Traveling in Oaxaca, Mexico. Is it safe?
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
You'll often catch us running on and on about how awesome it is in the state of Oaxaca. Inevitably, someone tries to derail our happy train with delusions of gunfire and drug-fueled holocaust. People, Americans in particular, seem to have the idea that Mexico is just one massive OK Corral type of situation or some sort of tropical battle of Stalingrad. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Americans, like it or not, are statistically safer in Mexico on the whole than they are in the U.S. and Oaxaca is one of the safest states in Mexico.
What you’ll find in Oaxaca is a whole lot of peaceful folks living life in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Even USA Today says so. Most of the violence in Mexico is cartel related and Oaxaca enjoys a location that puts it far from the action. The climate is not right to grow poppies, it is to the south of all of the cocaine smuggling routes and the dirt-weed that Oaxaca is famous for is no longer worth fighting over in this age of crazy bud just loaded with THC.
Are there drugs? Sure. Just like there are in your hometown and the rules are the same. Buy them and use them if you are so inclined, don’t screw with the dudes that sell them.
Life is very simple in Oaxaca and so is staying out of trouble. Don’t deal drugs, don’t mess with someone else’s woman and don’t borrow money that you can’t pay back. That’s it. Really. Going to a concert, to school or to the mall simply won’t get you killed like it might in the U.S.....unless you're attending the event with your neighbor's wife.
What about just getting beat up or raped? Not gonna happen. People are more likely to get raped or assaulted in the U.S. We've had a home there since 2013 and have been to every town, city and shady bar. We’ve stumbled around drunk so many times and in so many places that we’re living proof that Oaxaca is super safe. In our experience, passing out on the beach doesn’t even end up with a missing wallet. Try that in L.A.
So don’t believe the negative hype, folks. Come on down to Oaxaca. You’ll have the time of your life. The most dangerous part? Heading to and from your own airport.