Mexico is a top tourist destination as well as a popular place for expats, digital nomads, and retirees to move to. But many people wonder, is Mexico safe? If you’re interested in either vacationing or living in Mexico, you probably want to know the safest cities in Mexico.
We’ll give you the rundown, including the safest cities in Mexico for vacation and the safest cities in Mexico to live in. Read on to find the perfect spot for you!
Safest Cities in Mexico: Merida
A stunningly pretty colonial-era town in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida is top of the list of safest cities in Mexico to live in and to visit. With the lowest crime rate in the country plus rich history and culture, plenty to do, and a friendly vibe, Merida is a major tourist destination as well as a very popular place for expats. It is a safe city in Mexico for solo travel, even for females, and is also considered to be safe to walk around at night.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Valladolid
Close to the famous Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula, Valladolid is one of the country’s “magic towns” or “pueblos magicos.” It’s an adorable small town that looks and feels authentic, but still has plenty to offer for visitors who want to stay there. And best of all, it has an incredibly low crime rate and is super safe to walk around, day or night. This makes it another of the safest cities in Mexico for solo travelers.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Isla Holbox
This tiny island off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula is a wonderfully unspoiled, quiet paradise with some of the best beaches in Mexico, a small downtown, and no cars allowed. Isla Holbox is a dreamy spot for tourists who want a more relaxed vacation than can be found in bigger cities like Cancun. It is also one of the safest cities in Mexico for walking around at night.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Cozumel
Another island off the Yucatan coast—this time near Playa del Carmen—Cozumel is bigger and a little more developed than Isla Holbox but still mostly natural. This beautiful island offers crystal clear water and access to the Mesoamerican Reef as well as breathtaking beaches, jungles, Mayan ruins, and nature preserves. It is one of the safest cities in Mexico for vacation, especially for those who like to snorkel and scuba dive.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Tulum
This laidback beach town on the Riviera Maya has grown in popularity recently, which has unfortunately caused an increase in crime, but it is still one of the safest Mexican cities to visit. A great mix of beach and jungle with plenty to explore including historic Mayan ruins, stunning cenotes, and a huge biosphere reserve, Tulum is a top tourist destination. Visitors here will want to take the usual safety precautions; read more about recommended guidelines in our article, Is Tulum Safe?
Safest Cities in Mexico: Playa del Carmen
One of the best Mexico resort towns on the Caribbean coast, Playa del Carmen is more relaxed than nearby Cancun but offers the same gorgeous white-sand beaches and turquoise water. Playa del Carmen is considered one of the safest seaside towns in Mexico and is one of the most popular and safest cities in Mexico for expats. However, crime rates are rising in the area due to drug cartel activity, so you’ll want to steer clear of drugs and stay in the main tourist areas.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Cabo San Lucas
Another of the top Mexico resort towns, the upscale Cabo San Lucas is located on the country’s Pacific coast and features a more rugged, wild beauty. There’s plenty to do here including hiking in the mountains, surfing, and whale watching. While there are some areas of Cabo that are not considered safe, the main tourist areas enjoy an increased police presence and crime in Cabo generally doesn’t affect visitors. Also, swimming is not advised at many beaches. For more details, check out our article “Is Cabo Safe?”.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Sayulita
Sayulita is another of the country’s “pueblos magicos,” set on the Pacific coast about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. This laidback beach town has a low crime rate and mellow vibe, making it popular as one of the safest cities in Mexico to live for those who like a relaxed lifestyle. It’s also a top surfing spot and offers adventure activities like ziplining, hiking in the jungle, horseback riding, and more.
Safest Cities in Mexico: San Miguel de Allende
Another of the safest cities in Mexico to live in, San Miguel de Allende has gotten more and more appealing to retirees from abroad, especially those from the U.S. This amazing and authentic UNESCO World Heritage Site is a colonial-era town about 4 hours from Mexico City that offers historic buildings, delicious food, incredible architecture, and tons to see and do. It also has a thriving cultural and arts scene and is a top tourist destination as well.
Safest Cities in Mexico: Puerto Vallarta
Another of the best Mexico resort towns, Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific Coast. This vibrant large city features beaches, mountains, and jungles as well as rich history and culture, plenty to do, and excellent culinary offerings. This makes it one of the most popular and safest cities in Mexico for expats as well as tourists. As with any larger city, there are areas which are not as safe, so you’ll want to do your research before coming here and follow safety guidelines.
What is Mexico’s safest city?
Merida is Mexico’s safest city. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula a bit inland from the coast, it’s also the answer to the question, What area of Mexico has the lowest crime rate?
Now that you’ve read our picks for the 10 safest cities in Mexico, which one appeals to you most? Let us know in the comments!