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Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Visit in 2023? | Safety Concerns

Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas is a famous tourist destination with the most picturesque beaches, rich culture, and delicious local food. Cabo is also one of the cheapest travel destinations compared to famous tourist destinations offering the same coast life experience in the U.S.

Cabo welcomes approximately 2.8 million visitors annually. This high number is credited to repeat visitors and the alluring charm of the land that you’ll find nowhere else.

However, a few vices about this peninsula may cause some to back off or be wary about choosing Cabo as a holiday destination. Alarming crime rates and harsh weather are some reasons why tourists’ safety may be compromised.

Is Cabo safe to visit? Cabo is relatively safe to visit. This destination’s virtues, by far, supersede the bad. For a vivid picture of what to expect in Cabo, below are safety tips and more you should know before traveling there.

Is Cabo Safe to Visit in 2023?

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Despite what you may have heard, Cabo is safe to visit. As long as you stay on your resort and take basic safety precautions, you’re unlikely to run into any trouble.

And we think Cabo is worth checking out; it’s a breathtaking destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists who frequent here every month.

It’s also an excellent choice for anyone craving to enjoy the tropical weather, walk barefoot on the white sandy beaches, and take a dip into the glistening blue waters. While the US government has put out travel advisories on Mexico in general, Cabo is not included, deeming it safe for tourists.

Some safety concerns to consider when visiting Cabo include:

  • Scams
  • Drug use and sales
  • Robbery
  • Gang activity
  • Homicide
  • Carjacking
  • Pickpocketing

Interpol is active in fighting crime in Cabo and the larger central America by assisting investigations and spearheading spontaneous crackdowns and criminal investigations. But don’t let these statistics fool you — resort towns in Cabo are relatively safe.

Provided you avoid straying to unsafe areas, watch your surroundings, and walk in groups, you should enjoy your time in Cabo without any incidents. Most of the crime cases reported are by locals, an indicator that tourists may not be the target for criminals.

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Crime in Cabo

Cabo has a population of 202,694. With more male than female criminals, the crimes here are quite severe, and so is the force of the authorities to curb crime. As of 2023, the crime rate hit an all-time high of 80.29%.

Cabo’s vibrant nightlife, sceneries, and welcoming natives might force you to reconsider canceling your planned vacation. While safety is a concern, visitors are urged to be extra vigilant to stay safe during their time here.

Cabo is strategically located on the border along the coastline, where drugs conveniently pass from Mexico to other nearby countries. Thus, the area struggles to contain drug-related crimes and gang violence committed by clashing gangs looking to dominate the industry.

Visitors can increase their chances of safety by staying away from dangerous neighborhoods and venturing only into places other tourists are.

Most restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping centers, and bars are relatively close to each other. These areas are heavily guarded, and criminal cases are minimal. And, again, as long as you stay on your resort and use common sense, you’re unlikely to be in any danger.

Petty Crimes

That said, violent muggings and pickpocketing cases are still prevalent in Cabo. This report from Justice in Mexico revealed that death due to violent attacks is rising.

There were at least 560 murders reported in 2018, with the number surging over recent years. Cabo is relatively safe for visitors, but wearing expensive jewelry and appearing distracted makes you the ideal candidate for pickpockets.

On the other hand, if you venture into risky areas, especially at night, you suffer a high risk of getting mugged.

We suggest opting for safer, convenient transportation options like hotel shuttle, Uber, or Lyft. The drivers know where to avoid and how to get around various places fast.

Organized Crime

Cabo San Lucas has made headlines on many occasions for murder and kidnapping cases. Recent reports show that there were 300,000 cases of intentional homicide in the larger Mexico between 2000 and 2017.

A large fraction of organized crime reports are gang-related or committed by people on drugs. Inter-gang violence often occurs as opposing gangs fight over turf or control.

Tourists can get hurt if caught in the crossfire, especially by venturing into dangerous areas where gangs thrive. To reiterate, avoid going too far out of tourist-safe areas, as your level of safety will be compromised.


