Looking for the Best Mexico Solo Travel Destinations?
Mexico is a big country, and it has plenty of amazing solo female travel destination choices. From the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula and culturally-rich Southern Mexico, to the charming colonial cities in Central Mexico and laid-back Baja California, there’s a perfect place for every solo traveler in Mexico.
So how do you narrow down the best places in Mexico to travel alone?
You get advice from the experts, of course!
This article is a compilation of solo travel tips, advice and recommendations from women who have done some Mexico solo travel. Every travel blogger featured here is sharing her personal experience visiting the 20 best solo female travel Mexico destinations, in the hopes of inspiring others to take the plunge and book that Mexico solo trip.
Ready to discover all the top Mexico solo travel destinations? Let’s get this party started, but first let’s go ahead address the elephant in the room… and that’s, of course, Is it safe to travel to Mexico alone? 🐘
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mexico sOLO TRAVEL
Is Mexico Safe to Travel?
Is Traveling to Mexico Alone as a Woman Safe?
This is a complex question, and the answer is really yes and no. Yes, it is safe for nearly all travelers; no, it’s not always safe if you don’t make your own personal safety a top priority.
In truth, there’s no definitive answer to solo travel safety in Mexico, but there are general safety measures all travelers should take.
Contrary to often-sensationalized media reports, Mexico gets a bad wrap; though it’s not totally undeserved, as there are unsafe parts. However, American and international travelers still flock to Mexico year after year — So if it were that unsafe, Wouldn’t people stop going?
Travelers Loves Mexico
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office, Mexico was the most popular 2019 travel destination for Americans, with nearly 40 million visits 😳
Further, the World Tourism Organization declared Mexico the most visited country in Latin America in 2019, and the seventh most visited country in the world.
With such a sinister reputation, and so many convinced all of Mexico is unsafe for travel, it seems people would want to avoid Mexico at all costs, but the opposite is true. So what’s the verdict — Is Mexico safe to visit for solo female travelers? The answer is still yes and no.
“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 (via Forbes)
The Two Mexicos
The (sad) reality is this: There are two Mexicos.
One Mexico is a welcoming country with friendly people, world-class beaches, tacos so good you’ll cry, cultural colonial cities, thousands-year-old history, swimmable cenotes, amazing festivals like Day of the Dead — and then another, very different Mexico.
The other Mexico is the exact opposite, and frankly, unsafe.
However, just as you’d avoid the unsafe areas in your own city or state, you should also avoid them in Mexico. Generally, the states that border the U.S make this list, like Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Chihuahua; and generally, they aren’t the states most visitors were heading to anyway.
Stick to the Safe Mexico
For visitors, it’s easy to avoid the unsafe places in Mexico. In all honesty, you likely weren’t planning to travel to any of them.
As a guide, consult the U.S. State Department site, but know they evaluate state-by-state not city-by-city, which would make more sense for tourism. For example Sinaloa is one of the least safe states in Mexico, though the city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa, is one of the top beach destinations in Mexico.
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Best Solo Travel Mexico Spots
Ready for Mexico Solo Travel?!
Hopefully you now see that you largely control whether or not you’re safe as a solo female traveler in Mexico. If you follow your intuition, make your own safety a priority and research your travel location, you, and the 40+ million of other Americans who visit Mexico, are statistically safe to visit Mexico.
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff — the Top 20 female solo travel Mexico destinations, picked by women who have safely traveled there solo! All destinations mentioned are separated by region in Mexico, and pinned to this map below so you can get a visual idea of where everything is.
While visiting one place during your Mexico solo travel adventure, some of the places are close enough to one another to combine them for an extra epic solo female Mexico travel extravaganza 🎉
Mexico Map: Best Solo Female Travel Destinations
Mexico Packing: FREE Printable Packing List for Mexico
Wondering exactly what to wear in Mexico?
Head to this article all about packing for Mexico, and download your FREE Printable Packing List below. This multi-page Mexico packing checklist covers everything you’ll want to bring to Mexico for both your beach trip and city trip — but more importantly — what not to bring to Mexico on vacation.
🧳 Pro Tip: Check out this list of Mexico travel safety items to bring with you. After your Mexico trip, they will also come in handy for future solo travel adventures.
Tulum SOLO TRAVEL
Yucatan Peninsula, MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Submitted by Claudia of @myadventuresacrosstheworld
Tulum is one of the best destinations for solo travelers in Mexico. I have visited this small town on the Riviera Maya, where you’ll find some of the best beaches in Mexico, several times. Each visit, I’ve enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, the variety of activities and attractions, the fantastic restaurants for any budget, and the excellent choice of accommodation options.
Tulum is home to one of the best kept Mayan archeological sites in the country, the Tulum Ruins, located right on the Caribbean Sea. While visiting, it’s possible to enjoy the breathtaking views of the sea, and also the beach cove below. I still remember the first time I went: once I was done touring the site, I ran down the beach and literally jumped in the turquoise waters.
🏝 Tulum Blogs: We’ve got all the Tulum, Mexico travel info you need!
I also visited Coba, another Mayan pyramid site about one hour away, which can be reached by colectivo, a small shared van that’s perfect for Tulum budget travel. Coba is a very large site deep in the jungle, and best explored on a rental bike, which you can get there. Unlike other Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan, climbing the Coba pyramids is still allowed.
The surrounding area is scattered with Tulum cenotes, underground freshwater lakes unique to Yucatan — which are truly special to see. You can even dive in some, though I admit, I was unable to work up the courage to do that.
Tulum solo travel is considered quite safe for female travelers, and given the large backpacker and digital nomad community, it is easy to meet other people. The best way to do that is to stay at a social hostel on Tulum Beach, right in the middle of all the action!
You can easily take the ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum, on a direct bus from the city and even from Cancun International Airport. The ride lasts about two hours.
Tulum Solo Female Travel Tip: Book a private room in Selina Tulum, one of the best hostels in Tulum. A private room gives you the social aspect of a hostel, and the solace of your own room. Selina is located right on the beach and has many social activities.
- Tulum is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Tulum is from November to March, during the dry season.
- Related Blog: The Ultimate Tulum Travel Planning Guide for First Time Visitors
Tulum Cenotes Tour
Submitted by Marquita of @marquitastravels — Check out her Tulum Mexico solo travel podcast episode below!
For some reason, I thought this type of photoshoot was only for real-life models or avid swimmers. Neither is true. An average Joanna can have the wonderful experience of an underwater photoshoot in some of the best Tulum cenotes. It makes the perfect adventure for a solo female traveler.
Exploring a cenote is a must-do when in Tulum, so why not get this amazing experience documented with photographs that will last a lifetime?!
