29 Safest Cities, Beaches, and Resort Towns in Mexico [Updated 2022]
People often ask this question, and rightfully so, because Mexico is a big country with a bit of a reputation with drug cartels, doesn’t it?
But the truth is, nowhere on earth is 100% safe. Just like everywhere else, Mexico has some unsavory elements, but that doesn’t mean that the whole country is unsafe. In fact, there are many safe places in Mexico – and I’m not just talking about beach towns and resort cities like Cancun or Cabo.
I have visited almost every state in Mexico, and I know first-hand that many places here are perfectly safe for travelers – especially if you’re sticking to the popular beaches and tourist areas.
In this article, you will find a list of the 29 safest places to visit in Mexico, including relaxing beach towns and vibrant cities.
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What parts of Mexico are safe?
According to the 2018 Mexico Peace Index, the state of Yucatan has the lowest crime rate. It not only has the lowest homicide rate and the third-lowest violent crime rate in the country but also has a low combined rate of robbery, assault, and sexual assault.
Yucatan is famous for Chichen Itza, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World and Mexico’s most iconic archaeological sites. In recent years, Yucatan has become increasingly safe for tourists. Visitors can now enjoy the region’s safest stunning beaches as well as fascinating historical sites without worry.
What city in Mexico is considered safest with the lowest crime rate?
Merida is widely recognized as the safest city in Mexico and Latin America with a very low crime rate in all categories: robberies, assault, vandalism, theft, and drug-related crimes.
What are dangerous places to avoid traveling in Mexico?
Mexico is a vast and diverse country with plenty of safe places to visit. However, there are also some dangerous parts of the country that travelers should avoid. The most dangerous areas of Mexico are usually found in the states of Colima, Tamaulipas, Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Guerrero. These states have high levels of drug-related violence, robberies, and kidnappings.
The United States State Department provides up-to-date information on which places in Mexico are safe for visitors as well as safety alerts and travel warnings. They evaluate states, not cities, so it’s important to understand that there are some safe tourist destinations in an overall unsafe state.
For example, the state of Baja California Sur is one which the US State Department encourages travelers to exercise caution. This is due to an increased chance of criminal activity and violence throughout the state. However, the beach towns and tourist areas in the state like Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz are considered very safe.
What is the safest place to vacation in Mexico?
With the lowest crime rate, the Mexican state of Yucatan is considered the safest area in Mexico to visit (including Merida and Valladolid). I personally feel safer in resort towns like Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum as I saw many safety procedures in place and police officers constantly on patrol.
Is it safe to go to resorts in Mexico?
While it is always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling to any new place, resorts in Mexico have security measures in place to keep guests safe. In addition, most resorts are located in tourist areas that are not affected by drug-related violence and crime. As a result, travelers can rest assured that staying at resorts in Mexico is much safer than staying at Airbnb or vacation rentals in residential areas.
Are Mexican all-inclusive resorts safer than regular hotels?
Safety is a top priority for all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, and they do have a lot of guards and security cameras around the premises. Unlike at regular hotels where anyone can get in and wander around the lobbies and common lounges, only guests with a designated bracelet can get into all-inclusive resorts and access the private beaches as well as common areas.
Safe Destinations to Travel in Mexico: 29 Safest Cities, Beaches, and Resort Towns
Looking for a fun-filled and worry-free vacation in Mexico? Below, you will find the 29 safest cities and beach resort towns in Mexico, each of which is perfect for travelers of all ages. Whether you’re looking to explore ancient ruins, soak up some sun on the beach, or enjoy a lively nightlife scene, you’ll find a location on this list that’s perfect for you.
1. Cancun – One of the Safest Beach Vacation Spots in Mexico
Despite Hurricane Wilma’s devastating effects in 2005, Cancun has rebuilt as one of the best cities and most popular Mexican tourist destinations. With its beautiful beaches, top-rated all-inclusive resorts, and easy access to the best attractions of Riviera Maya, there’s no shortage of amazing things to see or do when you visit this paradise on earth!
The strip of Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera) along Mexico’s Caribbean Sea has been Cancun’s best attraction because not only does it offer world-class resort amenities, beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous views but also mouthwatering food.
Where to find the safest resorts in Cancun, Mexico? Learn more about where to stay in Cancun here.
While there are plenty of public beaches in Cancun, the best seaweed-free and safest beaches in Cancun belong to all-inclusive resorts in the Hotel Zone. There are security guards at the gate and guards on rounds touring the properties to make sure that only the hotel guests can enter the resorts and their private beaches.
There are also plenty of things to do in Cancun, with acrobatic dance performances at Coco Bongo being a particularly popular attraction for party-lovers. You can also enjoy plenty of water sports activities in La Isla (Cancun Hotel Zone Kukulcan Km 12) or take a catamaran to the nearby Isla Mujeres island and try spinnaker activity.
In addition, Cancun is the gateway to many popular vacation spots in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo that are accessible by cars such as Tulum and Playa del Carmen (a ferry away from snorkeling and diving paradise – Cozumel). From Cancun, you can also reach Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, in under three hours.
2. Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a charming coastal resort town in Riviera Maya that’s just about one hour drive from Cancun. It used to be a small fishing village but has seen massive growth over the years. Playa del Carmen is now known for its vibrant Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) and some of the best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.
With its proximity to ancient ruins like Tulum and the ferry to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen is the perfect gateway to your dream vacation.
While you’re in Playa del Carmen, don’t miss out on the eco-tourism theme parks of Xcaret. Some of my favorite parks are Xplor (for ATV adventures and stalactite river underground expedition), Xcaret (cultural activities and amazing night show), and Xel Ha (eco water parks with zip-lines and hammock splash).
Cozumel is a beautiful island located off the Yucatan Peninsula, a ferry away from Playa del Carmen. It’s famous for its powdery white-sand beaches, bustling downtown area, coral reefs and clear turquoise waters that are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Cozumel is a very popular Mexican destination for Caribbean cruises, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t find quiet beaches to relax.
The safest beaches in Cozumel, Mexico would be the private beaches in the top Cozumel all-inclusive resorts, as there are many security measures in place. However, if you are on a day trip to Cozumel, you can also just buy a Beach Club All-Inclusive Day Pass to enjoy a safe private beach and its amenities.
If you want more adventure, you can take a submarine, join a glass-bottom boat snorkeling tour, or explore the coral reefs by scuba diving!
4. Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a small island located just off the coast of Cancun. It’s a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and laid-back atmosphere.
With the name meaning “Island of Women, Isla Mujeres was a sacred place where women went to worship the goddess Ixchel, the goddess for medicine and fertility. Today, Isla Mujeres is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach. There are also a number of restaurants and bars, as well as shops and markets selling local handicrafts.
One of the best ways to explore Isla Mujeres is to take a catamaran from Cancun. On the way to the island, you will stop for some of the best snorkeling in the area. The crystal clear water is teeming with colorful fish. On the island, you can drive a golf cart around to see what the island has to offer. On the way back from Isla Mujeres, you can try your hand at spinnaker activity. This is a unique experience you won’t soon forget. The catamaran also has open bars, so you can enjoy a few drinks while you sail.
Spinnaker aboard Cancun to Isla Mujeres Catamaran
Tulum is a small, bohemian beach town in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo that faces the Caribbean Sea. It is known as one of the safest beach destinations in Mexico.
Here, you’ll find everything from oceanfront all-inclusive resorts to chic hotels, as well as an impressive selection of great restaurants and bars. With swaying palm trees and white-sand beaches, it’s easy to relax and let your worries melt away.
But a beach vacation is not all you can get in Tulum, the town is also known for its incredible archeological site and Mayan ruins. The ruins of the ancient Mayan port city are picturesque and make for some great photography, while also providing insight into Mexico’s rich history.
Akumal is a coastal resort town on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, located about 30 minutes north of the popular town of Tulum, and about two hours south of Cancun. It is a must-see destination for visitors who love white sands, coral reefs, warm waters, and sea turtles. In recent years, residents have had to limit the number of visitors in order to protect the rare sea turtles and marine life in the area.
You will be safe in Akumal with its added security measure as the all-inclusive hotels and resorts are located in a gated community.
One thing worth doing during an Akumal visit is exploring the nearby Yal Ku Lagoon – this protected lagoon combines both freshwaters with saltwater from tides, making it an incredible spot for snorkeling and finding turtles.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and enchanting Magic Town to visit, Bacalar is the perfect place for you. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula about three hours south of Tulum and five hours south of Cancun, Bacalar has become more and more popular in recent years thanks to viral social media posts.
Bacalar is known for its natural attractions, which include a huge expanse of shallow water called the “Laguna de Los Siete Colores” (Lake of Seven Colors). This lagoon is home to brilliantly blue tones, thanks to the compositions of crystals present in the water.
There’s also plenty of history and adventure to be experienced in Bacalar – including a Piracy Museum in The Fort of San Felipe which tells the story of the town’s relationship with pirates. You can also enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the Rapids of Bacalar, Cenote Cocalitos, Emerald Cenote, Black Cenote, and Cenote Azul.
8. Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox is a beautiful, secluded island off the northeastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, a few hours northwest of Cancun. It’s well known for its calm, quiet beaches and incredible sunsets. Here, you will find prime bird-watching and fishing opportunities.
The best way to see Isla Holbox is by bike or golf cart, and you won’t see many cars on the roads. As you relax on the island with beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear water, keep an eye out for the numerous flamingoes that call Isla Holbox home!
Although Isla Holbox is not as touristy as Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, crime is not an issue here. In fact, you will find Isla Holbox among the safest coastal cities in Mexico.
9. Puerto Vallarta
If you’re looking for an amazing adventure, Puerto Vallarta is the place for you. This Mexican city has something for everyone, from beautiful beaches and snorkeling to world-class sailing and vibrant nightlife.
The Malecon Boardwalk is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike, with its open-air performances and artistic expressions at Los Arcos amphitheater, amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, and iconic Puerto Vallarta sunsets. After dark, the boardwalk comes alive with bars and clubs that attract people from all over.
On the other side of the Cuale River, you will find the colorful neighborhood Romantic Zone, filled with art galleries, trendy restaurants, and Mexican-style cobbled streets.
Thanks to the Sierra Madre mountain range and its tropical forests, Puerto Vallarta is an enchanting place way beyond its beaches. As you walk through the paths at Vallarta Botanical Gardens, you will find the Tropical Fruit Orchard with an amazing collection of oaks, the Cactus Garden with various forms and sizes, and the Conservatory of Orchids and Native Plants, with almost 300 species native to Mexico.
10. Punta Mita
Looking for a luxurious and secluded Mexico beach vacation spot? Look no further than Punta Mita. This area is home to some of the most upscale vacation rentals and five-star hotels in the country, including a St. Regis and a Four Seasons.
Because the lodging options are limited, the beaches here are less crowded and better maintained than those at neighboring resorts. If you’re looking for some extra privacy while sunbathing, take a boat to one of the secluded beaches like La Lancha or the Islas Marietas. You’ll find that the water is clean and clear, and the sand is white and soft.
11. La Paz
La Paz is a Mexican coastal town in the state of Baja California Sur that is well-known for its eco-tourism.
Some of the best things to do in La Paz include swimming with sea lions, whale sharks, and spending the day at Balandra Beach. Todos Santos, a historic town about an hour’s drive from La Paz, is also worth visiting. You can also take a day trip to Isla Espíritu Santo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park.
Don’t forget to check out La Paz’s seafront Malecón promenade with beaches, parks, and art by both Mexican and international artists.
La Paz might be one of the safest towns in Mexico, but as any tourist knows there’s always some crime to beware of. You should make sure not to leave belongings unattended and watch out for petty thefts.
12. Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas, located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, is one of the most popular resort towns in Mexico. Here you’ll find miles of beautiful beaches perfect for soaking up the sun and plenty of water-based activities to keep you busy. When you’re not out enjoying the waves, you can explore the town’s lively nightlife.
Just be careful when swimming in the ocean – the currents can be very dangerous. If you’re looking for the perfect sunset, don’t forget to check out Land’s End, sandwiched between Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach) and Playa del Divorcio (Divorce Beach).
If you’re looking for a challenging golf course, Cabo del Sol Golf Club is definitely worth a visit. With some of the highest green fees in town, it may be a little pricey but avid golfers say it’s worth it!
13. San Jose del Cabo
San Jose del Cabo is a charming Mexican town that is a great alternative to the party-filled streets of Cabo San Lucas. You can drive or take a taxi ride to San Jose del Cabo, as it is only 20 miles northeast of downtown Cabo San Lucas.
With beautiful churches, restaurants, and beaches, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the Mexican culture. The town square, Plaza Mijares, is a great place to start your exploration of San Jose del Cabo. Here you’ll find the town’s mission church and town hall, as well as several restaurants and shops.
If you’re looking for a beach to relax on, check out Playa Palmilla or Playa Santa Maria. San Jose del Cabo is also home to some excellent golf courses, so be sure to check them out if you’re a fan of the game. And you don’t want to miss the great fare in town either. You’ll find excellent Mexican food around town at affordable prices.
Mexico is full of beautiful beach towns, but if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of waves for surfing, Sayulita is a perfect choice. Located about 25 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita has a great selection of shops and cafes, as well as two lovely beaches – Playa Carricitos and Playa Sayulita.
Both beaches are perfect for sunbathing, but if you’re looking to catch a wave, Playa Sayulita is the better choice. Whichever beach you choose, you’re sure to enjoy your time in this charming town.
Huatulco is a 20-mile stretch of the Pacific coastline in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca. It features nine bays and more than 30 beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also plenty of opportunities for adventure, with secluded beaches accessible only via hiking trails and boat rides (such as Bahia de Cacaluta in Parque Nacional Huatulco). If you’re looking for a breathtaking waterfall tour or some deep-sea fishing, Huatulco has you covered.
Huatulco’s natural beauty is matched by its warm, welcoming people. You’ll find that the locals are always happy to help make your vacation perfect, whether it’s offering directions to the best beach or sharing their favorite restaurant. Huatulco also has a lot of expatriates and is considered one of the safest places to live in Mexico.
Mazatlán is a Mexican resort town located on the Pacific coastline in the state of Sinaloa. Although the state of Sinaloa has a reputation of being unsafe, Mazatlán is a haven of the state and one of the safest beach towns in Mexico. Its 14 miles of sandy beaches, beautiful boardwalk and big-game fishing make Mazatlán a popular destination.
In its Centro Histórico district, you’ll find landmarks like the Teatro Ángela Peralta and the Immaculate Conception Basilica. In the modern district, Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), you will find plenty of great hotels, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
Ensenada is a beautiful port city on the Pacific coast of Mexico that offers plenty of things to do and see.
At its heart is the harbor and waterfront area with the Malecón promenade and the Riviera de Ensenada, a cultural center that was once a casino.
If you get tired of the beach, then look no further than the private wine tour to Guadalupe Valley from Ensenada. You’ll get to visit 4 carefully selected wineries, where you’ll enjoy guided tours and tastings of 15 different wines. Best of all, you’ll be able to see first-hand how the high-quality wines of this region are made.
Besides wine tasting, one of the best things to do in Ensenada is to see La Bufadora. This kind of huge blowhole can be found only in three places on earth and it’s a must-see for any visitor!
18. Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is a Mexican fishing village turned beach destination on the Pacific coast. It has a wealth of culture, natural attractions, and tropical beauty.
Although you will want to spend time on its best beaches – Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Zicatela, Playa Bacocho, Puerto Angelito, and Playa Marinero – there’s much more to do in Puerto Escondido, including seeing the bioluminescence at Manialtepec Lagoon and trying some authentic Oaxacan food.
While it is generally safe in Puerto Escondido, you should always follow common-sense rules and practice travel safety precautions like not swimming alone on beaches with strong currents and not wandering off the main streets at night.
Loreto is a hidden gem on the Baja Peninsula with peaceful charm and dazzling landscapes. The city starts to shut down around ten each night, making Loreto the place to go for a relaxing and rejuvenating trip.
Loreto is well known for its crystal clear waters and jagged rock formations that rise strikingly from the sea. The Islands of Loreto offer some of the best activities in all of Mexico including whale watching opportunities from January until March when humpback and blue whales migrate down the Baja Peninsula.
Indulge in fine dining at one of the elegant resort restaurants or wander through town for authentic Mexican dishes like torta sandwiches, sizzling tacos, or Chocolate Clams – only found in this region of Mexico.
20. Merida – Widely Recognized As Safest City in Mexico & Latin America
Merida has long been considered a safe haven in Mexico, and recent accolades from international magazines have only served to cement its reputation as one of the safest cities in Mexico and Latin America. As the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatán, Merida is a bustling metropolis that is bursting with history.
From ancient temples to sacred cenotes, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city. The city is known for its colonial architecture, heritage sites, and vibrant culture. Some of the most popular activities include exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, visiting one of the many museums, or taking a stroll through the parks. The city is also home to a variety of restaurants and bars, so there are plenty of options for dining and nightlife.
No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to do in Merida. And with an overall low risk of crime, you will be able to enjoy all that Merida has to offer without worry.
If you’re looking for a charming colonial city with a mix of Old World and New World vibes, Valladolid is definitely worth a visit. Located in Yucatan state in the Yucatan Peninsula, it’s just a two-hour drive from Merida, Mexico. Valladolid is also a perfect stop to break the distance of driving from Cancun to Chichen Itza.
As you walk around the city, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful colonial-style buildings and haciendas that are now home to funky little cafes, open-air restaurants, and boutiques. Downtown Valladolid boasts numerous things to see, whether you’re a lover of art, history, or nature.
22. Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City is known for its colonial architecture, diverse indigenous cultures, traditional crafts, mezcal production, and surrounding mountain villages. The city’s vibrant culture and history are on display in its many museums and galleries, as well as in the annual “Day of the Dead” celebration, which draws visitors from all over the world.
There are many things to do and places to visit in Oaxaca City, including Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within downtown, you will find Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman and adjoining Oaxaca Botanical Garden, as well as Oaxaca Cathedral in the Zocalo (Main Square).
For those looking to explore beyond the city limits, there are plenty of sights to enjoy in the surrounding area. As you head outside of the historic downtown towards Monte Alban, you will find another UNESCO World Heritage Site and some amazing ruins.
After a long day of exploring, head over to any colorful market in Oaxaca City and try some tlayuda (pronounced tuh-lie-you-dah), a huge tortilla filled with beans, cheese, and vegetables that are often called an Oaxaca Mexican pizza.
Oaxaca City is generally safe, but it’s still important to have safety precautions in check. Avoid wandering to dark areas at night and don’t drink too much mezcal or tequila!
23. Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit in Mexico. The city offers a wealth of historical and cultural attractions, from the colonial splendor of the Centro Históricoto to the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán. Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacán was a scary but unforgettable experience for me!
If you want to take a break from hustle and bustle of the city, Las Grutas Tolantongo, a hidden gem located about three hours from Mexico City, is perfect for a day trip or two-day getaway. The hot springs have several pools to choose from as well as a river that you can float down. The fresh air and stunning scenery are sure to relax and rejuvenate you. In addition, there are a number of hiking trails and zip-line courses for you to enjoy.
And, of course, no visit to Mexico City would be complete without sampling the delicious food on offer. From street vendors selling churros to gourmet restaurants serving up traditional Mexican cuisine, there’s something to suit every taste.
While Mexico City is a tourist-friendly destination with plenty of police on patrol, I didn’t find it safe to drive there. The locals here tend to drive more recklessly than in most Mexican beach towns and coastal cities like Cancun and Tulum. As a result, I would suggest you hire a driver rather than renting a car in Mexico City.
24. Puebla City
If you’re looking for a safe and enjoyable place to travel in Mexico that’s rich in history and culture, then Puebla City should definitely be at the top of your list. Just a two-hour drive from Mexico City, this charming colonial town is home to plenty of beautiful churches, such as the Puebla Cathedral and Iglesia Santo Domingo, the world’s largest pyramid – the Great Pyramid of Cholula, and some of the best food in the country. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Puebla City is sure to impress.
25. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage Site city in Guanajuato state. In recent years, it has become a popular destination for American retirees and is now known as one of the safest places to live and retire in Mexico.
The colonial-era city in Mexico’s central highlands is known for its baroque Spanish colonial churches and architecture, thriving arts scene, and cultural festivals. Its historic center contains one of the most beautiful churches that you will ever see – Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel – a neo-Gothic church with dramatic pink towers.
San Miguel de Allende is also a popular destination for foodies. As you may recall, The Top Chef hit show has filmed part of the finale of Season 12 in this beautiful city.
26. San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristóbal de las Casas is a beautifully well-preserved colonial city located in Chiapas, right next to Oaxaca state in Mexico . It is rich in history and largely populated by indigenous people, which gives it a unique cultural flavor.
The city is full of life and adventure, with something to explore around every corner. The people of this region are warm and welcoming toward visitors, and you will always feel safe during your stay. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in culture or simply enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of a small town, San Cristóbal de las Casas is won’t disappoint.
Guadalajara is a city in Mexico that’s well worth a visit. With its lovely colonial historic center, quaint neighborhoods, and kind locals, you’ll feel right at home in this charming city.
Guadalajara is a city you can easily explore on foot, as all the main sights are within close proximity of each other and a short walk from the Main Plaza (Plaza Guadalajara).
The city center is a beautiful colonial-style haven, with plenty of parks, plazas, and churches to explore. And, best of all, all the main sights are within walking distance of each other. Start your trip in the Main Plaza (Plaza Guadalajara) to explore Centro Historico, where you’ll find the stunning Guadalajara Cathedral and Hospicio Cabanas, one of the oldest and largest hospitals complexes in Americas that has been recognized as a World Heritage Site.
Afterward, explore the San Juan de Dios market for some souvenir shopping, and then finish up in the picturesque suburb of Tlaquepaque. With its convenient location and wealth of things to see and do, Guadalajara is the perfect destination for a hassle-free vacation.
Monterrey is a large city in northern Mexico that is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and natural parks. This means that visitors to Monterrey can enjoy all the excitement of a big city while also getting to appreciate tranquil natural areas.
One of the best things to do in Monterrey is visiting Parque Ecologico Chipinque. This park offers a stunning viewpoint that overlooks the entire city. Plus, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see black bears, coati, and many different bird species. Chipinque is just one of the many reasons why Monterrey is such a great destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
29. Santiago de Queretaro
Queretaro is one of Mexico’s most underrated travel destinations. The city is rich in art and history museums, colonial buildings, and an eclectic culinary scene. It’s also one of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
While there are unsafe areas in Queretaro, just like in any other city, if you stick to Centro Historico (Historic Downtown) and don’t venture outside of the tourist area at night, you should be safe. Queretaro is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an authentic Mexican experience without the crowds of more popular tourist destinations.
Is Mexico a good & safe place to live?
The cost of living in Mexico is low, making it a very attractive option for expats. In recent years, the Mexican government has been working hard to improve security in the country, and you can see that being reflected in the lower crime rates in many regions.
