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Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers in 2022?


Planning a solo trip to Mexico?

This often underrated country has so much to offer — and what better way to explore it all than on your own schedule, and at your own pace. But of course, you’re probably wondering, Is Mexico safe for solo female travellers?

Since Mexico travel safety is usually the elephant 🐘 whenever discussing Mexico travel, this entire article will cover that topic. As I live in Mexico, and I have traveled Mexico solo for years, I’m going to share all my best tips with you in this article, so you have an epic Mexico solo trip.

Those who have actually done solo Mexico travel (like me!) will tell you that for the most part, Mexico is safe for solo female travellers. However, you still have to follow the general travel safety guidelines you’d follow when traveling anywhere on Earth — and make your own safety your top priority.

These include not walking home alone at night, staying aware of your surroundings, keeping an eye on your belongings, not getting too intoxicated, etc. All those things will apply in Mexico as well. However, this guide will go a bit deeper on Mexico-specific tips for solo female travellers.

Ready to dive into the topic of Mexico solo travel safety for female travellers? Let’s get to it!

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Is it Safe to Travel to Mexico Right Now? (Covid Info)

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s global travel safety program, Safe Travels, has certified all of Mexico’s big travel destinations, including Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, as safe for travel. To qualify for this program, countries must follow rigorous cleaning and hygiene protocols.

For Coronavirus information, Mexico disperses travel health notices via a stop light system — with a color “grade” given to each state. Each state’s color is updated every two weeks, so you’ll check the government’s website for the most current info on the state(s) you’re visiting.

If you’re wondering, Is Mexico open for travel? Then yes, it is. In fact, the country, which relies heavily on tourism dollars, has taken a lot of Covid-19 safety measures so that it can remain open, and people feel safe enough to come.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

I wish this question had an official answer — but it doesn’t. Statistically speaking, travellers are quite safe in Mexico; though you’ll need to remain aware of your surroundings more as a solo traveler (in Mexico, and anywhere).

As safety is a complex topic, I do my best to tackle it in this articleIs Mexico Safe to Travel to Right Now?, and this podcast titled Tips for Safe Solo Travel in Mexico. I also wrote a book on the subject called Travel Mexico Safely: 15 Safety Tips from a Long-Term Resident.

Mexico Safety Statistics & Expert Opinons

When putting your mind at ease about solo travel safety in Mexico, experts are great sources. One of the most helpful articles on the subject of safe travels to Mexico comes from Forbes. In it, they interview Carlos Barron, a 25-year FBI veteran, and his quote offers incredible perspective: 

Millions of [travellers] go to Mexico on vacation every year, so if we play the numbers game, the number of incidents is very small… When I’m asked if Mexico is a safe place to go travel on vacation, my response is yes.

Carlos Barron, 25-year FBI Veteran

The key here is “the numbers game.” There’s no denying bad things occur in Mexico; however, they are largely isolated incidents. Though bad things happen every day in every country, many conveniently write those off isolated incidents, rather than labeling the entire country unsafe.

For many travellers, they’re less likely to ask Is Greece safe for solo female travellers?, or Is the U.S. safe for solo travellers? than they are to ask Is Mexico safe for female travellers?. However, statistics paint another story that solo female travellers will want to consider.

Check out this site that compares U.S. and Mexico crime statistics, and you might be shocked. It’s hard to believe, given the media’s demonization of Mexico, but in most categories, the U.S. has higher crime rates than Mexico, especially violent crime and crimes committed with guns.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Best Places for Solo Travellers in Mexico

Wondering about the best destinations for solo female travellers in Mexico? That’s great! Choosing a safe destination is the first step to travel safety in Mexico. As with any country on Earth, be it Italy, the United States, or Thailand, you’ll find both safe and unsafe places in Mexico.

woman laying on palm tree doing solo travel in mexico
Safe destinations for solo female travellers in Mexico

To help you pick the safest places to travel in Mexico, check out the 20 Best Mexico Solo Travel Destinations to Visit, with suggestions from solo female travellers who have actually been to them.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Is Mexico City safe for solo female travellers?

angel of independence golden angel statue in mexico city
πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ Traveling to Mexico City? Check out these Mexico City itinerary guides to help you plan — 3 days in Mexico City, 4 days in Mexico City, and 5 days in Mexico City.

