Is Cabo Safer Than Cancun? – Cabo San Lucas and Cancun both are the safest destination in Mexico to get around. But from the crime rate perspective, Cabo is safer than Cancun as the crime rate of this city is only 47% whereas Cancun has about 62%.
Cabo and Cancun are the breathtaking tourist spots of Mexico. Thousands of tourists visit here every month to enjoy the best combination of agreeable weather, turquoise blue sea, picturesque beaches, and many more thrilling activities.
But there always being safety concerns among travelers due to the increasing crime incidents in recent times. For that reason, travelers are stuck on which destination they should choose for their next trip.
No worry! We’ll help you in rectifying all of your queries through this comprehensive guide!
Table of Contents
Is Cabo Safer Than Cancun?
Let’s track down the safest destination through comparison with safety tips and many more you should know before traveling there.
How Safe The Cabo Is?
Cabo San Lucas is the top tourist destination of Mexico, located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. The city is abundant with magnificent resorts, endless natural attractions, dazzling beaches, and robust party life.
Thus the city is always being resounded by visitors from all corners of the globe. Many tourists also often wonder about crime as there is an increasing number of violence, homicide, drug cartels, and kidnappings cases throughout Mexico.
The U.S. State Department has recently issued a travel warning for Mexico, in which Cabo is located. But keeping in mind the traveling risk perspective, Cabo is out of the danger zone but still, there’s some crime in the city which is very low.
The crime rate in Cabo is only 46%. Even a recent shows that, Cabo is safer than many more major US cities, having a crime rate of only 138.26 per 100,000 people in 2021. So, from the statistics, it is clear that Cabo is already a pretty safe city.
How Safe The Cancun Is?
Cancun is another excellent destination of Mexcio surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful beaches with turquoise Caribbean waters. Every year, an endless amount of tourist visits this city to explore the natural attractions and enjoy the delicious traditional Mexican cuisine.
When the term comes to safety, Cancun is listed as one of the safest destinations in Mexico. But still, the city is not free of crime and there has been an occasional report of petty crimes in certain parts of the city.
Also, from a survey, it is recorded that the crime level in Cancun is about 60% which is comparable to some major US cities. In various places in Cancun, the crime rate is too high like Los Angeles (58.51%) and Miami (57.44%).
But that doesn’t mean, the city is totally avoidable for a relaxed vacation trip. By maintaining a few effective safety measures, you can ensure a safe and hassle-free trip.
“Also, read Is Belize safer than Mexico for traveling.”
Crime In Cabo
As a big city in Mexico, it is obvious that Cabo San Lucas is not completely free from crimes. There is definitely crime in Cabo. Some of the major ones are included below:
1. Drug use and sales
Drug cartels are a very common problem in the areas around Cabo City. This is because the city is located on the border along the coastline from where the drug can easily pass through to near countries. Thus, crime-related drugs are increasing day by day here and most of the ones are occurred by tourists who come to visit here.
Violent mugging and robbery cases are still prevalent in Cabo. A recent survey disclosed that the death cases due to violent attacks are rising in Los Cabos and the entire city. The city is certainly a safe place but depends on how much you cooperate yourself.
The finding of World Atlas shows that the city had a greater amount of per capita homicide cases than any other part of the world. There are about 138.26 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the entire city. In 2018, there were about 560 murder cases reported and about 110 total murders have recorded at the end of 2017 per 100,000 people.
Unfortunately, car theft is a very common crime in Mexico and Cabo San Lucas is one of the core target areas of the country. There are a few past records of carjacking in the city that mostly happens overnight due to leaving the vehicles on the street without lock9ng.
In Cabo City, there is a pretty good amount of active gangs are available involving pickpocketing violence. Tourists or locals who flash expensive belongings or money in public places get the target of this crime. So, it’s a must to keep all your valuables in a safe place while visiting here.
Though Cabo San Lucas is one of the safest areas of Los Cabos, nevertheless, a few scams are very common which you may encounter while visiting.
Note down the most typical scams in the city before you will be a victim of a tourist scam here:
i) Overcharging in Taxis
Taxis are the primary transport to get around the city. As a tourist, you may encounter overcharging scams from the driver if you aren’t fixing your destination rate before getting into the taxi.
ii) Friendly ATM Helper
While withdrawing money from the ATM, a stranger comes to you and offers help for any kind of problem. They are basically scammers and have the intention to know your card details while using the machine. So it is better to refuse such help.
iii) Friendly Bar Friends
While getting around the bar, some girl or stranger may come to you and offer a drink, recognizing themselves as mutual friends. They will be scammers and invite you to join them at the bar nearby. After drinking they will ask the price for about 5-10 times more than the real price of the drinks.
iv) Bird Poop Scam
As a tourist, it is a very common scam that you may face. While walking in Cabo street, someone will throw a white paste into your dress. You will go ahead to clean them thinking the bird poop. Right then, the man comes to you and offers to clean it up. While cleaning, he will pickpocket you.