🧜♀️ Book your Cenotes Tour & Underwater Photography Session: Yucatan local, Manuel, a certified free-diver/photographer takes you to best Tulum cenotes for an unforgettable cenote photoshoot.
My underwater photoshoot was basically a guided cenote tour. The photographer and her assistant escorted me to the most beautiful areas in the cenote — and when I say escort, I mean I held onto a floating device as they pulled me from one breathtaking view to the next; but you can swim if you prefer.
As a solo female traveler, I loved having this opportunity to meet these two ladies, both Tulum locals. As they both know the area, it was the perfect opportunity to ask them questions and get suggestions on the must see Tulum sites.
Besides all the fun and great tips, I absolutely love how majestic my photos from this underwater shoot look. A cenote photoshoot is the perfect adventure for a solo female traveler wanting to visit a Tulum cenote, and capture the unique experience.
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Submitted by Shelley of @travelmexicosolo
Merida, Mexico, in Yucatan state is the place I’ve called home for about two years now. This colorful, colonial city is ideal for a solo trip to Mexico, as it’s the safest city in Mexico, and named one of the two safest cities on the Americas Continent in 2019 by CEO World magazine.
While still an up-and-coming Mexico travel destination, this Yucatan Peninsula city, located about 3.5 hours from Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, is slowly climbing to the top of many a Mexico bucket list. As such, Merida isn’t as expensive as these surrounding cities, and you can rent a gorgeous Merida Airbnb for little money.
Merida is one of the most instagram worthy Mexico cities, known for photogenic architecture, amazing food, outdoor festivals and gorgeous homes. It is considered the cultural epicenter for the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan, making it unique because it combines a tropical destination with rich history.
🏡 Need a Merida Airbnb? Head to this article about the best Airbnbs in Merida.
RELATED BLOG ✈️ The Ultimate Merida, Mexico Travel Guide (Written by a Local)
Best Merida Day Trips
Within just two hours of the city, there’s the pink lakes of Las Coloradas, amazing Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza and Uxmal, pueblos magicos (Mexico’s magic towns) like Valladolid and Izamal, old school haciendas, gorgeous swimmable cenotes, and more.
When the sun goes down, Merida comes alive with outdoor festivals around Plaza Grande, the central plaza where you’ll see the Merida Cathedral, and on Paseo de Montejo. In both areas, you can take a calesa, or horse and buggy tour, a popular nighttime activity.
There are plenty of great bars in Merida, as well as cantinas and places to mingle. Head to La Negrita Cantina, Mercado 60, Casa Chica, Pipiripau Bar and Malahat for drinks — and when it’s time to go home, just call an Uber.
Merida Solo Female Travel Tip: Merida is still up-and-coming, and isn’t (yet!) as expensive as other Yucatan Peninsula travel destinations, so you can rent a gorgeous Merida Airbnb for little money.
⤴ Use this linked article for reference, as all featured places are in the safest parts of town.
- Merida is located in Yucatan, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Merida is from November to March, during the dry season.
- Related Blog: The Ultimate Merida, Mexico Travel Guide (Written by a Local)
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
3. Bacalar Lake
Submitted by Daria of @thediscoverynut —Check out her Yucatan Mexico podcast episode below!
I visited Bacalar Lagoon as a solo traveler in November 2020, and loved it! It was uncrowded and had a unique local atmosphere. I was able to get a boat tour of Laguna Bacalar on the spot, and spent the rest of my day exploring this unique town.
Located less than an hour away from the Belize border, Bacalar is a Mexico hidden gem. This small pueblo magico, or magic town, is located near several archeological areas and cenotes, all of which are quieter than other top travel destinations in Mexico and Quintana Roo state.
☀️🌎 Pro tip: Practice responsible tourism in Mexico by using only reef-safe sunscreen when visiting Bacalar, Mexico.
RELATED BLOG 🏝 Bacalar Lagoon Mexico: How to Plan the Ultimate Trip
Bacalar, the town, hugs the shores of Lake Bacalar, also known as the lagoon of seven colors and the Maldives of Mexico. When the sun shines, the lagoon turns up various shades of blue that range from dark blue to turquoise, so it’s no surprise that Bacalar Lagoon is popular for snorkeling, swimming and boating.
The best thing about going to Bacalar is that it’s relatively inexpensive, and if you don’t want to rent a car, it can be accessed by bus from Tulum, Mexico, one of the best destinations in Quintana Roo state. The trip on the ADO bus from Tulum to Bacalar takes about three hours, as it makes multiple stops along the way.
One of the tips for solo visitors is to spend at least one night in Bacalar instead of trying to cram the entire trip into one day. Bacalar is a gorgeous place with an incredible lagoon, cenotes, and even Mayan ruins, and it deserves more of your time.
Bacalar Solo Female Travel Tip: Bacalar is still up-and-coming, and isn’t as expensive as other Yucatan travel destinations, so you can rent a gorgeous Bacalar hotel for little money. If possible, stay right on the lake, instead of in downtown.
- Bacalar is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Bacalar is from November to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — Bacalar Lagoon Mexico: How to Plan the Ultimate Trip
SOLO TRAVEL playa del carmen
4. Playa del Carmen
Submitted by Christine of Mexico Viajara
Playa Del Carmen, located in Quintana Roo state, is one of the best beach towns in Mexico. It used to be a quieter alternative for Cancun, but in recent years has become nearly as popular. If you’re looking for a lively solo travel destination, you’ll find it in Playa, as the locals call it.
I used to visit Playa del Carmen while I was living in Belize a few years ago, as it was an easy bus trip and I did my shopping in Mexico. Besides great Playa del Carmen shopping, there are many other things to do in Playa del Carmen. Head to Quinta Avenue (5th Avenue), the main street in Playa, with tons of restaurants, bars, shops and all inclusive resorts.
I spent many late nights here with no problem, as Playa’s social scene makes meeting fellow travelers easy. However, do watch your alcohol intake, listen to your intuition, and avoid dark, empty streets at night. I took taxis at night with no problem, but in Playa, it’s better to walk and just stick to the main, well-lit streets.
RELATED BLOG 🇲🇽 Traveling to Playa del Carmen: The Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide
Located within an hour drive of several amazing cenotes near Playa del Carmen, world-class diving sites, and some of the best Mayan ruins in Mexico, like Chichen Itza, Coba and the Tulum Ruins, you might want to consider a rental car. You can also drive to Xpu-ha Beach to escape the crowds.
Driving in Mexico is quite safe, but the thing you’ll want to consider is the time of year you’ll be visiting Playa del Carmen. Keep in mind when planning your solo travel in Yucatan that June-September has the most rainfall and June 1-November 30 is Hurricane Season, and being right on the Caribbean Sea, Playa is susceptible.
I’d say the best time to visit Playa is from March-May, as it’s quieter and has great weather. December to March tends to be the busiest time since many North Americans and Europeans head to sunny Playa del Carmen in winter for warmer weather.
