Mexico is a beautiful North American country with many diverse and exciting regions to explore. And it’s generally safe to travel there and enjoy its pristine beach towns.
But because of the ongoing Mexican drug war, it’s essential to know the cheapest and safest places in Mexico for tourists before visiting the country.
Earlier, I covered the 15 best digital nomad cities in Mexico. But I’ve focused on the budget and safety aspects in this article.
Sounds great? So, let’slet’s start!
Top 11 Cheapest and Safest Places in Mexico to Visit
The US state department’sdepartment’s Mexico Travel Advisory restricts citizens from visiting some regions because of the crime ratio.
While Mexico is generally safe to visit, you should still use common sense when visiting the country.
Merida is a bustling city in the Yucatán state of Mexico, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Mayan jungle. The US State Department has given the green light for travelers to visit all of Yucatan, Mexico, not just Merida.
This is an excellent sign that it’s safe and much easier to explore this beautiful region. Merida is an ideal destination for those looking for an adventure without worrying about safety.
It ranks 8th in the safest places to visit in the Americas, according to Numbeo. Laura Olds, one of the female solo travelers, spent one month in Merida and felt safe! Look at the peace index table for Merida:
|Organization||Mexico Index||Country ranking|
|Global Health Security Index||57.0||25 of 195 (good)|
|Global Peace Index||2.61||137 of 163 (bad)|
This gorgeous city is located on Mexico’s Pacific coast and boasts a vibrant culture. You can visit many historical sites, such as
- Casa Montejo museum.
- Museo de la Ciudad.
- Templo de San Ildefonso.
Merida is also home to numerous restaurants, galleries, shops, and markets that can provide endless entertainment day or night.
You can explore the city with peace of mind because it has the lowest crime rate in Mexico. The local police are reliable and friendly, making it a great place to visit for all.
In addition, the Mexican city has street safety campaigns throughout the year that remind citizens how to stay safe.
These are the things to do in Merida:
- Explore the historical sites of Merida
- Shop at the local markets and shops
- Go out for dinner or drinks in the evening
- Visit the nearby beaches
Considering all this, it’s easy to see why Merida is considered one of the cheapest and safest places to travel in Mexico.
2/ Mexico City
Mexico City is the vibrant capital city of Mexico and is located in the heart of the country in Central Mexico.
It is known for its towering skyscrapers, cultural attractions, plazas, and world-class restaurants. The city has been undergoing steady population growth over the years, especially due to immigration from other states in Mexico and worldwide.
With more than 130 million population and modern city vibes, it’s not the safest Mexican city. But it can also be a great destination, as long as you know the safety precautions.
You should avoid traveling alone to areas that could be dangerous. Go with a trusted friend or group at night and stick to the more touristy parts of Mexico City. Well-funded police force patrols busy areas like downtown and popular tourist spots 24/7.
And then, it becomes a safe place to travel, especially with a low crime rate compared to other major cities.
These are the things to do in Mexico City:
- Explore the bustling Centro Histórico district
- Visit the National Museum of Anthropology
- Explore ancient ruins such as Teotihuacan or Monte Albán
- Tour Frida Kahlo’sKahlo’s studio and home
With its diverse population, cultural attractions, and low crime rates, it’s no wonder why it remains one of the most popular destinations for travelers looking for an exciting experience in a safe environment.
3/ Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a beautiful coastal town on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico. Home to an impressive 368,698 inhabitants, this bustling city attracts people from all around the globe.
It’sIt’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of attractions to explore.
The town is also known for its many traditional Mexican shops and markets, where visitors can find unique souvenirs to take home. It is renowned for being one of the cheapest and safest cities in Mexico due to its well-funded police force that patrols the streets 24 hours a day.
The city also has cameras watching over public areas such as plazas and parks which help prevent criminal activities by allowing local authorities to monitor them at all times.
These are the things to do in Playa del Carmen:
- Visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Coba
- Relax on the white sandy beaches
- Explore the nearby cenotes
- Visit Xcaret eco-park
With its breathtaking beaches, cultural attractions, and low crime rate, it’s no surprise why Playa del Carmen remains one of the top tourist destinations in the country.
4/ San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, located in Guanajuato in Central Mexico.
The city is known for its picturesque streets, colonial architecture, and breathtaking landscapes. San Miguel de Allende has a small-town appeal that draws visitors worldwide.
In 2018, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site and, in doing so, bestowed upon this place an esteemed recognition.
