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Is It Safe To Travel To San Miguel de Allende

parroquia san miguel de allendeSan Miguel de Allende, one of the most quaint and charming towns in Mexico, is a number one tourist destination.  But is it safe?  News reports of crime in Mexico have many travelers wary of flying south.  However, Mexico is a large country and many of these reported crimes take place in cities far from San Miguel.

Crime On A National Level

Mexico has thirty-one states and a total land area of 761,606 sq miles (About three times the size of Texas). To drive from Juárez, Mexico in the north (near the Texan border) to Tapachula, Mexico in the south (near the Guatemalan border) takes over a day and a half (1,792 miles – 2884 km). With such a large country it is expected there would be a proportionate amount of crime. However, a close study of official statistics shows that most of Mexico has a modest crime rate. On average, the murder rate is 2 murders per 100,000 in most states. That’s about the same as Evansville, Indiana or Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In Mexico City, the average is 8 per 100,000, which is  low for the most populated city in the western world.


*San Miguel de Allende

Crime On A Local Level

In spite of the recent news reports about increases in violence in Mexico, a holiday in San Miguel de Allende is safer than vacationing in some parts of the U.S. Risk in one part of a country should not preclude travel within the whole country. A news report about a murder in Manhattan wouldn’t stop most from visiting the Hamptons, which is less than two hours away from New York City. A report about a murder in Juarez, which is about 18 hours from San Miguel de Allende, shouldn’t stop tourists from come down here.

San Miguel jardinSan Miguel, An Expat Community

San Miguel, where over 8,000 Canadian, British, and Americans live, is a great distance from the cartel wars and highway robberies. It is safe to travel from the airports (Leon, Queretaro, Mexico City) to San Miguel either by car, shuttle, or bus. It is safe to take day trips throughout the state of Guanajuato. Walking the streets of San Miguel during the day and at night is safe. (If you feel uncomfortable in the evenings, there are taxis that can be taken for under $3.00 U.S.) San Miguel has a population of approximately 140,000 people, so there is some crime here (mostly pickpocketing, purse snatching, and vandalism.) However, if visitors use the same precautions that they would at home or traveling anywhere in the world, they should be fine.

9 Responses

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  6. Nichole

    I plan on coming visit San Miguel dec 2012, Is it safe I’m coming from the US. I’m very white speak no Spanish, what is best travel, I have Spanish boyfriend from San Miguel who would meet me in Nuevo Laredo Mexico is that the best idea, I just wanna get to San Miguel safe!! Please help

    1. Hi Nichole,

      It’s very safe here in San Miguel. Most people coming from the US will be flying into Aeropuerto Internacional de Queretaro (QRO), Aeropuerto del Bajio (BJX), or Mexico City (MEX). The first two are about an hour drive from San Miguel while Mexico city is about 4 and a half hours. It’s easiest to have a shuttle service pick you up from the airport and take you directly to your hotel. More info on shuttles here:

      I don’t know what Nuevo Laredo is like at the moment. It’s over 10 hours from San Miguel and a border town. Here in the state of Guanajuato it is very safe (where the first two airports are located). If you are worried about safety here are some articles about it:

      I’ve lived here for over two years and feel far safer here than in the US.


    2. Dear Nichole,

      I heard all the stories about how violent Mexico was, but I didn’t believe them, and I did believe that they mostly involved people who unfortunately were in the wrong place at the wrong time, which can happen anywhere, especially, if you’re involved in drugs, the police, the military, or other forms of trafficking. If you’re just coming to Mexico for a visit, I’m pretty sure, you will encounter almost all friendly people who just want to help you.

      I’m a woman, over 50, who recently drove by myself from Los Angeles to San Miguel. It took about 4 days. I drove mostly through Arizona, and crossed in a small town called Douglas. I couldn’t have had a nicer trip or met nicer people throughout. Of course, everyone will tell you to stay on the toll roads, and not to drive at night, but that’s just because those are the common rules of safety on the road. During the day, it’s fine to use any Mexican roads, and crime and violence are very low, except in the border towns and among rival gangs and cartels, which I have only read about, and never seen a trace of or heard a trace of from anyone I’ve spoken with, and I speak with almost everyone!. I never even felt like I had to lock my door. You encounter mostly small towns where everyone knows everyone else, nice people, and usually at least one or two who speak some English. (I speak enough Spanish to get by, so that’s helpful, but, if I didn’t, I would still feel safe traveling, since everyone is so friendly and helpful, and if you really need someone to translate something, you can find someone who speaks English pretty easily).

      Just stay on the Cuotas, though, they’re costly, once you’re with your boyfriend you won’t have to worry. Crossing the border is easy and safe. Don’t worry about what you hear in the news, it’s just not most people’s experience, and have fun!

  7. katie Smith

    My parents, who are in their late 70’s, were recently victims of a brutal home invasion that took place at 11 in the morning on a Saturday. The robbers almost beat my mother to death, and my father almost lost his eye site in an eye. They got away with a cheap computer, a few hundred dollars, which I might add is a great deal of money there, and credit cards, that were cancelled immediately. So basically they got some money and a cheap computer, while my parents almost lost their lives. You have to remember, that you are visiting MEXICO and there are plenty of people who are willing and able to to take from you things they do not have. Besides that, many of the crimes are brushed under the carpet because San Miguel completely depends on monies spent by Americans, Canadians, etc… as of Feb 17, 2014, crime is up compared to other years. Do not be fooled by a false sense of security or safety or you will absolutely be taken advantage of and or become a crime statistic that will easily be swept under the carpet! I too used to feel safe, until this happened to my parents. At that time I also found out from the American Consulate in San Miguel, that not only is crime up, but so is the brutality used against people. Sad but true, and a recent safety meeting the consulate had, almost every person who was there (30 people) had been a victim of robbery!! In fact, a lady who was on her way to the meeting, had just had her car broken into. My advice is NOT to listen to the fools who are telling you how safe it is because IT IS NOT!!!

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