However, living in Mexico is very different from visiting!
When you visit Mexico, you will most likely stay in tourist areas, which are generally well-protected and far away from serious crimes. Staying at a hotel or resort will give you another layer of protection, so as a visitor to Mexico, the chances of you becoming a victim of crime are very low.
Nevertheless, when you move to Mexico to live and stay in residential areas, you will soon realize that these areas do not have the same level of security measures as tourist spots and can become quite dangerous after dark. While it is possible to live safely in Mexico, you should be aware of the potential risks.
Many expats choose to live in or near tourist areas for increased safety. For example, a majority of the expat communities in Merida live in Centro Historico – the Historic Downtown Merida.
The Wrap-up: Safest Cities, Areas, Beaches, and States to Visit in Mexico
Mexico is a wonderful country with beautiful culture, delicious food, and friendly people. There are plenty of safe places in Mexico to explore and I hope this list of the safest cities and beach towns in Mexico has helped you find the perfect destination for your vacation.
However, you should always take precautions when traveling, just like everywhere else when you travel abroad, such as not wandering outside of the tourist areas at night and always keeping a good watch on your belongings!
Mexico Travel Resources
- Travel Insurance:
- No one wants to think about what could go wrong on a vacation, but the truth is that accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance, so you can relax and enjoy your trip knowing that you’re covered if something does go wrong. Don’t take the risk when you can be covered for cheap.
- Safety Wing is a great option for budget-conscious travelers, as policies start at just $40 USD for an entire month! Basic policies cover travel emergencies, medical costs, and medical expenses while you’re in Mexico as well as transportation back to your home country under circumstances.
- Car Rental Scam
- Don’t fall for car rental scams in Mexico! Make sure you have full coverage when you make the reservation so car rental agencies can’t upsell their insurance. offers the cheapest car rental rates in Mexico and full coverage insurance for as low as $7 per day.
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I was born in Ukraine and raised in Vietnam, but I’ve spent the past 10 years moving around the US, Canada, and England, as well as traveling to over 30 countries across the world. Every time arriving at a new destination, I realized things that would have provided more bang for the buck. As a result, I have created this travel blog Luxury under Budget with the goal of helping you get the best experiences without having that “wish I had known” moment! Read more →
25 Safest Cities in Mexico to Visit in 2022
Mexico is a big country, with an even bigger reputation.
While many mislabel the entire country as unsafe, you’re about to discover why that’s simply untrue, as well as the 25 safest beaches and safest cities in Mexico — including the #1 safest city in Mexico — which happens to be where I live.
In an effort to add as many voices as possible to the Is Mexico safe for travel? conversation as possible, I asked some fellow travel bloggers to chime in.
In this article, you’ll discover the Top 15 safest beaches in Mexico and Top 10 safest cities in Mexico, recommended by people who have actually visited them.
You’ll also get a Mexico travel tip about each city, so you can visit the safest places in Mexico like a pro.
- Jump to the safest cities in Mexico
- Jump to the safest beaches in Mexico
Ready to discover the safest places to travel in Mexico? Let’s get to it! After you see the Mexico safest cities list, don’t miss the Mexico Travel Safety FAQ at the end of the article were we do a deep dive into questions like Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
safest cities in mexico to visit
Safest Cities in Mexico Map
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff! The Mexico Map above shows you where all the safest cities to visit in Mexico are located.
Each city on it is featured in this article, and comes recommended by past visitors who have taken the time to vouch for the safety of that travel destination.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
With swaying palm trees leaning over white-sand beaches and azure seas lapping the shore, Tulum is a bohemian beach paradise.
Located on the Caribbean Sea in Quintana Roo state, Tulum is one of the safest beach destinations in Mexico, and a must visit Yucatan pueblo magico (magic town).
In the last decade, Tulum has become one of the most popular cities in Mexico — and that’s because it has a lot to offer its visitors.
There’s everything from oceanfront Tulum beach houses to eco chic Tulum glamping, and restaurant options ranging from Thai to Turkish to tacos!
In 2021, Tulum was making headlines for high crime rates and drug cartels in the tourist areas. If you have safety concerns, check out Is Tulum Safe?
Tulum is also considered among the best party cities in Mexico, so the bars are just as impressive as the restaurants.
During the day, even the Tulum beach clubs have a lively atmosphere, with endless cocktails, top quality service, and amazing esthetic designs.
If lazing on the beach gets too hedonistic for you, visit the Tulum Ruins, one of the most spectacular Mayan Ruins in Mexico.
As the last Mayan city to be built, these ancient ruins offer an unmissable experience in Mexico, and will give you a chance to get a glimpse into authentic Mayan culture.
While the beach is the main draw, Tulum visitors will also want to check out Tulum Town AKA Downtown Tulum.
Though it’s not the Tulum you’ve seen on Instagram or YouTube, downtown comes alive in the evenings with street food taco shops and awesome bars with live music, like Batey Bar.
While Tulum has certainly grown with an influx of tourists eager to enjoy the beautiful beaches, this has also made it one of the safest places to visit in Mexico.
There’s a relaxed, non-threatening vibe and a friendly, busy atmosphere at night, so you never feel alone or secluded.
Planning your trip to Tulum Mexico
- Book the Best Tulum Hotels here
- Find the Best Tulum Tours here
- For more info, check out Traveling to Tulum: Ultimate Tulum Travel Guide for First Timers
Tulum, Mexico Travel Tips: Try the cocktails at Playa El Paraiso Beach Club at the El Paraiso Hotel Tulum, where you’ll also find the sideways palm tree, a Tulum landmark. Contributed by Paul Healy of Anywhere We Roam.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
2. Puerto Vallarta
On our most recent Mexico trip, we stayed in a Puerto Vallarta all inclusive resort — considered one of the safest resort towns in Mexico.
From the time we got off the plane until we left, we always felt safe in Puerto Vallarta, which ranks among the most safe beaches in Mexico.
We spent a good deal of time walking on the best beaches in Puerto Vallarta, like Playa los Muertos, and the famous Malecon (Boardwalk), where we met quite a few locals.
Although we were approached by vendors wanting to sell things, we never experienced unusual pressure or hostility.
Puerto Vallarta is famous for its beautiful, sandy beaches, and of course, most of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta involve the beach, the Pacific Ocean, or Banderas Bay. When planning your Puerto Vallarta itinerary, schedule in plenty of beach time.
Some of the popular Puerto Vallarta activities include parasailing, jet skiing, horseback riding on the beach and snorkeling around Los Arcos.
If you’re interested in getting a massage on the beach, you can find them near some of the bigger resorts, and a one hour massage is very inexpensive.
Puerto Vallarta is also known for it’s amazing food and there are plenty of terrific restaurants for diners of all budgets.
For the best tacos in Puerto Vallarta, head to Pancho’s Takos, and for a fancier meal try Cafe des Artistes, widely considered the best restaurant in Puerto Vallarta.
Planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico
- Book the Best Puerto Vallarta Hotels here
- Find the Best Puerto Vallarta Tours here
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Travel Tips: You can save about half the cost of a taxi or shuttle by using Uber to pick you up on the main street just outside of the airport. Contributed by Karee of Our Woven Journey.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
3. La Paz
La Paz, Mexico, is a fun little city located in the beautiful state of Baja California Sur on Mexico’s west coast.
In general, the entire Baja Peninsula is among the safest parts of Mexico; La Paz included. It has virtually no violent crime and isn’t a hub for criminal organizations like the cartels.
While the city itself is fairly flat, it’s surrounded by the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range.
Located on the Gulf of California, La Paz is one of the best coastal cities in Mexico, with stunning views from both the beaches and the parts in the mountains at a higher elevation.
Hands down, the best thing to do is to check out one of the best beaches near La Paz. Balandra Beach is the most popular by far, and in fact, is known as one of the best beaches in Mexico — as you can see in the photo above ⤴
However, Tecolote Beach, located a few miles down the road, gives Playa Balandra a run for its money.
You could spend all your time exploring the gorgeous beaches, or explore all the other awesome things to do in La Paz, Mexico, like whale watching tours and the Malecon (Boardwalk).
As one of the safest places in Mexico to vacation, La Paz has a fairly low crime rate and the town and beaches are regularly patrolled by police. Visitors generally only have to worry about petty theft, which is common in any tourist city.
What makes La Paz special compared to other Mexico beaches in Baja, like Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Todos Santos and San Jose del Cabo, is that it has retained an authentic Mexican cultural feel.
As it’s not overrun with tourists, I fell in love with the vibe in La Paz and I recommend visiting.
Planning your trip to La Paz Mexico
- Book the Best La Paz Hotels here
- Find the Best La Paz Tours here
La Paz, Mexico Travel Tips: Getting around La Paz is easiest if you rent a car. The touristy parts of town are walkable, but the best La Paz beaches are about 30-45 minutes away by car. Contributed by Natalie Lloyd of Blissmersion.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
The small town of Sayulita is located in Nayarit state on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, just one hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Over the years, Sayulita transitioned from a sleepy fishing village to a small town beloved by artists, yogis, hippies and surfers.
Today, the Sayulita pueblo magico (magic town) thrives as a trendy hotspot where tourists, surfers and expats all get to enjoy one of the most beautiful Mexican beach towns.
For those lucky enough to call Sayulita home, it is considered one of the safest places in Mexico to live.
The overall vibe is young and laid-back, and the town is colorful and welcoming with it’s festive papel picado flags hanging from one side of the street to the other.
Sayulita’s quaint streets are full of bars, restaurants, boutique shops and outdoor mercados (markets), creating a fun atmosphere.
Needless to say, the best things to do in Sayulita involve being on the beach or in the ocean.
For surfing in Sayulita, there are waves in all sizes, perfect for for all levels. If you’ve never surfed before, there are plenty of surf lessons in Sayulita, most located on the town’s main beach, Playa Sayulita.
The beach town of Sayulita is also a great choice for spiritual travelers, nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Beachfront yoga sessions, jungle hikes, horseback rides and zip lines are just a few of the options for those who want to experience more than the epic surf.
As the town has grown in popularity, so has the selection of food, drink and hotels. Of course there’s plenty of great Mexican and seafood restaurants, but you can also find vegan restaurants and burger joints.
For where to stay in Sayulita, there’s everything from boutique resorts to hostels.
Planning your trip to Sayulita Mexico
- Book the Best Sayulita Hotels here
- Find the Best Sayulita Tours here
- For more info, check out Is Sayulita Safe? Best Sayulita Mexico Travel Tips
Sayulita, Mexico Travel Tips: Sayulita has become very popular so it’s best to book accommodations in advance, especially between the busy season months of December to April. Contributed by Sarah of Live Dream Discover.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
Cancun is among the best vacation cities in Mexico for good reason.
As one of the Top 3 major cities of Mexico for travelers, there’s no shortage of amazing things to see in Cancun, as well as some of the safest all inclusive resorts in Mexico, both of which keep visitors returning year after year.
The Cancun Hotel Zone, or Zona Hotelera, is a long strip of land along the Caribbean Sea. It’s easy to navigate, as there’s just one main road that runs from north to south. Here in the main tourist zone, you’ll find the pristine white-sand Cancun beaches the area is known for.
The Hotel Zone in Cancun is only about 15 minutes from Cancun international Airport, there’s even an inexpensive bus that offers 24-hour service between the airport and the Hotel Zone. In general, it’s very safe to get around the city by public transportation or taxi.
As you might have guessed, the best things to do in Cancun involve the beach. From water sports, diving, snorkeling, relaxing, sunbathing, and even dining and nightlife, it all happens on Cancun beach — and sometimes under its waters, as with the Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA).
