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Oaxaca Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2024?

Planning a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico? Consider safety alongside its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and cuisine. Wise to check before you pack.

Tobi Miles
March 29, 2024
Oaxaca Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2024?

The good news is, Oaxaca is generally considered safe for tourists. However, staying informed and practicing common sense can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth, enjoyable experience. Let's dive into what you need to know about safety in Oaxaca, so you can focus on soaking up all the beauty and adventure it has to offer.

Key Takeaways

  • Oaxaca is considered a safe destination for tourists, with a lower crime rate than many other parts of Mexico, including less instance of violent crimes, but with petty theft such as pickpocketing being the most common risk.
  • Practicing common-sense safety measures can significantly enhance your experience in Oaxaca. This includes staying aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, traveling in groups when possible, and using official transportation.
  • Tourist-friendly areas in Oaxaca, such as Oaxaca City’s Centro Histórico, Monte Albán, and Hierve el Agua are not only rich in culture and history but are also known for their safety and welcoming atmosphere for international visitors.
  • Respecting local customs and engaging respectfully with locals contributes to a positive experience and ensures harmonious interactions during your travels.
  • Having key emergency contacts handy, including 911 for emergency services, 078 for Tourist Assistance, and contact information for your country's consulate, is essential for dealing with any unexpected situations.

Crime Rate in Oaxaca

When discussing the safety of traveling to Oaxaca, it's crucial to examine the crime rate closely. Oaxaca is known for having one of the lower crime rates in Mexico, especially when compared to larger cities or border towns. However, as a savvy traveler, understanding the specifics can help you navigate your journey with greater peace of mind.

Key Statistics

Type of Crime

Comparative Rate (per 100,000 inhabitants)

Violent Crimes

Lower than Mexico's average

Petty Theft



Less frequent than in major tourist destinations

These statistics illustrate that while crime is not absent, the risk level is relatively low, especially for violent crimes. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing or minor scams, remains the most significant risk, mostly in crowded areas or tourist hotspots.

Safety Tips

To further ensure your safety while enjoying Oaxaca's cultural heritage and natural beauty, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Stay Aware: Always be conscious of your surroundings, especially in crowded places.
  • Secure Belongings: Use anti-theft bags or keep valuables in hotel safes.
  • Travel in Groups: There's safety in numbers, particularly at night.
  • Use Official Transportation: Stick to registered taxis or reputable ride-sharing services.

By staying informed about the crime rate in Oaxaca and adhering to these safety tips, you're well on your way to a secure and enjoyable trip. Remember, the goal is not to instill fear but to prepare and empower you. With the right precautions, Oaxaca can be a memorable and safe destination where you can immerse yourself in the unique cultures and experiences it has to offer.

Safety Tips for Travelers

Navigating Oaxaca’s vibrant streets and engaging with its rich cultural tapestry should be a thrilling, not worrisome, experience. To ensure your journey is as safe as possible, here are essential tips tailored just for you.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Oaxaca’s charm can easily sweep you off your feet, but staying vigilant is key. Crowded markets and tourist hotspots are prime areas for petty theft. Keep your belongings close and maintain a moderate level of caution, especially after dark. Recent reports indicate a decrease in violent crimes but staying alert is always advisable.

Secure Your Belongings
Petty theft, though less common than in other parts of Mexico, still occurs. Use anti-theft bags and wear your backpack in front when navigating bustling areas. Valuables should be stored in hotel safes or similar secure locations. Statistics show that travelers who take these precautions significantly reduce their risk of theft.

Traveling in Groups
There’s safety in numbers. Traveling with companions not only enhances your Oaxaca experience but also deters potential thieves. Solo travelers should consider joining guided tours, particularly when exploring less-frequented areas.

Use Official Transportation
Unofficial taxis present risks of overcharging and other security concerns. Always opt for official transportation services, which are regulated and safer. Apps like Uber or registered taxi services offer transparent pricing and added security features for your peace of mind.

Cultural Sensitivity and Respect
Understanding and respecting local customs and norms goes a long way in ensuring a harmonious experience. Engage with locals respectfully, and be mindful of cultural nuances that enrich your travel experience.

By embracing these safety tips, you're setting yourself up for an unforgettable adventure in Oaxaca. Remember, staying informed and prepared is the best way to enjoy all that this stunning region has to offer.

Tourist-Friendly Areas

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, pinpointing tourist-friendly areas is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. Oaxaca's charm is not just in its vibrant streets and rich cultural heritage but also in how it welcomes tourists with open arms, particularly in areas that are well-trodden by international visitors.