The city is also well-known for its annual “Day of the Dead” festivities and other annual celebrations. Population growth in San Miguel de Allende has been steady over the years, with a reported population of 144,192.
Additionally, there are plenty of historic landmarks and cultural attractions to explore. Visiting the city can feel like a haven of security, with police patrols and cameras monitoring popular outdoor locations such as plazas and parks.
These are the things to do in San Miguel de Allende:
- Visit the iconic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel
- Explore the Fabrica La Aurora art galleries and studios
- Visit Las Monjas, a 16th-century museum
- Eat some delicious Mexican cuisine
San Miguel de Allende is an amazing destination for travelers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, from its stunning beauty to its peaceful atmosphere.
Puebla is a state in Central Mexico known for its vibrant culture, colonial architecture, and delicious food. The population of this region is estimated to be 3.3 million people.
The city of Puebla is the capital of the state and one of the largest cities in Mexico. It is a great safe place to visit for travelers looking to experience Mexican culture at an affordable price.
The city is home to numerous attractions, such as old churches, cathedrals, museums, parks, and more. Additionally, visitors can find plenty of shops and restaurants that offer traditional Mexican cuisine.
Puebla is also known for being one of Mexico’s cheapest and safest states due to its low crime rate and stringent security measures such as cameras in public areas, police, and other preventative measures.
Visitors don’t need to worry about their safety while visiting as long as they take sensible precautions like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended.
The city also offers various festivals and events throughout the year, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists.
These are the things to do in Puebla:
- Visit the majestic Cholula Pyramid
- Explore the cobblestone streets of colonial downtown
- Enjoy delicious mole dishes
- Visit the Puebla Cathedral and surrounding plazas
From its stunning historical sites to its delicious food and friendly locals, Puebla has something for everyone who visits this beautiful city.
6/ Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city in the state of Jalisco in Mexico. The city is well-known for its stunning beaches, mountainous views, charming cobblestone streets, and vibrant nightlife. With a population of 3.2 million, Puerto Vallarta has secured its reputation as one of Mexico’sMexico’s most sought-after tourist destinations.
The city is a safe and family-friendly destination with low levels of crime. Although petty crime does exist, and visitors should be aware of their surroundings, the risk of serious crime is minimal.
It also offers plenty of activities for families and kids, such as:
- Horseback riding on the beach.
- Water sports like jet skiing, snorkeling, or kayaking.
- Visiting nearby wildlife sanctuaries.
- Exploring historical sites like El Malecon boardwalk.
These are the things to do in Puerto Vallarta:
- Visit the iconic El Malecon boardwalk
- Explore stunning beaches like Playa Los Muertos
- Go for a boat tour and spot whales
- Hike to the top of Ameca Mountain for an incredible view
Puerto Vallarta has something for everyone, from its gorgeous beaches to its vibrant culture and friendly locals.
Sayulita is a small coastal town in Nayarit, Mexico. It is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and lively atmosphere. Analysts predict that Sayulita’sSayulita’s population will reach an estimated 5000 people by 2022.
As a small population, the city has managed to keep a low crime rate, making it one of the cheapest and safest places in Mexico.
Tourists can enjoy the town without worrying about their safety if they take sensible precautions like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended.
The city offers plenty of activities for travelers, such as whale watching, surfing, fishing, and exploring nearby villages like La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Bucerías.
These are the things to do in Sayulita:
- Go for a boat tour and spot whales
- Explore the local markets and shops
- Visit the stunning beach of Playa de Los Muertos
- Take a surfing lesson or rent a board
Sayulita also hosts numerous festivals, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists.
Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico known for its stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and friendly locals. The capital city of Oaxaca, also called the same name, is located in the central valley of the Sierra Madre mountain range and offers plenty of attractions for visitors.
Home to 4.19 million people, Mexico’sMexico’s state is among the most populous regions in the country.
Oaxaca is one of the cheapest and safest Mexican cities due to its low crime rate. Tourists can explore the city without worrying about their safety as long as they take sensible precautions like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended.
The city boasts a variety of activities, such as exploring ancient ruins like Monte Alban, tasting regional cuisine, visiting nearby villages like Teotitlan del Valle and Mitla, and enjoying traditional dance performances.
