Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to Travel in 2023? Cabo Safety Tips
Is Cabo San Lucas Safe to travel to? If you are wondering, you are in the right place as I have traveled to Cabo and Baja California Sur several times and I’d love to assure you that you can easily travel to Cabo worry-free.
In fact, if you are worried about safety in Los Cabos the short answer is, yes it is safe to travel to Cabo san Lucas and Los Cabos in general.
However, there are a few things about safety in the Los Cabos area that you should know about, and in this post, I will tell you all about them.
Is Cabo safe to travel to? An overview
Cabo San Lucas, located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, is a popular tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. But is it safe to travel to Cabo?
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Mexico, which includes the state of Baja California Sur, where Cabo is located. The warning states that “violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is common” in Mexico.
However, it’s important to keep perspective when considering the risk of traveling to Cabo. While it is true that there are areas of Mexico where crime occurs quite frequently, fortunately, Cabo is not one of those areas.
Yes, there’s some crime in Cabo, as there is in any place, but it is still a relatively safe place to visit. In fact, Cabo is safer than many major US cities; for example, San Diego had a crime rate of 374 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2021, and Cabo’s crime rate for 2021 was 138.26 crimes per 100,000 people for the same period.
As you can see from those statistics, Cabo is already a pretty safe city, compared to many others. And there are many precautions that travelers can take to further reduce their risk of becoming victims of crime while enjoying their time in Cabo.
I’ll be going over those precautions today, so let’s get started!
But first of all, let’s put things in perspective and talk about where is Los Cabos and which region it refers to.
Where is Los Cabos?
Los Cabos is a municipality located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, in the state of Baja California Sur. It includes many towns, the most notable of which are Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.
A lot of tourists ask the question, “What is the difference between Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, etc.?”
It’s a fair question and, as someone who’s about to go to the area, you should know the difference between these.
Cabo is the general name for the area, while Los Cabos refers to the two main cities in the region: Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.
However, as I’ve mentioned earlier, Los Cabos is also the name of the municipality in which both of these towns (among others) are located.
Now, what’s the difference between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo? Which one should you pick when planning your next vacation?
Cabo San Lucas is the more developed and touristed of the two cities. It is known for its nightlife, beaches, and luxury resorts.
San José del Cabo is quieter and more traditional, with a colonial-style town center and a number of art galleries.
When deciding which city to visit, it is important to consider what kind of vacation you are looking for. If you want a party atmosphere with plenty of nightlife options, Cabo San Lucas is the better choice.
If you prefer a more laid-back vacation with ample opportunities to explore art galleries and shops, then San José del Cabo would be a better fit.
Whichever town you pick, it’s important to remember that they’re situated only 30 kilometers apart; it’s very easy to travel between them, and, whichever one of them you end up visiting, I highly recommend you take at least a day trip to the other town in order to get the most out of your vacation.
Cabo San Lucas Travel restrictions
As I mentioned earlier in the article, the U.S. Department of State’s website does advise travelers to exercise increased caution in the state of Baja California Sur (where Cabo is located).
However, there’s no need to worry; even countries like the UK and Spain have a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” rating.
It’s also important to note that there are no restrictions on US government employees on visiting Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas like Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and La Paz.
The State Department website does restrict government employees from visiting some unsafe places in Mexico, like the Mexicali Valley in Baja California (not the same as Baja California Sur).
For information on which states in Mexico are safe to visit, I recommend visiting the US State Department’s travel advisory page for Mexico.
How to stay safe in Cabo San Lucas: travel tips
The truth is that violent crime is rare in Cabo, and the chances of being a victim are low.
However, petty crime is more common, so it’s important to take precautions when traveling to this area. I’m detailing these precautions below.
1. Get travel insurance
I know. The last thing you want to think about is getting sick on your vacation. But things happen, flights get canceled, and languages can get lost and many other unplanned and unwanted events can happen. Travel insurance will help you keep peace of mind.
If you are not convinced you can read my article on the reasons why you need travel insurance.
I have been using either World Nomads or Safety Wing depending on the type of traveling I was planning.
