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12 Safest Cities in Mexico to Visit

Susan Laurent
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by Susan Laurent

Are you looking for a charming and secure place to visit in Mexico? Look no further! 

We’ll introduce you to Mexico’s hidden gems; the 12 safest cities to visit! These places are oases of security and serenity, with enchanting landscapes, heart-warming people, and colorful plazas. So buckle in for a lovely tour through Mexico’s havens, where tranquility and charm dance hand in hand!

The Safest Mexico Cities and Places in 2023

  1. Merida
  2. Puerto Vallarta
  3. La Paz
  4. San Nicolás de Los Garza
  5. San Pedro Garza García
  6. San Cristobal de Las Casas
  7. Santiago de Querétaro
  8. Chapala
  9. Oaxaca
  10. Campeche
  11. Mazatlan
  12. Cozumel

While it’s true that Mexico has faced challenges with safety, as it is home to some of the most dangerous cities in the world, it’s also a land with many safe places. These cities are quiet havens with low crime rates, effective law enforcement, and close-knit communities.


Merida, the beautiful treasure in the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, tops the list as one of the safest towns to call home.

The state of Yucatan is never mentioned in the US State Department travel warnings. Merida has exceptionally low crime rates, with the police department always ensuring the residents’ safety.

In 2019, Merida was ranked the second safest city in the Americas.

The well-planned infrastructure of Merida contributes to its safety. Its streets are well-lit, the roads are well-kept, and public areas are constructed to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and vehicles.

Fun fact: Mérida is known as the “White City” (La Ciudad Blanca) because of its many white buildings. Beautiful, but also functional. The white facades reflect sunlight and make buildings cooler, making Mérida a more pleasant living environment, especially in the scorching summer months.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s magnificent coastal city in the state of Jalisco and is a top pick for people seeking peace of mind and a pleasant coastal lifestyle.

Puerto Vallarta is a well-known tourist attraction, so the city’s top priority is safety for both tourists and locals. This is made possible by increased security measures, well-patrolled tourist areas, and a proactive police presence.

The crime rate in Puerto Vallarta is exceptionally low. General crime, car thefts, assaults, vandalism, and armed thieveries are all low.

Walking safety during the day and night was also very highly rated.

Fun fact: The city’s beaches are the site of the rare “bioluminescence” phenomenon. This happens when specific kinds of plankton respond to movement or disturbance in the water and emit a blue-green glow. The phenomenon is particularly visible between June and November.

Imagine walking along the beach at night and seeing the waves light up like a neon blue-green color – how magical!

La Paz

La Paz is a serene seaside paradise in Baja California Sur that represents an ideal location for people looking for a tranquil way of life.

There is hardly any violent crime in this small town, and cartels don’t use it as a base of operations. Furthermore, the state of Baja California Sur, where La Paz is located, is one of Mexico’s safest regions.

With frequent police patrols of the town and its beaches, La Paz is one of Mexico’s safest tourist destinations. However, be wary of your items because petty theft is common in tourist cities.

Fun fact: This beautiful city is considered the “City of Peace.” La Paz got the title due to its quiet and laid-back atmosphere, perfect for serene and stress-free living.

San Nicolás de Los Garza

San Nicolás de Los Garza

Northeastern Mexico’s state of Nuevo León is home to the thriving city of San Nicolás de los Garza, often called San Nicolás.

The city has efficient policies in place to protect its citizens, which has resulted in a low crime rate and a general atmosphere of tranquility. Some of these policies include the robust presence of a well-trained police force that works hard to keep the city safe.

The city’s infrastructure is meticulously planned out, with brightly lit streets, well-kept roads, and trustworthy public transportation systems. San Nicolás de los Garza is proud of its parks, open spaces, and recreation grounds, allowing a sense of community.

Fun fact: The city is home to the Estadio Universitario, the legendary soccer stadium of the Tigres UANL. With a capacity for over 40,000 people, the stadium serves as a cultural monument for the city and a center for exciting soccer matches.

San Pedro Garza García

San Pedro Garza García, also known as San Pedro, is renowned for its secure and well-off neighborhoods.

San Pedro is set in the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León, right next to the busy metropolis of Monterrey. The city has very low crime rates thanks to the proactive approach of the police, who maintain constant peace and order.

With gated neighborhoods and private security systems, San Pedro Garza García is well recognized for its wealthy residential zones. Walking during the day will relax you, and walking at night is just as safe. Citizens are unlikely to be attacked or harmed in San Pedro Garza Garcia.

Fun fact: The city is home to Plaza Fiesta San Agustin, one of Mexico’s most upscale shopping centers. This shopping center has a breathtaking open-air design with premium boutiques, high-end stores, and gourmet restaurants set among beautifully looking gardens and fountains.

San Cristobal de Las Casas

Southern Mexico’s gorgeous highlands are home to the magical San Cristóbal de las Casas.

San Cristobal de las Casas is a colorful town with cobblestone roads, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and rich culture. Tourism makes the town prosperous, so don’t be concerned about standing out as a foreigner.

The city has a well-deserved reputation as a safe and calm place to live in. The local administration and law enforcement organizations guarantee the safety and welfare of locals and visitors, maintaining a visible presence to thwart crime and quickly address any issues.

As a result, the city’s crime rate is relatively low. You may feel free to explore the city without worry while still being cautious!

Fun fact: The city is renowned for its thriving artisan market. Here, you can find a wide selection of traditional handicrafts, from unique wood carvings to handmade jewelry and original indigenous artwork.

