Is Oaxaca City Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Oaxaca City is generally safe for solo female travelers. The locals are incredibly friendly and respectful. The city is known for its rich cultural heritage and it attracts a good number of tourists, creating a comforting environment for outsiders. However, as with traveling anywhere, it's crucial to exercise normal precautions. These include avoiding deserted areas late at night and not showcasing valuable possessions in public.

Safety rating

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Safety index

Safety at night:Moderate

Oaxaca City, has a relatively safe environment compared to some other urban areas in Mexico. At night, however, it is advisable to be more careful. Stick to populated areas, avoid dimly lit streets, and refrain from displaying valuable possessions to mitigate risk. Always trust your instinct and take a safe taxi, particularly late at night, rather than walking alone. Although instances of crime against solo female travelers are not particularly high, it's always best to prioritize your safety, especially after dark.

Public transportation:Safe

Public transportation in Oaxaca City is generally safe. Buses and taxis are readily available and often used by locals and tourists alike. It is recommended to always be aware of your surroundings, avoid traveling late at night, and use registered taxis, which can be identified by their white and light green color scheme. Also, Uber ridesharing service operates in the city providing another reliable and safe mode of transportation.

Street harassment:Low

Oaxaca City typically exhibits a welcoming and friendly atmosphere towards tourists, including solo female travelers. Occasional curious glances or comments may be received but are usually non-threatening and rather harmless. Just like in any city, caution is always advised during night time or while passing through desolate areas.

Petty crimes:Low

Oaxaca City generally presents a low risk of petty crimes. It's known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, but it's still smart to exercise basic safety precautions. While pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and purse-dipping in crowded places can occur, these are not common. As long as you stay aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded markets and busy streets, you should have a relatively safe trip. However, remember to take extra care of your belongings and avoid displaying any expensive items. As for nighttime, it's always safer to take a taxi rather than walk, particularly if you are alone.

Tap water:Unsafe

While Mexico is known for its vibrant culture and stunning sights, the tap water safety is a bit questionable, specifically in Oaxaca City. Although the local residents often consume it without issue, travelers are advised to avoid drinking tap water due to differing bacteria that may result in stomach upset or more serious conditions. It's recommended to stick with purified or bottled water. Ice in beverages may also pose a risk as it can be made with tap water, so it's safer to avoid it.

Is Oaxaca City safe to travel?

Group travel experience

I absolutely loved Oaxaca and felt very safe there despite being initially concerned after hearing some warnings! I was with a friend for the most part but also travelled alone at times and felt good walking around even in the evenings. The only factor I’d consider is that I heard from some male travellers that they had to bribe police there to get out of tricky situations, but I’m not sure how common this is. Otherwise I loved it; the food was amazing and the streets were beautiful too :)

Posted: February 20, 2024
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Jay (40)

United Kingdom

Solo travel experience

I've never been anywhere that felt so cosy. A combination of the rainbow of coloured single-storey buildings and street lighting makes Oaxaca a wonderful place to wander in the evenings. I didn't feel concerned for my safety or encounter any problems. When I arrived there was a parade in one of the streets with huge papier mache people held aloft, dancing behind a band, I followed the smiling, dancing crowd for a while before checking into my hostel. Oaxaca felt small enough to walk around but I did get taxis a couple of times because they were so cheap. There's a shared taxi from the airport which as far as I could tell, was the best way to get into town. Oaxaca is famous for its food, especially the mòle. There's a beautiful covered food market where vendors sell their products next to an area with picnic tables. I ate tamales and drank fresh peach juice. Most of the stalls only accept cash. There are opportunities to learn how to make chocolate and trips to Hierve la Agua: the world's only petrified waterfall

Posted: January 24, 2024Experienced: June, 2023
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Is Oaxaca City safe for women?

Is Oaxaca City safe right now?

Before your visit to Oaxaca City, it's essential to check travel advisories for Mexico, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Mexico, due to high levels of criminal activity and kidnapping. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: April 15, 2024

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in Mexico overall, due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: April 5, 2024

Safety in Mexico