Playa del Carmen Solo Female Travel Tip: There is no Uber in Quintana Roo state! If you’re sticking to the beaches and main areas of Playa, you won’t need Uber anyway; however, to explore outside of town, join a group tour or rent a car at Cancun Airport when you arrive.
- Playa del Carmen is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Playa del Carmen is from November to March, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — Traveling to Playa del Carmen: The Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
5. Holbox Island
Submitted by Victoria of @guideyourtravel
Holbox (pronounced hole-bosh) is a fantastic place to visit if you’re traveling solo to Mexico. I visited for the first time in 2018, and immediately fell in love with the island. Holbox Island is small, with a small town feel, and without being completely overrun by tourists.
As a female traveling solo, you won’t have to worry about your safety here. Holbox is quiet and calm, so not the place for nightlife, but perfect for beautiful beaches, rest, relaxation and getting back in touch with nature. It is not only very safe, but its beaches are immaculate — and in fact, some of the best beaches in Mexico I’ve experienced.
⛴ Wondering how to get to Holbox Island? It is only accessible by a ferry boat in Chiquila, Mexico, located two hours west of Cancun. Head here for a complete guide on How to Travel to Holbox Island.
Due to its unique location, Holbox, Mexico is fantastic for kayaking to see wildlife like flamingos, manta rays, turtles and even whale sharks. If you visit from June-September, make sure to do a swim with the whale shark tours, one of the best things to do in Mexico, to swim with the biggest fish in the ocean during their migration.
I’ve never felt unsafe in Holbox both during the day or at night. The island is very relaxed and laid-back. Since only about 2,000 people live on Holbox permanently, it’s a tight-knit community. For women traveling solo to Holbox, this makes meeting people easy.
You’ll always find at least some backpackers around although this is not the place to look for wild parties. The island is easily reachable via ferry and there are plenty of accommodation options such as boutique hotels, and Holbox hostels.
Holbox Island Solo Female Travel Tip: Holbox is only accessible by a 30-minute ferry ride from Chiquila, about two hours from Cancun. This is the perfect time to meet other solo travelers by chatting up a neighbor on the boat ride to Holbox.
- Holbox Island is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Holbox is from November to March, during the dry season.
- Related Blog: Mexico Hidden Gems: The 10 You Need to Know About
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Submitted by Shelley of @travelmexicosolo
Valladolid, Mexico, in Yucatan state, is a hidden gem, and one of the most up-and-coming Mexico travel destinations. It is also one of the country’s 130 or so pueblos magicos, or magic towns.
🤔 Wondering, What is a pueblo magico? Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism awards this prestigious designation to certain pueblos, or small towns, in the country with characteristics including amazing unique cultural history, rich folklore and natural beauty.
The Yucatan Peninsula in general is known to be one of the safest areas of Mexico, and Valladolid is no exception. This is a small town, with only a few thousand residents, and an increasingly-booming tourism industry, making it relatively easy to meet other travelers.
As Valladolid grows, the quality of its tourism amenities like hotels and restaurants is also on the rise.
There’s great things to do in Valladolid, like a Market Visit and Cooking Class, and seeing the nearby Chichen Itza and Ek-Balam Mayan ruins. While I’d only recommend spending 1-2 nights in Valladolid, it also makes for one of the best day trips from Merida or Tulum, if you don’t stay the night.
When visiting, get your camera ready! The colonial city of Valladolid is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. There are many gorgeous buildings to photograph, especially on Calzada de los Frailes (AKA Calle de los Frailes) and Calle 50.
After walking for a while, head to La Casona de Valladolid restaurant to eat and see their giant talavera tile fountain. Valladolid also has some impressive colonial churches, like Iglesia de San Servacio, located in the zocalo (main town square), and the Convent de San Bernardino de Siena, a 16th century Franciscan monastery.
Best Cenotes in Valladolid
Ready to cool off with a swim in some of the best cenotes in Mexico? You’re in luck because Valladoild, and it’s surrounding towns, is where you’ll find most of the best cenotes in Yucatan. These include Cenote Ik Kil, Cenote Oxman, Cenote Samula, Cenote Suytun and Cenote Zaci; though there are certainly others.
Valladolid Solo Female Travel Tip: All the best cenotes in Mexico are located around Valladolid. The easiest way to explore cenotes is to hire a taxi to take you to a few in one day, or drive your rental car; both are safe options for solo female travel in Mexico.
- Valladolid is located in Yucatan, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Valladolid is from November to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — The 25 Must See Yucatan Peninsula Travel Destinations
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
7. Cozumel Island
I reached Cozumel Island in the morning, after the 30-minute ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. I made my way to a local shop to rent a scooter. I was a little scared of driving in a foreign country, but in late March, the roads weren’t crowded and I had a peaceful ride.
Driving along the western coast of Cozumel Mexico, I passed by many of the island’s popular diving and snorkeling reefs, including Palancar Reef. It took me about 30 minutes to get to my first stop at the southern tip of the island, Playa Encantada. I love secluded beaches like this because of the unique opportunity to connect with nature.
It felt as if I had the entire Caribbean Sea to myself, full of all its gorgeous shades of turquoise. I have no idea how much time I spent there, jumping at the waves and floating like a starfish. I left all of my belongings at the beach without worry because there was nobody else around.
☀️🌎 Pro tip: Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using only reef-safe sunscreen when swimming in Cozumel, Mexico.
🐢 Sea Scooter Snorkeling Tour: Book this tour to go snorkeling at El Cielo and Palancar Reef, the best places to snorkel in Cozumel.
My next stop was El Caracol, the Mayan ruins on Cozumel dedicated to the Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon, medicine and childbirth. This site is less impressive than the San Gervasio Ruins archaeological site in the center of the island, but it was a famous pilgrimage spot visited by many women who lived on the mainland.
I drove on the eastern side of the island on my way back so I could enjoy the different scenery. I made several stops at El Mirador, Playa San Martin, and Chen Rio to take some solo travel photos, have a meal and sip on fresh coconut water.
Back at the ferry terminal, I took a short walk around town until it was time to board the ferry for a sunset ride back to Playa del Carmen. It always feels magical to leave a place just as the end of the day is approaching, especially after an amazing solo trip to Cozumel, Mexico.
Cozumel Solo Female Travel Tip: Cozumel Island, Mexico, is accessible only by a 30-minute ferry ride. The Playa del Carmen to Cozumel ferry is the perfect time to meet other solo travelers by chatting up a neighbor on the ride over.
- Cozumel is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula.
- The best time to visit Cozumel is from March to May, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — Is Playa del Carmen Open for Travel Right Now?
