The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico

Mexico ranks as the world’s 24th least tranquil country. The Global Peace Index considers homicide rates, violent crime, political instability, and heavy weapons capability.

While Mexico is a popular tourist destination for people seeking warm beaches and sparkling pools, the North American country is plagued with killings, theft, drug trafficking, political corruption, and organized crime. Discover Mexico’s 10 most dangerous cities and what makes them so.


Chihuahua is the capital of the Mexican state of Chihuahua. In 2017, it had a population of 878,062. It boasts gorges, canyons, and Spanish Baroque architecture. However, Chihuahua is not a safe tourism destination.

The United States State Department advises visitors to avoid this Mexican city due to severe crime and gang activities. Chihuahua has 38 homicides per 100,000 people. In 2018, the city witnessed 352 murders.


The border city of Reynosa is located in Northern Tamaulipas, a state in Northeast Mexico near the Texas border. Reynosa’s population was 935,000 in 2022, an almost two percent increase over 2021. While the city has many cultural attractions, there is a considerable risk of carjacking and robbery. Reynosa has a high crime rate, with drug dealing, kidnapping, and violence being typical occurrences. There are 41 murders per 100,000 persons in Reynosa.


Tepic is the capital and largest city of Nayarit, a western state, with a population of 425,924. It is the metropolitan hub of a thriving agricultural region that grows sugarcane and tobacco. Unfortunately, Tepic is plagued by gang activity and ranks as the world’s 36th most dangerous city. Citizens and tourists should avoid this city since it is a center for cartel violence. There are 45 killings per 100,000 persons.


Ensenada is Mexico’s fourth largest municipality, with a population of 443,907 and a total land area of 7,500 square miles. Although Ensenada is well-known for its wine festivals and carnivals, it also has a dark side. Outside the city core, violent killings are fairly prevalent. In 2018, there were 253 murders.


The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Mexico

Celaya is located in Central Mexico, northwest of Mexico City, and has a population of 767,104. It houses museums, attractive architecture, and candy manufacturing. However, Celaya has seen an increase in violence as the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel attempts to safeguard its business. There are 47 killings per 100,000 persons in Celaya.


Coatzacoalcos, located in southern Veracruz, is a major port city on the Gulf of Mexico’s river estuary. This city has cultural attractions, such as museums and wonderful eateries. Despite its lovely beaches, Coatzacoalcos is not a safe place for visitors or residents. This city has violent crime and gang activity, resulting in 48 killings per 100,000 residents.

Ciudad Obregon

Ciudad Obregon is the second-largest city in the state of Sonora, located in the southern region. It boasts a population of around 430,000 and a thriving city core with cultural attractions. Despite its stunning beauty, Ciudad Obregon is one of the world’s most deadly cities, with 179 killings in 2018.


Uruapan is a major economic center on the western edge of the Purepecha highlands in Michoacán, Mexico. Uruapan had a population of 356,786 in 2020 and is well-known for its lush surroundings and stunning Spanish colonial buildings. The city’s surroundings are rife with drug trafficking and gang-related violence. There are 55 killings per 100,000 persons in Uruapan.


Culiacan, located in Northwest Mexico’s Sinaloa state, is an inland city known for its numerous attractions, including nightclubs and parks. However, in recent years, Culiacan has seen an increase in violence and crime. Assault and armed robbery are common crimes in this city. There are 61 killings per 100,000 individuals, and the city saw 585 murders in 2018.


Cancun, located on the Yucatan Peninsula and bordering the Caribbean Sea, is a renowned tourist destination known for its white sand beaches and high-rise resorts. While most tourists do not encounter violence, the regions surrounding the strip are prone to violent crime, thus visitors are encouraged to be cautious. Cancun has 64 killings per 100,000 people.


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