Crime In Cancun
As a major city in Mexico, Cancun is free of violent crime and scam reports though the rate is not that so high. Here is a list of the most common crime in the city that you need to know before visiting the city:
1. Drug Trafficking
Drug-related violence is very common in Mexico as well as in Cancun city. There is gang everywhere that are related to drug activities like dealing, buying, and selling. Even the tourist are the core target of their drug trafficking.
Pickpockets can be seen throughout the city, especially in the downtown area. This is the calm area where there are lower visitors and the perfect target area for these pickpocketers. Plus travelers with flashy jewelry, watches, or expensive purses can easily be victims of these gangs.
As a developed city, almost all of the citizens living here are below the poverty line. Thus mugging is very common here, rating about 60.71%. along with the locals, tourists are mostly encountered to the robbery as they are unfamiliar with the area. Especially, they get mugged from outside of the hotel zone at nighttime.
Kidnapping is rarely heard in Cancun, nevertheless, there are few past kidnapping records in the city. But the tourists are not the target of these kidnappers. On the contrary, they target resident foreigners with family in Mexico or businesspeople who are leading the wealthiest lifestyle.
5. Gang Related Crossfire
There have been a few gang-related incidents in Cancun. Most of the areas in Cancun have a higher risk of these crimes which mostly happened due to fighting between rival organized crime gangs.
According to the past year’s report of the NYTimes, two women were killed in the crossfire on the stretch of beaches from Cancun to Tulum during the shooting of the rival gangs.
6. Scams Risk
Along with the other violent crime, Cancun city is not free from scams. The scammer often targets innocent tourists who are completely unknown to the area. The most common scam in Cancun city includes:
- Picture Scam
- Taxis Overcharging
- Friendly ATM Helper
- Friendly Bar Friends
- Bird Poop Scam
- Guessing Game Scam
Safety Comparison Between Cabo & Cancun
Here is a short safety comparison of various aspects of both Cabo San Lucas and Cancun City:
1. Drinking Water/Food
No! The tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink. Even the locals avoid drinking tap water as it is contaminated with germs & lethal bacteria that can cause illness and adverse reactions after drinking.
Not only in drinking, but you also can’t even brush your teeth with tap water. Travelers’ diarrhea and other diseases are very common here, resulting from tap water in the city.
Thus, almost all of the well-classified resorts & restaurants throughout Cabo and Cancun provide purified water and bottled water to the customers. Even if you are buying bottled water from the local shops, make sure it is factory sealed, guaranteeing you the water is safe to drink.
In case, you are buying ice, don’t miss to ask the vendor or waiters from which it is manufactured.
If the terms come about food, all the food and delicious cuisines in both cities are quite safe to eat as long as they are cooked with bottled water. Also, the restaurants are all safe and they maintain special precautions, maintaining all nutritions and tastes in perfect measures.
2. Beach Safety
Cabo has abundant with some of the best beaches in Mexico. Beaches in the city are the core attractions for tourists to visit, thus certainly there will be a lot of queries on beach safety.
All the beaches offer turquoise crystal clear water, perfectly safe for swimming, snorkeling, and just relaxing. Moreover, gold and white sand is the best place to get relaxed after endless swimming in the clear sea. The crime rates in the breach area and beachfront resorts are almost no.
Unlike Cabo, Cancun is a top tourist destination that is surrounded by lots of stunning beaches and fascinating cultural sites. All the hotel zones and most popular resorts are spread out around these beautiful beaches.
The beaches are free of crime incidents. But Playa Gaviota Azul is listed as one of the safest beaches for swimming in Cancun according to the tourist recommendation.
Nevertheless, there are a few safety that you may apply while you are roaming on the beach area. For this instance:
- Keep an eye on the flag system near the beach area. The green flag signs that it is safe to swim.
- If you are noticing any suspiciousness near you, don’t delay to inform the nearer lifeguards.
- Try to swim near the lifeguard tower.
- Don’t miss taking life jackets before swimming. The life jacket will be highly available at many resorts or nearer shoreline areas.
- Be aware of currents and riptides as they may be dangerous.
- Take a water bottle always while you are in the beach area. It will keep you hydrated under the sun.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen with good SPF to prevent sunburn.
- It’s better to avoid enjoying the beach at night. If you walk at night, always keep to the crowded areas.