However, there’s other Cancun sites besides the beach, like the Museo Maya de Cancun (Cancun Mayan Museum) and a small Mayan archeological site, El Rey, right in the city.
To see some larger Mayan ruins near Cancun, rent a car or join a group tour to visit Chichen Itza and the Tulum Ruins.
As one of the top Mexico travel destinations and best beach towns in Mexico, Cancun has welcomed visitors for decades. It has a well-developed travel infrastructure and plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and attractions to suit visitors of all budgets and travel styles.
Planning your trip to Cancun Mexico
- Book the Best Cancun Hotels here
- Find the Best Cancun Tours here
- For more info, check out Is Cancun Safe to Travel to Right Now?
Cancun, Mexico Travel Tips: The best time to visit Cancun is during the dry season from December to April, when there’s also cooler temperatures and minimal humidity. Contributed by Kenny of Knycx Journeying.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Bahías de Huatulco, which means Bays of Huatulco, is located in the state of Oaxaca on the southern coast of Mexico.
Usually just called Huatulco, the town is known as one of the best beach cities in Mexico, with its nine bays and 36 beaches to explore.
The best things to do in Huatulco involve being in and around the water. Popular activities at the beaches include swimming, snorkeling and diving, as well as just laying around and watching the area’s epic sunsets at the many beaches in Huatulco.
Those looking for a little adventure can book a rafting trip on the Copalita River.
Huatulco National Park is also a popular place to visit. The park is located just a few minutes west of La Crucecita, the main town of Huatulco, and is the perfect place for hiking, nature walks, and to rent a bike or ATV.
With its small town feel, travelers will find Huatulco to be a very safe and welcoming place to visit.
There are a lot of nice Huatulco resorts and hotels that aren’t very expensive, and you can fly directly into the city at Bahías de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX).
Wondering, What are the safest cities in Mexico for American expats? Huatulco certainly ranks high atop that list. Not only is it safe, but there’s great weather and plenty of Huatulco things to do, especially for beach lovers and scuba divers.
It has a large expat population from the United States and Canada, and many who come to Huatulco for the winter to escape the cold. As it’s very safe with great infrastructure and gorgeous beaches, many consider Huatulco one of the best cities in Mexico to live.
To me, Huatulco was a peaceful beach town, frequented by booth families on vacation from other parts of Mexico and international tourists. As with most places, practice the usual travel safety precautions and you’ll have a great time in Huatulco.
Planning your trip to Huatulco Mexico
- Book the Best Huatulco Hotels here
- Find the Best Huatulco Tours here
- For more info, check out Oaxaca to Huatulco: 4 Best Transportation Options
Huatulco, Mexico Travel Tips: Make sure to dine in the town of La Crucecita, which is where the locals live and where you’ll find the best restaurants in Huatulco. Contributed by Eden of Rock a Little Travel.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
When looking for the safest tourist destinations in Mexico, Mazatlan may not appear at the top of your list — but you have nothing to fear. However, there are many gorgeous Mazatlan beaches, and in fact, it’s one of the 30 Best Mexican Beach Towns.
Despite the reputation of the state of Sinaloa, where Mazatlan is located, you’ll encounter a safe haven in this city. If in doubt, you can always stay within the Golden Zone (main tourist zone), which is home to some of the best hotels in Mazatlan, as well as great restaurants with live entertainment.
When you arrive in the coastal city of Mazatlan, you’ll meet friendly locals and street vendors who defy Mexican stereotypes.
Mazatlan is unique as far as Mexico beach cities go because you can still experience Mexican culture and Mexico’s uniqueness, whereas some beaches just feel touristy.
Although somewhat off the beaten path for Mexico travel, there are many amazing things to do in Mazatlan.
Start off by exploring Plaza Machado to soak in the historic colonial architecture and beautiful city views. Plaza Machado is located not far from the Golden Zone (Downtown).
During the evening, head to the Malecon (Boardwalk) that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and take in the sunset. Thrill-seekers will enjoy everything from zip lining in Mazatlan to doing an ATV tour in the Sierra Madre mountains, and even snorkeling on Deer Island.
Though many might shy away from it because it is in Sinaloa state, Mazatlan is one of the safest cities in Mexico to visit, with beautiful beaches and a unique feel.
Planning your trip to Mazatlan Mexico
- Book the Best Mazatlan Hotels here
- Find the Best Mazatlan Tours here
Mazatlan, Mexico Travel Tips: Visit places outside the Golden Zone, or main tourist zone, to enjoy activitied that offers a deeper cultural experience. Contributed by Daniel of Layer Culture.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
I think of Cozumel as the Oahu of the Caribbean, as it’s one of the best islands and safest places to go in Mexico. It has a mellow, tropical vibe, the water is always warm, and everyone is so friendly.
Although it’s only a short ferry ride away from Playa Del Carmen, it feels like a world away.
One of the best things to do in Cozumel is snorkel. Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, as it’s part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second biggest reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef.
You can stop at any beach club and snorkel for free, which isn’t usually the case in many popular tourist destinations. My favorite spot is the Money Bar, it’s beginner-friendly and you don’t have to go far into the Caribbean Sea to see the colorful fish, marine life and coral.
While visiting Cozumel, make sure to stop at some of the eco parks. Punta Sur, located on the southern part of the island, is a favorite thanks to its lagoons, wildflowers, white sandy beaches, and an enormous lighthouse. There’s also the San Gervasio Mayan Ruins site to explore.
Cozumel is one of the safest places to visit in Mexico. Everyone is inviting, which is important for us, since we travel with a toddler. Since family is so important in the Mexican culture, people are always willing to lend a helping hand.
While at the park, I dropped $200 pesos while running after our two-year-old and someone stopped me to let me know I dropped the money. They could have easily picked it up and went about their day, but they didn’t. If that doesn’t scream “safest place to visit in Mexico,” I don’t know what does!
Planning your trip to Cozumel Mexico
- Book the Best Cozumel Hotels here
- Find the Best Cozumel Tours here
Cozumel, Mexico Travel Tips: Stop by the Lobster Shack and have a lobster bowl. It is one of the best restaurants in Cozumel, with the freshest food you’ll find on the island. Contributed by Corritta of It’s a Family Thing.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
Ensenada, in the state of Baja California, is well known for its beautiful beaches and as the birthplace of Mexico’s beloved fish tacos.
Located less than two hours by car from the U.S. border, many head down to Ensenada from California for a weekend getaway in this Mexico beach town.
Besides Tijuana, it is one of the closest cities in Mexico to get to from the U.S., and one of the safest towns in Mexico, as Ensenada remained immune to cartel and drug activity. Though safe, you’ll want to remain aware of your surroundings and take standard travel precautions.
The landscape in Ensenada is perfect for wineries, and you’ll be spoilt for choice trying the local wines from nearby Valle de Guadalupe, known as the “Napa Valley of Mexico.”
Besides wine tasting, one of the best things to do in Ensenada is see La Bufadora, one of the world’s largest blowholes.
The seafood here is some of the freshest you’ll ever find, so don’t forget to explore the markets if you’re looking to buy some. Besides Baja fish tacos, also try some smoked clams, and since you’re in Mexico, you can always wash them down with some authentic tequila.
Ensenada is also well known as one of the best places for whale watching in Mexico, a real treat for those who visit during their December to May migration season. There’s beautiful nature to be seen on land as well, with numerous nature walks and hikes throughout Ensenada.
Planning your trip to Ensenada Mexico
- Book the Best Ensenada Hotels here
- Find the Best Ensenada Tours here
Ensenada, Mexico Travel Tips: The best time to visit Ensenada Mexico is during Carnaval, one of the largest and best festivals in Mexico. It takes place for a week in mid-February with parades, fireworks and parties, similar to Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras. Contributed by Lavinia of Continent Hop; follow her on her on Instagram.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
10. Holbox Island
Isla Holbox is located a few hours from of Cancun, but feels like it’s a world away from all its hustle and bustle.
Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) is a Mexican Caribbean island, and a beautiful place to visit for all types of travelers, especially beach and nature lovers, and those looking for serenity.
The island’s roads are “paved” in beach sand, and the best way to get around is by bike or golf cart, as there’s only a few cars on the island.
If you’re traveling by rental car, you will have to leave it overnight in one of the paid lots next to the Chiquila ferry dock; lots cost about $5USD per day.
⛴ Wondering how to get to Holbox Island? It is only accessible by a ferry boat in Chiquila, Mexico, located two hours west of Cancun. Head to this Ultimate Cancun to Holbox Mexico guide for more info.
Holbox Island has a small town feel, but also a bit of a lively side at night with a few restaurants and bars that stay open late into the evening. However, this is not the place to come for all night parties and the same nightlife you’d expect in nearby Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Isla Holbox is among the safest beach cities in Mexico, with a close-knit local community. It is a much less touristy place than islands like Cozumel or Isla Mujeres, and safety is basically never an issue in this sleepy town with virtually nonexistent levels of crime.
People in Holbox are helpful and friendly, and you’ll always feel welcomed. There is a nightly market in the center of town with lots of delicious things to try, so head there to try all the best Mexican food specialities — and be on the lookout for restaurants serving the famous Holbox lobster pizza.
Holbox is known for its incredible underwater world, and near-virgin beaches. Among the best things to do in Holbox Island is swim with whale sharks (from June to September), take a boat tour to go snorkeling and see the turtles and manta rays, or just lay in a hammock in the Caribbean Sea.
The laid-back Mexico island is definitely worth a visit, and with its semi-remote, off the beaten path location, it’s not uncommon for Holbox to be labeled as the safest destination in Mexico.
Planning your trip to Isla Holbox Mexico
- Book the Best Holbox Hotels here
- Find the Best Holbox Tours here
- For more info, check out 27 Best Things to Do in Holbox Island Mexico
Isla Holbox, Mexico Travel Tips: Rent a golf cart to get around; it’s definitely worth it. Contributed by Victoria of Guide Your Travel.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
11. Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is a fishing village turned beach destination on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is south of Acapulco, and north of Huatulco in Oaxaca state.
Thanks to “Mexican Pipeline,” a famous surf break that draws surfers from around the world, the city is known as a top Mexico surfing destination.
However, with its wealth of culture, natural attractions and tropical beauty, it offers many attractions beyond the beach.
Though, you’ll of course want to spend some time on the best beaches in Puerto Escondido — Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Zicatela, Playa Bacocho, Puerto Angelito and Playa Marinero. For surfing, head to Playa Carrizalillo.
While known as a Mexico surf town, many of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido don’t included surfing.
There’s also seeing the bioluminescence at Manialtepec Lagoon, participating in one of the baby sea turtle release programs, and trying some authentic Oaxaca food at one of the fantastic Puerto Escondido restaurants.
I’ve lived in and traveled to Puerto Escondido solo for more than a decade, and have always felt very safe.
In fact, many solo female travelers in Mexico find Puerto Escondido to be safe, and it is also a popular Mexico digital nomad destination for those who want to live and surf remotely.
While safe, follow common sense travel safety precautions like not swimming alone or on beaches with red flags (indicating a strong current). Stay off the streets late at night, and use eco-friendly insect repellent to avoid bites and potential illness.
Planning your trip to Puerto Escondido Mexico
- Book the Best Puerto Escondido Hotels here
- Find the Best Puerto Escondido Tours here
- For more info, check out Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido: 5 Best Transport Options
Puerto Escondido, Mexico Travel Tip: If you’re looking for a winter beach destination with sunny skies and hot weather you can’t go wrong with Puerto Escondido. It’s consistently 88°F from January to March, with very little rain. Contributed by Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
12. Isla Mujeres
Just minutes from the coast of Cancun, and located in the Caribbean Sea, you have the lovely island of Isla Mujeres. With a small population of friendly and laid-back locals, it just may be the safest place to go in Mexico’s Caribbean.
