If there is one thing to know about me it is that I love Mexico. Well really I love all travel, but Mexico is one of those countries that I just keep visiting, again and again. The close proximity to the US makes it an easy and affordable trip. What I love about Mexico it that it has so much to offer, from sandy beaches and striking cliffs, to bustling cities with incredible cuisine (plus all of tequila and mezcal, of course). However, one of the questions that I get the most is on Mexico solo travel, and the best places in Mexico to travel alone.
Solo Female Travel: Why everyone should experience solo travel
If you’ve never taken a solo trip before, you may want to first take a step back and dive into some of my solo travel resources. This guide covers exactly how to “become a solo traveller” a question that people ask me all of the time! I also have resources that outline my top tips for solo travel, as well as guides on how to choose the best hostel, how to make friends while traveling solo, and, of course, why everyone should experience backpacking alone.
Why Should I Travel Solo to Mexico?
Mexico is truly one of the best solo travel destinations! I could go on for days listing all of the reasons that I love Mexico, but here are a few of the aspects that make it a great destination for solo travelers:
Casual Dining Options
While I personally love dining solo, the experience is not for everyone, especially in more upscale dining locales. Luckily, you can find Mexico’s best dining options on street corners and in bustling markets, with some of the best street food in the world.
Mexico is Easy to Get to (from the US)
If you’re traveling to Mexico from the US, it is extremely easy to get to. You can find direct flights to Mexico City, Cancun, Guanajuato, and Los Cabos from a number of major cities across the US, usually within 2-6 hours
Mexico is both cheap to get to, for those traveling from the US, and super affordable as a travel destination. There is a misconception that traveling in Mexico is all expensive resorts and beach clubs, but it definitely doesn’t need to be that way. Here is my ultimate guide to Tulum on a budget.
Mexico Solo Travel: Is it safe?
No matter where in the world you’re traveling, you’re going to want to follow my smart solo female traveler safety tips. There is no denying that there is a higher rate of crime in Mexico, and other nearby countries in Central America. However, there are lots of ways to stay safe as solo traveler in Mexico. Just like any country, there are cities and neighborhoods with varying levels of crime. It is important to do your research in advance, so that you understand these nuances and can have a great trip. Based on my own travels and experiences, I feel that Mexico solo travel can be safe, as long as you are taking the right safety measures. I have solo traveled in Mexico before, and plan to do so again in the future!
Solo Female Travel Safety Tips
Here are a few high level tips for staying safe as a solo female traveler in Mexico, or anywhere else in the world.
- Research in advance – make sure you understand which neighborhoods are safe, common methods of thievery, and any cultural customs that you should be aware of.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are going, so you can avoid having your head down in your phone or map.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or showcasing expensive electronics, especially if you’re traveling alone at night.
- Find a buddy to travel with! It’s super easy to make new travel friends if you’re staying at hostels
- Don’t carry all of your credit cards and cash at once! This is definitely something that I’ve been guilty of in the past, which has resulted in me having all of my money stolen. I recommend always leaving behind one debit card and one credit card in your hotel or hostel room, plus any extra cash that you won’t be needing that day.
- Don’t tell strangers that you’re traveling alone. It’s best to not let strangers on the street know that you are traveling alone as a solo female. Of course, if you’re staying at a hostel and mingling with other solo travelers, feel free to share.
As for the safety of traveling alone in Mexico, as long as you are taking the necessary precautions, you can have a super fun and safe solo adventure!
Best Places in Mexico to Travel Alone
As I mentioned above, a destination’s level of safety is super dependent on the safety measures that you take when solo traveling. However, I’m going to outline a few of my favorite places in Mexico, and the safest places to visit in Mexico. This list is by no means comprehensive of all of the other incredible cities to visit in Mexico, just a snippet of my favorite spots.
In my opinion, Tulum is one of the safest places in Mexico to vacation. I have personally taken two Tulum solo travel trips, plus I led an awesome group of ladies there on one of my small group trips, and had an absolute blast each time.
Tulum is located on the Yucatan peninsula. While travel safety in certain parts of Mexico is questionable, as I’ve discussed throughout this guide, Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula is well-known as a safe and beautiful destination. Tulum is quickly becoming one of Mexico’s trendiest destinations, known for their bohemian beach vibes, yoga retreats, and delicious healthy cuisine. You could spend a week just dining at all of the best restaurants in Tulum. Plus, I swear Tulum has the most Instagrammable spots.
Both the beach strip and Tulum town are super walkable, but if you are trying to get between the two I recommend biking. It is a super cheap, easy, and active way to get around Tulum on a budget. If you’re traveling to one of the nearby cities, or from Cancun airport to Tulum, the ADO bus is an easy option for solo travelers visiting Tulum.
From here you can visit other nearby destinations, such as Holbox or Puerto Vallarta. There are also a number of great day trips.
Where to Stay in Tulum
Budget: Amorcito Corazon Hotel y Hostel
The rooms are clean and the staff is super friendly and helpful. The property has both a downstairs common area and a rooftop with a small pool. Dorm beds start at $16 USD/night, while private rooms start at $50 USD/night, making it a great option for anyone traveling to Tulum solo or on a budget. Breakfast is included in the price of the room.
Budget: Mama’s Home Hostel
Mama’s Home hostel is a great option if you’re traveling solo and looking for a more social atmosphere. Dorm beds start at $16 per night and private rooms start around $65/night.