3. Renting A Car
Without any denying, a rental car or taxi is the most convenient way to get around Mexico. But here certainly the question lies in the safety of this transportation. It isn’t completely safe to take a taxi in Cabo and Cancun city. The crime rates related to taxis are higher in both cities.
This is because most of the taxis are not registered and rarely do they have authentic documentation. Taxis in Cancun from the airport are not regulated and there will be no regulation with the taxi unions.
Thus pirate taxis try to look advantage to harass the people, especially tourists. They are like “sharks” at the Cancun airport who are waiting to rip you off. Also, there will be no record of your trip due to the lack of a taxi meter.
Thus higher chance you may encounter a scam of taxi overcharges that may leave you in danger. So, be careful about this! It will be better to hire an airport shuttle, guaranteeing you safety and prices.
Safety accommodation is the core concerning facts of a tourist or traveler to a new country. For this instance, you don’t need to worry about the safety of hotels and resorts in Cabo San Luca. Authorities make security very tight here in the hotel zones as tourism is one of the biggest sources of revenue in the city.
Most of the hotels offer security to the visitors while roaming out the beaches in front of the hotel zone. For this safety, thousands of tourists come here to explore this breathtaking destination.
As there are far fewer crime incidents in Cancun City, thus the resorts are typically extremely safe. All the resorts and hotels are well facility and secured by armed guides to ensure the best safety of the visitors.
Thus, it is recommended the hotel zones are the safest tourist destination throughout Cancun city as there is no crime and violence to hassle them. Even there are a few golden sands and local bars for visitors which are quite safe to walk around at night as well. But still, be careful to stay clear of the secluded areas.
5. Uber Safety
Although Ubers are readily available in Cabo City and it is not typically legal. This is because Uber drivers are not complying with taxi licensing rules as there is always the biggest push and pull between the taxi driver and Uber driver. Still, lots of users throughout the city use Uber but you can’t pick them up from the airport and resort zone.
If you are in Cancun, it is getting safe and legal to use Uber in the city. There have been always conflicting matters between Uber drivers and taxi drivers regarding licencing fees or regulations.
But recently the State Department has issued a warning statement for travelers regarding app-based transportation in Cancun to reduce potential violence between these two groups. Cancun travelers prefer Uber over taxis as it is not only safe but also more affordable than taxis. But still, you should be careful when ordering Uber here.
While Cancun is at very low risk for any type of disease, the city is facing an increasing number of dengue fever to the local recently. It has become the highest concentration fact in the state related to this mosquito-borne illness.
But fortunately, the travelers who are visiting the area are out of the rusk as local authorities have taken all preventive measures how to reduce the risk of contraction.
Cases of dengue fever are also now on the rise in Cabo San Lucas. If you are planning a trip to Cancun or Cabo, make sure you have gone through all the medical terms to prevent Malaria. Use repellent and protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially in the hot season.
What Are The Safest Areas To Stay In Cabo San Lucas?
Well! It is quite essential to disclose the safest areas to stay and travel while you are in Cabo San Lucas. There are few beaches, attractions, hotels, and accommodations available throughout the city and the crime rates are almost said to be not there. Here you get knowledge about those destinations:
1. Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas And San Jose Del Cabo
The Tourist Corridor is a safe place to stay in Cabo San Lucas. The beach is the highlighting point of the corridor where it is completely safe to walk even at night time. The complete area is free from any crime violence and scammers, the perfect go-on destination for tourists.
2. Downtown Cabo San Lucas
Downtown is listed as one of the best places to stay in Cabo San Lucas. It is the finest place to explore traditional arts and crafts and authentic Mexican cuisine at quite an affordable price.
Moreover, the place is safe no matter if you are on the beach or enjoying the nightlife activities at night time as the security is quite strict here.
3. El Medano Beach
Medano Beach is the safest and high tourist visited beach in Cabo San Lucas. Even it is listed as one of the chief tourist sectors. Though the beach here is crowded, the police presence everywhere makes it a safer destination. The crime rate is quite low here.
4. Pedregal Hills
Pedregal Hills, located on the Pacific Coast is the most luxurious part of the city. It is one of the safest destinations to stay in Cabo San Lucas.
There are almost no violent events reports noted from the areas. You will conveniently stay on any of the villas or resorts of the hill station without any safety concerns.
Marina is another wonderful place to stay in Cabo San Lucas. This is a very busy district of the Cabo, abundant with lots of local shops, restaurants, and hotels.
When the term comes to safety, it is completely safe to walk around the Marina. There are always police/ military guys who stay in every part of the town.
