2019 Update: I rarely hear concerns about safety here in Oaxaca. Yes, it’s safe. However, there are parts of Mexico that are NOT safe and I bet you wouldn’t choose to travel there!  But, Oaxaca is different. The mezcal boom is attracting more tourists. Food articles in major magazines and newspapers are attracting more tourists. We have restauranteurs coming here wanting to replicate Oaxaca cuisine back home. We have become a top world travel destination. Enjoy!

Norma’s Precautionary Tips: 

  • No diamond jewelry
  • No gold jewelry
  • Use ATMs in the daytime and put your money and cards away before turning away from the machine
  • Don’t expose big bundles of cash
  • Be aware of your surroundings — just like at home
  • Don’t keep your cell phone or wallet in your back pocket
  • Avoid over-crowded areas in regional markets where pick-pockets do their work

Are You Safer in Mexico or America? by Lonely Planet US travel editor Robert Reid.

Is it SAFE in Oaxaca, Mexico?  How safe is it in Oaxaca, Mexico?  These questions and their variations come up constantly from readers.

The New York Times recently published 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico (January 12, 2012), a travel feature written by Freda Moon.  The comments section is essential to read. Some 92 people added their experiences and most everyone addresses the question about safety that I receive on this blog constantly.  Yes, Oaxaca is SAFE.  

Washington Post, December 2012:  Mexico: A guide to which parts are safe to travel to, and which are dangerous.  Oaxaca is SAFE.

Suite 101 Article “Is it safe to travel to Mexico?” by Norma Hawthorne, with data, statistics, and everything you need to know about where it’s safe! Published December 2010.

Recent posts I’ve written about SAFETY that include comments from workshop participants, many of them women and independent travelers: March 2012 — The U.S. Media and Fear-Mongering  November 2011  June 2011  April 2011  March 2011  February 2011  October 2010

10 responses to “Safety

  1. Delightful. I hope I may be able to attend some of your classes one day!

  2. Hi Norma…I am in Oaxaca (city from Feb 24 to Mar 1) and I’m hoping there are a few other people who might have inquired about the natural dye and weaving tour as I’m only one person…i could go any day except Sunday Feb 26. If this happens to work, I would love to hear from you.
    Thanks very much.

  3. I traveled to Oaxaca in June 2016 and felt completely safe! I was traveling with my teenaged son and we walked all over the city day and night. We stayed in Hostel dos Lunas on Calle M. Bravo, which was very convenient to everything. Everyone we met was very friendly and helpful.

  4. Thank you Norma

  5. How safe is Mexico City for a single, female traveler?

    • Sue, I’ve been traveling to Mexico City by myself for the last several years. I have stayed in various neighborhoods like Roma, San Rafael, and Centro Historico at small hotels and B&B’s recommended by friends or highly rated on TripAdvisor. I have never felt unsafe. Right now, I prefer the Centro Historico because it is within walking distance to many of the major sights. I walk and walk all day and usually tuck into my room by 8:30 p.m. I carry a BIG camera and a small purse with a long strap that goes across my body. As with all travel — even here in the USA — it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all time.

  6. hey there, i am interested in attending some of the work shops in oaxaca could you please send me a price list of all the expenses for the work shop? i wasnt clear on the application


    best, Krista

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