Depending on your needs or you can compare different insurance companies on this useful site, TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER.
Make sure you read carefully what’s included before making the purchase.
Get your free insurance quote here:
2. Do your research
Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and the highway between them are very safe areas; but if you plan on taking a detour and going off the beaten path, make sure to do your research about the area beforehand.
There’s nothing wrong with being impromptu and exploring to your heart’s content, just research the area(s) you intend to travel to.
3. Keep a copy of your passport and ID separate from the originals
While you’re exploring the country and enjoying yourself, you should always have a copy of your ID and passport on you.
However, make sure to keep the originals in your hotel safe; that way, even, on the off chance, your bag gets swiped or you get pickpocketed, you won’t lose your precious documents.
4. Keep a low profile
The same goes for your valuables. When in Cabo San Lucas, be sure to dress in a way as to blend in and avoid taking flashy jewelry or other valuables outside your hotel room.
5. Stay aware of your surroundings
When you’re out and about it’s also a good idea to keep your belongings close to you at all times, and only carry the essentials with you when exploring the city.
Tourists rarely encounter crime in Cabo, but those few tourists who do encounter crime, almost all of them are victims of petty theft.
Some awareness of your surroundings, as well as knowing at all times where your valuables are, will go a long way towards making sure that your trip to Cabo is incident-free.
6. Don’t walk alone at night
As a general rule of thumb, walking around the city after dark when you’re alone is not a good idea. Stay in the touristy areas or the well-lit parts of town at night.
7. Avoid unsafe neighborhoods
While the chances aren’t high, you’re more likely to be a victim of a crime if you go into the neighborhoods that aren’t frequented by tourists and don’t have that much security.
The areas to the north of the Los Cabos International Airport are generally not recommended, especially after dark.
But there is no reason why you should go there, regardless.
8. Use ATMs in well-lit, busy areas
Be extra vigilant when withdrawing cash out of an ATM. ATMs that are situated in deserted or poorly lit areas are ideal spots for criminals, so when you need to withdraw cash, try to find one that’s in a busy area; ATMs that are situated within a bank or a mall are the safest.
9. Be extra careful while drinking
Cabo San Lucas is famous for its nightlife and has a reputation as a party town. There’s nothing wrong with partying and enjoying yourself when you’re vacationing, but be aware that being drunk will put you at a higher risk, especially when you’re alone.
In fact, if you’re alone, I’d advise against drinking unless you’re at the premises of your resort.
In any case, it’s a good idea to drink in moderation, and if you’re going to go overboard, make sure that you’re part of a group.
10. Do not leave food or drinks unattended in public
This is another important point for safety, even more so if you’re a solo female traveler.
Make sure to consume your drinks and food fully before you leave a spot; if you leave them unattended, even for a couple of minutes, don’t consume them again.
11. Use only reputable tour operators and transportation services
If you want to have the best experience and avoid scams, make sure to do your research when selecting tour operators and transportation services.
Check reviews online before you book anything and hand over your hard-earned money.
12. Don’t ever drink tap water
The tap water in most areas of Mexico isn’t for drinking. I highly recommend carrying an insulated water bottle with you and getting it filled with filtered water.
12. Use mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites and tropical diseases
There have been some cases of Dengue and Chikungunya in Mexico, and although it’s not very common, it can happen.
Make sure you use repellent and protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially during the summer months, when it’s hotter and more humid.
Top things to do in Cabo San Lucas
There’s no shortage of things to do in Cabo San Lucas. I’m including some of my recommendations, but keep in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list.
Part of the fun in exploring a new country, and especially an area like Cabo San Lucas, is that you get to find new activities and things to enjoy, things you weren’t even aware of before.
So, ultimately, my recommendation would be to go beyond the list of recommended things to do in Cabo that you find on the internet; go exploring and have adventures!
However, I wanted to include here the top things to do in Cabo and the best tours with the most reliable companies.
🐳 Swim with whale sharks, sea lions, and manta rays
Many travelers are interested in getting up close and personal with some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures.
Fortunately, Cabo San Lucas is home to a variety of these animals, making it the perfect place to go swimming with whale sharks, sea lions, manta rays, and more.