Mexico City SOLO TRAVEL
Central Mexico Solo Travel
8. Mexico City
Submitted by Erin of @solsalute
Being from Texas, I try to visit Mexico City (AKA CDMX) whenever possible. Sometimes, it’s as simple as enjoying a long layover to eat the best tacos in Mexico City, and sometimes staying for a long weekend.
🌮 Pro Tip: Take a Mexico City taco tour and let a local take you to all the best spots.
I admit that traveling to Mexico City alone may seem very intimidating, and many wonder, Is it safe to travel to Mexico City alone? Overall, I felt very safe in Mexico City.
While the idea of exploring it alone as a solo female traveler can be scary, CDMX is a gorgeous city filled with art, markets, history, and some of the best food in the world. It is an exciting place, and solo travel in Mexico City is a lot of fun because this is such a dynamic city.
🇲🇽 Mexico City Blogs: We’ve got all the CDMX travel info you need!
Riding the Mexico City Metro
When alone, avoid public transportation on weekdays, especially during rush hour from 7am-9am and 4pm-7pm. I once took the Mexico City subway during peak hours, and it was the most chaotic metro experience of my life! I now live in a city where I take public transportation every single day, and even I was overwhelmed by the throngs of people.
If you do want to try the CDMX Metro for getting around Mexico City, use it on weekday afternoons and weekend mornings, when it’s empty and easy to navigate.
Is there Uber in Mexico City?
For the rest of your trip, I recommend using Uber in Mexico City instead of public transportation, as It’s affordable and quicker. In case you’re wondering Is Uber safe in Mexico City? It is considered quite safe for solo travelers, and in fact, taking an Uber is safer than hailing a cab on the street.
Make sure you have an active data plan while on your Mexico City solo travel adventure. This is one of my best Mexico City travel safety tips! You can use it for calling Uber, for directions if you get lost, and for translation. Many U.S. phone carriers include free data in Mexico, but if not, buy a Prepaid TELCEL SIM Card before you arrive in Mexico.
When planning out your Mexico City solo travel itinerary, know that neighborhood vibes can change quickly when you’re walking. If you have a far distance to go, opt for Uber if you’re headed off the main tourist grid, or when going out at night.
I chose to stay in an Airbnb and explore Mexico City solo, but if you want to meet other travelers, stay at Hostel Suites DF or Downtown Beds Hostel, two of the best hostels in Mexico City. Known as two of the best and safest neighborhoods in Mexico City, when I went out at night in Roma and Condesa, I felt very safe.
Mexico City Solo Female Travel Tip: While most people fear getting sick from the water (if so, get a LifeStraw Filterable Water Bottle), don’t forget about the high altitude. CDMX is about 1.5 miles above sea level, so don’t forget your meds and altitude sickness bracelet.
- Mexico City is located in Estado de Mexico (Mexico State), in Central Mexico.
- The best time to visit Mexico City is from October to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — 11 Best Things to Do in Centro Historico Mexico City + Free Map
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Submitted by Rose of @wheregoesrose — Check out her Mexico solo travel podcast episode below!
One of the best solo female travel destinations in Mexico has to be Guadalajara, where I visited in December 2019. It has an international airport, but if you’re coming from Mexico City, Guadalajara is located about six hours away via rental car or bus, and one hour by plane.
This is a fun, colorful, relaxed city, with safe neighborhoods like Chapultepec that has some of the best hotels in Guadalajara. There’s also plenty of affordable guesthouses and hostels, so it’s easy to meet locals and other travelers.
As the second largest metropolitan city in Mexico, behind Mexico City, that’s so many things to do in GDL, as it’s known, and plenty of amazing day trips from Guadalajara.
Begin your Guadalajara itinerary with a trip to Centro Historico (historic downtown/city center) and the Zocalo. Here, you’ll see the city’s historic buildings including the gorgeous Guadalajara Cathedral, visit the local mercados (markets) and check out all the amazing street art.
Best Guadalajara Day Trips
• Tequila: While visiting, consider a Guadalajara to Tequila day trip. As you probably guessed, Tequila, Mexico, is the town where the infamous beverage is produced.
There are several ways to do this, one being the Tequila Train, a full-day adventure popular with tourists that includes free unlimited tequila on the way there! To save money, you can do a regular Tequila group tour or also catch a local bus.
• Tlaquepaque: Don’t miss Tlaquepaque, a pueblo magico (magic town), and vibrant area of Guadalajara known for pottery production. It’s also where mariachi music began, so make sure to sit outside, sip a margarita and enjoy the roaming mariachi bands.
• Lake Chapala/Ajijic: Other fun things to do in Guadalajara include taking a day trip to Lake Chapala, the largest lake in Mexico, with an island in the center. You can take a boat tour of Lake Chapala, and then head to the nearby colorful town and pueblo magico of Ajijic (pronounced ah-he-heek).
Guadalajara Solo Female Travel Tip: Despite being a bustling city, Guadalajara feels quite safe, although it’s best not to walk at night in the city centre. There is Uber in Guadalajara so make sure you have a Mexico SIM card and data to call Ubers from anywhere.
- Guadalajara is located in Jalisco, Mexico, about 350 miles west of Mexico City.
- The best time to visit Guadalajara is from November to May, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — How to Travel Alone for the First Time: 10 Useful Tips
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
10. San Miguel de Allende
Submitted by Katja of @globetotting
San Miguel de Allende is one of the most well-known destinations in Mexico. It’s popular with all kinds of visitors, from solo travelers and digital nomads, to expats and artists. Blessed with a beautiful climate year-round, stunning architecture and plenty of things to see, San Miguel makes a great stop on your solo travel journey in Mexico.
Located in the state of Guanajuato in Central Mexico, San Miguel is a haven for both local and international artists. These artists first began arriving at the beginning of the 20th century, drawn by the blue skies, cobblestone streets and pretty buildings famous in both San Miguel and nearby Guanajuato City.
Today, the town continues to be known for its art, culture and festivals. Fabrica La Aurora is well worth a visit while here, this renovated textile mill houses lots of art galleries.The town is best known for the large, gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel church, but there are lots of other things to do in San Miguel de Allende.
RELATED BLOG 💃 Solo Travel Anxiety: 5 Effective Ways to Overcome It
Spend some time at El Jardin, the central square that hums with life day and night. It’s a great place to meet people, as are the numerous cafes and restaurants that line the streets around the plaza. When you’re craving a snack, head to Café y Churrería San Agustín, for the best churros in San Miguel de Allende.
Other highlights include the El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden, beautiful Biblioteca Publica (Public Library), picturesque Instituto Allende. Head a little out of town to Spa La Gruta and Escondido Place, the two best hot springs in San Miguel de Allende. Make sure you also spend some time strolling around town, as San Miguel is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico.
