Cabo San Lucas is a resort town located on the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. Tourists enjoy the beach, markets, and local food. Tourists often travel to Cabo San Lucas as a cheaper vacation destination than cities in the US. It is popular with tourists of all ages.
However, like anywhere else, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind before traveling anywhere new. Here are our top travel safety tips to know before you visit Cabo.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Visit?
Cabo San Lucas is generally considered safe to visit, and there are currently no restrictions on travel. However, the US government warns US tourists to exercise increased caution when traveling in the Baja California Sur State.
The increased caution warning is due to crime. The primary safety concerns in Cabo San Lucas include crimes such as pickpocketing.
Gang violence is also a risk; however, violent actions aren’t usually targeted at tourists and typically occur away from the resort areas in town. Other safety concerns include beachgoing activities. Unlike in the US, no lifeguards are typically on duty.
Avoid swimming too far out into the water and never go swimming alone. Keep a close eye on children playing in the water and avoid alcohol consumption when swimming.
Another safety concern is tap water. Contaminants such as harmful bacteria are prevalent in tap water.
Travelers that have consumed tap water have reported gastrointestinal pain and distress (often called Montezuma’s Revenge). It’s best to avoid ice as well. Always purchase bottled beverages when dining out at restaurants.
Crime in Cabo San Lucas
Fortunately, falling victim to a violent crime in Cabo San Lucas is not likely. The most common crimes tourists report are pickpocketing and tourist scams. Here are some tips to not fall prey to crime in Cabo San Lucas:
- Stay in groups.
- Don’t flash large amounts of cash, expensive jewelry, or phones.
- Keep any passports, phones, and money deep within a backpack.
- Stay on the grounds of your resort or in touristy areas.
- Don’t walk alone at night.
- Book any excursions through a trusted source.
Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods
When visiting or staying in Cabo San Lucas, it’s recommended to stay on the grounds of your hotel or resort. Many resorts have safety patrols and are well lit, even at night. Areas along the waterfront are also considered very safe.
Crime tends to happen further away from the resorts and touristy areas. Traveling into neighborhoods north of the airport is generally not recommended, as there are fewer tourists and the area becomes more rural.
Things to Consider
Here are some other things to consider when traveling to Cabo San Lucas:
Be Careful Drinking Alcohol
Not only can it be a dangerous combination with hot, dry weather, but you may be an easy target if you are obviously drunk in public. Consuming alcohol on a hot, sunny day by the beach may rapidly dehydrate you.
Always bring extra water along if you decide to enjoy an alcoholic beverage by the ocean.
If You Plan on Drinking, Stay in a Group
When walking alone after a night of drinking, some tourists experience attempted robberies. Remember that it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings in an unfamiliar place.
Be Careful to Avoid Scams
You may have heard of tourists traveling abroad falling victim to scams. Scammers will often target tourists, even in busy areas. They may wait for unsuspecting tourists at cruise ship docks or even outside the airport.
While most of those offering rides, excursion experiences, or tours are legitimate, it’s always safest to book ahead of time with a tour company you trust.
Avoid Card Skimmers
Try to pay in cash whenever possible to avoid card skimmers. It’s also a good general rule of thumb to ignore unsolicited requests for money.
Have a Plan for Transportation
How will you get to your hotel or into town? While many taxi services are legitimate business operations, to mitigate risk, it’s best to use well-known rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft. Both are widely available in Mexico and are commonly used.
However, the best-case scenario is to take advantage of any shuttle services your hotel or resort may provide.
Don’t Buy Alcohol or Drugs From Locals
Because Cabo San Lucas has a reputation as a resort beach town, many tourists frequent bars and enjoy the vibrant nightlife downtown.
Because locals know tourists are here for a good time, they may approach you offering to sell you drugs or alcohol. It’s crucial to always refuse these requests as you don’t know exactly what you’re buying.
Beware of Aggressive Sellers
Mexico has a reputation for vibrant, lively markets. Tourists love to frequent these shopping areas as they are excellent opportunities to find souvenirs, homemade goods, and a chance to interact with friendly locals.
However, there is also a reputation for some merchants being overly persistent. Tourists are not typically accustomed to shop owners aggressively pushing their wares on them and may become uncomfortable when a simple “no” is not enough.
As a rule of thumb, remain calm in these situations. If you begin feeling uncomfortable, simply walk away.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding safe travel to Cabo San Lucas. Let’s discuss best practices to enjoy your vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
What is Cabo San Lucas best known for?
Cabo San Lucas is a resort destination with beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and delicious food. Many celebrities frequent Cabo San Lucas. There are many resorts and hotels to choose from.
One common activity that many tourists do is take a boat ride out to Playa Del Amor, or Lover’s Beach. Water taxis, many of which have glass bottoms, usually line the docks waiting to take tourists on the short ride out to the beach in between the famous, jagged rock formations.
If you’re feeling up to it, you can also kayak or paddleboard out to the beach. Lover’s Beach is a popular destination to explore the diverse marine life under the water’s surface if you like snorkeling.