What Are The Safest Areas To Stay In Cancun?
Here are the safest areas to visit in Cancun:
1. Zona Hotelera
Zona Hotelera is one of the safest areas of Canusn that is boasted with lots more best hotels, restaurants, shops, and nightclubs. There are no past records of violent crimes in these places thus it is quite safe for families and visitors from other countries.
2. Isla/Playa Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a destination in Mexico. Tourists get amazed by the friendly locals, white sand beaches, well-lit streets in the Playa Norte area, and many more attractions that are enough safe to visit. Even it is very safe to walk at night on the streets.
3. El Centro (Downtown)
El Centro is one of the best places who conscious of the budget issue. The downtown offers enough affordable accommodation, hotels, and resorts authentic, and many more natural activities in a safe zone. Violent crimes in this downtown in about 8% lower than the national average.
Where To Avoid In Cabo? [Top-rated Warning Destination To Know!]
Along with the safest destinations, it will be worth knowing the red alert area of Cabo San Lucas, where the crime incidents are super high. Let’s go through a short note to those areas that are quite avoidable while you are on a trip here:
1. City Center
Cabo’s city center is the major area for pickpocketing and mugging. Almost twenty plus come incidents are reported every day from this City Center. Thus, you need to keep a cautious eye on your belongings and cash while staying at this center. Also, avoid talking unnecessarily with a stranger.
2. Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is another red alert place in Cabo, featuring high reports of vehicle robbery, assault crimes, and armed robbery. Especially, the highway from Santa Rosa to San Jose del Cabo is quite dangerous, where petty crimes are well spread out throughout the area. Expats suggest staying far away from this alarming neighborhood.
3. Los Cangrejos And Las Palmas
Los Cangrejos and Las Palmas are two neighborhoods, located next to each other. Both of the areas are listed as alarming destinations due to increased crimes, including carjacking, robbery, and assaults. Also, many drug cartels are quite active here, signs you better avoid these areas while visiting Cabo.
Where To Avoid In Cancun? [Top-rated Warning Destination To Know!]
Apart from the renowned touristy areas, there are certain areas in Cancun that are quite avoidable for higher crime rates. These places are basically the most neighborhoods that are located on the north of Lopez Portillo, near Bonfil. Especially, the outskirts of the city are considered to be more dangerous.
It will be better to stay away from these places. Or, keep extra precautions for yourself and your belongings while staying in this place. Plus avoid walking at night times.
Tips To Stay Safe In Cabo San Lucas & Cancun
Whenever you are traveling to a new country whether it is a trip or for living purposes, safety should be your first concerning facts. Well! Get the quick safety tips that are quite effective to follow while staying in Cabo San Lucas & Cancun:
#- Get The Travel Insurance For Mexico
As for the first step, you have to manage the travel insurance for Mexico. It will be a far more cost-effective option for you in case of losing your luggage, canceling flights, or having any kind of sickness on the trip.
#- Consider Group Tours
Cabo San Lucas and Cancun are both amazing tourist destinations in Mexico that will be more fun in groups. Manage a group leader in your team who knows the whole city and guides you to get around the city safely. Also, it will be far helpful in avoiding getting lost,
#- Take Bottled Water
As previously mentioned, tap water in Mexico isn’t a safe option for drinking as it is contaminated with germs. Thus avoid drinking tap water, instead bottled water with you while outing.
#- Avoid Carrying Flashy Jewelry And Too Much Cash
While grooming in the city street, it is a must to avoid wearing flashy jewelry that will catch the attraction of scammers. Also, keep a minimum of cash with you and make digital copies of passports and insurance. Plus, don’t wear too flashy designer clothes that are drawing the wrong type of attention.
#- Don’t Walk Alone At Night
Always try to avoid walking alone on city streets at night especially where there are very fewer people or around unpopulated areas. Keep a trusted one yourself if there is any emergency.
#- Avoid Taking Alcohol And Drugs From Locals
It is the most crucial point that you need to follow. Always be far away from random people or any stranger who is offering you alcohol or drugs. By doing a silly single mistake, high chances are you will lose everything by being the victim of the wrong people.
#- Ask The Locals For Advice
Whenever you are unsure about any of the city activities, always try to contact a local instead of stranger people as chances are he/she will wrong guide you.
#- Be Alert When Using ATMs
Always try to be cautious when you are using an ATM for any purpose. Don’t talk to any unknown and refuse any of their assistance while withdrawing money. Far better not to use an ATM at night.
#- Practice The Spanish Language
As Spanish is the official language in Mexico, thus it will be better if you can practice some basic Spanish words or phrases. It will help you to talk with locals or while you are asking the directions from someone.
