Safest Mexican Border Towns

Safest Mexican Border Towns

Safest Mexican Border Towns

The safest Mexican border towns are Piedras Negras (Coahuila) and La Misión (Baja California). However, the rest of the Mexican border towns should be avoided as they are generally unsafe and unattractive for tourism purposes.

I felt very safe in La Misión and Piedras Negras, so it is not just statistics but a general sensation of safety I felt.

However, these two towns have nothing attractive for tourism. Something different is for investing as these towns are near the border and real estate is very cheap in these border towns (with the exception of Tijuana)

Piedras Negras, notable for its security, is an example of a Mexican border town that you can consider safe for travel and business. You cross through Eagle Pass.

La Misión, is located 38 miles south of the border and it is considered also one of the safest places in Mexico to live. The town is very small and has practically no things to do of interest.

Further south of Tijuana in Baja California, towns like Rosarito, Ensenada, and La Misión have been acknowledged for their tranquil environments. However, Rosarito became less safer since 2024 as some of the violence of neighboring Tijuana is spreading there.

These towns, including Rosarito, have developed a reputation for being welcoming to tourists and maintaining a lower crime rate compared to other border towns.

Safest Mexican Border Towns: Piedras Negras
Piedras Negras, with my drone, you know how much I am using it. Ok, so this is the safest Mexican border town, in a drone view from the plaza principal. Left is the access to the US (Eagle Pass) Avoid it during the morning and after 4PM. The town is very safe but it has no attractions that are worth mentioning.
Safest Mexican Border TownsHighlight
Piedras NegrasKnown for enhanced security measures, however small and unattractive.
RosaritoPopular tourist destination (beachfront resorts, large beaches) with lower crime rates
EnsenadaHarbor town with a focus on safety; attracts expatriates
La MisiónSmaller community known for its peaceful atmosphere

Piedras Negras

Overview of the City:
Las Piedras or Piedras Negras is a town that provides a mix of traditional charm and modern convenience. This Mexican border town is known for a tranquil atmosphere and local cultural experiences.

Things to Do:

  • Explore local markets and crafts
  • Visit historical landmarks
  • Enjoy traditional cuisine

Tours and Day Tours:

  • Guided cultural tours
  • Historical site explorations

Best Hotels:

  • Hotel La Fortaleza – Luxury amenities
  • Casa Piedra – Comfort with culture

Nearby Attractions: Visit Eagle Pass for shopping and dining experiences. Take day tours to natural parks and heritage sites.

Transportation Options:

Mode of TransportDescription
Private CarsWith drivers available for hire
Car RentalsFor self-driven explorations
ShuttlesPrivate services for convenience

Events, Concerts, and Festivals:
Annual cultural festivals celebrate heritage with music, dance, and food.

Safety Tips:

  • Stay in well-lit, populated areas at night
  • Keep valuables secure
  • Be aware of local customs

Flights and Airports:
Neighboring airports offer flights to major U.S. cities. Local transport can be arranged to the town.

La Misión (Baja California)

La Misión is a quaint village in Baja California, not exactly on the border but conveniently situated approximately 66 km south of the San Ysidro border crossing. Despite not being a border town, it offers a tranquil escape close to bustling border cities.

Overview: This serene locale provides a glimpse into rural Mexican life, embodying a rich cultural heritage and a slower-paced lifestyle ideal for travelers seeking authentic experiences.

Things to Do:

  • Engaging in water activities at local beaches
  • Discovering the rustic charm of the village and its mission
  • Exploring local vineyards
Tours and Day ToursBest HotelsNearby Towns and Tours
Guided Ensenada toursAccommodations with ample amenitiesEnsenada: Boasting culinary and wine escapades
Valle de Guadalupe wine tastingLodgings imbued with local characterRosarito: Offering artisanal markets

Transportation: Regular flights are available from the United States to the nearest major airports in Tijuana and Ensenada. Once you arrive, you can rent a car or book private shuttles to take you to La Misión and surrounding areas.

