hub of Cancún is located here, where safety can be hit or miss.
The Hotel zone is the safest, although you’ll want to research other parts given it’s not the safest city to be wandering around in aimlessly.
The same goes with Playa del Carmen, where anything more in-land after Avenida 40 (near the highway bridge) isn’t recommended for tourists.
Other towns in the region such as Tulum and Bacalar are very safe, and tourists can enjoy walking around without worrying about being robbed or having any other issues.
Hidalgo is the least visited on this list, which is mainly due to its more remote nature (having said that it’s only a couple of hours away from Mexico City). The small cities and tiny countryside towns here are very safe, with little issues for travelers to worry about.
Places such as Pachuca though can be somewhat seedy, so if heading here you’ll want to stick to the area around the main plaza (where all the nice hotels and restaurants are located).
You’ll also want to leave valuables at home since pickpocketing is more of a risk when walking through neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city.
A long time favorite, Chiapas has been drawing in tourists for its beautiful jungle, scenery and mountain towns. The main hubs of Palenque and San Cristóbal de las Casas are quite safe to stay in and full of backpackers.
I would recommend staying in the Archaeological Zone (Palenque) and around the Plaza de Armas (San Cristóbal) which are the safest areas.
When exploring the jungle or more remote areas, aim to go on a tour like this one with an experienced guide since local animals here can be dangerous (no shortage of Crocodiles and even Jaguars are found here!).
Also be aware that certain drug cartels operate here along road blocks, so if you encounter them just cooperate and don’t put up a struggle.
Baja California Sur
A very popular region for US tourists, this northern-lying state is just a quick flight over the border. Cities like Cabo San Lucas and La Paz are the most popular.
Cabo is mostly safe around Médano Beach and the Harbour, however, it’s not recommended to walk on the beaches alone at night since robbery or even assault is a risk.
It’s not recommended to visit the close-by town of Los Cabos, which has a worse reputation for violence. Although it’s mostly between different drug cartels and factions (outside of the city center), it’s risky for a traveler to head into lesser known neighborhoods when here.
Mexico Travel Safety Tips
Staying safe in any one of these safe Mexican states will require you to follow a few universal safety tips, which in most cases will go a long way.
⤵️ Below are some useful tips to help you on your journey:
- If you happen to get mugged or set-up to be robbed in Mexico, never resist the attack because it’s not uncommon for muggers to use a weapon to get exactly what they want from you.
- Always carry sunscreen with you as there is a need to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays at all times. Did you know that sunstroke can last 2 to 3 days and totally ruin your trip?
- Do your best to avoid flaunting valuables in the street and try not to flash jewelry or designer names. Blend in where you can and check out these anti-theft clothing options for your next trip.
- As an extra precaution, pay attention to some news and media before your trip to make sure there have been no natural disasters or fatalities in the region or city that you’ll be traveling to.
- No matter whether you’re on a budget or not, you can use public transport freely during the day but during the evening I recommend you get private transport when taking shorter journeys.
- If you are traveling solo you may want to check out one of the many hostels in Mexico that can offer since they offer a great opportunity to be able to meet like-minded travelers.
- When it comes to staying hydrated you should read this post on drinking water in Mexico to get a better idea on what not to do but in general you’ll want to stick to mineral water.
- Taxis in most states are safe to use (especially when ordered directly from official stations) however most cases Uber can be much safer for visitors especially those who don’t speak Spanish.
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Safest States in Mexico
That’s all for this guide on the safest states in Mexico. This picturesque country has it all. From its lively and welcoming culture to its abundance of ancient ruins and beyond. you’ll have a hard time leaving Mexico!
Whilst safety is a concern before you travel, the situation has definitely improved in the last few decades. As long as you take precations and follow travel advice, you’ll have a memorable (and trouble-free) visit here.
This guide has presented some of the safest states in Mexico, as well cities to visit for those looking for an adventure without compromising safety.
While you’re still here, why not take a look at this list of safe cities in Mexico if you would like to get a better idea of other safe places to visit?
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