During the winter months, the water in Cabo is still warm enough for swimming, making it a great time to take advantage of all that the area has to offer.
There are a number of tour operators that offer excursions to see these animals in their natural habitat.
Swimming with Whale sharks from La Paz is possible from the end of November, these gentle giants are often seen in the sea of Cortez. You can either drive from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz or book a tour that includes the transfer.
Swimming with whale shark tours is another experience you shouldn’t miss out on and something that everyone should do at least once in their life.
Snorkeling tour in Cabo San Lucas | 245 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews
✔️ A half-day swimming and snorkeling cruise to Santa Maria Beach
✔️ 3h 30 min tour
🚣🏽♀️ Take a glass-bottom boat ride
A glass-bottom boat ride is a great way to see the underwater world without getting wet. You can find these tours quite easily in Cabo, as they’re a popular tourist attraction.
Most glass-bottom boat tours last between 30 minutes and 1 hour and take you to see some of the most popular sights in the area.
The boats are usually small and intimate, with a maximum of 12 passengers. This makes them a great option for families or groups of friends.
During your tour, you’ll be able to see fish, coral, and other marine life through the glass bottom of the boat. During the right season, you may even spot a whale!
These tours are led by experienced guides who will share interesting facts about the creatures you see.
Tours in Cabo, Paseo al Arco and Fin de la Tierra in the only Clear Boat
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✔️ English speaking guide
✔️Completely transparent boat
✔️ Visit to the arch, end of the land, tropical fish area, visit to the sea of cortez,
✅ Enjoy some of the world-class restaurants
Both Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo boast some of the most amazing culinary scenes in Mexico. You will find all sorts of cuisine, from local street food to fancy gourmet Mexican cuisine to international flavors.
Healthy eating is also very much a thing in Cabo and you will find many different vegans or vegetarians or organic restaurants as well.
Cabo San Lucas Downtown Food and Tacos Tasting Experience
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A professional guide will take you on a tasty journey through downtown Cabo San Lucas.
You will go in search of the best local eateries and sample a selection of local delicacies while learning about Mexican culture and traditions!
✅ Take a water taxi to Lover’s Beach
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Cabo San Lucas party scene, take a water taxi over to Lover’s Beach, which is right behind the famous Arch!
So you can combine the tours and tell the boat captain at what time you want to be picked up.
This secluded spot is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway or travelers wanting to experience a more natural side of Cabo.
As one of the few areas in Cabo that aren’t developed, Lover’s Beach offers stunning views of the Sea of Cortez and is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunny weather.
Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty, so make sure to take the appropriate safety precautions when swimming.
Shared ride to the arch of Cabo San Lucas | BOOK HERE
✔️ Sail from Cabo to El Arco in a comfortable glass-bottom boat
✔️Option to be dropped off at a beach on the way back
✅ Kiteboarding or windsurfing at Playa El Médano
Playa El Médano is arguably Cabo’s most popular beach, and for good reason. The area is known for its strong winds and waves, making it a paradise for those looking to catch some air.
Playa El Médano offers a variety of activities, including jet skiing, kayaking, and windsurfing. You can even take a boat from here to the famous El Arco.
When you do get tired of adventuring, there are plenty of restaurants and bars within walking distance where you can get something to eat or drink.
When is the best time to visit Cabo?
There’s no objective one best time to visit Cabo. It all depends on what you want to do when you’re here. If whale watching is your thing, visit between late November to mid-April.
These months are the peak season in Cabo though, so expect accommodation and ticket prices to be high and you’ll have to book everything months in advance.
If you want to experience the best that Cabo has to offer but without the peak season crowds, visit during May or June. The weather is still pleasant during these two months and hurricane season storms don’t usually hit until July.
If your primary motivation for visiting Cabo is fishing, visit anywhere from July to October. This is also a great time to save money, but you’ll have to deal with the frequent rains and the weather will be quite hot.
Top tours in Cabo San Lucas
► Snorkeling or swimming with whale sharks tour
Swimming with whale sharks is a once-in-a-life kind of experience, and Cabo San Lucas is a really famous place for it. You can take a half-day whale shark tour from The Marina. It comes with snorkeling gear, an experienced guide, and refreshments.