Events, Concerts, And Festivals: Check local calendars for vibrant festivities that frequently celebrate Baja’s unique culture and history.

Safety Tips:

  • Always stay informed about current travel advisories.
  • Maintain awareness of your belongings in tourist areas.
  • Utilize reputable transportation services for excursions.

Rosarito (Baja California)

Rosarito is a coastal city within Baja California, Mexico, known for its beautiful beaches and proximity to the United States border.

Often deemed one of the safest destinations in Mexico, especially for U.S. tourists, the city offers a range of activities and amenities, but Rosarito is becoming much less safer since 2024 as criminal activity from Tijuana is spreading there.

Things to DoBeach activities, local shopping, water sports
AccommodationsUpscale resorts, boutique hotels, budget-friendly stays
TransportationCar rentals, private shuttles, taxis
Nearby AttractionsWine country tours, artisan markets
Events and FestivalsCultural celebrations, culinary events
Safety TipsStay in well-lit areas, keep personal items secure

When in Rosarito, your days can be filled with sunbathing, surfing, or exploring the vibrant craft markets. Find top-rated hotels with pools, spas, and gourmet dining for a luxurious stay. If you’re looking to explore, consider day trips to nearby towns or join a tour to Baja’s famed wine country.

For transportation, you have options such as private cars with drivers, car rentals, or shuttles to navigate the region comfortably. Looking for a deeper dive into the local culture? Attend one of Rosarito’s many events and festivals, where music, dance, and cuisine take center stage.

Direct flights from the United States land at Tijuana International Airport, a short drive from Rosarito. Crossing the border is often smooth, with many choosing to travel by road from places like San Diego.

Ensenada (Baja California)

Overview of the City:
Ensenada, positioned on the coastline of Baja California, offers a blend of Mexican culture and seaside tranquility. As a deep-water port, it’s accessible for cruise ships and known as the “Cinderella of the Pacific.”

Things to Do:

  • Visit the local wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe.
  • Explore the waterfront and fish market at the Malecón.
  • Enjoy water sports at the pristine beaches.

Where to Stay: Hotels in Ensenada cater to various budgets, with many offering luxurious amenities for your comfort.

Best Hotels With AmenitiesNotable Features
Hotel Coral & MarinaSpa, marina, fine dining
Punta Morro ResortSecluded beaches, pools
Estero Beach Hotel & ResortFamily-friendly, beach access

Nearby Destinations:

  • Valle de Guadalupe: Known for its vineyards and wine tastings.
  • La Bufadora: A marine geyser offering spectacular views.

Transportation Options: Flights to Ensenada are not direct; you’ll likely fly into Tijuana or San Diego. Ensenada is accessible by private car, rental, or shuttle.

Events, Concerts, and Festivals: The city hosts various events like the Baja 1000 off-road race, the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, and the Ensenada Jazz Festival.

Safety Tips:

  • Practice common travel safety measures, such as guarding personal belongings.
  • Stay informed about the latest travel advisories.
  • Consider exploring with a local guide for a safer experience.

Remember, each traveler’s experience is unique and staying informed is key to a safe visit.

Tijuana (Only Downtown During Office Hours)

Visiting downtown Tijuana during office hours offers a bustling urban experience with a variety of attractions and activities. This city, sitting right at the edge of the US and Mexico border, presents an opportunity for exploring Mexican culture with relative safety during these hours. You’re advised to act with caution, just as you would in any major city.

Overview of the City: Tijuana is a vibrant city best known for its proximity to San Diego, California. The downtown area is characterized by its business centers, shopping destinations, and historic sites.

Things to Do: Exploring downtown Tijuana can include:

  • Visiting cultural centers like Centro Cultural Tijuana.
  • Enjoying the local cuisine at renowned taco stands and restaurants.
  • Shopping at the Avenida Revolución for Mexican crafts.

