Is Cabo San Lucas safe? If that’s what you’re asking, then you might just be planning yourself a trip to the town. It’s a very nice spot, offering everything from picture-perfect beaches on the Pacific Ocean to wild tequila bars and amazing desert landscapes and stylish hotel resorts, all from a sunny location at the end of the Baja Peninsula.
Thousands of travelers come here every year to party, sunbathe, snorkel, and surf. Cabo, as it’s known for short, is now a big jet-setter attraction, with five-star hotels that offer loads of style. It’s also great for spring breakers, offering similar nightlife to Cancun over on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.
But what about the safety aspect? This guide can answer that. It’s got information on the general feel of the resort, how safe things are in 2023, and details on using public transport and drinking tap water. It’s a must-read for anyone thinking of doing a vacation in this part of Mexico.
Is Cabo San Lucas safe to travel?
Like in many states in Mexico, the Baja California Sur where Cabo San Lucas makes its home is a place where you should be careful as a traveler. The US State Department currently recommends all travelers “exercise increased caution” in the resort due to high crime levels. That’s backed up by a recent increase in levels of violent crime in the area, including even drug-related homicides and murders.
However, most crimes, especially violent crimes, in the area are linked to the drug trafficking gangs and do not involve tourists. Cabo also doesn’t suffer from quite the same high crime rates as cities like Juarez or Tijuana closer to the US border. The majority of trips here are hassle-free, meaning most tourists go home with a tan and a smile on their face, although it’s certainly worth paying attention to State Department advice and being careful throughout your trip.
Is Cabo San Lucas safe to live in?
If you’re thinking about moving to Cabo San Lucas, then you may be wondering if it’s a safe place to live. With a dry and warm climate, beautiful beaches, and plenty of tourist attractions, Cabo has lured many expats from all over the world, who mostly live there stress-free.
Although the highly populated areas of Cabo San Lucas are generally safe, there have been some cases of home burglaries and cars broken into, but violent crimes are very rare against expats. Locals are friendly and most people in the area speak English, so in case of any trouble, it’s often easy to get help.
Although Cabo San Lucas is relatively safe, especially in comparison with many other parts of Mexico, crime has been increasing here over the past few years. You should certainly bear that in mind if you’re in the process of deciding to move.
Is Cabo San Lucas safe for solo female travelers?
Because it’s now so international and well-traveled, Cabo San Lucas is among the best destinations in Mexico for solo female travelers. However, there are still some risks worth knowing about.
For example, there are higher chances of being mugged or hassled if you go out alone, especially as a female alone. Also, try not to wear any valuable jewelry when you go out, as that could make you more of a target for thieves. We’d also say it’s important to stick with a group after dark, even in the main resort areas around Cabo Marina and Medano Beach, just in case.
So long as you stay in the Cabo Tourist Corridor, where there’s a very strong police and federal police presence, and most of the big hotel resorts, you should find that you feel pretty safe overall. That’s why it’s better not to venture out to other parts of Baja California if you’re going solo and aren’t part of a guided tour.
Is public transport safe in Cabo San Lucas?
Can I take a bus in Cabo? As with most things, it’s important to know that there are some risks with using public transport in this part of Mexico. There have been reports of buses being hijacked, but they are mainly limited to areas of Baja California that have more cartel activity. Those stories are also thought to be related to the local buses, not the first-class VIP buses that most tourists use in Mexico.
The other risk is theft. It’s relatively common on-board public transportation right across the country. However, so long as you keep an eye on your bags and valuables this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. So, that’s basically the same as you’d find in any other part of Latin America and even in the USA.
If you decide to rent a car and drive yourself, then you will also need to be wary of using quieter backroads across the Baja region. As we’ve already said, this northern part of Mexico so close to the US border has its fair share of gang activity. There have been carjackings and gunpoint thefts in these parts. To mitigate those risks, never drive at night and try to only use main highways.
You should also be aware of taxi scams in Cabo San Lucas. Taxis here are always unmetered. That means you’ll need to negotiate a clear price for the trip before you get in. Also, it’s important to check that your driver is fully licensed and to never hail a taxi down on the street – it’s always better to use regulated ranks or have your hotel desk call one for you.
Is the tap water safe to drink in Cabo San Lucas?
When it comes to the tap water in Cabo San Lucas, there are some different opinions on the matter. Some say that they drink the water with no problem. Others steer clear of it every time they visit and do that in the rest of Mexico. For us, we like to air on the side of safety. That’s why we’d recommend using only bottled water during your trip. It’s cheap, it’s easy to get, and you can rest assured that it’s clean and safe.
The reason there’s a little confusion about this is that many hotel resorts here advertise that they have their very own in-house purification systems. On top of that, many resorts are plumbed with desalinated water, since water is quite hard to source in the dry desert that surrounds the city. The thing is, there’s no sure way to tell how good the tap water is in these different hotels, which is why bottles are the better solution.
However, there are no issues with showering and bathing in the water in Cabo San Lucas. The sea water around the beaches is also considered generally good quality – the general water pollution is rated as “moderate” by Numbeo.com.
Top 7 Cabo San Lucas safety tips
Here are some of our top safety tips for anyone traveling to the sunny beaches and tequila clubs of Cabo San Lucas this year…
- Don’t carry lots of cash – You don’t want to be caught with lots of cash on you because that could make you more of a target for theft and pickpocketing. Taking no more than 1,000 MXN ($50) from ATMs at once is usually a good idea.
- Never drive in the dark – The drug cartels are mostly active at night and don’t like seeing other cars on the road.
- Stick to tourist areas – There’s an area called the Los Cabos Tourist Corridor, which runs 20 miles from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo. It’s often patrolled by police and is the safest area here.
- Use only licensed taxis – Unlicensed taxis have been a source of crime in Cabo, so you’re best off avoiding them.
- Never use drugs – It’s not uncommon to be offered drugs in Cabo San Lucas, around the nightlife areas especially, but you should always say no.
- Drink bottled water – The water is considered safe by many in Cabo, but we’d recommend using only bottled water just in case.
- Go out in groups – Sticking together is safer, not just in Cabo but anywhere you travel. This is especially true on nights out in the nightlife zones of Cabo, where it can be easy to get lost and taken advantage of.
Is Cabo San Lucas safe? The conclusion
Cabo San Lucas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico. It’s just like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta because it draws in spring break people and sun worshippers by the thousands. The majority of those trips happen without a single problem, so it’s fair to say that it’s pretty safe here overall.
However, there are some risks. The US State Department currently recommends exercising high caution in the town, mainly thanks to increased gang and cartel activity. It’s also true that there’s an increasing rate of violent crime in the last couple of years, along with all number of petty crimes like taxi scams and pickpocketing to be aware of.