When it comes to top resort destinations in Mexico, few quite enjoy the same level of popularity as Cabo San Lucas. But is Cabo San Lucas Safe? Well, the short answer is yes, it is. But we’re going to go further than that and take a closer and more detailed look.
Cabo is an especially popular tourist destination in Mexico, with all sorts of travelers from the United States and overseas visiting year after year. With stunning beaches and great ocean-side vibes in general—in addition to some amazing surf—it’s no surprise it’s one of the most popular parts of Mexico.
So whether you’re planning your trip to Cabo for spring break, to escape the winter chill, or to make the most of the summer sun, it’s always good to know ahead of time how safe the area is, and we’ve got all the tips and advice to ensure just that.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe Right Now?
Cabo San Lucas receives over 2.5 million visitors per year, and most visits go exactly as planned. In Cabo San Lucas, the crimes that affect most tourists are related to pickpocketing and other forms of petty theft—which is why it is essential to keep an eye on your valuables.
The best way to keep tabs on the safety of any country is to check out the information provided by the U.S. Department of State website. This provides all sorts of in-depth information, including any travel advisory or travel restrictions that may be in place in each state in Mexico, including of course Baja California Sur, Cabo’s home state.
At this current time, the site lists no travel restrictions to the area, stating that “there are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz”. While it does say that visitors should exercise increased caution due to crime, Cabo San Lucas doesn’t fall on the site’s “Do Not Travel To” or “Reconsider Travel To” lists.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
If you’re heading to Cabo San Lucas as a solo female traveler, then you’ve probably been hearing all sorts of safety concerns raised from friends or family, in addition to those you may very well already have yourself.
While you probably wouldn’t ever question your safety in any European country, many places out in the developing world are a different story all together. It doesn’t even need to just be crime—many countries unfortunately still have legal systems that are skewed heavily in favour of men, and suffer from all kinds of injustice.
The good news is that Mexico has been considered a safe destination for a long time, especially when it comes to tourist-popular resort areas like Cabo. While the country does currently have a travel warning issued from the U.S. government warning of violence, organised crime, and kidnapping, these will be in other parts of the country, not down in Baja California Sur.
Furthermore, most of the crime in Mexico is focused on drug trafficking, and not anything that you’d (hopefully) ever find yourself involved in.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Live?
If you’ve been considering a permanent move to Cabo San Lucas, then figuring out exactly how safe the area is will be at the top of your list of priorities.
As we’ve already mentioned, the U.S. State Department has yet to ever issue any travel warnings for Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, or the whole Los Cabos municipality in general.
That isn’t to say the whole area is totally crime free, as it has it’s fair share of break-ins and minor thefts just like anywhere else. But generally speaking, there’s no reason why Cabo San Lucas shouldn’t be considered a perfectly safe place to live.
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe at Night?
For the most part, Cabo San Lucas is just as safe as anywhere else at night. Obviously you’ll want to keep your wits about you, and practice the same common sense as you would at home. As long as you heed the following though, then there should be no issues to worry about:
- Wherever you go in the world you should always keep yourself safeguarded against potential pickpockets, and Cabo San Lucas is no different.
- Try to avoid walking alone at night, and if you do, always stick to well lit areas
- Don’t leave anything unattended, and avoid the temptation to leave your bag hung over a chair if you’re sat at a table. Snatch and grabs have been known to happen in parts of Mexico, so be wary
- The same goes for your drink—don’t leave it unattended, and be wary of accepting drinks from strangers
- Speaking of drinking, obviously don’t go so hard that you can’t work your way back to wherever you’re staying. People are out looking to take advantage of the vulnerable just about anywhere, and Cabo is no exception
Is the Tap Water in Cabo San Lucas Safe to Drink?
If you’ve never been to Mexico before, then you may be wondering how safe the tap water is. Well, to be on the safe side, you should probably avoid drinking it. The pipes in Mexico have been known to get contaminated, and cause digestive issues for anyone drinking the water.
To be on the safe side, always stick to bottled water, or order purified water, with no ice, if you’re at a restaurant.
Are Taxis in Cabo San Lucas Safe?
When it comes to taxis in Cabo San Lucas, there have been reports of all sorts of trouble with unlicensed taxis, whether it’s theft, attacks, or even worse. This could be true of anywhere though, and wherever you go in the world, even in your own home town, you want to make sure you’re always using a licensed cab.
Before you get into a cab though, it’s worth knowing that they aren’t metered in Mexico. Your driver will give you a price before you get going, and there’s usually a fair amount of wiggle room for negotiation.
Finally, while Uber do operate in Baja California Sur, like many places around the world there’s a lot of pushback from local taxi drivers and the authorities, and they’re wrapped up in a whole ton of legal hoo-ha.
As a result, they’re not strictly operating legally, and they’re definitely not allowed to collect anyone from airports or other such official spots. It’s best to just stick to regular taxis if you need them while you’re in Cabo, and order them from somewhere reputable like your hotel when you do.
Top 9 Cabo San Lucas Safety Tips
If you want to make sure you’re safe and comfortable when visiting Cabo San Lucas, the following 9 tips should help to keep you right as rain:
1. Try and learn some of the language
While the majority of people you cross paths will be able to speak at least a serviceable amount of English (just like anywhere else), it never hurts to try and pick up at least a little of the local tongue.