No one can definitively say all Mexico City solo female travellers will be safe, because safety is never a guarantee for any person, anywhere in the world. However, traveling to Mexico City alone as a woman is safe for the vast majority of travellers.

Check out this first-hand account from Erin about her safe experience traveling to Mexico City solo for a great perspective. In this podcast episode, you’ll hear from Leigh about her experience traveling to Mexico City solo — twice! (She loved it so much she went back a second time.)

On a personal note, I lived in Mexico City by myself for about a year, and found it to be safe, interesting and incredibly fun. There are just so many things to do in Mexico City, and once you get there, you’ll realize how wrong most people are about this amazing city.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Mexico solo travel guides

a sail boat in the middle of the blue waters of bacalar lagoon mexico
Bacalar Mexico, the “Maldives of Mexico,” is a great place for solo travel, budget travel, and those who want to do a land-crossing into Belize or Central America.

What I can definitively say about Mexico safety is that I have been safe as a solo female traveller in Mexico, and so have countless other women! Make sure to check out all the solo female travel guides on this site, written by myself and other solo female travellers in Mexico.

10 Tips for Travelling Alone in Mexico

1. Listen to Your Intuition

Mexico is an incredibly friendly country; as in you might casually start chatting with someone and within 10 minutes they will invite you to a party at their house — it’s that friendly. While some travellers will absolutely love this, some people will not know what to make of it.

For this reason, some of the best solo female travel advice for Mexico, especially if this is your first trip alone, is to listen to your intuition. You know that voice inside your head? That’s your intuition, although some call it your inner voice, higher self, conscience, and similar terms.

The intuition basically has one job: to keep you safe. If your intuition is telling you that the person you just met 10 minutes ago who invited you to their cousin’s birthday this weekend seems like a good person, they may be. If, however, they seem like a creep, decline the invite.

This same goes for places — if you have a bad feeling about a place you’ve found yourself in, leave immediately. The same goes for people. If you’re hanging out with someone and getting a bad or strange vibe from them, don’t worry about a polite exit, just get away from them ASAP.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

2. Use Uber Over Public Transportation

Woman standing in the street holding her phone waiting for an Uber
Uber is available in most places throughout Mexico. There is also DiDi, BlaBlaCar, Cabify and InDriver, but there’s no Lyft in Mexico.

Mexico has pretty good public transportation in most places, especially big cities like Mexico City and Guadalajara. In fact, the Mexico City Metro (subway) and buses have separate spaces reserved for women and children only — the front metro car and front section of the bus.

Still, the fact remains that public transportation isn’t always the safest mode of transportation. Though many people take it everyday without issue, you’re also putting yourself in the place most people get pickpocketed, which is on public transportation.

For this reason, it’s much safer to use Uber. Besides being the safer option, you’ll also waste less time traveling to your destination, as public transport can take twice as long (or longer). While public transportation may cost less in money, you will pay that cost in time.

Safely Using Mexico City Public Transport

If you do want to use Mexico City public transportation, remain hyper aware of your belongings and make sure everything you have is in your purse and that it’s zipped up. You may also want to consider these best bags for travellers — an anti-theft purse and anti-theft rucksack.

Also, try to avoid public transport during rush hours, as people pack in like sardines on the buses and metro. The peak times last from about 7am-9am, and 5pm-7pm, but beyond these times, Mexico City public transport can be a fun experience, and a cheap way to get around.

Best Anti-Theft Purses

Women Only Metro Cars & Buses

In an effort to make the Mexico City Metro safer for women, the front subway carriages are for women and children only. Also, most public buses are large with two or three cars for each bus, and similarly, the front part of Mexico City buses are women only.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

3. Keep Some Things Private

woman laying in the Caribbean Sea on a hammock in Holbox Island, Mexico
🏝 Looking to visit the best islands in Mexico? Look no further than Isla Mujeres, Cozumel Island and Isla Holbox (seen in the photo above) — all located in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Remember how we said people in Mexico are friendly? It’s definitely one of the best things about the country, and it will end up rubbing off on you. However, there’s a fine line between being friendly and over-sharing.