Also, you will get alerted about what people surrounding you are talking to. Here are the basic Spanish phrases which may work out for you:
- ¡Bien, gracias! – Good, thank you!
- ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
- Me llamo Sofía. – My name is Sofia.
- ¡Encantado (or encantada for women) de conocerte! – Nice to meet you!
- ¡Por favor! – Please!
- Gracias. – Thank you.
- Perdón. – Sorry.
- ¡Buenos días! – Good morning!
- ¡Buenas tardes! – Good afternoon!
- ¡Buenas noches! – Good evening!
- ¡Hola! – Hi!
- ¿Cómo estás? – How are you?
Which Is Safer To Visit For Solo Travelers? – Cabo San Lucas Or Cancun?
Cabo San Lucas and Cancun are the safest destinations as long as you are following some effective precautions to prevent any un-occurrence.
There are endless attractions in both cities that will keep you busy the whole day. Almost all the hotels and resorts here follow security measures that are effective for a solo traveler. Thus there is no query left over on safety if you are traveling alone.
Nevertheless, to reduce any kind of risk, avoid traveling alone at night. Also, let someone know where you are going before leaving. Some general safety tips that we have mentioned earlier. Make sure you have followed all of those.
Which Is Safer To Visit For Female Travelers?– Cabo San Lucas Or Cancun?
Don’t be concerned too much if you are planning a trip to Cabo San Lucas or Cancun as both of the destinations are amazing for bachelorette parties and girl’s getaways. But safety is always the top concern for a female while traveling especially when they are alone in a new country.
As a solo traveler, you have to take the necessary steps and exercise a little extra caution. Whenever you are getting around the city, always be cautious about consuming your food and drinks.
Make sure you have completed your food before leaving the spot. Even after a couple of minutes, don’t consume them again. Also, experts recommend going through good research on the place where you’re going.
Avoid less crowded areas at all costs and keep a partner with yourself while roaming around. Most importantly, if you find any suspicious or uneasy at any point, quickly join the nearest group of individuals nearby.
Which Is Safer To Visit With Families?- – Cabo San Lucas Or Cancun?
Both Cabo San Lucas Or Cancun are the perfect safest vacation spots for families, couples, and friends alike. But you need to take extra precautions if you are with your small kids in the beach resort areas of the cities.
For this instance, do the following while outing with your family:
- Always be careful while having a conversation with a stranger.
- Don’t miss to pursue travel insurance as it will protect your family member from an emergency or unforeseen illness or injury while out of the country.
- Plus, it will be wise to take a medical kit, having bandages, sunscreen, tubes of aloe vera, diarrhea relief medication, motion-sickness remedies, and so on. As emergencies have never come with a call thus having a medical kit is the best way to be a relief point before getting to a doctor.
- Secondly, do research on the city on whether your toddlers and family members need any type of vaccinations. It is crucial to prevent contracting a virus or disease in a new country.
- Along with all the above, do a special concentration of bag packing as well. Make sure you have kept everything according to your family’s needs.
What Is Cabo San Lucan Best Known For?
Cabo is on the top favorite list among travelers due to the great diversity of natural attractions spread throughout the city. It offers amazing cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and beautiful beaches are the bonus.
What Is The Difference Between Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas?
Los Cabos is the municipality in Mexico in which Cabo San Lucas is the major city. San Jose del Cabo is another city under this municipality with residents of about 351,000 people.
Is It Safe To Leave The Hotels & Resorts In Cabo San Lucas?
Yes! It is completely safe to leave the hotels in Cabo and go exploring the city. But be aware of your surroundings and maintain travel precautions at the same time.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Cabo San Lucas?
Cabo is like an all-season tourist destination offering lots more to travelers. But May to June and October and November are the best time to visit Cabo where the crowd remains very low, perfect for a family vacation.
Do You Need Malaria Tablets For Cancun?
The risk of malaria contracting is increasing in recent times throughout Mexico including Cancun. But as the tourists are far safer from this disease thus there is no need for malaria tablets for you as a traveler.
Well! Still, puzzling about whether is Cabo safer than Cancun. We bet not! Both Cabo and Cancun are excellent tourist destinations in Mexico where safety should not be a major concerning fact.
Both places are safe to visit as long as you are maintaining the basic safety precautions. A few common sense and effective safety indicators will be enough to ensure your next trouble-free trip.
Hit the comment section below if still you want to know more about these two cities. Our travel experts will give their level best to guide you!
“Also read Belize Vs Cancun: Which Is a Better Destination For Vacation.” Or Belize Vs Mexico For Vacation & Living: A Complete Comparison