► Outdoor ziplining tour
The desert canyons of Los Cabos are quite popular for an adventurous ziplining tour. Soaring over the curves of the desert-like region is the perfect Cabo tour for you if you’re a thrill seeker.
Alternatively, you can drive a UTV on the off-road trails of Cabo as well.
3- Outdoor Ziplining and UTV Adventure from Los Cabos | 1782 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Reviews | BOOK HERE
✔️ Fly across a series of exciting ziplines with breathtaking views of the Boca de Sierra National Park
✔️ Explore the desert on an off-road UTV buggie
✔️ Complimentary pickup and drop-off from most Cabo San Lucas hotels
► Sunset cruise tour
Sailing in the breathtaking waters of the Cabo seas is another unique experience that you can enjoy with a tour.
The sunset tour will take you on a romantic journey filled with spectacular views including the famous El Arco and Lover’s Beach.
You will find plenty of luxury cruise ships that offer this tour, which also includes unlimited beverages and delicious appetizers.
Cabo San Lucas Downtown Food and Tacos Tasting Experience
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Sail along the spectacular coast of Baja Sur aboard a 50-foot sailboat, while watching the sun disappearing in the horizon sipping your favorite drink from the open bar. Tasty appetizers are also offered.
It’s a small-group tour to ensure personal attention from the crew!
► Humpback whale-watching tour (from December through March)
Humpback whales are truly majestic, and you can see them up close if you’re visiting Cabo.
You can easily find a whale-watching tour here and the experience is very unique.
Also, some of them have marine biologists onboard, you can learn a lot more about the exotic marine life of Cabo.
► Kayaking/Paddleboarding tour
If adventurous water sports are your thing, the kayaking/paddleboarding tour is perfect for you. This tour includes sailing to a secluded cove and paddle-boarding or kayaking in the pristine waters of Cabo.
Los Cabos Sea Adventure: Snorkeling, Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding
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A great choice of sea activities in Los Arcos and Lovers Beach area
Zoom through the water with a motorized sea scooter, go snorkeling or paddleboarding.
See a local colony of sea lions while kayaking in the clear blue water.
Is Cabo Safe to travel FAQ
Is Cabo safe to travel for a female solo traveler?
Yes, Cabo is safe to travel for a female solo traveler. I was a solo female traveler in Cabo and I never felt unsafe. I will actually go back this year and I can’t wait.
While there are always risks associated with any international travel, Cabo San Lucas is generally a very safe destination.
In fact, Cabo was declared one of the safest tourist destinations by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
There are plenty of fun activities to keep you busy during the day, and most hotels and resorts have security measures in place to keep guests safe at night.
To further reduce your risk, avoid traveling alone at night and be sure to let someone know your itinerary before you go.
I’ve further detailed safety tips above, so make sure to go through that section.
Is Cabo San Lucas safe from drug cartels?
The good news is that Cabo San Lucas is far from the areas of Mexico that have been plagued by drug-related violence.
The resort town is under the jurisdiction of the state of Baja California Sur, which itself has a much lower crime rate than the rest of Mexico.
There have been no recent reports of violence or other criminal activity directed at tourists in Cabo San Lucas.
In addition, the Mexican government has beefed up security in the area in recent years, and there is now a heavy presence of police and military personnel.
So, if you’re looking for a sunny beach destination where you can relax and feel safe, Cabo San Lucas is definitely worth considering.
Is there Crime in Cabo San Lucas?
While Cabo San Lucas is generally safe to visit, like any popular tourist destination, there are always a few bad apples that can spoil the bunch.
There have been reports of petty crimes such as pickpocketing and thefts from hotel rooms in Cabo San Lucas.
To avoid becoming a victim of crime in Cabo San Lucas, take some basic precautions. I’ve detailed these precautions in the safety tips section above.
What are the safest areas to stay in Los Cabos?
Los Cabos itself is generally very safe for tourists, but some areas have more security and are safer than others; these include the Tourist Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, Downton Cabo San Lucas, El Médano Beach, and Pedregal Hills.