Santiago de Querétaro

Santiago de Querétaro

Santiago de Querétaro is the capital city of the state of Querétaro in the Bajo region, an area recognized for its lush grounds and thriving economy.

The city is the right blend of modern and traditional. It boasts a beautiful, well-preserved historic center designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, concert halls, museums, and a wide range of modern stores and malls. The city also has thriving healthcare facilities and numerous universities.

The neighborhoods are traditional and lovely, with cobblestone streets and gated communities. Living in Santiago de Querétaro is peaceful and safe, especially given the city’s low crime rate. The chances that you’ll get hurt or witness a crime are very low.

Fun fact: The city hosts the yearly International Balloon Festival. This fantastic festival usually takes place in November, with enthusiasts from around the world gathering to decorate the skies over Querétaro with a colorful array of balloons.



If you value safety, a relaxed pace of life, beautiful scenery, and pleasant weather, you’ll love the city of Chapala.

Chapala is located on the shores of Mexico’s largest lake, Lake Chapala, and has the highest concentration of American and Canadian citizens.

Chapala has very low crime rates and almost non-existent cases of theft, assault, or drug-related crimes.

The city has much to offer to those interested in making it a home. For starters, Lake Chapala gives you a lot of opportunities for activities such as kayaking, fishing, or simply sitting on the shore with a cup of coffee and gazing at the lake. In addition, the city has several golf courses, cultural and dance centers, and hiking clubs.

Fun fact: Citizens can visit the Ajijic Art Market. Ajijic is a lovely town on Lake Chapala renowned for its vibrant art and cultural scene. The town organizes an open-air art market every Wednesday where local artists and artisans exhibit their creations.



If you polled Mexicans on where to find the best traditional food and unique culture and stay safe, we’re confident that Oaxaca would come out on top.

Oaxaca City is in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The city’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site with exquisite colonial architecture. Colorful buildings line cobbled pathways, mountains rise in the background, and streets resemble postcards!

The city has active markets, such as the Benito Juarez Market and the 20 de Noviembre Market, as well as museums and art galleries, such as the Oaxaca Regional Museum.

Compared to larger cities in Mexico, Oaxaca City has lower crime rates. Violent crimes are rare, and most cases reported are minor, such as petty theft or pickpocketing.

Fun fact: The city is known as the “Land of the Seven Moles.” Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce composed of spices, chiles, nuts, and, occasionally, chocolate. The seven moles of Oaxaca are Mole Verde, Mole Coloradito, Mole Manchamanteles, Mole Amarillo, Mole Negro, Mole Chichilo, and Mole Rojo.



Campeche City, located in the Mexican state of Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula, oozes charm, safety, and beauty.

Campeche has a lot of things going for it that make it an attractive area to live in. The ancient splendor of the city has won the UNESCO World Heritage title. The pastel-colored streets, beautiful balconies, and cobblestone roads make you feel like you’re in a fantasy. The oceanfront promenade offers a calm retreat where visitors may enjoy stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

The city has extremely low crime rates, and the warmth and friendliness of the local population contribute to the inviting atmosphere.

Fun fact: The city is known as the “Walled City” or “Fortified City.” The city’s center is surrounded by well-preserved walls built during the colonial period to protect the city from pirate raids.



Mazatlan sits on Mexico’s western coast, namely in Sinaloa. It’s located on the Pacific Ocean, with a view of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of Mexico).

The city boasts low crime rates, with the police cracking down on minor offenses like property crimes. The police presence in the city makes tourists and inhabitants feel safe, so they’re able to explore the city without fear of being attacked.

Mazatlan has a variety of attributes that make it a desirable place to live. It’s a tropical paradise with gorgeous beaches, bustling arts and an entertainment scene, theaters, art galleries, and live music venues. Mazatlan also has excellent healthcare services, modern infrastructure, and a variety of shopping centers, marketplaces, and recreational facilities.

Fun fact: Mazatlán has the longest seaside promenade in Mexico, known as the Malecón. The Malecón spans about 21 kilometers (13 miles) along Mazatlán’s gorgeous coastline, providing breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.



Cozumel is located right off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula amid the crystal-clear seas of the Caribbean Sea.

Natural beauty abounds in the city, with pure white-sand beaches, vivid coral reefs, and beautiful tropical landscapes. Inhabitants are friendly and inviting, and the police officers realize the importance of the tourism business, making the safety of the people always a top priority.

Because of this, Cozumel is a safe area to visit or reside in and has a low crime rate, with the only thing people should be wary of being theft. In addition, the place boasts contemporary amenities, efficient medical centers, and excellent educational institutions. It’s also near the Yucatan Peninsula, home to the world-class tourist destinations Tulum, Chichen Itza, and Playa del Carmen. 

Fun fact: Every year, from June to September, whale sharks gather in the waters surrounding Cozumel as part of their migratory cycle. They are among the largest fish species in the world. If you reside there, you may have the fantastic opportunity to swim with these gentle giants.


This concludes our discussion on the safest cities to live in beautiful and colorful Mexico.

What city has captured your heart as a place to call home? Is it the charming Campeche or the serene Cozumel? All the cities in our guide are safe havens where beauty coexists with safety.

But remember — although safety is the crowning glory of these towns, always exercise caution!  This is the key to a truly safe and satisfying lifestyle.

About Susan Laurent
Susan Laurent
I'm passionate about world cultures, travel, and discovering amazing new places. I've spent years traveling the globe, very often alone, so I focus on providing important information about travel safety to travelers that I've gathered from first-hand experience.
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