If you suffer from any allergies or have any dietary requirements then this is definitely a must, and Spanish is a fairly easy language anyway, especially if you already know a little French or Italian.
At the very least maybe pick up a translation app or find a list online of some of the most common Spanish phrases you’ll need—you’ll find it much easier to get by.
2. Make sure you’re planning your trip in advance
While some of the best trips can spring out of spontaneity, you should still try and plan at least the basics in advance. Not only will this help you to stay safe, but it’s also the best way to make sure you don’t return home having missed out on something amazing.
Safety is the name of the game here though, so have a look around ahead of time to find out some places you want to go (you don’t want to get lured into somewhere boring when you could instead have been somewhere amazing), make sure you’re always sure on where you are (Google or Apple Maps can help with that), and always make sure you’re carrying cash, especially change (just in case you come across any unexpected toll roads or fees).
3. Watch out for some of the local wildlife
There’s a beastie or two out there that like to call Cabo their home, so you’ll want to keep vigilant.
Snakes and scorpions can be found almost anywhere, and each year are responsible for all sorts of serious injuries. Yellow-bellied sea snakes, rattlesnakes, and bark scorpions are the especially vicious ones to be wary of, and it never hurts to get to know them a little ahead of time so you know what’s what if you get bitten.
Jellyfish are also a pretty common sight in the ocean too, and you’re definitely going to know about it if they get you.
If you do get bitten or stung by anything potentially dangerous, even if you think it’ll probably be OK, then be sure to seek medical attention right away—it’s always best to be on the safe side, especially when it comes to snakes, scorpions, and jellyfish.
4. Try and stick to small denominations of money
As we hinted at above, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll come across a toll road or two if you’re driving around Cabo, so it’s helpful to make sure you have some smaller denominations on you.
It’s also helpful just in a general sense, although if you find yourself caught in a bind, just about everywhere will accept U.S. Dollars; be prepared to pay more though.
If you do have any larger bills on you then obviously try and keep them safe, or better yet, leave them back at your hotel (or wherever you’re staying) with the rest of your valuables. It’s always much more painful to lose your large notes than it is your smaller ones.
5. Watch out for fake tequila—it can be deadly
You’ll have to try pretty hard not to cross paths with tequila somewhere on your trip, and when you do, you want to ensure what you’re drinking is the real deal.
Tequila is serious business in Mexico, and there are all sorts of rules that govern it. In many bars in some of the country’s more popular spots however, unregulated, and potentially dangerous, fake tequila—amongst other drinks—has been found being served on a number of occasions.
Many of these fake drinks have been diluted with methanol, which in some instances can be super dangerous—even fatal. So it’s always best to be on the safe side and make sure that any tequila you’re drinking is 100% agave, and from a brand, you can trust.
6. Be careful if you’re going for a swim in the ocean
Going for a dip in the ocean in Cabo can be a little risky, thanks to some pretty heavy riptides, smacks of jellyfish, and next to no lifeguards just about anywhere.
There are tons of beaches around Cabo though, and more than enough that are perfectly safe on the eastern side of the Baja Peninsula (the Sea of Cortez). It’s probably best to go for one of these if you’re looking to go for a swim or stick with your hotel pool.
Whatever you do, always make sure to stay away from any closed beaches, and heed any and all signs and flags that you come across.
7. Be wary of scammers
Watch out for people who may be on the lookout to scam you. All sorts of people could come offering you help, before asking for money (or taking it) afterward. Be especially cautious that you’re paying an acceptable amount if you’re hiring any vehicles, and always be wary of whoever you cross paths with in any bars.
8. Make sure you’re prepared in case things go south
No one wants to think about the negatives when planning a trip, but it’s always good to ensure you’re well prepared.
Firstly, having a good travel insurance policy in place is one of the best ways you can stay safe when you’re in Cabo. Your trip could be delayed, your flights could get cancelled, who knows. And most pertinently, although hopefully not, you could find yourself injured and in need of medical assistance.
If you do injure yourself or fall ill, you don’t avoid visiting a doctor or a pharmacist. They’re going to be just as good as any back home, and probably more affordable too (especially if you’re coming from the United States). The last thing you want is for things to get worse and to have to end your trip prematurely.
9. Watch out for “the gauntlet”
This sounds pretty ominous, but don’t worry about being subjected to any fights to the death or anything.
Just before you leave Los Cabos Airport, you’ll find all sorts of people offering to help you with your luggage, to find a taxi, to find somewhere to stay, all sorts. These people won’t be who they say they are, and are in no way affiliated with any official cab companies or hotels you’ll be staying at.
What these people in the area so fondly referred to as “the gauntlet” actually are timeshare representatives. Maybe we’re stretching this one a bit when it comes to any actual dangers being involved in time share presentations, but we’ve been there; it can be incredibly dangerous to your brain’s will to go on, and if you’re not careful, even more dangerous to your bank account.
If you happen to catch the gaze of any of these people, just smile and keep going, and get safe out of the path of these vultures’ as quickly as you humanly can.