Have you ever wondered where the most dangerous cities in Mexico are?
Unfortunately, Mexico has had a bad rap for years, and despite what you may think there are destinations that are considered as dangerous which are places that are still visited by thousands of new tourists each year.
If you do decide to plan a trip to Mexico, we think it is a good idea to know where exactly to visit and where to avoid so you can ultimately have a safer trip.
Given that there are many dangerous places in Mexico to avoid, we want to highlight some of the most notorious of them all, as well as give you the low down on whether the county’s safety situation has improved over recent years.
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Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico
When it comes to danger in Mexico (or any other part of the world) we like to factor in other risks that can be of danger to visitors such as earthquakes or other natural disasters. However, in this post, we will focus exclusively on human crime.
Why are some parts of Mexico Dangerous?
We’ve all seen the movies and the majority of dangerous cities in Mexico are in the situation they’re in due to the drugs trade. Since there are countless cartels that control different regions its a constant battle for the Mexican authorities.
It’s true that the cartels are focused in certain areas (some of which are in this guide) but we have to take into account that the underworld spreads much wider than just the places where the product is being produced or moved to.
As with many countries in and around Latin America, many areas of the cities or coastal regions are in poverty, are politically unstable, and are not in any way shape, or form, ready to invite tourism or foreign outsiders into their world.
Are there any safe places in Mexico?
With all this talk of bad places in Mexico, it would be wrong not to mention some of the safe places in Mexico, because there are many worth talking about.
Mexico has always been a popular tourist destination, and for that reason, the Mexican government has spent resources on maintaining a positive image.
The country and its tourism board have also taken steps in the right direction to ensure potential visitors that public safety in tourist areas is a high priority.
Places such as Cancun, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta have been on the tourist radar for many years now. Regions such as Yucatan are noted as the safest in Mexico that you can travel to without worrying about violence or being a victim of crime.
The Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico
Below we are going to look at 5 of the most dangerous cities in Mexico to give you an idea of where to avoid on any trip that you may be planning in the future.
We have used data from Numbeo.com to do a comparison of each city. We then picked out common crime statistics such as theft and assault to give you a better idea of how real it is when it comes to crime in some of Mexico’s cities.
Classed as one of the most dangerous cities in the world Celaya continues to show up as the most dangerous city in Mexico. It is easy to think because the city is located in the state of Guanajuato that is must not to too much of a threat but the data shows that to be incorrect.
With the omnipresent activity of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, the amount of bloodshed and violence in this city is second to none. This is a city where shootouts between the police and gang members are commonplace. Looking at the Crime Index score you’ll see that Celaya scores a whopping 81.98.
Although seen by many as a popular party place or lads’ weekend spot, Tijuana is up there with some of the most dangerous places in Mexico that you could ever visit. Snuggly located on the US border this city which lies in the Mexican state of Baja California is adjacent to (San Ysidro) the busiest international land border.
Known for its drug trade and related crimes including people trafficking, this is one city in Mexico you should avoid visiting without good reason to do so. We say this because believe it or not Tijuana is still one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico, especially for US citizens. The Crime Index score for Tijuana is 70.92.
When we think of notoriously dangerous cities in Mexico this city is the cream of the crop. Located in the northern state of Sinaloa it is here where you can hear about some of Mexico’s most feared drug cartels.
Most of the volume of crime here is between rival gang members and the police, however, members of the public being caught up in the crossfire is a common occurrence. A quick look at the Crime Index score shows Culiacán to be 70.18.
As a smart city home to more than 10 million people and the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the world, it is safe to say Mexico City is huge. It has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico and rightly so.
There are many neighborhoods that are unsafe and should be avoided at all costs. However, Mexico City is also of the most popular cities for tourism in Mexico and attracts thousands of new visitors each day.
The most common form of violence is assault or robbery. The Crime Index score shows Mexico City to be 68.52 so not as high as the aforementioned cities.
When it comes to dangerous Mexican cities that are high on the Rictor scale as far as international news goes, Ciudad Juárez is one. Located in the Sovereign State of Chihuahua this is also another international border crossing. Drug production and smuggling are rife.
It will be no surprise to you that Ciudad Juárez has some of the shocking and violent crimes that outsiders have heard about. The Juárez Cartel (Cártel de Juárez) have a stronghold on this city and dumping their rival’s dismembered corpses in public places is no stranger to them.
The score for Ciudad Juárez is 68.48 on the Crime Index and is noted as a place to avoid in Mexico with no real value to offer in the way of tourism when compared to Mexico City.
Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico
As you can see, there are some dangerous places in Mexico that should be avoided and other that still receive visitors despite the negative press.
When we look at the statistics we see that Mexico is becoming a safer country to visit. That is provided we avoid these no-go areas, especially for new and first-time travelers to the country and those who are visiting exclusively for tourism.
This guide was designed to shed some light on the most dangerous cities in Mexico so you know which cities and regions to avoid while planning your trip.
Please remember to take a read of our super sustainable travel tips before you travel to ensure that your trips are healthy for both you and planet earth.
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