Tours and Day Tours:

  • Several companies offer guided walking tours.
  • Day tours from San Diego are popular and easily arranged.

Transportation Options:

Mode of TransportationDescription
Private CarsAvailable for hire with drivers.
Car RentalsOptions available at the airport and downtown.
Private ShuttlesConvenient for groups or those wanting comfort.

Accommodation: The best hotels with ample amenities are predominantly found in the business district, offering services such as:

  • Secure parking.
  • Conference rooms.
  • In-house dining.

Nearby Alternatives: Consider visiting:

  • Rosarito for beaches.
  • Valle de Guadalupe for wine tasting.

Flight Accessibility: Flights are available from various cities in the United States to General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport, the main airport serving Tijuana.

Events and Safety: Keep an eye out for local events, which are typically safe to attend during the day:

  • Cultural festivals.
  • Music concerts.

Safety Tips:

  • Stick to well-traveled areas.
  • Keep personal belongings secure.
  • Use recommended taxi services.

Safest Cities In Mexico

When you’re considering a trip to Mexico, your safety is of great importance. You’ll be pleased to know that several cities stand out for their safety, drawing locals and tourists alike.

Merida in Yucatán is often hailed as one of the safest cities in Mexico. Its culture is rich and vibrant, with well-maintained streets and friendly locals. Valladolid, also in Yucatán, boasts a tranquil atmosphere along with historical charm that makes it a peaceful retreat.

The beach town of Huatulco is known for its nine beautiful bays and 36 beaches, offering a serene getaway. It’s managed to retain its low crime rates despite its growing popularity.

Sayulita in Nayarit is a hidden gem that’s become a haven for surfers and those looking for a small-town beach vibe. It’s recognized for its sense of community and easy-going nature.

Although larger cities typically come with higher caution, Guadalajara has been a pleasant exception, with an emphasis on local culture and art. Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another city where you can enjoy the coastal views alongside the security of well-preserved historical districts.

Lastly, Oaxaca is a cultural hotspot known for its traditional cuisines and indigenous markets, and it maintains a reputation for being welcoming and secure for travelers.

Safest Cities In MexicoStateNotable Features
MeridaYucatánVibrant culture, colonial history
ValladolidYucatánTranquil atmosphere, historical sites
HuatulcoOaxacaPristine beaches, eco-tourism
SayulitaNayaritSurfing destination, artsy community
GuadalajaraJaliscoRich in local culture and art
CampecheCampecheCoastal beauty, historical architecture
OaxacaOaxacaIndigenous markets, renowned cuisine

Keep these cities in mind as you plan your journey, acknowledging that each offers a unique blend of attractions paired with an assurance of safety.

Safest Border Crossing into Mexico from Texas

The safest crossing to Mexico is Laredo-Colombia Border Crossing, located on the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge because it is in a rural area with low criminality and has the fewest amount of traffic bottlenecks with only 93,267 vehicles per year.

When considering a border crossing into Mexico from Texas, safety is a crucial factor. Your prime choice — both safe and efficient — is the Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge. This particular crossing, known as the Laredo-Colombia Border Crossing, offers a swift entry and helps avoid the bustling Nuevo Laredo area.

Safety ConsiderationDetails
LocationWest of Laredo, TX
Wait TimesTypically short
AvoidanceBypasses Nuevo Laredo
RecommendationDo not stop near Rio Grande river road on the Mexican side

It is recommended to proceed directly through the border without unnecessary stops, especially near the Rio Grande river road within Mexico to ensure your security. The Laredo-Colombia Solidarity International Bridge is not only safe due to the lower traffic but also maintains a dedicated infrastructure, aiding hassle-free travel.

Best Mexican Border Towns

When exploring the Mexican border, you’ll find a diverse array of towns that offer a mix of cultural experiences, shopping, and dining. It’s important to note that some of the best-known cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez are vibrant and rich in cultural heritage, but they are not always deemed the safest.

Notable Border Towns in Texas

Laredo, Texas, is a significant hub of trade with a bustling atmosphere. You’ll experience a cross-cultural blend with historical landmarks and modern shopping centers.

Del Rio, Texas, provides a quieter experience with opportunities for outdoor activities given its proximity to Lake Amistad and the Amistad National Recreation Area.

Prominent Crossings

Laredo–Nuevo Laredo, while busy, is considered one of the safer crossings and reflects a strong interconnection between the U.S. and Mexico.

Presidio, Texas – Ojinaga, offers a less crowded entry point with scenic routes connecting Texas’s Big Bend National Park and Mexico’s Copper Canyon.

While smaller and less known, Tecate has been cited for its tranquil environment and is home to the famous brewery that produces Tecate beer.

US Side Comfort

For those who wish to stay on the US side but still experience the cultural intertwining, towns like San Luis Río Colorado offer a good balance of safety and cross-border exchange.

Summary Table

Town/CityNotable ForLocation
Laredo, TexasTrade and CultureTexas Border
Del Rio, TexasOutdoor ActivitiesTexas Border
Nuevo LaredoSafer CrossingTamaulipas, MX
Presidio, TexasScenic RoutesTexas Border
TecateTranquility and BreweryBaja California, MX
San Luis Río ColoradoCultural ExchangeArizona Border

Safest Border Crossing into Mexico from Arizona

When considering the safest border crossing into Mexico from Arizona, you should assess the available facilities, hours of operation, and types of crossings suitable for your travel.

San Luis Río Colorado

  • Type: Major Crossing
  • Service: No Trucks, SENTRI and Ready Lane Pass
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to midnight

This crossing is efficient for most passenger vehicles, and the availability of SENTRI lanes can make your crossing quicker if you’re pre-approved for expedited entry into Mexico.


  • Type: Minor Crossing
  • Service: SENTRI and Ready Lane Pass
  • Hours: 24 hours

Although categorized as a minor crossing, its 24-hour operation caters to travelers at all times, providing a convenient and typically less congested option.


  • Type: Major Crossing
  • Service: SENTRI and Ready Lane Pass
  • Hours: 24 hours

This is a preferred crossing for many, thanks to its continuous operation and the capacity to handle a large volume of traffic efficiently.

Here is a table summarizing the key details:

Safest Border Crossing into Mexico from ArizonaType of CrossingServices OfferedOperational Hours
San Luis Río ColoradoMajorNo Trucks, SENTRI, Ready Lane8:00 a.m. – midnight
Lukeville/SonoytaMinorSENTRI, Ready Lane24 hours
Nogales/MariposaMajorSENTRI, Ready Lane24 hours

For updates on wait times and crossing statuses, always check the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website before you depart. This can help you plan your crossing to ensure a smooth experience. When traveling beyond the border zone in Sonora, secure a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit to avoid any legal issues.

I have updated my list with the safest cities in Mexico, and the safest cities in Baja California where I spent a couple of years. I can tell you now where is the cheapest and safest place to live in Mexico. Nevertheless, there are places to avoid near the border, with some of the safest Mexican border towns which are Las Piedras and La Misión.

I had to decide which are the safest resorts in Mexico, normally boutique hotels and all inclusive hotels with security access, and beach guards in an already safe city. Those selected and relatively secluded resorts are also the safest place in Mexico to vacation with the family.

Those lists have to be compared with the list of cleanest cities in Mexico.

My Favorite Things To Do In Mérida

So I have a shortlist of the best things to do in Mérida, notably the Mayan World Museum, some of them unique things off the beaten path. In particular, what to do in Merida at night, like pub crawling, dancing, and some upscale restaurants. Also, for those lazy dazs, things to do in Mérida Centro, where we can find the majority of activities, such as the several free walking tours which start downtown. I have also a list of few free things to do in Mérida.

I tell you where to stay in Mérida, which are the best hotels, in particular, fancy boutique hotels.

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