πŸ—£ Solo travel Mexico Tip: You don’t owe anyone an explanation! If someone asks a question you don’t feel comfortable answering, don’t.

While most people will just want to make casual chit chat and small talk, you never know who has ulterior motives. For this reason, resist the urge to tell acquaintances, the person next to you at a bar, or your neighbor in a cafe every single detail about your life and travel plans.

It’s OK to be vague in your answers if you’re not someone comfortable with telling white lies. To do this, just give a non-specific answer — for example, if someone asks you where you’re staying, just say “In downtown.” If someone asks what you’re doing tomorrow, say “I’m meeting a friend.”

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

4. Book Early Flights to Mexico

woman on a plane looking at her phone
When traveling to Mexico alone, keep it comfy on your flight so you arrive to the best Mexico destinations as rested and refreshed as possible.

When traveling to Mexico, try to pick a flight that arrives early in the day; the earlier the better. You never want to cut it too close, because though your scheduled arrival might be 6pm when the sun’s still out, there might be a delay and you don’t arrive until 8pm when it’s already dark.

In general, it’s much safer to arrive while the sun is still out, especially if this is your first trip to Mexico or a foreign country. πŸ€” Wondering about which are the best places in Mexico to travel alone? Check out these 25 Safest Cities to Visit in Mexico, which are some of the safest in all North America.

Though “off-hour” flights tend to be less expensive, resist the urge to take them, if you can. If not, you might want to pay a little extra for a private airport transfer service to be waiting at the airport to pick you up and take you where you’re staying.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

5. Stay in the Safest Neighborhoods

cancun at night
The Zona Hotelera, or Cancun Hotel Zone on Cancun Beach, is the safest neighborhood in Cancun. Check out all these best Cancun all inclusive resorts so you’re in this safe part of town.

Nearly all Mexico cities (at least the ones frequented by travellers) have what’s known as a Zocalo, which is the “Town Square,” located within it’s Centro Historico, or Historic Downtown. This is the most lively part of town, and will have plenty of accommodation options.

If you’re visiting a town or city you’ve never been to, narrow your search for a hotel, Airbnb or hostel down to the area called Centro Historico, and you’ll always be in an area frequented by other travellers — of course, you still want to read reviews of the place before booking.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

6. Chat with Local Women

No one knows their town like a local, and no one knows better how to stay safe as a woman than another woman. You can also get great travel tips about the city you’re visiting, and find out where to eat the best street food (ie. places that won’t get you sick in Mexico).

πŸ“² The best way to keep in touch with both old and new friends while traveling?

A Mexico SIM Card from TELCEL. This is the country’s largest carrier — so you always have phone and texting service, as well as data.

Don’t be afraid to chat up a friendly stranger, and ask her for some tips — especially if this is your first time in Mexico. You might want to know ask what streets to avoid at night, what places are completely off limits for women traveling alone, and what places are safe.

If you have travel anxiety about talking to complete strangers, ask a woman on the staff at your hotel or hostel, a female Airbnb host, or even your female restaurant server. Remember that most people aren’t 100% comfortable talking to strangers, but when necessary, you just do it anyway.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

7. Go on Group Tours in Mexico

Happy woman on a bike tour with male friends | Overcome Solo Travel Anxiety
For all the best Mexican tours, check out Get Your Guide, Viator, and Airbnb Experiences when travelling to Mexico.

If you get some good advice while chatting with a local woman about a place that’s not super safe to visit by yourself — but you still want to go anyway. — consider a group tour day trip. Group tours are great to meet other travellers, and to just show up and have a day planned out for you.

In Mexico, you’ll always have the option to do group tours, no matter where you are. Two of the companies I use most are Get Your Guide, Airbnb Experiences, and Viator, because they have plenty of options for tours to all the best things to do in Mexico.

