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Is Cabo Safe to Visit in 2024? (Our Expert Take)

Is Cabo Safe to Visit in 2024? (Our Expert Take)

Is Cabo Safe to Visit in 2024?

Yes, Cabo is safe to visit. It’s located in one of Mexico’s safest states, Baja California Sur, and while petty theft is the main concern, sticking to resorts and busy tourist areas significantly reduces even this risk. Common sense precautions and avoiding certain high-risk areas ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for most visitors.

Cabo is one of Mexico’s most popular resort destinations. Along with its neighboring town of San Jose del Cabo, it makes up Los Cabos and hosts about 3 million visitors annually.

The main attraction when visiting Cabo is lounging on the beach, and this area of Mexico has many beautiful beaches, such as the shores of Santa Maria Bay or Medano Beach.

Although Cabo has been a popular beach destination for decades, many people are wary of visiting it now because Mexican beach destinations have earned a reputation for danger. Just flip on the news and you’ll be bombarded with stories that make it seem like a warzone.

Does Cabo deserve this reputation, or is it being unfairly maligned because of dangers happening elsewhere in Mexico? Here’s our expert take.

Is Cabo Safe to Visit in 2024?

Photo of the sunrise at the beach at Villa La Valencia to show that Cabo is very safe to visit and has gorgeous beaches

Yes, Cabo is very safe to visit. In fact, it’s located in one of the safest states in Mexico. While the main issue that affects visitors is petty theft, as long as you stay on the resort or stick to busy tourist areas and use some common sense (as you would in any big city) when you do leave, you’re unlikely to encounter even this.

My Personal Experience

I love visiting Cabo, and have been twice this year. In fact, I try to visit at least once per year and I never feel unsafe. I also park myself at the resort and don’t leave. As such, as long as you stay on resort property, there’s a statistically low probability that you’ll encounter any crime.

Every resort in Mexico is competing for your business, and feeling unsafe is a great way for you to choose elsewhere on your return trip. So many resorts hire security guards to keep the riff raff, beach vendors, and criminals away.

My travels have taken my all over the world, and I’ll go as far as to say that I feel safer in Cabo than even many stateside cities like New York City, Minneapolis, or San Francisco. Of course, these are all big cities that come with their own share of problems.

And unlike the cities I just mentioned, in Cabo you’re unlikely to encounter people on drugs, the homeless, or violent criminals. Rather, most of your interactions will be with resort workers eager to serve you and other like-minded tourists, which results in an overall safe environment.

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News Reports vs. Reality

It’s important to remember that while there are plenty of news reports about how Mexico is becoming more and more dangerous, Mexico is actually a very big country.

There is a reason why the United States State Department breaks down its travel advisory to Mexico per individual state. The state Cabo is in, Baja California Sur, is one of Mexico’s safer states.

The U.S. government advises its citizens to exercise increased caution in Baja California Sur, including Cabo, due to an increased crime rate, but people can still travel there. It is under a Level Two travel advisory (only two states in Mexico, Campeche and Yucatan, have lower travel advisories).

The Australian government echoes this level of caution. Baja California Sur, including Cabo San Lucas, is under the second-lowest travel advisory, and tourists can still visit as long as they take the right precautions.

And it’s not just lower crime rates that make Cabo safer than other places in Mexico. It’s also safer from a weather perspective. Although hurricanes and tropical storms, such as Hurricane Norma, affect Cabo San Lucas, hurricane season is much less intense on the Pacific Coast, giving you yet another reason to visit.

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Crime in Cabo

Picturesque view of the beach in Cabo San Lucas featuring a big rock and white sand beaches with teal water next to it


Since crime is the most common problem affecting visitors to Cabo, it makes sense to offer a breakdown of crime statistics. Let’s dive into the detailed breakdown provided by the state of Baja California Sur.

The most common crimes are violent incidents/assaults, with 64 incidents in September 2023, and domestic violence, with 135 incidents in September 2023. Other crimes with above-average high rates include drug-related offenses, shop robberies, vehicle robberies, rape, and femicide.

Los Cabos does have the highest crime rate in the entire state of Baja California Sur, but a local news site put that into context for worried visitors.

Los Cabos will certainly have the highest crime rate in the state because it is the biggest city in the state (more people equals more crimes). However, most of the crimes, such as domestic violence and robbery and extortion of businesses, do not affect tourists.

