The Getaway

Local and federal goverments are working closely to ensure Los Cabos and its famous landmarks—like Land’s End—stay safe

By Fernando Rodriguez


Los Cabos remains a favorite tourist destination.

While much of México continues to battle issues—real and perceived—Los Cabos has remained a safe retreat for families, dignitaries, celebrities, and the people who live here 365 days a year. This has, in fact, long been a favorite destination, having served as a playground for Hollywood jet-setters: Bing Crosby, Desi Arnaz, and John Wayne were frequent visitors during the 1950s, and more recently Cindy Crawford and George Clooney have made homes here.

Los Cabos has blossomed into one of the most beautiful resort areas in México and continues to be one of the safest. “There are no problems at all here, except maybe the dangers of getting a sunburn if you’re not careful,” says Martin “Marty” Ochoa, a real estate agent who has been living in Cabo San Lucas for seven years.

Even as Cabo San Lucas, San José del Cabo, and the Tourist Corridor connecting them have grown, crime rates have stayed largely down. México’s government has taken great measures to keep the area safe, and it clearly paid off: Los Cabos was selected to host the G-20 summit in July 2012.

“The violence you hear about in the media has absolutely nothing to do with events that are anywhere near Cabo San Lucas,” says Agustin Sanchez, an Arizona native who moved to Cabo San Lucas more than 10 years ago.

Katherine Bitoni of San Antonio, Texas, adds: “I have been traveling to Cabo for 30 years. It’s safe and always has been. I have taken my daugh

ters and grandchildren with me. I feel safer in Cabo than I do in some areas of Los Angeles and San Diego.”

Tourism is big business, and it makes sense the government would work to protect a region like Los Cabos. Additionally, it’s worth noting the high-profile, drug-related violence has been generally limited to the states of Sinaloa, Guerrero, and Chihuahua and near the borders in Baja California, roughly a thousand miles away. Los Cabos is geographically—and, in many ways, culturally—removed from mainland México.

“We have over 15,000 foreigners living in Baja California Sur,” says Marco Ehrenberg, Baja California Sur’s director of international relations. “Many of the rich and famous still choose Cabo as their number one destination. Don’t you think they’ve done their homework? Why do we have the best hotels and the highest number of private air travel in México for a tourist destination? Because Los Cabos is safe, fun, and friendly.”

“México is a big, incredibly diverse country, so violence along the border does not have any effect on a vacation in Los Cabos,” adds Miroslava Bautista

Cabo San Lucas Marina and harbor. Photo by Joseph A. Tyson

Sánchez, the Los Cabos secretary of tourism. “Thousands of flights, cruise lines, and private yachts choose Los Cabos as their travel destination. Why? Because Los Cabos is a symbol of a peaceful place to visit and to live.”

Quintana Roo Gov. Roberto Borge says the violence in México needs to be viewed with perspective: “México has 112 million citizens,” he is quoted as having said. “Are there more good Mexicans than bad? Yes. There are more than 2,500 municipalities in México, and the majority of violence is in 12 of them.” Just looking at homicide rates, it’s easy to see Cabo San Lucas is safer than most travel destinations in the world.

Puerto Los Cabos in San José del Cabo. Photo by Francisco Estrada

Local government continues to work to protect visitors and locals. Authorities, for example, do not tolerate excessive drinking and disorderly behavior. It is illegal to disturb the peace, act in a lewd or indecent way, litter, drive drunk, or make foul or insulting remarks to others. The penalties for drug possession and use are especially severe in Los Cabos: Authorities can hold someone in jail for up to a year before a case is even tried.

The local government created a tourism police force as a means to better serve English-speaking visitors to the area and whose focus is maintaining the decades-long safety of tourists and their families.

You will see military checkpoints along the highway to and from Todos Santos and La Paz. This is yet another means to solidify the peace, tranquility, and safety of this Southern Baja California region.

Military police were dispatched to Los Cabos during the Hurricane Odile natural disaster and have remained in the area to maintain order and safety.

The Navy also works in conjunction with the military peace officers to ensure the safety within the waters that populate the Cabo San Lucas area.