While they may be places you get to on your own, it can still be a smarter choice to go with a group because you never really know what you’re getting into when you start venturing off the beaten path in Mexico. Also, some places are just more fun with a group.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

8. Join Mexico Facebook Groups

Stairs leading down to a tropical beach in Mexico
🏝 Looking for the top Mexico beach towns? Puerto Escondido is one of the best, and it has many of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Facebook is the biggest platform for online networking in all Mexico — and one of the easiest ways for how to meet people during solo travel. It seems every city and town in Mexico has a Facebook group these days, and with larger cities like Mexico City, they also have female-only groups.

As there’s a large Mexico City digital nomad and expat population, there are groups with thousands of foreigners who now live in Mexico City. From these, smaller groups have broken off, like the Expat Women in Mexico City group, a great one to join when traveling to Mexico City alone as a woman.

Depending on where you’re going, just type in the search bar “place in Mexico + expat women,” or just “place in Mexico + women’s group,” and you’ll have results. πŸ’‘Example: For Mexico City, search Facebook for “Mexico City expat women,” or “Mexico City women’s group.”

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

9. Dress to Blend In with the Locals

For the record, this is not about telling anyone what to wear. Rather, giving advice on how to dress in Mexico is about helping you blend in, so you don’t look like a clueless tourist. Dressing to blend in shows you understand your surroundings, and you actually come off as more powerful.

In Mexico, people tend to dress on the most conservative side. It’s not uncommon to see jeans and long sleeved shirts even in warmer cities. On Mexico beaches, don’t be surprised to see both men and women swimming in a T-shirt and shorts.

None of this is to say that you can’t wear whatever you want; you can. It’s just to say that when you deviate from the norm, you stand out in a crowd. If that’s exactly what you want to do, go for it, but if not, err on the side of conservative, like the locals do. This Mexico packing list should help you!  

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

10. “M” Bathrooms are for Women

πŸ’‍♀️ Solo female travel Mexico advice: Brush up on your Spanish before you visit.

The last tip is a practical one — that also has a larger tip within it. Yes, bathrooms labeled “M” are for mujeres, or women. The “H” bathrooms are for hombres, or men. You might also see “D,” damas for women, and “C,” caballeros for men.

🚻 All Mexico solo female travelers should commit this to memory: The women’s bathroom doors labeled M or D!

However, the real tip here is to brush up on your Spanish before you travel solo to Mexico. Knowing a little Spanish will go a long way — as you can see — and this really is one of the most simple and best pieces of Mexico travel advice.

To go over the basics, download the free Duolingo app and do 15 minutes of practice a day for two weeks, which should be enough Spanish to get by with on your solo trip to Mexico. If you want to get a bit more in depth with your Spanish, Rocket Languages has a great online Spanish program.

Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Final Thoughts: Is Mexico Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Valle de Bravo, AKA the “Hamptons of Mexico City” is a great, safe Mexico solo travel destination near Mexico City.

Travelling Mexico as a solo female traveller has been amazing. I’ve visited 16 out of 32 Mexican states (and counting), and had only positive experiences. While some will say I’ve just been lucky — I say I was well prepared, always aware of my surroundings and erred on the side of caution.

Though I have only amazing memories of my Mexico travels, I can say this because I made safety my top priority. To this end, I practiced risk mitigation, didn’t walk home alone at night, and above all, listened to my intuition. If I had a bad feeling about someone, somewhere or something, I got away ASAP.

Travelling to Mexico alone as a woman can be intimidating and nerve-wracking. However, if you follow the tips in this article, you are likely to also only have amazing things to say about your own solo travel to Mexico — just like me! Oh, and don’t forget the Mexico travel insurance.

Mexico Travel Planning Guide

πŸš‘ Should I buy Mexico travel insurance? 100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

πŸ’§Can you drink the water in Mexico? No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

πŸš™πŸ’¨ Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico? Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

πŸ“² Will my phone work in Mexico? Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Mexico accommodation? For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb!

🧳 What do I pack for Mexico? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico? Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.

Mexico Travel Planning Guide

πŸš‘ Should I buy Mexico travel insurance? 100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

πŸ’§Can you drink the water in Mexico? No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

πŸš™πŸ’¨ Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico? Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

πŸ“² Will my phone work in Mexico? Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Mexico accommodation? For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb!

🧳 What do I pack for Mexico? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Mexico? Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.