It would be foolish to deny that there has been increasing concern over safety in Mexico in recent months. It has been widely covered by the media. Most likely you have read all about it.
And of course, you will be aware that the US State Department issued a new travel warning for Mexico, back in Dec 2016. Cabo was not specifically mentioned in the area warning for Baja California Sur. But La Paz was.
Remember that Cabo is one very tiny part of a very large country. Mexico has a population of 130 million. Los Cabos - which includes Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo - has a population of only 287,000. So, perspective is required.
Let’s be clear. What we are talking about here - is safety in and around Los Cabos. Not across all of Mexico.
Cabo - how safe is it?
Right now that is a tricky question. Some will argue that Cabo continues to be one of the safest spots in Mexico. Others will point to the recent rise in crime and violent murders. Another will argue these crimes are only between warring drug gangs. And don’t affect tourists.
Tit for tat. The debate continues. Whatever your view, “supporting evidence“ can be found. Alarming crime stats, or positively glowing reviews.
So, let’s just move away from all that. Let’s just look at Cabo. And what is and isn’t true. Over the last few months.
And now, the facts...
It is true that…
- there has been a spate of drug related shootings and violence in the first months of 2017
- these types of deaths have increased
- a reporter, who mainly covered police matters, was shot recently in La Paz
- there was ONE violent incident in a San Jose Tourist Hotel (nobody hurt)
- in March ONE female tourist was wounded in the crossfire of a drug related incident in San Jose del Cabo. (Over 300, 000 tourists visited Los Cabos in March)
it is also true that…
- all deaths have been outwith the tourist areas.
- another 500 military and navy personnel have just been put in place by the Federal Government to assist with policing in Los Cabos.
- local businesses are funding additional support from the Gendarmeria.
- there is a big push on police recruitment to keep up with the growth of Los Cabos.
- there were over 3600 police, army, and navy on patrol 24/7 over the Easter period.
- it’s true that tourism is still growing in Los Cabos…
- numbers of tourists have been increasing all year. (A 17.5% increase on last March).
- numbers of cruise ships are increasing. Still another 110 expected this year. None have cancelled.
- another 3000 hotel rooms will be added to Cabo by the end of 2017. More new hotels have been announced.
New direct flights to Cabo have recently started from San Dieogo, Oakland, and LA.
The official line…
Tourism is a way of life here in Cabo. Rest assured that the federal, state and municipal governments have vested economic interests in maintaining this. This is clearly evidenced by all the extra support they have already brought into Cabo over the last couple of months.
Some words of advice…
If you are still worried about safety in Cabo, check for any new travel warnings before your trip. Look at recent Trip Adviser reviews on safety. And remember, there is an American and Canadian Embassy in Cabo if you have any concerns while you are here.
Other safety concerns in Cabo…
Of course there is crime in Cabo. And of course tourists need to take care. Don’t flash your cash too publicly. Don’t party so hard you don’t know what you are doing. Traffic is tricky - take care if you are driving. Watch out crossing the roads. Pavements have pot holes. Pay serious attention to “no swimming “ signs. Winds can be strong. Currents can be treacherous. And always be careful in the sun.
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Staying Safe in the Sun in Los Cabos
The truth is…
That the old, slightly worn out cliché seems to be true. You are still much more likely to be at risk of sunstroke, or a raging tequila hangover, than you are of getting your head blown off by a drug lord.
Take the same care as you would anywhere. And enjoy everything Los Cabos has to offer.