Isla Mujeres means “Island of Women,” and it was a Mayan pilgrimage site where women would go to worship Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, childbirth and fertility.
Today, visitors can explore the Ruins of Ixchel, a Mayan archeological site at Punta Sur on the southern tip of the island.
Nowadays, visitors flock to this Mexican Caribbean island because it’s one of the best beach cities Mexico has to offer.
You have everything you’d need or want in Isla Mujeres, as about 12,000 people live there, so there’s plenty of restaurants, bars, services and more.
Whether you’re traveling on a budget or looking for luxury accommodations, there are great Isla Mujeres resorts and hotels, and also hostels and guest houses for backpackers and those doing budget travel in Mexico.
The island itself is only four miles long (6.5 km) and 0.5 miles wide (1 km). The easiest way to get around is by golf cart, scooter or bicycle, though the main parts of the island are walkable.
Even late at night, activity is thriving, and walking to and from local restaurants and bars is safe and easy.
There are so many great things to do in Isla Mujeres, like snorkeling, fishing, shopping, exploring Mayan temples, or just relaxing at the beaches.
From about May to September, you can take a tour to swim with the whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, which can only be done in a few parts of the world.
Planning your trip to Isla Mujeres Mexico
- Book the Best Isla Mujeres Hotels here
- Find the Best Isla Mujeres Tours here
- For more info, check out Whale Sharks Isla Mujeres: Best Whale Shark Tour
Isla Mujeres, Mexico Travel Tip: Find a central hotel and save on transport by walking everywhere. Contributed by Chris Fry of Aquarius Traveller.
SAFEST CITIES IN MEXICO TO VISIT
Loreto is a pretty town on the west coast in Baja California Sur state. It is located right on the Sea of Cortez, and has been designated as one of the Mexico pueblos magicos (magic towns), for its charm and historical importance.
I traveled to Loreto twice, and the second time I stayed for one full week to enjoy all the things to do in Loreto.
The best time of the year to visit Loreto is in winter, because you’ll be able to see the blue whales that migrate to Loreto Bay from about December to March.
Among all the Loreto whale watching tours you can take, the blue whale tour was the highlight of my trip.
In fact, not only did we see many gigantic whales multiple times, but our boat was surrounded by a pod of about 100 dolphins flipping and jumping all around us. It was a magical experience.
Besides whale watching in Loreto, there’s more things to do in Loreto, Mexico.
You can walk around town and enjoy the colonial feel, hike to La Giganta and go diving. Don’t miss the historic San Javier Mission and the Museo de las Misiones de Baja California (Museum of Baja California Missions), among other Loreto sites.
As Loreto, Mexico is one of the safest places to live in Mexico, you’ll find a large community of both expats and locals who live in harmony and strive to keep the town clean and safe.
When I visited, I felt safe while walking around and traveling on my own, and it’s definitely one of the best cities in Mexico for solo travel.
Planning your trip to Loreto Mexico
- Book the Best Loreto Hotels here
- Find the Best Loreto Tours here
Loreto, Mexico Travel Tips: Watch the sunset from the terrace of Posada de Las Flores, and watch the sunrise on the Loreto Malecon. If you have to pick only one tour, pick the blue whale watching tour (winters only). Contributed by Isabella of Boundless Roads.
The safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
A must see for many Yucatan Peninsula visitors is the Mexico beach town of Akumal, to swim with the turtles in Akumal Bay.
In recent years, Akumal residents have had to limit the number of visitors to protect the rare sea turtles and the marine life of the area, so now you must book a tour to go.
Akumal is located about 30 minutes north of the popular town of Tulum, and about two hours south of Cancun. It is much more up-and-coming than those destinations, and has a charming pueblo (small town) feel.
Besides snorkeling with the turtles in Akumal, the entire area around the beach is a pleasant place to shop, dine and sightsee. It’s easy and safe to ride bicycles or walk the road along the sand to get to different Akumal beaches.
The Akumal hotels and resorts, known as some of the safest all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, are in a gated area patrolled by security.
Akumal itself is a small town, and when combined with this added security measure, you’ll enjoy some of the safest beach resorts in Mexico on your Akumal trip.
One of the best things to do in Akumal is visit nearby Yal Ku Lagoon. This is a protected lagoon where freshwater meets the saltwater of the Caribbean Sea, and the snorkeling is incredible. The well managed area is safe for families and solo travelers.
The actual town of Akumal, located off the beach, is also worth a visit. It is a peaceful place to experience local life in Akumal and get a taste of Mexican culture.
In town, don’t miss the outdoor fruit and vegetable market, and head to the taquerías (taco shops) for the best tacos in Akumal.
By knowing a few words of Spanish, you’ll be able to return the kind greetings you experience when visiting the laid back town of Akumal, one of the best cities in Mexico to vacation.
Planning your trip to Akumal Mexico
- Book the Best Akumal Hotels here
- Find the Best Akumal Tours here
- For more info, check out Cancun to Akumal: Best Ways to Get to Akumal Mexico
Akumal, Mexico Travel Tip: Check out the beaches north of the more touristy turtle swimming beaches. There, you’ll find solitude and great snorkeling. Contributed by Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
15. Playa del Carmen
If you’re wondering, Where are the safest places in Mexico to live? many would add Playa del Carmen to that list.
In recent years, Playa (as the locals call it) has become a hot spot for Mexico digital nomads for its great infrastructure, fast WiFi, and relatively low cost of living.
For those unfamiliar, Playa is located about one hour south of Cancun. It’s easy to get from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and very cheap if you take the ADO bus.
If you want to network with other digital nomads in Playa del Carmen, check out this Facebook group.
Planning your trip to Playa del Carmen Mexico
- Book the Best Playa del Carmen Hotels here
- Find the Best Playa del Carmen Tours here
- For more info, check out Is Playa del Carmen Safe for Tourists?
Playa del Carmen, Mexico Travel Tip: There is no Uber in Playa del Carmen, so consider renting a car in Cancun when you arrive to the airport. Contributed by Shelley of Travel To Merida.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
BONUS: Bacalar Lake
Laguna Bacalar, though not a Mexico beach, is being added to the list as a bonus — because just look at it — it’s to gorgeous not to include!
Located in the Bacalar pueblo magico (magic town), in Quintana Roo state, you’ll find the second largest freshwater lake in Mexico — Laguna Bacalar.
Now, you may have seen it called by other names, like Laguna Bacalar, Lake Bacalar and Bacalar Lagoon, but they all refer to the same place.
This gorgeous lake and Mexico hidden gem is located in the Yucatan Peninsula about three hours south of Tulum and five hours south of Cancun.
In recent years, Bacalar has gained popularity thanks to Instagram, YouTube and social media, with influencers flocking to swim in its bright blue waters.
Nicknamed the Maldives of Mexico on social media, the Mayans native to this part of Mexico refer to Bacalar as the Lagoon of Seven Colors. They say you can see seven shades of blues in the lake.
♻️ Practice responsible tourism in Mexico and only use reef-safe sunscreen to help keep them blue!
Whatever you call it, the small pueblo of Bacalar and it’s gorgeous Bacalar Lake, will take your breath away.
While the lake is the main star in town, Downtown Bacalar is also worth checking out for a bit, as there’s historic forts, once used to fend off pirates, and some great restaurants.
As one of the best small cities in Mexico, you can rest assured you’ll be safe in Bacalar. It has a true small town feel, where everybody knows everybody, and visitors are welcomed.
The locals are incredibly friendly, and since most operate their own small businesses, hospitality is the name of the game. For now, there are no big name corporate hotels or chain restaurants in Bacalar, only small businesses.
As it’s a bit remote in one of the southernmost parts of Mexico, and takes a few hours to get to, many don’t make it down to Bacalar. As someone who’s been twice, I can assure you it’s both safe and worth the travel time you sacrifice to get there.
Planning your trip to Bacalar Mexico
- Book the Best Bacalar Hotels here
- Find the Best Bacalar Tours here
- For more info, check out Cancun to Bacalar: Best Ways to Get to Bacalar Mexico
Bacalar, Mexico Travel Tips: Bacalar is just 30-45 minutes from the Belize border and there are inexpensive buses you can take for a land crossing. Contributed by Shelley of Travel To Merida.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
16. Merida: The Safest City in Mexico
Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, one of the safest parts of Mexico, Merida consistently ranks among the safest places to live in Mexico.
Further still, many say Merida is definitively the safest place to live in Mexico and safest place to travel in Mexico, with its low crime rate rates.
In 2019, Merida started garnering even more attention when CEOWorld Magazine declared it the second safest city on the entire Americas Continent. In 2021, readers of the magazine also voted Merida #3 on their Best Small Cities in the World list.
Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida is considered the safest place in Mexico to vacation in the entire peninsula.
For years, it flew under the tourist radar, but as more travelers discover Merida, this colorful colonial city is fast becoming a top Mexico travel destination.
Merida, the capital of Yucatán state and the Cultural Capital of Yucatan, is a great city to explore Mexico’s rich Mayan history and traditions. Unlike some other places in the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida hasn’t become too touristy and still offers an authentic flair.
As a very photogenic city, spend time just strolling the streets of Merida to get a taste of Mexico while interacting with friendly locals.
Shop for souvenirs in Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), where vendors sell goods made by local artisans, like hammocks, guayabera shirts and straw hats.
After exploring the best things to do in Merida, like Paseo de Montejo and the Merida Cathedral in Plaza Grande, head to the Gran Museo del Mundo Maya (Merida Mayan Museum).
This is one of the best museums in Merida, and houses the city’s largest collection of Mayan artifacts.
While in Merida, try some authentic Yucatan food like sopa de lima (lime soup), cochinita pibil (pulled pork), papadzules (egg enchiladas in pepita sauce) and marquesitas (chocolate and cheese crepes).
It’s not only one of the safest Mexican cities, but also one of the best Mexico food cities!
Planning your trip to Merida Mexico
- Book the Best Merida Hotels here
- Find the Best Merida Tours here
- For more info, check out Merida Yucatan Mexico: Ultimate Locals’ Guide
Merida, Mexico Travel Tips: Don’t try to cram everything in one day when visiting Merida; allow 2-3 days for your trip to see major highlights of this city. Contributed by Daria of The Discovery Nut.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
17. Oaxaca City
Oaxaca City, the capital of Oaxaca state, is a must-visit in Mexico and all North America. The vibrant and bustling city is known for its colonial architecture, lush mountains, mezcal production, and the best Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico.
There are many things to do in Oaxaca and sites to see, especially in Centro Historico (City Center), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Within downtown, check out the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, Oaxaca Botanical Garden, and Oaxaca Cathedral in the Zocalo (Main Square).
Head just outside of Centro Historico to Monte Alban, another Oaxaca UNESCO World Heritage Site, to see the best ruins in Oaxaca.
Hierve El Agua, a petrified waterfall, and the pueblo magico (magic town) of Milta, are also both amazing Oaxaca day trips.
One added bonus for visitors is the amazing food in Oaxaca.
In fact, this city is considered the Foodie Capital of Mexico with its delicious moles (pronounced moe-lays), memelas, tamales oaxaqueños (Oaxacan tamales), quesillo (AKA queso Oaxaca cheese), and more.
There are numerous markets in Oaxaca to visit, but don’t miss Mercado Benito Juarez and Mercado 20 de Noviembre.