Oaxaca City, the capital, is renowned for its safety and friendly atmosphere. Here, you'll find a plethora of accommodations, eateries, and attractions within walking distance, especially around Oaxaca's Zocalo and the Santo Domingo Church. These areas are not only bustling with life during the day but are also well-lit and populated at night, reducing the risk of petty theft.

Key Areas to Consider:

  • Centro Histórico: The historic center is not just safe; it's a UNESCO World Heritage site brimming with museums, markets, and galleries.
  • Monte Albán: A significant archeological site that provides insights into the Zapotec civilization. It's well-organized for tourists, with guided tours frequently available.
  • Hierve el Agua: Famous for its petrified waterfalls and natural pools, this natural wonder is a bit further afield but remains a secure location for visitors seeking a day trip.
  • Stick to well-lit, busy streets at night.
  • Opt for official tour guides when exploring more remote sites.
  • Keep an eye on the seasonal travel advisories.

In recent surveys, a vast majority of visitors reported feeling safe during their stay in Oaxaca, attributing their comfort to the welcoming nature of both the city and its people. While incidents can happen anywhere, being aware of your surroundings and making informed choices about where to spend your time in Oaxaca can significantly enhance your safety and overall experience.

Exploring Oaxaca gives you a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, all within the confines of areas considered safe for tourists from around the globe. Whether you're meandering through the bustling markets of the Centro Histórico or taking in the panoramic views at Monte Albán, there's a palpable sense of security that Oaxaca offers to its visitors.

Emergency Contacts

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, it's crucial to have key emergency contacts handy. In any travel situation, especially in a foreign country, being prepared can make all the difference in ensuring your safety and security.

  • Emergency Services: For immediate assistance, dialing 911 connects you to Mexico's national emergency services, covering police, fire, and medical assistance.
  • Tourist Assistance: The Tourist Assistance line, available at 078, can guide you through any travel-related issues, providing support in English and Spanish.
  • Local Embassies and Consulates: Having the contact information of your country's embassy or consulate can be invaluable during emergencies. They can assist with lost passports, legal troubles, and other serious concerns.

For an easy reference, here’s a quick list:


Contact Number

Emergency Services


Tourist Assistance


US Consulate

+52 55-5080-2000

Canadian Consulate

+52 55-5724-7900

Remember, in less urgent situations, hotel staff and local tour operators are often well-equipped to provide assistance and advice on local medical facilities, legal procedures, and more. They can also help in contacting local authorities and navigating the city's resources if you find yourself in an uncertain situation.

Keep these numbers saved in your phone and written down in a separate place in case your phone is unavailable when you need it. Being prepared with the right contacts can ease your mind, allowing you to focus on enjoying the vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history of Oaxaca.


Arming yourself with the right information and contacts before your trip to Oaxaca can make all the difference. By having emergency numbers, tourist assistance, and local embassy or consulate contacts at your fingertips, you're not just preparing for the unexpected—you're ensuring a smoother, more enjoyable visit. Remember, it's not just about being ready for emergencies but also about enriching your travel experience. With these resources, you can dive into Oaxaca's vibrant culture and stunning landscapes with confidence and peace of mind. So go ahead, save those numbers in your phone, jot them down, or keep them in your travel guide. You're all set for an unforgettable journey in one of Mexico's most captivating destinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What emergency contacts should I have when traveling to Oaxaca?

Having the contact information for local emergency services, tourist assistance, and the nearest embassy or consulate is crucial when traveling to Oaxaca. These numbers provide immediate support in case of an emergency.

Why is it important to save these contacts in multiple formats?

Saving these important contact numbers in multiple formats, such as in your phone and on a physical piece of paper, ensures that you have access to them even if one option becomes unavailable (e.g., phone battery dies).

Can hotel staff and local tour operators assist in emergencies?

Yes, hotel staff and local tour operators can provide assistance in non-urgent situations and offer guidance on how to contact emergency services when needed. They often have valuable local knowledge and experience in handling various situations.

How does having these emergency contacts enhance my trip to Oaxaca?

By being prepared with key emergency contacts, you can enjoy Oaxaca’s cultural and natural attractions with peace of mind, knowing you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances. This preparation allows you to focus on your experiences rather than worrying about what to do in case of an emergency.

Is relying on tourist assistance services in Oaxaca recommended?

Yes, utilizing tourist assistance services in Oaxaca is recommended as they can provide beneficial support and information tailored to travelers' needs, ensuring a safer and smoother experience during your stay.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 29, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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