Safe Is It Traveling In Baja California?
By JOHN M. DERBY
March 22, 2018
Stories about Baja California, Mexico,
being unsafe are like many stories in the national press,
It is unfortunate, however, that drugs
find their way to areas where there is money. Cabo, the
tourist capital of southern Baja, has not been immune to
conflict between various drug cartels fighting against each
other to gain control of territory.
There has been an increase in deaths, mostly
of gang members who deal in drugs.
Thus far in our area of Mexico, three quarters
the way down the Baja peninsula, we have not been affected,
but we are seeing some increase in theft.
A month ago, three power boats, which were
anchored in our bay, were stolen and taken to a beach about
25 miles south so the motors could be removed.
These were fairly new motors, and may have
been worth $50,000 all total. The boats without the motors
were left on the beach.
Generally, we have not been concerned with
theft as there are 60 homes in our beach area. People who
live here in the winter watch the boats, however, in the
summer, when few people are here, we have security guards
who are paid to watch the belongings of the residents and
this includes many boats as well as the homes.
Guns or ammunition in Baja are not allowed,
and there are military check points about every 100 miles
to see that these are not in the cars which drive Mex-1,
the main highway north and south.
There has been only one homicide in our
area since we have been coming down to Baja in the last
20 years, and in that case a knife was used. Our area has
about 7,000 residents all year around and it grows to 10,000
during the winter.
On a one to 10 basis, we feel very safe,
actually more safe than when we are at home in the California
valley. We see very few signs of drug use in our area, and
there appear to be no homeless unless one includes the bike
riders who camp on the beach.
There has been a major increase in the
number of foreigners who ride their bikes all the way south
to La Paz and hop the ferry for mainland Mexico. Most say
they are headed for South America, or until their money
Bicycles are not the only things which
have been on the increase. There are more motorcycles, and
more motor homes visiting Baja. The danger for these people
is not theft or crime, but the pot holes which can be a
In answer to the original question: Is
Baja California safe? … It is about as safe as anywhere
we have traveled. It is safer than California, and a whole
lot cheaper for those who want a wonderful travel experience
on a low budget.
The tourist destinations like Cabo also
realize how much money they have to lose if they allow the
drug cartels to take over.
We feel that the authorities have been
a little slow in reacting to the level of crime in these
cities, but now there has been a major increase in security.
Our part of Baja is still very safe.