No doubt, scams and fraud remain a headache for the authorities in Cabo. Scammers mar most tourist destinations, but Cabo tops the list, especially in the months right before and during peak season.

In 2022, there were at least 800 reported cases of scams and fraud. A slight decline from the previous year.

Watch out for strangers contacting you spontaneously, making outrageous claims to send money because someone is in trouble. Some scammers will ask personal questions to retrieve sensitive information to scam you.


For criminals, tourists are excellent opportunities to make quick money. Kidnappings, thus, occur because the perpetrators will ask for ransom in exchange for a loved one’s release. Tourists risk getting kidnapped if they board vehicles that appear to be taxis but aren’t.

Baja California Sur, where Cabo San Lucas is located, has the third highest number of kidnappings. The latest data shows that out of 109 reported kidnapping cases, 83 were from Baja California.

Thus, if you go to dangerous areas of the city alone or blindly follow people claiming to know their way to a particular location increases the risk of getting kidnapped.

While this sounds off-putting, we’ll again say that as long as you stay on resort property, you’re unlikely to encounter any of these issues.

Avoiding Bad Areas

Photo of the front of El Squid Roe and Senor Frogs to help answer is Cabo San Lucas Safe

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Cabo San Lucas is part of the Los Cabos Municipality in Mexico. The municipality doesn’t have the best reputation regarding crime levels for both locals and visitors.

Luckily, the best beaches, attractions, hotels, and accommodation facilities for tourists are centrally located where crime has been tamed. However, one wrong turn may lead you into unsafe areas where you are likely to get mugged, kidnapped, attacked, or killed.

The municipality grapples with cartel violence, where tourists aren’t the target but could get caught in the crossfire if an innocent person is in the wrong place and time.

Areas in Cabo you should avoid include:

City Center

Cabo’s city center pulls crowds, making the perfect playground for pickpocketing and mugging. There are at least twenty crime incidents reported daily from the city center. Avoid congested areas of the city center to minimize the risk of losing your belongings to stealing.

You’re warned to keep an eye on your belongings and watch out for people getting unnecessarily close to you. Anyone holding a bag, appearing in a hurry, and following you for quite a distance could be a pickpocket.

On your visit to Cabo, consider staying in your hotel for guaranteed safety. Most resorts have safety patrols scanning the area day and night. These resorts have expansive waterfronts that are fun and safe for tourists.

Santa Rosa in San Jose del Cabo

Santa Rosa is yet another neighborhood that’s a hot spot for vehicle robbery, assault crimes, and armed robbery. Most tourist attractions and accommodations are located far away from this neighborhood.

Still, you can fall victim while in transit on the Trans-peninsula highway from Santa Rosa to San Jose del Cabo, where beautiful beaches and hotels are found. Thus, keep your car doors locked and windows shut on the road.

Avoid stopping for gas or when flagged down by strangers on this highway because it can be super dangerous. Wait until you get closer to San Jose del Cabo’s coastline to get whatever you need.

Note that many reported crimes occur far away from touristy areas. All the neighborhoods north of the airport are rural and less developed and are often considered dangerous.

Los Cangrejos and Las Palmas

These two neighborhoods are next to each other and share the same safety concerns. Los Cangrejos and Las Palmas are Cabo’s most dangerous neighborhoods because of increased cases of serious crimes like car theft and assault.

These areas are located close to the airfield, and many tourists mistakenly explore the neighborhoods, thinking it’s safe, it is not. Drug cartels are active in many parts of Mexico, including Los Cangrejos and Las Palmas.

If you restrict yourself from exploring outside the ‘tourist corridor,’ your safety is less assured. The area considered safe for tourists is a 20-mile stretch from Cabo San Lucas to San Jose Del Cabo. This area has a heavy police presence and is well-lit even at night.