Do you need a Covid test to get to Cabo San Lucas?
No. At the time of writing this article, a Covid test is not necessary to go to Cabo San Lucas.
Where can I get a Covid Test in Cabo San Lucas?
There are a few different places where you can get a Covid test in Cabo San Lucas. One option is to go to a private clinic or hospital. Some of these facilities even offer drive-thru testing, so you don’t even have to leave your car. The cost of a Covid test can vary, but it is typically around $100 USD.
Is it safe to leave the hotels in Cabo San Lucas?
The short answer is: yes, it’s perfectly safe to leave your hotel in Cabo San Lucas and go exploring. For a detailed answer, keep reading.
As with any place, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling. Cabo San Lucas is generally a safe place to visit.
Thousands of tourists, including US citizens, visit the area every year and enjoy their vacations without incident.
There have been reports of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and credit card fraud, but incidents like this are not unique to Cabo and can happen at any major tourist destination.
My general recommendation is to keep your wits about you at all times and take care of your belongings, you should have no problems enjoying your trip to this beautiful part of Mexico
Is Cancun or Cabo safer?
Both Cancun and Cabo are quite safe for tourists. Cancun is especially popular with college students during spring break, thousands of whom visit the town every year without incident.
If you go by crime statistics, Cabo is slightly safer than Cancun and it was declared one of the safest tourist destinations by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
That being said, you shouldn’t have an issue with safety at either of these places as long as you follow some basic safety precautions.
Why is Cabo so popular?
There are several reasons why Cabo is extremely popular with travelers. The city’s stunning beaches, diverse landscape, and plethora of activities make it a perfect vacation spot for families, couples, and friends alike.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, Cabo has something for everyone.
What’s more, Cabo is quite safe even when compared to other popular tourist destinations in Mexico.
Cabo’s popularity can also be attributed to its close proximity to the United States.
For travelers looking for a taste of Mexico without having to travel too far from home, Cabo is the perfect destination. New Yorkers, in particular, often take advantage of direct flights to Cabo from JFK airport.
Which Mexican resort is the safest?
As Cabo is a very popular resort town, and one of the safest municipalities in Mexico, the popular resorts here are very safe.
They have day and night on-site security to make sure that their guests can enjoy their vacations in peace and quiet without any incidents.
Online reviews are a great source of information as to a resort’s safety level and comfort.
What is the safest place to visit in Mexico?
People often have this image of Mexico that crime is quite rampant there. Part of that can be attributed to travel warnings to the country by the US Department of State.
While it’s true that some areas of Mexico are not safe for tourists, such as the border areas and other random regions, resort towns, like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cabo, Tulum, and Yucatan state, to name a few, are relatively safe.
In fact, if you look at the crime statistics, these resort towns are safer than a lot of US and European cities.
With all that in mind, it’s hard to pick the safest resort in Mexico. If your destination is one of the most popular resorts in Mexico, you’ll be very safe as long as you follow some basic safety precautions.
I recommend all travelers do their research before they make their travel itinerary.
Do You Need to Be Vaccinated to Visit Mexico?
Nope, there are no vaccination requirements to enter Mexico.
Is it safe to travel to Cabo San Lucas? Final Thoughts
To conclude, Los Cabos is a very safe destination for tourists.
The municipality itself has a much lower crime rate than the rest of Mexico, and, if you compare crime figures, a lot of major cities in the US are less safe than Cabo.
So I can say without a doubt that it’s completely safe to travel to Cabo. Just follow the basic safety tips that I’ve mentioned above and you’ll have a great time.
Isabella, author, editor, and founder
A passionate traveler and photographer, in love with life and adventures, Isabella is the founder and editor of Letstraveltomexico where she shares her love for Mexico, a fascinating country that she’s proud to call home. When she’s not exploring a new place you will find Isabella in a cafe, writing on this blog, or on her other sites Boundless Roads, Mexico Cenotes and Ruins and Letstraveltocancun.com where she loves to share her travels on and off the beaten path in Mexico and around the world.