I visited San Miguel twice, once with my family, and a second time solo. Traveling as a solo woman in San Miguel was easy, as it’s located just four hours by bus from Mexico City. The city is very welcoming to tourists, and is known as one of the safest destinations in Mexico.
San Miguel de Allende Solo Female Travel Tip: SMA, as it’s called, is a pretty small town. It makes the perfect place to photograph and have a spa day, before exploring the surrounding areas on a vineyard tour along Mexico’s Wine & Cheese Route.
- San Miguel de Allende is located in Guanajuato, Mexico.
- The best time to visit San Miguel de Allende is from November to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — The Ultimate Packing List for Mexico + FREE Printable Checklist
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
11. Guanajuato City
Submitted by Jessica of @unearththevoyage
I lived in Guanajuato City, Mexico, in January-February 2019. It is seriously one of the most unique and interesting cities in Mexico! There are so many amazing things to do in Guanajuato, and there are lots of budget options or free things to do as well.
Guanajuato City, the capital city of Guanajuato state, is built in a valley so a lot of the houses and buildings are all built on the side of a mountain making for an incredible view out over the city. It is one of the most Instagrammable Mexico destinations, with its brightly-colored houses and buildings, contrasted with the natural colors of earthy mountains.
I felt safe walking around during the day in the downtown area of Guanajuato. There is always lots going on and people everywhere. It is important to be cautious of your belongings when walking around. There is always a lot going on at night as well, and people really enjoy going to bars and eating at restaurants around town.
RELATED BLOG 📸 25 CAN’T MISS Things to Do, See & Eat in Guanajuato, Mexico
To be safe I would recommend staying at a hotel or renting an Airbnb in Guanajuato in or right around downtown. Uber and taxis are also cheap and safe, so it is possible to take an Uber to your Guanajuato hotel, hostel or Airbnb. Guanajuato City isn’t a huge destination for travelers, but there are some Facebook groups you can join to meet other people and for events.
It is easy to meet locals in Guanajuato, as Mexicans are super friendly and love to show you around this gorgeous city!
Getting to Guanajuato City is also easy in your rental car, and by bus from Mexico City or Guadalajara. You can also fly into Bajío/Guanajuato International Airport (code: BJX) in Leon, one town over from Guanajuato, and take an Uber from the airport to your place.
Overall, Guanajuato City is a great solo female travel destination in Mexico, and you will absolutely love it!
Guanajuato Solo Female Travel Tip: Guanajuato is gorgeous — and so are you! Make sure to be in some of your travel photos with these solo travel photo tips, and with the help of a flexible “octopus” phone tripod, a game changer in solo travel photography.
- Guanajuato City is located in Guanajuato, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Guanajuato is from November to May, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — 24 Things to Do and See in Guanajuato + FREE Map
SOLO TRAVEL Puerto Vallarta
12. Puerto Vallarta
Submitted by Isabella of @boundlessroads
Puerto Vallarta, located in Jalisco state, is a vibrant city on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. It is situated between the lush, green Sierra Madre mountains to one side, and the blue waters along the pristine beaches of Banderas Bay on the other.
This pretty beach town has been a top Mexico travel destination decades now. It is popular with U.S. and international visitors, and known as one of the most LGTB friendly destinations in the world. It’s also known for one very special Old Hollywood romance!
After filming The Night of The Iguana in the early-1960s, acting legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton remained in Puerto Vallarta, where they continued their passionate off-screen romance. The two owned a home which is now the Casa Kimberly Hotel and Spa, one of the best boutique hotels in Puerto Vallarta, and one of the stops on the Old Town Hollywood Tour.
RELATED BLOG 🏖 20 Amazing Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Mexico is a relatively safe destination for solo female travel, and there are so many things to do in Puerto Vallarta that you just can’t get bored.
The most characteristic area is the historic Viejo Vallarta (Old Town), with its colorful art galleries, narrow cobblestone streets and great restaurants. The Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone) is one the best Puerto Vallarta neighborhoods. There, you’ll find Playa de Muertos beach, lovely cafes and restaurants, quirky art shops, street food and the Rio Cuale Market, a colorful artisan market along the Cuale River.
The Puerto Vallarta Malecon, is a pedestrian promenade by the sea that stretches from Old Town Vallarta to the Zona Romantica. The Malecon (walkway) is a popular gathering point for locals and visitors alike, for both sunrise and sunset walks. There are also 15 beautiful sculptures on the Malecon, shops, art galleries, outdoor cafes, bars and amazing ocean views.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities. Puerto Vallarta is known for stand up paddle boarding and snorkeling near Los Arcos, hiking, whale watching, paragliding, sunset dinner cruises and much more. Puerto Vallarta is indeed a fun and entertaining destination for solo female travelers.
Puerto Vallarta Solo Female Travel Tip: Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR) has direct flights from all over the U.S. It is only about 20 minutes by Uber from downtown, where you’ll find the best hotels in Puerto Vallarta.
- Puerto Vallarta is located in Jalisco, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is from October to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — 20 Unique Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
I visited Sayulita, Mexico, in Nayarit state three years ago, and now I permanently live here. Being a small town of fewer than 3,000 inhabitants, you can meet locals and other travelers easily, and you’d easily get to know everyone after a week of staying full-time.
There is a very strong desire to be part of the community here that made me feel very safe from the moment I arrived.
For example, when the pandemic hit in May, the whole community put up a free food drive for those who have been laid off. Everyone in town donated food, offered to cook, and volunteered in the food drive — it was such a beautiful thing to see and be a part of.
That being said, there is no crime in town because of that close-knit culture. Gossip also flies fast so if your belongings go missing on the beach (very unlikely) and you post it in the community group, word spreads fast and everyone will help you find the culprit.
This is the reason why people don’t do bad things. I remember two years ago when someone was publicly shamed for stealing money and was kicked out of town!
People love living in the Sayulita pueblo magico (magic town), and will not do anything to ruin its reputation when it comes to safety. Moreover, this town is so beautiful that none of us wants to be kicked out just because of petty theft. We truly take care of each other here.
🧜♀️ 📸 Book your Natural & fun portraits Tour in Sayulita: Join locals, David and Lidice, for a non-posed/candid photoshoot in this colorful town.
The first question I receive from solo travelers is how to find long-term rent in Sayulita — because people visit and don’t want to leave!
The truth is, we have very few resources about Sayulita travel so when it comes to finding a place to stay, I tell everyone to rent an Airbnb in Sayulita for four days first, and then when you are here, you will get to meet locals who will show you the cheapest rent options.
It’s always easier to transact when you are already here than stress yourself blindly planning your trip. I myself live in a Mexican neighborhood and I truly feel taken care of, though there’s a Sayulita expat neighborhood called Gringo Hill.
