Is Cabo San Lucas safe as a tourist destination? While the clear blue waters and scenic beaches provide a picture-perfect and exciting holiday in the state of Baja California Sur, people worry about the security in this area. Let’s dive into this review guide and find out the truth.
It’s true that you can safely travel to Cabo San Lucas, but you should still take certain precautions. Being prepared with the right information will allow you to relax and enjoy your time in one of the world’s most popular spots.
Tourists should stay away from sketchy areas and be on the lookout for any suspicious actions of locals. But that isn’t all! Continue reading to learn is this place is safe for children or single travelers, highlighted crimes in the area, and how to keep yourself protected when going out at night. Let’s get started!
Crime in Cabo San Lucas: Is Cabo San Lucas Safe?
There are 202,694 people living in Cabo. There are far more male offenders than female ones. The government is taking serious measures to reduce them.
Visitors are cautioned to exercise increased vigilance for their own safety given the current security situation. They can boost their chances of returning home safely by adhering to the following:
- By avoiding potentially unsafe areas and sticking to areas frequented by other tourists.
- Crime rates are low and security is high in the locations like the area’s dining establishments, tourist hotspots, retail establishments, and watering holes.
Let’s take a further dive into the crimes so you as a tourist can make an informed decision.
1. Is Cabo San Lucas Safe From Drug Cartels?
You’ve probably heard of the drug cartels plaguing Mexico City. Keep in mind that cities like Ciudad Juarez (immediately south of El Paso, Texas) and Tijuana on both the Mexican and American sides of the border are ground zero for drug-related violence. But don’t worry! Nearly 600 kilometers separate you from this place when you have a vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
Cabo is in the state of Baja California Sur, which lies at the tip of the peninsula. It is a popular tourist destination and is not a place where drug-related violence is likely to break out. The 20 miles between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are regarded to be a tourist-friendly zone and the safest from the gangs.
However, it won’t hurt to be prepared. Here are some safety tips to keep yourself protected:
- Don’t drive at night: Never get behind the wheel while it’s dark outside; drug gangs operate mostly at night and target unsuspecting motorists.
- Stay in touristy areas: Tourists should stick to a 20-mile stretch of land that stretches from Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo and is known as the Los Cabos Tourist Corridor. It’s the safest part of town since police frequently patrol there.
2. Abductions in Cabo San Lucas
Tourists become easy targets for crooks in los cabos looking to earn a fast buck. Cabo San Lucas has a higher-than-average abduction rate.
- Kidnappings occur because captors demand payment in return for the freedom of a victim’s loved ones.
- Tourists who get into cars that pretend to be taxis but aren’t are at risk of being abducted.
- According to the most recent numbers, 83 of the 109 kidnapping instances were located in the state of Baja California.
- The risk of kidnapping rises if you visit dangerous parts, such as Tijuana, or if you blindly follow people claiming to know the way to a certain spot.
This may seem scary, but I want to reassure you that so long as you remain on resort premises, you won’t have to worry about any of this.
3. Killings in Cabo San Lucas
The Cabo San Lucas murders rate will make you cough up your tequila if you look it up online. There are claims that Los Cabos has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. However, these claims are several years old at this point.
Baja California Sur has the second-lowest murder rate of any Mexican state that year. Furthermore:
- It has been removed from the top 50 most dangerous cities in the world in 2022.
- Some areas of Cabo are more dangerous than others and have a higher homicide rate, such as Lagunitas, so keep away from them.
- You should, of course, conduct your own risk assessment to determine if you feel comfortable traveling to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
However, the issue “Is Los Cabos safe for tourists?” remains unanswered. By my personal experience and the information provided by the World Tourism and Travel Council, I can say Cabo San Lucas is a highly secure place for tourists to roam the city’s popular hotspots.
Without a doubt, frauds continue to cause trouble for law enforcement. Cabo San Lucas is the most notorious for tourist scams, especially in the months leading up to and during high season.
At least 800 instances of fraud and scams were recorded in 2022. A little drop from the prior year.
- Outlandish Requests: Be wary of random individuals who approach you with outlandish requests for financial assistance, saying that someone they don’t know is in great need and requires your help. Scammers can use innocuous-sounding queries to get out private data.
- The Camera Scam: A common scam in Cabo San Lucas involves a local offering you their camera in exchange for a photo. They intentionally drop the camera as you hand back their equipment, claiming you broke it and demanding reimbursement. Refuse to take photos of strangers unless you can verify that they are not locals.
- Taxi: When Uber or comparable service is not readily available, we have little choice but to resort to taxis. It’s the same in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. When taking a cab in Cabo San Lucas, always insist that the driver use the meter to prevent them from over-charging.
5. Minor Crimes
Nonetheless, pickpocketing and muggings continue to be a problem in Los Cabos. However, this is the case pretty much everywhere in the world, it is not unique to Cabo. In reality, the Cabo San Lucas crime rate has actually decreased in the past few years.