Cabo San Lucas is also known for having a variety of outdoor recreation activities both on land and at sea. Typical excursions include ATV riding, horseback riding, and even camel rides!
Popular tours on the water include jet-skiing, charter fishing, and snorkeling. Cabo San Lucas is also synonymous with lots of fun after dark.
There are plenty of bars, breweries, and music venues that stay lively all night long. If you’re looking for nightlife, there are a variety of famous nightclubs and events to keep you entertained.
Are there drug cartels in Cabo San Lucas?
Unfortunately, drug cartels are known to be active in many parts of Mexico. However, if you stick to what is known as the “tourist corridor,” your chances are very low of encountering drug cartels.
The tourist corridor is known as the 20-mile stretch of road from Cabo San Lucas to San Jose Del Cabo. This stretch of road is well lit and frequently patrolled by police. However, to be extra cautious, it’s wise to avoid driving at night.
Remember, always stick in a group and stay in well-lit, touristy areas at night. Use only licensed taxis, and better yet, use Uber or your hotel’s shuttle.
What to know before traveling to Cabo San Lucas?
Chances are, you’re in for an exciting and unforgettable adventure! Just like when traveling anywhere new, be aware of your surroundings. Protect your valuables from pickpockets, and don’t flash cash or expensive jewelry.
Travel with a group and stay within the tourist corridor. Book your excursions ahead of time with a reputable travel company. And most importantly, enjoy yourself!
What should I be aware of when traveling to Cabo San Lucas?
If you’re coming from a different climate, prepare yourself with lots of sunscreen and water. Many tourists are unaccustomed to the dry heat familiar to Cabo San Lucas. Keep hydrated, especially when enjoying alcoholic beverages.
Be aware of your surroundings. Criminals will often target tourists in densely populated areas such as cruise ship ports, airports, and markets. It’s wise not to give in to unsolicited requests for money.
When traveling anywhere, it’s always a good idea to share your itinerary with family and friends back home. This is especially important if you’re planning on doing outdoor activities such as hiking in rural areas. Always travel in a group.
What is the difference between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo?
Both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo are regarded as popular and safe tourist destinations located on the Baja California Peninsula. They are 20 miles apart from one another and constitute the beginning and end of the tourist corridor.
The tourist corridor is regarded as a safe area for tourists to explore. While the two cities are both popular destinations and relatively close geographically, there are a few distinct differences between them.
Cabo San Lucas is typically known for its vibrant nightlife, markets, and clubs. It’s a popular tourist destination for spring breakers and those looking to party all night long. However, Cabo San Lucas also attracts tourists of all ages and types because there is such a variety of activities available.
San Jose Del Cabo is known for a quieter crowd, although there are still a few lively bars to be found downtown. San Jose Del Cabo focuses a bit more on its art scene, and tourists come here to appreciate architecture, museums, and culture.
When is Hurricane Season in Cabo San Lucas?
Hurricane season officially lasts between June and November. However, locals report that most big storms happen between August and October. While hurricanes can undoubtedly occur, most storms are just passing rainfalls.
The last hurricane to hit the area was in 2019, when hurricane Lorena hit the area as a category one hurricane. It’s important to be aware of any warnings or evacuations local officials put out during this time of year.
If traveling during hurricane season, you may be prompted to evacuate to higher ground if there is a severe storm warning.
If you decide to travel to Cabo San Lucas during hurricane season, it’s wise to purchase travel insurance. That way, you can receive refunds for flights, hotels, and excursions if the weather takes a turn for the worse a few days before your trip.
So, Is Cabo San Lucas Safe?
Cabo San Lucas is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. A great tip is to regularly check the Mexico Travel Advisory. This will keep you up to date with any new information that may make Cabo San Lucas unsafe to visitors.
As with traveling to any new area, it’s always important to research your destination thoroughly beforehand. This includes booking a hotel in a safe area with positive reviews, making transportation accommodations, and booking any excursions with reputable companies.
Like in many parts of the world, petty crime is an unfortunate fact of life. The same is true in Cabo San Lucas. Keep your eyes and ears open for suspicious behavior, and secure your belongings in hard-to-access areas.
Here are some quick reminders of our best tips for having a safe and enjoyable trip to Cabo San Lucas:
- Travel in groups.
- Use licensed taxis, well-known rideshare services, or hotel shuttles.
- Use cash to avoid credit card skimmers.
- Buy trip insurance if traveling during hurricane season.
- Never accept drugs or alcohol from anyone on the street.
- Drink only bottled water and avoid ice.
- Stick to the tourist corridor.
- Book excursions and tours in advance with a trusted company.
- Avoid driving at night.
- Remain calm and walk away from harassing merchants.
- Don’t give money to those that approach you for it.
Cabo San Lucas welcomes three million visitors each year, and that number is growing! Because Cabo San Lucas’s economy relies so heavily on visitors having a positive experience, you will likely have a very safe and enjoyable trip.