Whenever I am out or traveling, my neighbors always voluntarily report what’s happening in my house or if they see something suspicious. Since Sayulita is a walking town, walking by yourself at night is not a problem, and I’ve done it a lot of times (sometimes even at 3am), and never felt scared.
If you choose to visit Sayulita, expect everyone to look after you, but there’s also a downside where privacy is very limited since everyone knows what’s happening in your life. If you ever come, please get in touch! I would love to show you around!
Sayulita Solo Female Travel Tip: To get to Sayulita, you’ll fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (code: PVR), and either rent a car, take a shared shuttle, or a private Uber for the one-hour drive. Prices vary, but the shuttle costs about $15-20USD, and Uber is about $45-60USD.
- Sayulita is located in Nayarit, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Sayulita is from November to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — 20 Unique Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Baja California, Mexico Solo Travel
14. Baja California Sur
Submitted by Isabella of @lets.travel.to.mexico
If you need solo travel destination inspiration, and enjoy driving on your own and being in nature — then look no further because a Baja California road trip is the Mexico vacation you need. The state of Baja California Sur is a peninsula in northwestern Mexico, famous for beautiful beaches, great surf and whale watching. It is located just south of Baja California Norte state.
Driving in Baja California is a safe, remarkable experience. This is a beautiful state to take in the views of cacti and deserted lands, red rocky mountains and boulders, and marvel at the turquoise waters in the Sea of Cortez. 🚙💨 Keep scrolling for a Mexico solo travel itinerary to do an epic Baja California road trip.
RELATED BLOG ✍️ 111 Solo Female Travel Quotes (Actually Said by Women)
Starting from Los Cabos International Airport, pick up your rental car and drive directly to Santiago. This tiny town is located at the entrance of Sierra de la Laguna, an amazing natural reserve with hot springs and rivers, and some fun hikes among its cacti and huge boulders.
Continue to Cabo Pulmo for amazing snorkeling, whale watching tours, diving and birdwatching. Then, take a long drive north up to Alfonso Lopez Mateos, popular for the grey whales encounter. You can join a two hour boat tour and meet the friendly grey whales, which come by the boat and let you touch them. It’s an extraordinarily emotional experience!
After the Alfonso Lopez Mateos whale tour, continue south where the landscape becomes even more interesting as you reach the coastline.
Head to the pueblo magico (magic town) of Loreto and spend a couple of days there enjoying all the amazing tours available — especially the blue whale watching tours, which I highly recommend, and a boat tour to Coronado Island. You can also check out the beautiful Spanish mission of San Francisco Javier; the panoramic drive itself is worth it.
Next, continue north if you have the time, or just head back to Todos Santos, another one of Mexico’s 130 or so pueblos magicos. Here, book one of the town’s stunning boutique hotels, take a guided nature walk, enjoy the gorgeous sunset, and for the adventurous, take a surf lesson.
There are so many itinerary choices, so how much you see depends on how much time you have. However, I felt safe anywhere I went in the state of Baja California Sur. I did this road trip twice, the second time on my own, and I had a blast.
Baja California Solo Female Travel Tip: A Mexico road trip is the best way to see an entire state, and Baja California is one of the best places in Mexico for road trips! You can rent a car from Discover Cars with your U.S. driver’s license, then read these 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips.
- Baja California Sur is a state in Northwestern Mexico.
- The best time to visit Baja California Sur is from November to June for mild weather, and the best time to see whales in Baja is from January to March.
- Related Blog: Afraid to Travel Alone? You Need These 5 Powerful Tips
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
15. Valle de Guadalupe
Submitted by Susan of @genxtaveler
It’s often recommended that solo female travelers in Mexico stick to the tourist areas and resorts — however, there are many wonderful, safe places you miss doing this. One such place is Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, located less than two hours from San Diego, California.
The Valle de Guadalupe (Valley of Guadalupe) is Mexico’s biggest wine region, and sometimes called “the Napa Valley of Mexico.” It makes a perfect getaway for the solo traveler slash wine lover, as a safe travel destination where you likely won’t even encounter a language barrier.
Valle, as it is commonly called, is easily accessible via the Tijuana or Tecate border crossings in your rental car. This Mexico wine region makes an awesome weekend getaway from Southern California. If you feel uncertain about driving in Mexico or are still concerned about safety, join a small group tour from the U.S.
🚗💨 Head here for 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips, so you’ll be confident on how to drive in Mexico.
🍷 The Best Private Tour in Valle: The safest way to experience all the best vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico, is on a private tour — so you don’t have to drive after visiting the vineyards.
Dozens of small and modest-sized wineries dot the rugged rural landscape of Valle. While the winemaking process might be similar at each winery, the philosophies of the vintners vary, as does the sophistication of experience.
For wine novices, Santo Tomas is a good starting point. Here you will find a high-tech multimedia experience and an easy-to-understand overview of the winemaking process.
For those seeking a low-key traditional tasting encounter, try Adobe de Guadalupe, where you can sample wines in their private barn. The coolest winery, in my opinion, is Valle is AlXimia — which is downright other-worldly.
Valle offers many options for overnight accommodations, with some of the best hotels in Valle de Guadalupe conveniently located within a few miles of the vineyards. You can also do some glamping in Mexico at Cuatro Cuatros, or a stay at a small winery like Adobe de Guadalupe, and even larger eco-resorts.
Wondering, What is glamping? It’s what you get when you mix rustic camping with glamorous accommodations, giving you the best of both worlds. Glamping in Mexico is gaining in popularity in places like Baja California, but you can also do some glamping in Tulum, Mexico.
Whether you decide to try out glamping in Mexico or not, I suggest you head to Bura at the Cuatro Cuatros glampsite for sunset views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Situated high upon a hill, this trendy outdoor restaurant/bar offers amazing panoramic views.
Valle is simply a perfect, chill getaway for wine aficionados and novices alike to expand their palette experiencing Mexico’s surprisingly good wine.
Valle de Guadalupe Solo Female Travel Tip: With its desert like climate, and cool nights, Valle is one of the most popular places for glamping in Mexico. For glamourous camping lovers, glamping in Tulum is also a must-experience.
- Valle de Guadalupe is located in Baja California Norte, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Valle de Guadalupe is from October to May, when the temperatures are most mild.
- Related Blog: How to Travel Alone for the First Time: 10 Useful Tips
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
16. Todos Santos
Submitted by Lori of @southernersays
If you’re a solo female traveler looking for sun, surf and good vibes, then Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is the perfect town for you.
I visited the pueblo magico (magico town) of Todos Santos, AKA Todos, on a whim, and ended up staying eight days after I serendipitously met a couple of other female travelers in town for a yoga retreat. While exploring, even on my own, I felt completely safe during the day and at night.