In the main mercado, Central de Abastos, you can try the famous memelas made by Doña Vale — as seen on the Oaxaca episode of the Netflix show, Street Food: Latin America.
In any of the Oaxaca markets, make sure to try a tlayuda (pronounced tuh-lie-you-dah), the quintessential Oaxacan food. It is a huge tortilla, served open-face with beans, cheese and veggies, which many call a Mexican pizza.
Oaxaca City is also one of the important cities in Mexico for mezcal production. If you’re unfamiliar with it, mezcal is a distilled spirit made from the agave plant, the same as tequila.
Stock up on Oaxaca mezcal from local distilleries, which allow you to taste their mezcal before buying.
Oaxaca City, Mexico, is perfectly safe, but of course, usual street smarts should be in place.
At night, walk in lit areas, don’t drink too much mezcal, always be mindful of your belongings, and use your best judgement — just as you would do when traveling anywhere.
Planning your trip to Oaxaca Mexico
- Book the Best Oaxaca Hotels here
- Find the Best Oaxaca Tours here
- For more info, check out Traveling to Oaxaca City: Everything You Need to Know
Oaxaca Tip: Have to been wondering, How do you pronounce Oaxaca? The correct Oaxaca pronunciation is wa-ha-kah. Contributed by Poonam of Rex Angel.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
18. Mexico City
When speaking of the world’s major cities, Mexico City has to be included in every conversation. However, for many it wouldn’t be the first place you think of when discussing the safest city in Mexico to travel — which is unfortunate!
For those wondering, Is Mexico City safe to travel? — Yes, it is a vibrant, cultural wonderland and there are many amazing things to do in Mexico City.
As with any big city, you have to be aware of your surroundings and belongings, but beyond this, even Mexico City solo travel is quite safe.
If it’s culture you’re after, then you could spend weeks just visiting the 150 or so museums in Mexico City.
Of the highlights, don’t miss the National Anthropology Museum, which has artifacts from all of the indigenous cultures and civilizations of Mexico, including the magnificent Aztec Sun Stone.
Art lovers will want to check out the Frida Kahlo Museum, located in the vibrant and historic Coyoacan neighborhood, one of the safest areas in Mexico City.
It is not far from Reforma, arguably the safest place to stay in Mexico City, with plenty of great Mexico City hotels to choose from.
The Zocalo (Main Square), located in Centro Historico (Historic Downtown area), should be your first stop though.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Centro Historico, including a visit to the Templo Mayor, the main Aztec temple in Mexico.
Foodies will love the city too, and the street food here is among the best on Earth. It’s hard to eat a bad meal here, as Mexico City tacos are famous for good reason, but the Mexico City restaurants are also amazing.
There are numerous food tours of different neighborhoods, taco tours, market tours and cooking classes too.
Planning your trip to Mexico City Mexico
- Book the Best Mexico City Hotels here
- Find the Best Mexico City Tours here
- For more info, check out Altitude Sickness in Mexico City: How to Prevent & Treat It
Mexico City Travel Tips: Though generally safe, don’t walk alone at night — take Uber instead. Also, stick to the safest parts of Mexico City, like Roma, Condesa, Reforma, Polanco, Coyoacan and Chapultepec. Contributed by Claire of This Travel Lover.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
19. San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a charming city with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets.
In the last few decades, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Guanajuato state has become extremely popular with American retirees, and many say it’s the safest place to retire in Mexico.
Foodies also flock to San Miguel de Allende, and Top Chef even filed there during Season 12 of the hit show.
With a large population of expats, and English widely spoken, it’s one of the easiest places in Mexico for beginner travelers since you can get by without speaking Spanish.
However, don’t pass up the chance to immerse yourself in Mexican culture, visiting local markets, shopping for handmade crafts and exploring the colorful back streets and alleyways.
Beautiful San Miguel is one of the prettiest cities in Mexico, so make sure your phone/camera is fully charged!
Among the best things to do in San Miguel de Allende, take a day trip to the natural hot spring spas just outside the city. These are fantastic places to relax, unwind, and warm up from the colder winter weather.
The best hot spring in San Miguel de Allende is La Gruta Spa, just seven miles from downtown.
Foodies visiting San Miguel shouldn’t miss Chocolates y Churros San Agustín, a cafe serving chocolate stuffed churros with drinking chocolate to dip.
This San Miguel de Allende restaurant is located right off the Jardín Allende, where you’ll find the gorgeous San Miguel Parroquia (cathedral).
It is easy to get to San Miguel de Allende from Mexico City by rental car or bus, as it’s only about a four hour drive.
You can also arrive by bus from other cities in Mexico, or fly into Guanajuato International Airport (code: BJX), located 1.5 hours from San Miguel de Allende near Guanajuato City.
Planning your trip to San Miguel de Allende Mexico
- Book the Best San Miguel de Allende Hotels here
- Find the Best San Miguel de Allende Tours here
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico Travel Tips: There are lots of hills! Bring comfortable shoes and remember to stay hydrated, as getting around can be a bit of a workout. Contributed by Rose of Where Goes Rose.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
20. San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is a beautiful colonial city and pueblo magico (magic town) in Chiapas state.
It is located in southeastern Mexico, right next to Oaxaca state — two Mexican states known to provide a true cultural experience in one of the safest areas of Mexico.
San Cristóbal is filled with history, amazing architecture, culture and stunning nature.
It’s the epicenter of the Zapatista movement and surrounded by indigenous communities, like Zinacantan, with artisans who regularly travel to San Cristobal to sell their handicrafts at the markets.
In years past, Chiapas had a reputation of being an unsafe region in Mexico. However, as is often the case with reputations, they are based on a few events only and do not represent the whole story.
For those who have visited, it has some of the nicest cities in Mexico.
Yes, you may want to avoid traveling in Chiapas at night and follow general travel safety measures, like anywhere else.
However, as a solo female traveler in Mexico, I never once felt unsafe in San Cristobal de las Casas — or anywhere in Chiapas state for that matter.
Some of the best things to do in San Cristobal include exploring the local markets, joining the free walking tour, and admiring the colonial architecture.
There’s some beautiful nature surrounding the city, like Canyon del Sumidero, and one of the best Mayan ruins in Mexico, Palenque, about four hours away.
The Templo de San Juan in the pueblo of San Juan de Chamula is one of the most fascinating examples indigenous religion blended with Catholicism.
Without spoiling too much about this unique place, I’ll say it’s a must see San Cristobal experience — but if you want to know more, head here.
Planning your trip to San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico
- Book the Best San Cristobal de las Casas Hotels here
- Find the Best San Cristobal de las Casas Tours here
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico Travel Tips: Pack warm clothes! San Cristobal is located 1.5 miles above sea level in the mountains, so temperatures often drop to about 55°F (13°C) at night. Contributed by Lara of The Best Travel Gifts; connect with her on Facebook.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, is Mexico’s second largest city — but you wouldn’t know it by visiting! This city has a much smaller feel compared to Mexico City, with its colonial historic center and quaint neighborhoods.
The locals are some of the kindest people you will meet, and you can pretty much always expect beautiful sunny days in Guadalajara, one of the top cities to visit in Mexico.
As the second biggest city in the country, there’s no shortage of things to do in Guadalajara.
You can easily spend a couple of days visiting Guadalajara. Take a day to explore Centro Historico including the famous Guadalajara Cathedral and Hospicio Cabanas.
It is a very walkable city, and all the main sights are within a short distance of Plaza Guadalajara (Main Plaza).
After exploring, spend some time shopping for artesanias (artisanal products) in the huge San Juan de Dios market, and check out the picturesque suburb of Tlaquepaque.
Wherever you go, you will notice that Guadalajara has a great relaxed pace and feels very safe.
Don’t miss out on the amazing food options, and of course, trying some authentic tequila from the nearby town of Tequila, Mexico.
Also among the top cities in Mexico for expats, head to nearby Ajijic pueblo magico (magic town), on the shore of Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico.
Planning your trip to Guadalajara Mexico
- Book the Best Guadalajara Hotels here
- Find the Best Guadalajara Tours here
Guadalajara, Mexico Travel Tip: Head to Tonala to buy artisanal goods straight from the artisans, for authentic products at great prices. Contributed by Daphna of A Tiny Trip.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Wondering, Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in Mexico?
If you like small towns, Valladolid is certainly a great contender, as one of the least inexpensive of all safe cities in Mexico. Petty crime and criminal activity are virtually nonexistent in this safe city.
The charming Valladolid pueblo magico (magic town), one of the prettiest colonial cities in Mexico, is located in Yucatan state in the Yucatan Peninsula.
It is about two hours from Merida, Mexico, by rental car or bus, and makes for one of the best day trips from Merida.
When visiting, you’ll notice the charming Old World meets New World feel in Valladolid.
As you walk around the city, you’ll fall in love with the colonial style buildings and haciendas that are now home to funky little cafes, open air restaurants, and boutiques shops offering one of a kind pieces.
Downtown Valladolid boasts numerous things to see, whether you’re a lover of art, history or nature.
One of the safest places to drive in Mexico, you’ll love road trippin’ around the area just as much as staying in town. Among the best things to do in Valladolid and nearby, don’t miss:
- Chichen Itza: One of the Seven Wonders of the World, located about 30 minutes from Valladolid.
- Valladolid Cenotes: Some of the best cenotes in Yucatan are in or near Valladolid, like Cenote Zaci, just a 10-minute walk from downtown, and Cenote Ik Kil, about 10-minutes by car from Chichen Itza.
- Calzada de los Frailes: Considered the most beautiful street in Valladolid, the Calle de los Frailes is a great place for photos, shopping and a casual bite to eat.
- Casa de los Venados: This private home showcases the country’s largest collection of Mexican folk art, including handcrafted pottery, paintings, colorful textiles and even artistic pieces of furniture.
As one of the most safe Mexico destinations, we felt comfortable walking the town at any hour of the day. However, as with anywhere you travel, it is always best to stay aware of your surroundings and take the necessary safety precautions.
Planning your trip to Valladolid Mexico
- Book the Best Valladolid Hotels here
- Find the Best Valladolid Tours here
- For more info, check out Valladolid Mexico: Ultimate Travel Guide for First Timers
Valladolid, Mexico Travel Tips: Casa de los Venados is an absolute must see if you love art. They offer one tour per day at 10am by donation, and the proceeds benefit local charities. Contributed by Peta and Jonas of Exit45 Travels; connect with them on Facebook.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Though it’s one of the biggest cities in Mexico — the fifth largest by population, in fact — Puebla City is among the safest vacation spots in Mexico.
It is the capital of Puebla state, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a lot of history, colorful colonial architecture and amazing cuisine.
Just two hours drive from Mexico City, Puebla has a completely different vibe worth exploring.
Though it’s the lesser-visited of the two cities, Puebla is a gorgeous colonial town that you’ll want to make sure to add to your Mexico itinerary, even if only as weekend or day trip from Mexico City.
Start your exploration in the beautiful Zocalo (Main Square), where you’ll spot the impressive Puebla Cathedral.
Another church to visit is Iglesia Santo Domingo; though there are beautiful churches all over Puebla, and in fact, this city is known for its abundance of churches.
Poblano Cuisine: Best Food in Puebla Mexico
Beyond sightseeing, one of the best things to do in Puebla is eat — as it’s one of Mexico’s culinary capitals.
Puebla’s local Poblano cuisine is revered throughout Mexico, and there are plenty of local specialties to try, like cemitas (giant sandwiches), a must try food in Puebla, Mexico.
Another well known Puebla food is mole poblano, which you’ll find all over town.
