How 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, half truths.

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 runs out.

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 major hazard.

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.


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