Located on the Pacific coast, north of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, it’s easy to fly into Los Cabos/San Jose del Cabo International Airport (code: SJD) or La Paz International Airport (code: LAP). From either of these airports, take a bus straight to Todos, or rent a car and do a road trip to this unique enclave of surfers, yogis, healers and artists.
RELATED BLOG 🇲🇽 Mexico Hidden Gems: The 10 You Need to Know About
Things to Do in Todos Santos
Once you arrive, you won’t need a car as this is a compact, small town of less than 7,000 people. Opt to stay in a downtown Todos Santos hotel, and then walk everywhere.
Don’t miss shopping for local treasures, checking out the street art, eating all the fish tacos anywhere you can get your hands on, and then some ice cream (especially if it’s avocado flavored).
Head to Hotel California — which shares its name with a song by The Eagles — and have a Paloma cocktail at this iconic old school Todos Santos resort. From there, head to Jazamango, La Morena, The Green Room, a few other unmissable places in Todos.
For those who want to explore the surrounding areas, venture out of the city center in your rental car and stay at the eco-friendly Perro Surfero Boutique Hotel. You’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the amazing local beaches in the area, like Cerritos, Punta Lobos and Playa Tortugas. The Pacific Ocean water is often quite chilly for swimming, however, the weather is perfect for a massage on the beach year-round.
Todos Santos Solo Female Travel Tip: Todos Santos is photogenic — and so are you! Make sure to be in some of your travel photos with these solo travel photo tips, and with the help of a flexible “octopus” phone tripod, a game changer in solo travel photography.
- Todos Santos is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Todos Santos is from November to May, when the temperatures are most mild.
- Related Blog — Afraid to Travel Alone? You Need These 5 Powerful Tips
OAXACA SOLO TRAVEL
17. Oaxaca City
Submitted by Rebecca of @rebeccaandtheworld
After visiting Oaxaca City twice now, I can comfortably say it’s one of the best places to visit in Mexico, and Oaxaca is a great solo female travel destination. Oaxaca City, located in southern Mexico, is the capital of the state of Oaxaca (pronounced waa-ha-kaa), home to Mexico’s largest Day of the Dead celebration.
Oaxaca City is also the cultural capital of the state, and the entire Centro Historico, or Historic Downtown, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also close to ancient ruins, including another UNESCO site, Monte Alban, and stunning natural wonders like Hierve el Agua, meaning a Oaxaca itinerary can be crafted for a variety of interests.
Oaxaca is also one of the foodie capitals of Mexico, famous for its seven varieties of mole, and artisanal mezcal from small production distilleries. When visiting, make sure to do a food tour and explore the city’s incredible culinary scene.
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 Traveling to Oaxaca: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
💦 Hierve el Agua Experience: Hierve el Agua (boiling water), is one of the best things to see in Oaxaca. It is located about 90 minutes from Oaxaca City, and if you’re planning to swim and hike the whole thing, consider booking a group tour.
The first time I visited Oaxaca was on a solo backpacking trip through Mexico and Guatemala, and it was hard to drag myself away from the city. The second visit was with my husband, more than a decade later. Both times I felt incredibly safe.
As a solo female traveler, you can easily walk around by yourself during the day. At nighttime on my second visit, my husband and I walked around at night and felt completely at ease. As a solo female traveler, however, I’d encourage you to only walk in groups or get taxis at night, just as a precaution.
With a booming tourist economy, it’s easy to meet people and fellow travelers. Staying in smaller Oaxaca boutique hotels, as well as hostels in Oaxaca, is a great way for solo female travelers to meet other people.
I absolutely adored visiting Oaxaca solo, and think it’s one of the best destinations in Mexico for solo female travelers. Oaxaca is easy to get to, with an international airport just 25-minutes by car from Centro Historico. Buses also connect Oaxaca to other major cities in Mexico.
🌺💀🌺 Oaxaca Solo Travel Tip: If you’re planning to visit during Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which takes place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, book as early as you can — even up to six-months out — as Oaxaca City is a small town, and this is big festival!
- Oaxaca City is located in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- The best time to visit Oaxaca City is from November to March, during the dry season.
- Related Blog: Traveling to Oaxaca: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Oaxaca SOLO TRAVEL
18. Puerto Escondido
Submitted by Shelley of @travelmexicosolo
After spending some time in Oaxaca City, many head to the coast of Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, one of the best beaches in Oaxaca. I traveled solo to Puerto Escondido after attending Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead in Oaxaca City, an amazing cultural experience and one of the best festivals in Mexico.
Puerto Escondido, meaning hidden port, is a laid back beach town in the truest sense of the word. For me, it was a wonderful place to decompress after Dia de Muertos, but it’s also one of the best places for surfing in Mexico on the world famous Mexican Pipeline wave, which can get 12-feet-tall.
For those who have always wanted to learn how to surf, don’t pass up the chance to take a surfing lesson in Puerto Escondido. There are also plenty of beautiful non-surfing beaches, like Playa Zicatela, La Punta and Playa Carrizalillo, the best beaches in Puerto Escondido.
Puerto Escondido and the Oaxacan coast is well known for all the turtles that lay eggs along the shores. Join a baby turtle release in Puerto Escondido, and watch these little animals wake their way into the Pacific Ocean. Nearby Laguna de Manialtepec (Manialtepec Lagoon) is also a bioluminescent bay — one of only a few on Earth.
🐢 Check out the Turtles and Bioluminescence Tour and see them both!
RELATED BLOG 🏝 Traveling to Oaxaca: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
How to Get to Puerto Escondido
If you’re flying directly to Puerto Escondido, there’s the Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM). Though this airport has international in its name, you’ll very rarely find a direct flight from the U.S., and you’ll likely have to connect through Mexico City or Guadalajara.
🏡 Need a Puerto Escondido Hotel? I recommend the boho chic La Punta neighborhood if you want to party, the Playa Carrizalillo or Playa Bacocho areas for relaxation, and Playa Zicatela to be in the main area of town, close to all the action.
How to Get to Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca City
You have a few options when traveling to Puerto Escondido and the beaches of Oaxaca from Oaxaca City. These five options include: your own rental car*, a private hired car with drive, colectivo (shared van), ADO bus and plane.
*Note: While I find Mexico safe for solo travel, I personally wouldn’t do this drive from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido alone. The drive is a bit intimidating along curvy mountain roads which aren’t always well maintained, and it’s not safe at night.
I took the flight, which I loved for both the convenience and also because it was such a cool experience to be on a small, 10-seater plane. While this might not be for everyone, I enjoyed it, and everyone else on the plane couldn’t stop taking photos, just like me!
For more info on all how to travel from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido, head to this detailed guide. While this is only a 100-mile trip, it’s more complicated and takes longer than you’d think.
