Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific coast in central Mexico. No one can deny the beauty of its beaches and its fabulous sprawl of ocean that can be seen from practically anywhere you go. But is the area safe? When people think about Mexico, they may think of cartels, shady cops, and even shadier streets full of people they wouldn’t want to run into. But is that what the data says?

Low Crime Rate

Puerto Vallarta has a very low rate of crime, even though it has a very high rate of tourists. This is a resort town, meaning its main purpose is to attract those who want to cut loose and have an enjoyable time — without having to rough it. Unlike cities like NYC or Paris, the city is almost entirely dependent upon the people who choose to make it their seasonal getaway. It’s why they’ve hired ‘tourist police’ or people who speak multiple languages who are there to help the tourists with everything from directions to safety support to advice on getting the best taco. Also, most of the hotels and resorts cater to those who expect a very high level of security, so they’ll offer their own guards on the premises.

Watch Out for Drivers


While you’re unlikely to be mugged on the street, you may have another danger when you’re crossing the road. No matter how much you travel, it can still be difficult to get the lay of the land if you’re not familiar with an area. The drivers here can be a little aggressive, perhaps because they’ve never had to take a defensive driving course, so you’ll want to practice caution no matter where you happen to be walking. It should be noted that the major parts of town are staffed with police officers to control the traffic.

Kidnappings and Warnings

There are some tourists who are kidnapped in Mexico, but this can happen in any part of the world. Most people feel entirely safe walking around on the streets of Puerto Vallarta (sometimes safer than they would feel if they were still in their home city.) When it comes to Puerto Vallarta, the odds of being snatched by an opportunistic criminal are so low as to be negligible. When it comes to national warnings, the US government has sanctioned Puerto Vallarta as safe. The closest dangerous neighborhood is hours away. Of course, you should always practice common sense and safety no matter where you are.

The Water

Some people in Mexico are afraid to drink the water, but this resort town has some of the safest tap water in all of Mexico. Again, this place is meant for tourists, and Puerto Vallarta is catering to people from all over the world. The fewer guests who leave with a horrible story on their lips about their time, the more likely it is the city will stay profitable for everyone. When it comes to the ocean though, the waves can get a little rough. Strong swimmers should be fine to play in the surf, but it’s recommended you brush up on ocean safety before you go.

Should You Go?

Ok, it’s all very well and good that this area is safe, but is it worth spending your money on? This area attracts people because of its nightlife and shopping. Lots of cobblestone streets pave the way, and welcome you into boutiques, clubs, and cafes of practically every kind. There are also plenty of water sports to check out when you’re here. If any of that sounds up your alley, you’ll likely love Puerto Vallarta. Get your passport ready and not your pepper spray!