If you visit in September, try chile en nogada, a stuffed poblano pepper smothered in a walnut cream sauce, topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley. It is only made around Mexican Independence Day on Sept. 16.
Cholula, Puebla Magic Town
When in Puebla City, don’t miss seeing the neighboring Cholula pueblo magico (magic town), one of the best cities in Puebla, Mexico.
You may have seen images of its iconic Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios, the yellow Cholula church which hovers over the city.
Cholula is also home to the largest pyramid on Earth (by volume), the Great Pyramid of Cholula.
It is located in the Cholula Archaeological Zone, right in downtown. The pyramid is partially buried underground, but you can walk through its underground passageways.
Planning your trip to Puebla Mexico
- Book the Best Puebla Hotels here
- Find the Best Puebla Tours here
Puebla, Mexico Travel Tips: If you have a sweet tooth, head to Calle de los Dulces (Sweet Street) and grab a camote, a Mexican dessert made with sweet potatoes. Contributed by Claudia of My Adventures Across The World.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Though Mexico, especially big cities in Mexico that border the U.S., have a reputation for being unsafe, Monterrey proves otherwise.
It is located in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo Leon, less than three hours by car from the Texas-Mexico border.
Monterrey is one of the largest cities in Mexico, but it is also surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges and natural parks.
Because of this, Monterrey offers a nice blend of big city amenities and tranquil natural areas, and there’s many great things to do in Monterrey.
In fact, one of the best things to do in Monterrey is visit Parque Ecologico Chipinque. The stunning viewpoint from this park overlooks the entire city, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even see black bears, coati, and many different bird species while up there.
There are also beautiful limestone mountains to see in the Parque La Huasteca, which many go to for biking, hiking, and even rappelling.
Also in this park, don’t miss the Grutas de Garcia, a cave with unique stalagmite and stalactite rock formations, which you have to access by cable car.
Aside from all the amazing things to see in Monterrey, it is a city where I felt safe enough to be on my phone anywhere when in public and not be worried about my bag all the time.
Although it is not on the traditional Mexico tourism radar, Monterrey is a wonderful city to visit.
Planning your trip to Monterrey Mexico
- Book the Best Monterrey Hotels here
- Find the Best Monterrey Tours here
Monterrey, Mexico Travel Tips: If you visit the popular Monterrey sites earlier in the day, they will be practically empty, as this is a Mexico off the beaten path travel destination. Contributed by Venaugh of Venaugh Travel Blog.
safest cities in mexico for tourists
Santiago de Queretaro (usually just called Queretaro) is one of my favorite cities in Mexico, brimming with art and history museums, beautiful colonial buildings and an eclectic culinary scene. It is also one of the Mexico UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
As with any big city, there are unsafe areas in Queretaro, for sure.
However, if you stick to Centro Historico (Historic Downtown), which is the most charming part of town anyway, and you don’t walk alone at night, Queretaro is one of the safest places to travel in Mexico.
One of the best things to do in Queretaro is join a city tour on a historic bus. On these tours, a knowledgeable guide will tell you all the incredible stories and legends about the city and show you the highlights of Queretaro.
There are also great Queretaro day trips to explore the nearby pueblos magicos (magic towns) of Tequisquiapan and Bernal.
Tequisquiapan is one of the cities on the Mexico Wine & Cheese Route, and Bernal is home to the Peña de Bernal, the third largest monolith on Earth.
If you have time, explore the spectacular Sierra Gorda, a region renowned for its incredible biodiversity. There are also the five Franciscan Missions of the Sierra Gorda, one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Queretaro state.
For me, Queretaro is one of the safest states in Mexico.
The city is the perfect place for anyone to travel, especially solo female travelers who will find it safe to stroll around and explore. With a visit to the nearby Queretaro pueblos magicos, you certainly won’t be bored in Querétaro.
Planning your trip to Queretaro Mexico
- Book the Best Queretaro Hotels here
- Find the Best Queretaro Tours here
Queretaro, Mexico Travel Tips: Check out the Mirador del Arco, the best place to see the Queretaro Aqueduct, and the funky La Biznaga Cafe, one of the iconic Queretaro restaurants. Contributed by Isabella of Let’s Travel to Mexico.
safest cities in mexico for TOURISTS
Is Mexico Safe to Travel to?
While many want a yes/no answer to the question Is Mexico safe for travelers?, there just isn’t one. That’s because this is a complex question, and the answer is really yes and no.
Yes, Mexico is safe for nearly all travelers; but no, it’s not always safe if you don’t make personal safety your top priority. As one of the most visited countries in the world, most travelers are safe in Mexico, but you dod need to follow common travel safety measures.
In truth, there’s no guarantee of safety anywhere on Earth, but this quote from Carlos Barron, a 25-year FBI veteran, offers some perspective. Pay extra attention to the phrase: “the numbers game.”
Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home, in the event of an emergency while abroad.
Mexico Travel Planning Guide
Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?
100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)
Can you drink the water in Mexico?
No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)
Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico?
Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)
Will my phone work in Mexico?
Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)
What’s the best way to book my Mexico accommodations?
For Mexico hotels, Booking is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.
What do I pack for Mexico?
Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.
✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?
For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.
Do I need a visa for Mexico?
Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.
4 BEST Areas to Stay in Mexico City – The Safest and Best Neighborhoods
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Mexico City is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Americas. It’s the perfect representation of a mix of old and new. Year after year this beautiful city captivates visitors from all over the world to visit. As a result, there’s a vast range of things to see and do in Mexico City – and many unique attractions and cultural experiences you won’t find elsewhere!
Mexico City is divided into “colonias,” each one of them fascinating, with history and unique places that will make your stay something special.
With that being said, we are talking about the 3rd largest city in the world! – trust me, it’s enormous! – so it’s essential to know in advance which areas are the best to stay in Mexico City.
But don’t worry, in this guide I’ll tell you everything you need to know so you can have an unforgettable (and safe!) trip to the most emblematic neighborhoods of Mexico City. I’ve narrowed it down to the 4 best areas to stay in Mexico City. These are the safest and most fun neighborhoods – perfect for tourists and first-time visitors in Mexico City.
My hope is that this blog takes away a bit of the overwhelm that comes with deciding where to stay in Mexico City with my carefully selected neighborhoods and recommended hotels in each area.
Where Are The BEST Areas To Stay In Mexico City?
Mexico City has a few great areas to stay in, each with easy-to-navigate tourist attractions. Among my favorites are Centro Histórico, Roma, Condesa, and Polanco.
Each of these neighborhoods has a rich cultural heritage that will leave you in awe. You will find parks, monuments, archaeological sites, and museums full of history.
At the same time, you can also enjoy the views from its skyscrapers, shopping malls, and very modern infrastructure, which clearly demonstrates that it’s one of the continent’s most modern and dynamic capitals.
From these neighborhoods, you’ll have access to all of Mexico City’s best attractions, and even some of the very best things to do in all of Mexico!
Besides just that, the accommodation here offers a great variety for all budgets. You will find everything from world-renowned hotels with plenty of amenities to more affordable options such as hostels and budget hotels, ideal for backpackers looking for a nice place to spend the night.
Are you interested in discovering what else each of these neighborhoods has to offer? Keep reading!
Getting Around Mexico City
Bike share is popular in Mexico City!
Let’s talk about the best neighborhoods and places in Mexico City, but first, you have to know that in this city it’s very easy to get to each one of them by Metro since all the lines connect (it’s also very cheap, it only costs MXN 5 which is equal to $0.25 USD).
The city also has a Metrobus network with seven lines differentiated by a number and a color. No matter the distance you travel, the fare is MXN 6 or $0.30 USD, except for children under five years old and adults over 60 who can travel for free.
The metro/Metrobus service hours are weekdays from 5 am to 12 am, Saturdays from 6 am to 12 am, and Sundays and holidays from 7 am to 12 am. So keep this in mind when planning your itinerary!
I recommend that you take a look at the Mexico City Turibus. It’s a service with transfers to the main sites of interest in the city. It’s an excellent way to save a little money and time, especially if you are going for a short stay. The ticket price allows you to get on and off the bus at any of the predetermined stops as many times as you wish throughout a full day (from 9 am to 11 pm).
Each of the routes offered by the Turibus has stops at key sites that allow you to learn more about the area. These buses provide audio guides in different languages, as well as an audio guide for children.
As you can see, Mexico City is very well connected by public transportation, but there are times when it’s convenient to take a cab, even if the cost is a little higher.
Mexico City’s cab system has authorized vehicles that you can identify by their pink and white color. However, I always recommend calling radio cab companies or taking cabs from companies operating at the airport, terminals, and hotels.
In recent years I’ve seen a boom in the use of mobile apps for transportation in the city, such as Uber -which is the most popular-, and other applications such as Didi, Cabify, and Beat that offer a much more comfortable way to move around the city.
I recommend taking into consideration the transfer time to and from other points of the city (about 1 hour) when making your decision on where to stay in Mexico City. It is essential to stay in a central area that allows you to make the most of the city.
Now, let’s get to know the best areas to stay in Mexico City!
Historic Center of Mexico City ( Centro Histórico) – Best Area for History
If history is your thing, then the best area to stay in Mexico City for you is the Historical Center. You will be amazed by the incredible attractions in practically every corner of the oldest neighborhood in the city. Expect museums, pre-Hispanic collections, monuments, and of course, you cannot miss the impressive Zócalo – considered one of the largest squares in the world!
Besides that, this neighborhood is full of restaurants, terraces with spectacular views of the main buildings, and cozy cafes.
If this is the first time in Mexico City, the Historic Center is one of the best options for lodging. The Historic Center has many places to stay at a very reasonable price, plus, many of the top tourist attractions are located here, so you won’t need to travel too far to sightsee.
Advantages of Staying In The Historic Center of Mexico City
- You will have access to many places of interest without traveling to other neighborhoods; it is ideal for walking, which can save you time and money.
- You will have the opportunity to stay in one of the most picturesque places in the city, with a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere where tourists and locals converge.
- There are lodging options for all tastes: from 5-star hotels to simple hostels ideal for students and backpackers looking to save a little money.
Disadvantages to Staying In The Historic Center of Mexico City
- It is a place that tends to be very crowded and noisy
- You must be careful, especially at night, since it is not considered one of the safest areas of Mexico City.
- If you are visiting the city for work, be aware that traffic in this area can be heavy and may cause delays if you want to get to a meeting on time.
The Best Places To Stay In The Historic Center of Mexico City
$$$ – Circulo Mexicano
This is one of the best hotels in Mexico City – in the best area! Photo Credit: Circulo Mexicano
This incredible 5-star hotel offers beautiful rooms from $496 to $1,156 USD – for a short 2-night stay range for two people with breakfast included.
It also offers an unbeatable location- just two blocks from the Zocalo. All rooms include a comfortable terrace with an incredible view of the city. In addition to that, it offers a pet-friendly service, sauna, swimming pool, restaurant, and gym.
$$ – NH Collection Mexico City Centro Histórico
Photo Credit: NH Collection Mexico City Centro Histórico
Amenities at this 4-star hotel include a restaurant with a vegetarian and gluten-free menu, a fitness center, airport transfers, and free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel.
All rooms include a minibar, coffee machine, and air conditioning for a price ranging from $162 to $252 USD for a 2-night stay for two people with breakfast included.
$ – Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral
View from the deck! Photo Credit: Hostel Mundo Joven Cathedral
This hostel is an excellent option for travelers looking to save a little and get a comfortable stay. It offers tours around the Historic Center and is located only 10 minutes away from the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes right next to the Zocalo.
