The first question we normally get asked when we mention we’re traveling across Baja California by RV is; “Is Baja California safe to visit?“. It’s a valid question considering most people only see Mexico through the eyes of mainstream media.
Baja, Mexico is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. Especially if you enjoy remote beaches, scrumptious fresh seafood, and spectacular desert landscapes. The best part is that it’s so accessible to American tourists with many destinations only within a few hour’s drive.
So, is Baja California safe? The answer is a resounding YES!
If this is your first time traveling to Mexico or maybe your first time taking a road trip across the border; here’s what you need to know about safety in Baja California, Mexico.
This 90-page digital guide includes the perfect Baja road trip itinerary to 18 incredible destinations along the Baja California Peninsula. Plus, you’ll gain access to our custom Google Map with 150+ unique and top activities throughout Mexico.
This Baja road trip guide is a ONE-STOP SHOP for everything you want and need to know about traveling Baja California in a van, fifth wheel, trailer, or RV.
Is Mexico safe to visit?
Despite what you might see and hear from mainstream media, Baja is generally a safe place to travel. You might even find the Baja Peninsula to feel safer than many U.S. cities.
Most of the violence that you hear about in Mexico is related to drug trafficking. These incidents mostly take place along the border or in areas with high cartel activity. Tourists and travelers are rarely involved in these violent conflicts. However, it is still good to be aware of the increased risk when visiting or driving through these areas.
The Baja Peninsula is made up of two Mexican states, Baja California and Baja California Sur. According to the US State Department’s website, U.S. citizens are advised to “reconsider travel” to Baja California due to “crime and kidnapping”. In Baja Sur, the advisory says “exercise increased caution” due to “crime”.
Yet, millions of Americans travel to Baja Mexico every year. Those precautions are important to take into consideration, but they shouldn’t stop you from traveling there altogether.
Chicago, for example, one of the cities with the highest crime rate in the United States is considered equally unsafe as Tijuana, Mexico. But this doesn’t stop many tourists from visiting the city. It just means they are more aware of crime risk as they travel.
These warnings are issued with an overabundance of caution since they cross borders. Use common sense and you will likely experience Baja like most tourists do every year, without any crime.
Baja, Mexico safety
If you decide to travel to Mexico, remember that you’re a visitor to a foreign country and there are some precautions to take. The most common safety issue Americans will experience in Baja California is petty crime. These aren’t things exclusive to Mexico and in fact, can be far more prevalent in other countries.
With that being said, pickpocketing, muggings, corruption, and bribery are all concerns to be aware of.
Here are a few common-sense rules to follow when traveling through the Baja Peninsula.
- Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, and other important documents in case they are stolen or lost.
- Keep your valuables secure and out of sight, whether that is in a hotel room, car, or RV.
- Pickpockets do happen especially in crowded areas. Keep your belongings secured and close to your body.
- Try to avoid walking around alone at night and stick to well-lit areas.
- Don’t drink too much and always be alert.
- Don’t carry an excessive amount of cash on you. Consider dividing up your cash and storing it in different places in case you are a victim of pickpocketing.
- Don’t make yourself a target with flashy jewelry or expensive devices (phones, big cameras, laptops, etc.)
- Only drive during daylight hours and don’t drink and drive.
- Do not buy drugs in Mexico, the risks are just not worth it.
Mexico driving safety tips
Driving in Baja Mexico is both fantastic and challenging. There is only one highway that connects Baja California to Baja Sur called Mexico 1.
This is the route you will follow all the way south until you reach the southern tip. The cities in the south are well connected through a nicely paved toll road. Be prepared for lots of potholes, topes (speed bumps), and narrow roads on the remainder of Highway 1.
It is best not to drive too fast and only drive during daylight hours because of these conditions. Some rural areas are open ranges where cattle frequently cross the highway which is another good reason not to drive at night.
Because of the road conditions, we recommend you have good tires before crossing and making the trip. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the side of a road in the Baja desert.
Luckily, if the worst does happen there are the Green Angels to the rescue. The Green Angels or Angeles Verdes is a government-run, bilingual roadside assistance crew that patrols the highways in green trucks. They can offer mechanical assistance, first aid, basic supplies, and towing. Just pull over to the side of the road and open your hood to signal them.
The 24-hour toll-free number for the Green Angels is 01-800-987-8224. In case of an emergency, you can also dial 078.
The last thing to be aware of when driving through Baja California is the many Military Checkpoints. These checkpoints exist for your safety and the young men working these checkpoints are generally polite and friendly. It’s super common to have an agent do an inspection.
Is Baja California safe to RV?
Hopefully, by now your answer to the question of whether Baja California is safe is more than answered. And traveling to Baja Mexico is in fact very safe. The locals are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.
With the military checkpoints, Green Angels, and a large police presence in tourist areas, visitors have little to worry about. Common sense, avoiding dangerous border areas, and taking precautions can make your trip to Baja California safe and fun.