Things to Consider

Below are a few important things to consider during your time exploring Cabo:

  • There are no lifeguards. Exercise caution and avoid swimming too far from the shore.
  • Take bottled water only. Avoid drinking tap water in Cabo because the tap water is contaminated. People report experiencing a stomach ache after drinking tap water.
  • Walk in groups. This helps you avoid getting lost, and it’s hard for criminals to target you.
  • Don’t be flashy. Avoid standing out by not wearing flashy clothes and jewelry because it attracts attention from criminals.
  • Stay on the resort. Avoid going to bad neighborhoods because they are extremely dangerous.
  • Book with trusted sources. Make travel arrangements and book excursions with your hotel or other trusted sources
  • Avoid walking alone at night, drunk or sober.
  • Wear light clothes. Cabo can be super-hot and humid.
  • Watch the news for the latest weather updates. Cabo is a high-risk location for tsunamis, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
  • Use cash. Use cash instead of credit cards to pay for products and services to avoid falling victim to card skimmers.
  • Avoid buying alcohol and drugs from locals. Cabo has a vibrant nightlife, and random people will openly offer you drugs or alcohol.
  • Avoid aggressive vendors. Avoid over-persistent and aggressive sellers when looking for souvenirs. Remain calm and stand your ground, or walk away if it gets overwhelming.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are commonly asked questions about Cabo and its safety status:

What is Cabo San Lucas best known for?

Cabo is famous for its delicious food, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches. It’s also a top travel destination because you get five-star treatment in world-renowned resorts at a fraction of the price.

Tourists visit Cabo to enjoy fun water activities like fishing, diving, snorkeling, and taking water excursions on boats with glass bottoms.

What should I be aware of when traveling to Cabo San Lucas?

It is hot and sunny in Cabo. Bring a hat and some dark shades, and apply plenty of sunscreen on your way out to avoid sunburns. Tourists are also encouraged to hydrate constantly with bottled drinking water to avoid heat strokes.

Also, Crime levels in Cabo increase as you venture away from the tourist zones. Avoid going outside of safe zones as you risk crossing paths with criminals and gang members who will waste no chance of attacking or stealing from you.

What is the difference between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo?

Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo are located in Baja California Peninsula and are leading tourist destinations in Mexico. The two cities are only 20 miles apart and bring plenty to the table for tourists looking to have a good time.

Cabo San Lucas has the best markets and a vibrant night scene. There are many activities suitable for kids and adults. San Jose Del Cabo, on the other hand, attracts tourists looking for a quiet, laid-back time away from home.

The area has an alluring art scene showcasing intriguing architecture and the people’s culture. This place has a few bars and several museums too.

When is the best time to visit Cabo San Lucas, Mexico?

Cabo is an all-season tourist destination with a lot to offer, irrespective of which time of the year you visit. The winter months are cooler and offer a rare treat of humpback whales at the coast. Spring and fall are warmer and mark peak seasons for family vacations.

Summer is quite slow for tourists because most visitors find the heat unbearable. Most people will travel to Cabo during summer to take advantage of the low flight and accommodation prices.

What to do in Cabo San Lucas?

Whether searching for a romantic getaway for you and your partner or looking for a kid-friendly destination for your family, Cabo is the place to be. Top tourist activities in Cabo include hiking, swimming, skydiving, scuba diving, parasailing, Kayaking, snorkeling, and fishing, to mention but a few.

So, Should You Travel to Cabo?

📈 Violent crime rate138.26 per 100k (2021)
👮‍♂️ Most common crimePetty theft
🏠 Worst neighborhoodCity center
❓ Safety tipStay on your resort

Yes, Cabo San Lucas is safe to visit, but there are things to consider. You set yourself up for a safe trip by keeping up with recent travel advisories and doing prior research on what to expect upon arrival.

When well-informed, you can take the necessary precautions and focus more on having an enjoyable vacation in one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Visitors must avoid dangerous neighborhoods and keep their eyes and ears open for unusual behavior from strangers.

But, as the end of the day, the bulk of these safety concerns only affect locals and tourists who wander off the beaten path. As long as you stay on the property of your resort, you’re unlikely to run into any trouble. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!