- Even though pickpockets are uncommon in Cabo, if you’re wearing flashy jewelry or seem inattentive, they may target you.
- However, you greatly increase your chances of being robbed if you go out in questionable neighborhoods, such as Lagunitas, especially at night.
- I advise taking the hotel shuttle, an Uber, or a Lyft for the sake of safety and convenience. The drivers are familiar with shortcuts and know where to go to escape traffic.
Is it Risky to go out at Night in Cabo San Lucas?
In most cases, going out at night while on a visit to Cabo San Lucas is risk-free. That is if you exercise caution and refrain from doing things like entering unfamiliar buildings or accepting beverages from strangers.
But you should always take some basic safety measures, especially if you plan on drinking many cocktails while out on the town:
- Watch your alcohol intake.
- Never walk away from your drink, whether alcoholic or not.
- You should hire a cab instead of walking the distance from the hotel to the main tourist spots.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe for a Single Tourist?
Most individuals can get by in Cabo with just the same amount of “travel common sense” they would use anywhere else.
Although Cabo is generally safe, it doesn’t mean danger doesn’t exist. However, if you keep your wits about your location and things going around, you should be OK.
Is Cabo Safe to Take Children to?
Overall traveling to Cabo with children is OK The World Tourism and Travel Council has named Cabo San Lucas as the safe tourist destination.
Just beware of the following:
- The Marina stays lively until the early hours of the morning, it is not the best place to stay if you are bringing little children on vacation.
- Also, the water in Los Cabos isn’t great for swimming. There are, in fact, a few spots you may go to where the water is less turbulent. Large waves and strong currents make the shoreline an unsafe place for youngsters.
Keeping Away from Dangerous Neighborhoods
Centralized areas where crime has been reduced provide the greatest beaches, attractions, hotels, and other tourist accommodations.
A bad turn might put you in danger of being robbed, abducted, assaulted, or even killed. Tourists are not intended targets of cartel violence, but they are at risk of being injured or killed if they happen to be in the area when gunfire breaks out.
Here are some safety tips regarding the Cabo San Lucas no-go zones:
1. City Center
The main center of Cabo attracts a lot of tourists, making it an ideal location for petty crimes like pickpocketing and mugging. At least twenty crimes are recorded every day in the downtown area. A potential pickpocket maybe somebody who follows you for a long distance while carrying a bag and giving the impression of being in a rush.
- To reduce the likelihood of having your stuff stolen, stay away from the busy downtown Cabo San Lucas area.
- You should be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your stuff at all times.
- Most resorts also employ security officers to monitor the area at all hours. Tourists may enjoy themselves in peace and quiet on the resort’s spacious waterfronts.
2. Santa Rosa in San Jose del Cabo
Santa Rosa inSan Jose del Cabo is another area that has a high rate of carjackings, assaults, and armed robberies. The majority of hotels and other tourist facilities are located outside of this area.
To avoid the risk of being a victim, follow these precautions:
- You should not get out of your car on this highway for any reason, not even to get petrol or to talk to a stranger who is waving you down.
- Don’t stop for supplies until you’re near the shore of San Jose del Cabo.
- Keep in mind that many incidents of crime are reported to take place in less-visited regions of San Jose Del Cabo. North of the airport, in all directions, are rural, less developed, and often hazardous communities.
What sets San Jose del Cabo apart from Cabo San Lucas?
The Baja California Peninsula is home to two of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots: Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The two cities are only 20 miles apart and provide a wide variety of attractions and activities for vacationers.
- Cabo San Lucas: The greatest shopping and liveliest nightlife can be found in Cabo San Lucas. There is a wide variety of entertainment options for both young and old.
- San Jose del Cabo: Visitors to San Jose del Cabo, on the other hand, tend to be those in search of a peaceful, unhurried getaway. The area’s art scene is appealing because it highlights the fascinating history and culture of the locals. There are some pubs and museums in the area.
3. Las Palmas and Los Cangrejos
These two areas are next to one another, and their residents worry about the same things. There has been a rise in crimes such as car theft and assault in the areas of Los Cangrejos and Las Palmas in Cabo. Many visitors to the region wrongly travel to the communities around the airport, expecting it to be safe.
Your safety is not as guaranteed if you don’t go out of the “tourist corridor.” The 20 miles between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo are regarded to be a tourist-friendly zone. Even at night, this neighborhood is well-lit and patrolled by police.
The 3 Phase Complete Guide to Transport
Let’s look into the safety of how to get around in Los Cabos as we continue to investigate the traveling subject.
1. When in Los Cabos, is it OK to Take a Taxi?
Taxis in Los Cabos are a reliable and secure mode of transportation. The Cabo airport is around a half-hour to an hour’s drive from the beach towns, so having a car is a must if you want to make the most of your trip.
