Mexico is notorious for being one of the most dangerous places in the world, and it’s had that reputation for a while now. However, it’s important to remember that everyday people live their lives in Mexico just like the rest of the world do. Much like any other nation, there are places in Mexico where crime rates are higher; then there are other places that are peaceful and safe. Mexico happens to be one of the most stunning locations in North America, and its rich history is steeped into so many areas in the country. If you’ve ever imagined a life in Mexico, here are the 20 safest places you can live in.
20. Bacalar, Quintana Roo
The largest city in Quintana Roo, Bacalar is one of the last unknown places in the Yucatan Peninsula. Because it’s less likely to draw large tourist crowds, Bacalar remains to be one of the safest in the area. The city is most popular for the Lake of Seven Colors, a stunning lagoon that stretches for 42 kilometers. The lagoon adds to the magical feel of the city. And here’s an added bonus: it’s extremely affordable to live here.
19. Cuernavaca, Morelos
Just 90 minutes south of Mexico City is the beautiful city of Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos. The city is nicknamed the City of Eternal Springs. Residents here enjoy temperate climates that bring forth an abundance of flowering plants. Cuernavaca serves as a weekend escapade for those that live in the polluted areas of Mexico City, but the rest of the time here is still peaceful.
18. Huatulco, Oaxaca
Oaxaca is famous for some of the best Mexican foods in the nation, but this particular Huatulco offers so much more. The city is essentially a collection of breathtaking Pacific coastal bays, and much of the industry in this part of Mexico comes from tourism. Imagine living in paradise. This is what living in Huatulco means for its residents. With the Sierra Madre Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. It has the perfect balance of nature and development. Huatulco living is small town living at its best.
17. Sayulita, Nayarit
The small beach town of Sayulita in Nayarit is very young compared to many places in Mexico. Sayulita has become a getaway and tourist destination in the last decade with more people and travelers discovering its location. It’s considered to be one of Mexico’s best off the beaten path destinations, and it also happens to be one of the safest. It’s a sleepy town that’s full of people that want to live life slowly.
16. Queretaro City
Queretaro has long been considered to offer one of the highest qualities of life in Mexico. It offers big city living without sacrificing safety in return. Queretaro is surrounded by colonial architecture from left to right, and it’s both charming and historic. There’s a small expat community there and a moderate number of retirees. There’s also a great amount of culture that adds even more vibrancy and color to the city. Queretaro offers a lifestyle that’s moderately active and exciting. You’ll also enjoy spring-like temperatures here all year round.
15. Campeche City
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Campeche City was founded in 1540 by Spanish conquistadors, and the infrastructure here is a reflection of that history. Campeche City is largely untouched by tourism, and that makes everything affordable in this place—from eating out to finding homes to live in. Campeche City is also known for being one of the safest places in the area, especially since it isn’t particularly easy to get into. While it may be remote in relation to other metropolitan areas in Mexico, Campeche City has everything you could ever possibly need to live a fulfilled life. It even has a Wal-Mart.
14. Los Cabos, Baja California Sur
If you prefer a younger demographic and want to live an active lifestyle, Los Cabos is a great option. Although it has the reputation of being a tourist party draw, Los Cabos truly offers way more. Los Cabos happens to have the lowest population density in all of Mexico. That’s definitely a big draw for many of the residents in the area. It’s an intelligent community with eight universities and the lowest illiteracy rate in the nation. Los Cabos offers up variety and plenty of adventure. Given that its safe there too is just a welcomed treat.
13. Ensenada, Baja California
There’s a reason why Ensenada is known as The Pearl of the Pacific. It’s considered to be one of the best places to live in Mexico, and there are a number of reasons why. First off, the crime rate here is similar to what the rate would be in a big city in the US. According to the area’s police, the top crime here is petty theft. It’s not anything that should stop you from considering Ensenada as your home. This city is incredibly beautiful and lively with many cultural offerings and natural destinations.
12. Mazatlan, Sinaloa
Mazatlan may seem like the city that has it all, and a big part of that is true. It’s got city comforts combined with nature’s wonders all within the same vicinity. Whether you want live by the beach or be away from the hustle of a crowd, Mazatlan has a location for you to settle in. Every single area in Mazatlan has something to offer, but all of them are relatively safe. Whether you choose to live close to the ocean or more towards the city center, you’ll find something in Mazatlan to enjoy.
11. Los Barilles, Baja California Sur
It may be a quaint town in Baja California Sur, but Los Barilles has a lot to offer. It’s a small area close to the US vicinity, which adds to its appeal. In fact, there’s an interesting mix of culture here in Los Barilles. The town is about a half and half mix of expats and locals. The town may not have all the glitz and glamour of other places in Baja, but what it lacks in buzz—it makes up for in peace and quiet. Safety here is not an issue; Los Barilles is considered to be one of the calmer places in Baja California Sur.
10. Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Guadalajara
There are quite a number of places in Mexico that are considered magical. They are referred to as Pueblos Magicos, which literally translate to Magical Towns. Although, there’s no real magic here—only a program established by the tourism board in the country to recognize and distinguish various towns that have rich culture, unique traditions, historical significance, and more. Ajijic in Lake Chapala is one such magical town, and the magic extends to the safeness of the area. Despite of Guadalajara’s reputation for being unsafe in some locations, Ajijic remains to be a beacon of light in the region.
Being the fourth largest city in Mexico, Puebla offers so much when it comes to daily living. It’s an industrial town full of hardworking people, and most of these residents take pride in their city. In fact, Puebla is considered to be one of the safest in Mexico despite of its proximity to centers of drug activity. What’s most striking in Puebla is the dramatic landscape—a combination of sweeping mountain backdrops and centuries-old architecture. This city is rated by various travel organizations worldwide as one of the best cities to travel to; living in Puebla is just as recommended.
8. La Paz, Baja California Sur
La Paz is literally translated to “the peace,” and this big city in Mexico’s Baja California Sur has plenty of peace to offer. The standard of living here is pretty high, and there’s a good balance of industry and ecology here. La Paz is bordered by the Sea of Cortez, which adds to the natural charm of the city. Much like any other city, there are areas in La Paz that are safer than others. This city is a big tourist draw, but residents find that living within and closest to the city center is best.
7. San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Mexico is known for its romantic vibe, and San Miguel de Allende certainly gives off that honeymoon feel. While that may be the case, you don’t have to be a couple to live in this Guanajato city. There are plenty of things to do here for families, retirees, and younger folk alike. The pace of life is slowed down here, and it’s extremely safe for residents and visitors. It’s also very affordable to live in San Miguel de Allende.
6. Mexico City
The oldest city in the Americas—Mexico City always get a bad rep for being dangerous. While it may be true that some areas here have a higher crime rate, it doesn’t mean that the entire city is unsafe. Over five million people visit the Mexico City center everyday. With numbers like that, crime is almost inescapable. However, Mexico City remains to be a viable option for a place to live. Everything that’s good and vibrant in the city outweighs the usual dangers that any other city might have. There’s so much culture here to be had; you’ll never get tired of finding new things to discover and love.
5. Cancun, Quintana Roo
Everyone knows that Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations. Over the years, Cancun has built up a reputation of being a party town, but there’s more to Cancun than just its tourist attractions. Located in Quintana Roo, Cancun has something to offer all the residents that choose to settle down there. Many areas of Cancun still has a small-town feel, especially in the way that it feels safe there at any time of the day.
4. Puerto Vallarta
Sure it may be a resort town, but Puerto Vallarta is visited not just for that reason. Living in this stunning city by the Pacific Ocean is like being on vacation every day of the year. The history is evident with the cobbled streets on every corner, but the city also offers plenty of modern comforts and amenities. Many people decide to finally stay in Puerto Vallarta even after a visit or two. Everything you could ever want in a peaceful and safe area is right here in Puerto Vallarta.
3. Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
The coastal Yucatan Peninsula town of Playa del Carmen has gained popularity over the years as one of the most beautiful places in the country. Compared to other tourist destinations in Mexico, Playa del Carmen is regarded to be one of the safest. It becomes a little bit different for those who call this place home. The city gets a fair share of new residents each year, and one of the reasons for that surge is safety. Living in Playa del Carmen is very much relaxed. The residential communities are small and intimate but very active.
2. Tulum, Quintana Roo
It’s becoming clear that Quintana Roo is one of the safest places in Mexico to live. It’s not a coincidence that the state is also a regular tourist destination. Tourism is an integral part of industry in a lot of these places, and the same goes for Tulum. This is the reason why the state puts a lot of resources towards the safety and security of visitors and residents alike. Tulum is basically ancient Maya in the modern world. There are so many amazing experiences awaiting transplants here in this Quintana Roo city. The beaches are just the tip of the iceberg. The beauty of nature can be found anywhere in Tulum. Living here might be a little pricey, but it’s well worth it.
1. Merida, Yucatan
Being the financial and cultural center of the Yucatan, Merida is at the peak of safe living in Mexico. It’s nicknamed The White City because there was once a time when all the buildings here were painted white. It’s a cosmopolitan location with some of the safest ratings in the entire country. The people are friendly; the living expenses are cheap. It’s filled with historic homes that are finding new life from new residents moving in to do some refurbishing. Merida is seeing a lot of growth in population, and that’s because people are realizing how incredible life can be in this metropolitan oasis.