Puerto Escondido Solo Travel Tip: While I find Mexico safe for solo travel, I personally wouldn’t do the drive from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido solo. The road is a bit intimidating, not well maintained, and not safe at night.
Oaxaca SOLO TRAVEL
Submitted by Michele of A Taste for Travel
I have traveled solo up and down the coast of Oaxaca many times over the past few decades while researching guidebooks to the region and I’m always amazed by the number of things to do in Huatulco (pronounced waa-tool-ko), located about an hour from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.
Although Huatulco, or Bahías de Huatulco, is best known as one of the most popular planned resort destinations in Mexico, it has a wealth of attractions beyond the big resorts. Some of my favorite activities include visiting Huatulco’s 36 beaches, snorkeling tours around its nine bays, exploring Parque Eco-Arqueologico Copalita archeological site, and releasing baby sea turtles.
I’ve also taken a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Zapotec dishes and popular Oaxacan street food, while meeting other travelers. Overall, prices for activities, dining and hotels are generally lower in Oaxaca than many other Mexican states, so you can do and see more and/or stay longer!
Huatulco, Mexico has gorgeous, uncrowded beaches — and amazing, inexpensive beachfront accommodations at the best hotels in Huatulco.
Another factor making Huatulco safe for solo female travelers is the many investments made to modernize its tourism infrastructure, including wide sidewalks, street lights, sanitation and water quality systems. I know firsthand it’s no fun getting sick when traveling solo, and these measures help reduce the likelihood of getting sick, especially for culinary adventurers like myself.
Huatulco is unique in that it combines modern amenities with environmental sustainability. In 2005, it achieved international Green Globe Certification, and has more protected space than any other tourism destination in Mexico; meaning you can feel good about traveling here and leaving a small footprint during your Mexico vacation.
Huatulco Solo Travel Tip: There are several beach towns on the coast of Oaxaca to check out in your rental car — like Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Zipolite, Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, one of the best places to surf in Mexico.
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
20. San Cristobal de las Casas
Submitted by Shelley of @travelmexicosolo
Located way up in the mountains in Chiapas state, you’ll find San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. This pueblo magico (magic town) lives up to its magical name for nature, food and culture lovers.
Those continuing on to Central America from Mexico will often use San Cristobal as a last stop, because you can do a land crossing into Guatemala from this part of Mexico. This is also a popular place for backpackers, as it’s safe and inexpensive. I, however, visited as a solo traveler, but found it quite easy to meet other travelers as it’s quite clear who’s a local and who’s a visitor.
The Southern Mexico states of Chiapas and Oaxaca are well known for being two of the states still most connected to their indigenous heritage. You’ll usually see women in traditional dress and speaking non-Spanish indigenous languages. Honestly, San Cristobal de las Casas feels like another country compared to much of Mexico — and I’ve been to 14 states now!
To get to San Cristobal de las Casas, you’ll fly into Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport (code: TGZ), located in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas state. From there, I took a colectivo (small shared van) for the one-hour drive to San Cristobal. There are colectivos heading out every hour or so, and cost about $200 pesos ($10).
RELATED BLOG 🇲🇽 Mexico Hidden Gems: The 10 You Need to Know About
Things to Do in San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal is a relatively small Colonial town, and completely walkable. Spend some time just roaming the streets, photographing the colorful buildings, eating amazing food — perhaps in a cooking class. The Mayan Textiles Museum, filled with Chiapas’ famous textiles, is one of the best museum in San Cristobal.
However, don’t pass up the great day trips from San Cristobal de las Casas to see the other unique places in Chiapas state.
Head back to Tuxtla Gutierrez to do the boat tour of Cañyon del Sumidero (Sumidero Canyon), one of the largest navigable canyons on Earth. For a unique cultural experience, visit the San Juan de Chamula pueblo to see the town and its Templo de San Juan church.
There’s plenty of amazing natural wonders in Chiapas, like Aguas Azules (Blue Waters), a giant series of waterfalls and swimming pools with bright blue waters. Maybe also check out the Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Misol-Ha waterfall, El Chiflon waterfall and El Arcotete cave/eco-park.
The last, and perhaps most visited area you’ll want to check out is the ruins and city of Palenque. If you have the time, spend the night there, as it’s about five hours from San Cristobal. There are day trips to Palenque from San Cristobal de las Casas, though it is a long day.
San Cristobal de las Casas Solo Travel Tip: If you’re not into advanced planning, just head to downtown San Cristobal de las Casas, where you can easily book tours and day trips from a number of local companies.
- San Cristobal de las Casas is located in Chiapas, Mexico.
- The best time to visit San Cristobal de las Casas is from November to April, during the dry season.
- Related Blog — Mexico Hidden Gems: The 10 You Need to Know About
MEXICO SOLO TRAVEL
Final Thoughts: Solo Travel Mexico
I have been living and traveling solo in Mexico since April 2018. To date, I have been to 14 states out of 32, and always felt safe. While safety is never a guarantee, anywhere on Earth, I do my best to address the topic further in this article, SAFE Solo Female Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips & Safe Destinations.
Given the negative perceptions of Mexico, I wanted to compile this particular article with the voices of other ladies who have done some Mexico solo travel — safely. I figured that just because I feel safe in Mexico, there needed to be as many voices in the Mexico solo travel safety conversation as possible.
Since some people, like you!, may just need a small extra push to take your first solo trip, or their first Mexico solo trip, I hope the endorsements of my fellow solo female travelers might do the trick.
Solo Female Travel Safety
Now, while there are 15 other women in this article who have safely done a Mexico solo trip, that doesn’t mean you should assume your safety in Mexico is a guarantee. It’s not!
Rather, like all of us, you should follow the 10 General Female Travel Safety Tips below, register for the STEP Program, always keep your personal safety front-of-mind, and purchase Mexico travel insurance.
🧳Pro Tip: Check out this list of Mexico travel safety items to bring with you. After your Mexico trip, they will also come in handy for future solo travel adventures.
10 General Travel Safety Tips
- Don’t walk home alone at night; take an Uber or taxi.
- Always listen to your intuition because your intuition is always right.
- If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place immediately. If you feel you’re in danger, don’t worry about making a kind, nice, or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away ASAP.
- Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket; it’s the easiest place to pickpocket from.
- Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, pin and save the infographic below as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
- Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things.
- Speaking of bar neighbors, don’t take drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended with one.
- Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
- Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to pay.
- This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but get Travel Insurance!
Register for the STEP Program
Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home, in the event of an emergency while abroad.
Mexico Travel Insurance
Want an added level of security and peace of mind?
Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling. If Mexico travel safety is the thing holding you back, get your free quote below from World Nomads, one of the biggest names in travel insurance.
Any Mexico solo travel destinations we missed?
Please join the conversation and comment below with your favorite solo travel in Mexico destination!