It’s also helpful to look at the crime rate for the state of Baja California Sur overall to help you figure out how safe traveling to Los Cabos may be.

The state has one of the lowest crime rates in Mexico when it comes to homicide, kidnapping, and violent car robberies, which also means that these violent crimes are rarer in Cabo than in other parts of Mexico.

It is true that crime has increased in Baja California Sur over the past few years, including in Cabo. The Australian government mentions an increase in drug-related violence in popular coastal areas, including Baja California Sur. In a way, Cabo has become a victim of its own success.

The popularity of the tourist destination increased demand for drugs, which attracted more cartels. Although the safety of Cabo has declined due to this change, many people are still visiting and most locals still go about their daily life normally.

Drug-Related Offenses

The primary cause of rising crime in Cabo is the rise in drug-related offenses. This follows a pattern that is unfortunately common in Mexico’s tourist destinations, such as Acapulco and the Maya Riviera.

The fracturing of cartels nationwide means smaller cartels are now fighting for dominance when it comes to important drug markets such as nightlife-heavy towns such as Cabo San Lucas, and important drug routes.

The homicide rate in Baja California Sur has risen by a whopping 342% this year due to cartel violence. There have been cases where innocent bystanders were caught up in shootouts between rival gangs.

But most cases of cartel violence in Cabo are targeted at members of rival cartels or those forced to work for them. Tourists are rare targets because they would attract unwanted law enforcement attention.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself from getting caught up in cartel violence is to avoid attracting their attention. Never, ever purchase drugs while in Cabo, although the wild nightlife may encourage you to do so.

Drugs are illegal and the market is controlled by cartels, so buying drugs directly puts money in pockets that are killing Mexicans. Sometimes, gun fights erupt in public, affecting innocent bystanders. Trust your gut — if a situation feels tense, leave.


The most common violent crime affecting tourists in Cabo is assault. It is one of the crimes that the state of Baja California Sur warns about in its crime traffic light system. Most cases of assault affecting tourists occur at night, sometimes as a result of a robbery gone wrong.

Be careful with your movements after dark. Avoid walking alone, and take a taxi back from the clubs and bars to your hotel (make sure that you get a reputable one). Other common assault incidents are drug or alcohol-related.

It is common for inebriated tourists to get into fights at bars and clubs, sometimes with bad consequences. Although the nightlife in Cabo San Lucas is fun, avoid overindulging, and leave or contact a bouncer if you notice someone is escalating a situation.

Avoiding Bad Areas

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

Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock

As I mentioned earlier, beaches, attractions, hotels, and accommodation facilities for tourists in Cabo (especially Cabo San Lucas) are centrally located, meaning crime is mostly tamed. However, one wrong turn may lead you into unsafe areas where you’re likely to encounter crime.

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 theft.

Again, I suggest staying on your resort. Most resorts have safety patrols scanning the area day and night, and 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. If you do visit, 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. Avoid all neighborhoods north of the airport, as they 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Marina in Cabo with lots of colorful boats lining the harbor for a guide titled Is Cabo Safe to Visit


Here are some common questions people ask about Cabo:

How safe is Cabo for tourists?

Tourists are fairly safe in Cabo. Most of the most common crimes primarily affect locals, not tourists.

What should I be careful of in Cabo?

You should be careful of pickpocketing and other forms of petty theft, like in many parts of Mexico. You should also be aware of rising cartel violence that is affecting the area.

Which is safer: Cancun or Cabo?

Both Cancun and Cabo are safe (and have the same problems when it comes to drug-related crime driven by tourism). Cabo may be slightly safer just because it is smaller.

Are Ubers safe in Cabo?

Uber and other ride-sharing apps are safe in Cabo, but they are not legal so drivers may be worried about getting stopped and ask you to sit in the front. Ask a local for taxi companies they recommend.

Is Cabo safe right now 2023?

Right now, Cabo is safe to visit! Although it has experienced a rising crime rate in recent months, most tourists still have a perfectly safe time while visiting.

So, Is Cabo Safe to Visit?

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

Like most other places in Mexico (and for that matter, the world), Cabo has its problems such as robbery, assault, and drug-related crimes. However, its crime rate is much lower than in many other Mexican destinations, and violent crime rarely affects visitors.

As long as you take common sense precautions such as avoiding unsafe neighborhoods, you can have a safe trip to Cabo. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Cabo today!

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