These are the things to do in Oaxaca:
- Visit the ancient ruins of Monte Alban
- Explore the traditional markets and shops of Mercado 20 de Noviembre
- Taste the local cuisine and explore nearby villages like Teotitlan del Valle
- Visit nearby waterfalls like El Chaflan and Hierve el Agua
Oaxaca is an ideal destination for travelers looking to experience Mexico’sMexico’s culture, explore its ancient ruins, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Madre mountains.
Cancun is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. With a population of 998,000 people, Cancun is one of the state’s largest, cheapest, and safest cities and a popular tourist destination.
The city is also home to various attractions, making it a popular destination for travelers worldwide.
Tourists can explore without worrying about their safety as long as they take sensible precautions like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended. The city boasts a stunning coastline, pristine beaches, and beautiful turquoise waters.
These are the things to do in Cancun:
- Visit Isla Mujeres for some incredible snorkeling and diving
- Take a boat tour to explore the Nichupte Lagoon
- Enjoy the nightlife at Coco Bongo or The City
- Relax on one of the stunning beaches like Playa Delfines or Playa Tortugas
With so much to see and do, Cancun is a great choice for any traveler looking for a little bit of everything!
10/ Los Cabos
Los Cabos is a popular destination in Baja California Sur, Mexico. With a population of 351111, this area is a bustling hub of activity.
It features miles of stunning coastline, pristine beaches, and bustling towns. The area is home to various attractions, making it a great destination for all travelers, from adventure seekers to beach lovers.
Los Cabos includes two main towns – Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo – and numerous small villages and resorts. Visitors can explore the desert landscape, go fishing or sailing, enjoy local cuisine, and soak up some sun on the beautiful beaches.
Other popular activities include
- Whale watching and visiting the iconic Arch of Los Cabos.
- Exploring renowned surf spots like Cerritos Beach and Todos Santos Island.
Tourists can explore without worrying about their safety as long as they take sensible precautions like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended.
These are the things to do in Los Cabos:
- Visit the Arch of Los Cabos
- Enjoy some rest on the beautiful beaches
- Explore the local markets, shops, and eateries
- Go fishing or sailing in the Sea of Cortez
Los Cabos is a premier destination for all travelers, boasting an abundant assortment of attractions and activities. Its tranquil yet vibrant atmosphere makes it one of the safest places to visit!
11/ La Paz
La Paz is located in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. It offers spectacular scenery, breathtaking views, and plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained. Home to a population of approximately 1.9 million people, La Paz, is an ever-growing metropolis.
The city is very safe, with low crime rates. Travelers can explore without worrying about their safety as long as they take sensible precautions, like not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended.
La Paz offers something for all travelers, from adventure seekers looking for outdoor activities.
There are also plenty of cultural attractions, such as museums, galleries, and cultural events, that visitors can enjoy.
These are the things to do in La Paz:
- Get up close and personal with the local marine life on a whale-watching tour
- Explore the charming city center and enjoy some local cuisine
- Relax on one of the stunning beaches like Balandra Beach or Tecolote Beach
- Visit the nearby islands such as Isla Espiritu Santo
With its stunning landscape, pristine beaches, and a full range of activities, La Paz is a great destination for any traveler looking for an unforgettable experience!
FAQs for the Cheapest and Safest Mexican Cities to Visit in 2023
Let me answer a few questions about safety in Mexico.
How has the Mexican government worked to improve safety in these places for tourists?
The Mexican government has taken several steps to improve safety in Mexico for tourists. It has increased the presence of police and military personnel in popular tourist areas and improved security measures at resorts and hotels and implemented new regulations on public transportation.
What measures should tourists take when visiting these Mexican cities?
Travelers must take sensible precautions such as not walking alone late at night or leaving valuables unattended. They should also follow local regulations, adhere to safety advice, and be aware of their surroundings at all times.
Don’t go to the places to avoid in Mexico, such as Tepito, Mercado Merced, Doctores, Ciudad Neza, and Iztapalapa. And don’tdon’t carry every peso you brought! Blend in the culture, and know all the emergency numbers of Mexico.
What makes a city in Mexico safe for tourists to visit?
Safe Mexican cities have robust security measures, low crime levels, many leisure and entertainment options, and convenient access to necessities such as accommodation and dining. They also have welcoming locals as well.
What’sWhat’s the cheapest city in Mexico?
It’s hard to select the cheapest Mexican city because there are many! And Mexico is a very diverse nation, without a doubt. So, I consider Casas, Puebla, Bahia de Navidad, Playa Del Carmen, Guadalajara, and many other cities as the cheapest Mexican cities.