We actually stayed here a couple of years ago when we were on a very tight budget and actually enjoyed our stay very much. I would say it is easily one of the best hostels in Mexico City and I would stay there again.
It also includes breakfast every day or the option to use the shared kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and a bar with a terrace where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
For a 2-night stay for two people, the price is around $76 USD and $98 USD, depending on the option you choose. It also offers shared rooms with bunk beds starting at $16 USD.
Related Read: If you love history and beautiful colonial buildings, then be sure to visit the Mexican city of Oaxaca. There are also lots of great places to stay in Oaxaca too!
Condesa – Best Area for Parks and Restaurants
Walking Amsterdam Ave in La Condesa
As one of the most interesting and bohemian neighborhoods in Mexico City, Condesa is one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City.
You definitely have to walk through its beautiful streets that perfectly blend colonial history with the latest artistic and alternative trends. In addition, you will love its quiet parks where you can take a nice walk to get some fresh air, play with your pet, exercise, and much more.
In terms of the safest areas to stay in Mexico City, Condesa is probably one of the best. It’s a wealthier area with less crime than you’ll see in other areas such as the Historical Center.
Its incredible green areas and attractive infrastructure captivate tourists from all over the world who visit this neighborhood. Condesa is the main area in the city to enjoy cultural shows, international restaurants, and modern nightlife with bars that offer live music to dance and have a great time with friends and locals.
Advantages of Staying In La Condesa
- Its strategic location will allow you to move very easily to other parts of the city. There are several transportation options for sightseeing, including bike paths to move in the Ecobicis for public use.
- If you are looking for a place with a very cosmopolitan style, then this neighborhood is your best option. Thanks to its beautiful streets and buildings surrounded by green areas, parks, restaurants, concert halls, galleries, boutiques, and bookstores, it invites you to explore art and nature to have a great time with your family, partner, or friends.
Disadvantages of Staying In La Condesa
- Traffic can be a bit slow in this area, precisely because of its central and busy location.
- Even though it is close to the historic center, it will still take over 30 minutes in a taxi due to traffic on most days. Many tourist attractions are centered around the historic center so you will have to be comfortable with this drive.
The Best Places To Stay In La Condesa
$$$ – Casa Mali by Dominion Boutique Hotel
Photo credit: Casa Mali by Dominion Boutique Hotel
This incredible luxury hotel in the heart of La Condesa offers a very convenient location, close to iconic city landmarks such as the Angel of Independence and Chapultepec Castle. It also offers comfortable family rooms, access to a spacious and cozy terrace, a gym, and even barbecue facilities for all guests.
Each room is equipped with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, a Wii game console, a minibar, machines to prepare your own coffee, a hot tub, and of course, air conditioning.
You can have access to all these amenities for a price ranging from $438 to $584 USD for a 2-night stay for two people, with breakfast included (continental or à la carte).
$$ – Casa Corp Boutique Suites
Casa Corp Boutique Suites is a very innovative option that has very cozy areas. You can stay in a suite with a double bed for a cost ranging from $186 to $240 USD for a 2-night stay for two people, breakfast not included.
In addition to free Wi-Fi throughout the property, all units have a fully equipped kitchen, coffee/tea maker, terrace, and access to a spa/wellness center.
$ – Ayenda La Selva
This hotel offers several features for a comfortable 1-night stay, such as private lockers, 24-hour reception, airport shuttle, free Wi-Fi, bar, room service, and American breakfast included.
The best part is its location, as it is located right in front of a subway station and two stations from the Zocalo and with easy access to restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets.
You can book for a price ranging from $54 USD a night to $74 USD for a 2-night stay in a double room that sleeps two people.
La Roma – Best Area for Bars and Museums
This is such a cute area!
This vibrant and cosmopolitan neighborhood is the hipster heart of the city. La Roma was built at the beginning of the 20th century, with a prestigious location very close to the Historic Center.
Its quiet and pleasant streets reflect varied architecture with important European influences dating back to the Porfiriato – where beautiful buildings were erected that remain to this day in art nouveau, art deco, neocolonial, and from European rationalism that make you feel an authentic atmosphere, unique to this neighborhood.
You cannot miss the facade of the El Parian building, the replica of the Plaza de Cibeles (precisely like the one in Madrid, Spain), the Church of the Sagrada Familia, the Casa del Libro de la UNAM, among other architectural gems.
Like the other neighborhoods I’ve told you about, it’s also very well connected to the different public transportation options such as the subway and the Metrobus. It is one of the routes on Mexico City’s Turibus.
Its variety in lodging options, diverse gastronomic experiences, and recreational and leisure activities make it a mandatory stop in your stay if you want to enjoy a quiet area full of art and history to explore.
Advantages of Staying In Roma
- Its excellent location provides easy access to multiple green areas such as Chapultepec Park, México and España parks, and other points of interest in the city such as Juarez (another important neighborhood with a lot of history and heritage) separated by Reforma Avenue, one of the busiest and most important avenues in the city.
- The cultural experience is simply fantastic: of the 170 museums in Mexico City, 78 are in the Cuauhtémoc district, with a wide variety of themes to suit all tastes; there are also bars with a lively atmosphere and live music.
- There are not only upscale eateries and restaurants but also food trucks, traditional food stores, and “antojitos” (snacks or appetizers) that offer a culinary tour of some of the most famous gourmet restaurants in the neighborhood.
Disadvantages of Staying In Roma
- Unfortunately, there have been reports of muggings of tourists spending time in the area. Although this is not a frequent occurrence, always keep an eye on your belongings and avoid very lonely and remote streets after dark.
- Like any downtown area, you may also encounter hours with high traffic that can cause unnecessary delays. If possible, avoid traveling by car and take public transportation options or Ecobicis as a substitute- this will save you a lot of headaches during your stay!
The Best Places To Stay In La Roma
$$$ – Brick Hotel
Photo Credit: Brick Hotel
Brick Hotel is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a place with luxury amenities on one of the best streets in La Roma, Calle Orizaba. The property features free Wi-Fi, a spa/wellness center, an airport shuttle service, a restaurant, and room service.
All rooms have minibars, flat-screen satellite TVs, luxury items such as Egyptian cotton sheets, and private bathrooms with bathrobes, slippers, and toiletries. It also offers terraces and continental, vegan, American, and take-out breakfast options.
Rates for a 2-night stay for two people range between $1,170 and $2,186 USD with breakfast included.
$$ – Hotel MX Roma
This room is clean and modern. Photo Credit: Hotel MX Roma
The Hotel MX Roma is located in one of the best areas to stay in Mexico City, close to the Ángel de la Independencia and other places of interest in La Roma, which allows you to walk around the neighborhood. It’s a safe area and very beautiful.
It has family rooms equipped with air conditioning, private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen satellite TV.
It offers a space with a terrace to enjoy with family or friends, private parking, a gym, and 24-hour front desk service.
You can enjoy all its amenities for a price of $338 USD for a 2-night stay for two people with continental breakfast included.
$ – Embassy Hotel
This comfortable hotel has delightful facilities, private parking, free Wi-Fi, room service, currency exchange, a bar, garden, and a terrace for all guests, starting at $24 – $32 USD, and is up for a 2-night stay for two people.
Rooms include flat-screen satellite TV and private bathrooms. It’s ideal if you want to stay near Chapultepec Castle or the American Embassy.
Polanco – Best Area for Luxury and Shopping
The area of Polanco is beautiful.
Without a doubt, Polanco is one of the most affluent and exclusive areas of the Mexican capital. Walking around here you will easily forget that you are in Mexico
In recent years, Polanco has been one of the areas with more development in the city. It seems as if there is always construction of modern residential complexes, corporations of the most internationally renowned companies, embassies and international organizations, shopping malls, exclusive stores, contemporary museums, restaurants, and luxury hotels – it’s easily one of the top areas for tourists to stay in Mexico City.
One of its main attractions is walking along Presidente Masaryk Avenue. Here you can find the most important and renowned international fashion houses such as Gucci, Cartier, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany & Co., Rolex, Louis Vuitton, among many others.
Another place that you cannot miss in Polanco is the lung of the city: the Bosque de Chapultepec. It’s one of the largest urban parks in the world. You will find the National Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Natural History, the Zoo, and the fascinating Chapultepec Castle within the park.
Polanco is also known for its nightlife, with a wide range of bars and VIP nightclubs. Meaning you can enjoy the city with a very exclusive and refined touch.
If you are a fan of concerts, check out the famous Auditorio Nacional. It’s considered one of the most important concert halls in the world!
As you can imagine, the hotel and restaurant scene in Polanco is first-class. You will find 5-star hotels of the most prestigious international chains and luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants to enjoy with your partner, friends, or family.
Polanco is a must for travelers who want to experience the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated side of Mexico City.
Advantages of Staying In Polanco
- It’s an area that is very well connected to the rest of the city’s other neighborhoods by Metro line 7. It also has a stop at the Polanco subway station, allowing easy and fast access to this area.
- The excellent cultural, entertainment, and restaurant scene in Polanco is very diverse and dynamic.
- It is considered one of the safest areas in Mexico City- so you can walk its streets with total peace of mind.
Disadvantages of Staying In Polanco
- Being such an important business center, the traffic during rush hour is quite heavy, making it difficult to move easily around this area.
- The cost of living is relatively high in this area, and tourists do not escape this reality. Therefore, I recommend that you manage your budget with caution to avoid unforeseen expenses during your stay.
The Best Places To Stay In Polanco
$$$ – Hyatt Regency Mexico City
Photo credit: Hyatt Regency Mexico City
Hyatt Regency Mexico City is one of the most luxurious and sophisticated hotels in the city! It offers elegant rooms equipped with all the comforts of a hotel of this category for the most high-class travelers.
At this hotel, you will have access to a business center – ideal for traveling for business purposes – a gym, swimming pool, airport shuttle service, a spa/wellness center, room service, private parking, a bar, and a restaurant.
The cost for a 2-night stay for two people including breakfast is between $636 and $1,136 USD.
$$ – City Suites Anzures
Photo credit: City Suites Anzures
City Suites Anzures is a very comfortable hotel decorated in the best décor style with suites that are ideal for a good night’s rest.
Each suite includes a practical kitchenette, family rooms, a small living room with a sofa, flat-screen satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning with a beautiful view of the city.
It also offers access to the fitness center and 24-hour front desk.
The price is about $298 USD for a 2-night stay for two people with breakfast included.
$ – Caravansaro Vazquez de Mella 347 Polanco
Photo credit: Caravansaro Vazquez de Mella 347 Polanco
For a very affordable price- between $65 and $77 USD for a 2-night stay for two people- you can stay at this hotel with an excellent location, very close to the Soumaya Museum and Chapultepec Forest.
Each room has comfortable beds, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen satellite TV, a coffee/tea maker, a microwave, a refrigerator, and a desk.
The property also has a fitness center, elevator, and dining room.
Travel Insurance is more important than ever right now!
If you’re traveling during these uncertain times, be sure that you have travel insurance!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance when we are going on longer trips. They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $42 USD per 4 weeks!) and even have coverage in case you get that dreaded c-word. The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!)
It’s safe to say that travel insurance has saved us thousands over the years!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy Mexico City as much as I always do!
Mexico City is a metropolis in constant change, every day there is something new to explore in this city! I really hope this guide is helpful to you in deciding where to stay in Mexico City and what the best area for your needs is.
Regardless of where you stay, I hope you have an amazing and unique experience while visiting this incredible city, full of history, culture, and fun. I am sure will make you come back more than once!
If you found this blog helpful, then be sure to check out some of our other blogs about Mexico. Some you might really enjoy include: