San 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.
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, 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.