Your hotel can probably set you up with a licensed cab in Los Cabos. It’s safer to phone for a cab than to hail one on the street, as even legitimate-looking taxis may be impostors. In Los Cabos, Uber is a great alternative that is typically less expensive.
2. An Insight Into Traveling Via Bus?
The bus was my method of choice for getting to Los Cabos. The lack of harassment on the bus is a huge relief. Take the inexpensive purple Ruta del Desierto buses to get from Cabos San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo and the Los Cabos International Airport.
3. How Dangerous Is It to Driving in Los Cabos?
Another common practice is to hire a car and drive yourself around Cabo San Lucas.
- Car rentals in Cabo San Lucas are not inexpensive, but they may save you a lot of money compared to taking a cab around the city.
- In addition, you will have unparalleled versatility.
- Be sure to have your GPS activated so you don’t get lost in the winding roads of Cabo.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Fly to?
Traveling to Cabo San Lucas is perfectly safe. About 4–5 million passengers pass through Cabos International Airport annually.
They service over hundred and fifty destinations in seven different countries and over a thousand airline routes. Airport security at Cabo San Lucas is comparable to that in the United States if you’re concerned about that.
Advice on How to Avoid Danger in Cabo San Lucas
Since a lot of tourists ask, if Cabo San Lucas is safe for us to go to, here are some tips to ease your mind and help secure yourself:
- No lifeguards: You should be careful in the water and not go too far from the beach as there are no lifeguards present in case you face any danger in the water.
- Take bottled water only: It’s not safe to drink the water straight from the tap in Cabo. Some people claim that drinking tap water gives them stomachaches.
- Try not to walk alone: Don’t opt for solo walks. In this way, you won’t get lost, and thieves will not be able to easily follow you around.
- Don’t be flashy: Don’t draw attention to yourself by avoiding donning bright clothing or jewelry.
- Stay on the resort: Stay away from sketchy areas like Lagunitas and El Caribe; they’re not worth the risk.
- Book with trusted sources: Plan your trip and book your excursions through your resort or other reputable providers.
- Avoid walking alone at night: Avoid walking alone at night whether drunk or sober. You could end up in unfamiliar surroundings and be very vulnerable to attacks.
- Wear light clothes: Cabo can be super-hot and humid. Opting for light clothes will make you feel relaxed!
- Stay up-to-date on the latest weather updates: Tsunamis, earthquakes, and storms all pose a significant threat to Cabo. Having info about the weather can be a great help!
- Use cash: Avoid credit card skimmers by paying for goods and services with cash instead.
- Avoid buying alcohol and drugs from locals: It’s common for strangers to freely hand you drugs or booze in Cabo, as the city boasts a thriving party scene. It is best to avoid them.
- Avoid aggressive vendors: When shopping for mementos in Cabo San Lucas, it’s best to avoid too persistent or aggressive vendors. Keep your cool and maintain your ground, or escape the situation if it becomes too much.
This video will be sure to provide you with some clear tips as well.
A Word About Beach Security on Cabo San Lucas
Many people who want to go to Cabo don’t think about how safe the beaches are. Along the whole coast of Cabos, the waves and rip tides could potentially harm you. The beach is also getting smaller and smaller because of the San Andreas fault line, which goes through the Sea of Cortez.
The Baja California Peninsula is slowly becoming separated from the rest of Mexico because of this fault line, which is advancing at a rate of around two inches per year. It goes without saying that Los Cabos is not a great choice to go swimming due to the cold water and other factors.
Is it safe to go to Cabo in 2024?
It is safe to go to Cabo San Lucas as long as you travel in a group and take the appropriate measures such as avoiding being too flashy and traveling in a group at night.
What are the safest areas of Cabo San Lucas?
The safest areas of Cabo San Lucas are generally considered to be Cabo San Lucas’s Downtown, San José del Cabo’s Tourist Corridor, El Médano Beach, and Pedregal Hills are all must-sees.
Is it safe to go out at night in Cabo?
It is generally safe to go out at night in Cabo as long as you don’t get too drunk and refrain from walking back to your hotel from a bar or restaurant; consider taking a taxi.
What should I be careful of in Cabo?
The things to be careful of when you visit Cabo San Lucas are to avoid attracting attention towards yourself, not drinking tap water, and avoiding taking booze and illegal substances from the locals.
Cabo is a wonderful and beautiful place to visit, with great landscapes, such as the Cabo San Lucas arch. However, tourists need to be mindful and take certain precautions, such as avoiding bad neighborhoods, not going out alone late at night, and avoiding drugs, to truly make the most of their visit.
If you are looking to get around Cabo, bus travel is a good option as it is safe and inexpensive. However, if you have money to spend, renting your own car would be the best choice. Just be sure to avoid attracting attention to yourself and stay away from buying booze from the locals and you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable time.