Mid-Range: Una Vida
Una Vida is a great, moderately priced accommodation option in Tulum. Located in Tulum center, Una Vida has a large, Instagrammable pool, minimilist decor, and a great location for exploring the city. Prices start around $90 USD/night.
Luxury: Be Tulum
Be Tulum is one of the top hotels in Tulum, but with it comes a steep price tag. A night at Be Tulum averages close to $1,000 USD/night, for what will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Everything about Nomade is perfect, from the decor to their various restaurants. Not to mention, your room will be only steps from the beach! Rooms typically range from between $300 USD – $700 USD per night.
Azulik is a luxury, eco-friendly haven. With no wifi or electricity, this hotel boasts some of the most interesting looking rooms. Whether you stay here as a guest, or stop by for a meal, Azulik should definitely be added to your Tulum itinerary.
Guanajuato is a true hidden gem in Mexico, and a city that I can’t wait to visit over and over again. Located in central Mexico, Guanajuato City is the capital of the state with the same name. Will rolling hills of scattered colorful buildings, and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, Guanajuato should be on your bucket list whether you’re planning a solo trip or not. To be honest, I didn’t even know of Guanajuato’s existence until a few months before my trip there. Now I can say that it might just be one of my favorite places in the world.
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is located in central Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato. San Miguel has been named the Best City in the World a handful of times, and it’s easy to see why. It is also a hub for artists all over the world, and is home to more than 100 locally owned galleries for you to explore.
Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel is known for its great restaurant scene. Here are a few spots to check out:
Begin your weekend escape with a sunset cocktail at the QUINCE rooftop bar. With perfect views of the famous Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, this is a spot that you can’t miss!
Bovine Brasserie is a luxury dining experience that is not to be missed! Located right in the center, this is the perfect way to jumpstart your weekend away! I highly recommend the tomato salad, with fresh buffalo mozzarella, peaches, and basil, as well as the grilled octopus over a bed of hummus.
If there is one restaurant that you shouldn’t miss while in San Miguel de Allende, it is this one! You’ll recognize El Camaroncito by the long line of local waiting for a table. Come early and place your order, two different sizes of the same classic shrimp ceviche. The sauce is super mild, but you’ll find tons of spices on the table to add more flavor.
Baja Fish Taquito
It can be a bit difficult to find good, affordable restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. This one checks all of the boxes for cheap and delicious tacos. The shrimp are definitely the way to go, washed down with some fresh juice or a beer.
Mexico City is a destination that is seeping with culture, has tons to see and do, and quite possibly offers some of the best food in the world. Whether you have 1 day or 1 month to explore Mexico City, you won’t run out of places to explore and enjoy.
Traveling to Mexico City alone is a decision that might raise some eyebrows, but that does not mean that it’s ridiculous or impossible to visit as a solo female traveler. While all of my trips to Mexico City have been with a friend or family, I met tons of other solo female travelers who were traveling to Mexico City alone with no issues.
That being said, it is super important to use your common sense if you’re traveling to Mexico City during a Mexico solo travel trip. I recommend staying in a hostel, which is one of the best ways to make friends when traveling solo. There is always safety in numbers, especially if you plan on enjoying Mexico City’s incredible nightlife. Of course, if there is only one thing that you do in Mexico City, make sure you’re enjoying all of the city’s best street food.
Where to Stay in CDMX
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love Mexico City. There is no denying the fact that there is a higher rate of both violent and non-violent crime in the city, however in the more touristy neighborhoods, the most common crime is theft. Here are some of the best neighborhoods to consider for your solo trip to Mexico City:
- La Condesa
- Centro Historico
Getting around Mexico City
When it comes to getting around the city, especially at night, I recommend using a ride sharing app like Uber, rather than a taxi. Ubers are incredibly cheap in CDMX, and offer the additional safety features of tracking your ride and driver rates. Plus, you can share your rides with your friends or family back at home, so they are notified any time you start and end a new ride.
How to Meet People in Mexico as a Solo Female Traveler
As a I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this article, staying at a hostel is one of the best ways to make friends when traveling in Mexico alone. It is also one of the most affordable ways to travel. However, I totally understand that not everybody loves the idea of sharing a bedroom with a bunch of strangers. If you’re looking for the social atmosphere, without the shared dorm, most hostels also offer private rooms. These tend to be similarly priced as a guesthouse or AirBnb, but will offer the social atmosphere that accompanies a hostel.
If even private rooms aren’t your thing, there are still plenty of other ways to make friends when traveling alone in Mexico. I recommend booking local tours to meet fellow travelers. These can range from cultural walking tours or street food tours, to more adventurous hiking or activity-based trips.
Planning a trip to Mexico? Here are some articles to check out:
- The Ultimate Tulum Itinerary
- Tulum Solo Travel Guide
- Tulum on a Budget
- Best Tulum Instagram Spots
- 7 Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico
- Guanajuato City Guide
- Mexico City Guide
- Best Restaurants in San Miguel de Allende
Interested in solo travel? Check out these articles:
- 7 Smart Solo Female Traveler Safety Tips
- Solo Hiking: 9 Hiking Tips for Female Travelers
- Backpackers Hostel: How to Choose the Best Hostel
- How to Make Friends When Traveling Solo
- How to Become a Solo Traveler
- Why Everyone Should Experience Solo Travel
- Top Tips for Solo Traveling as a Female
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Are you ready to head out to travel solo but are nervous about your safety? That is totally normal and is something that you should take into account before you set out. Today, I will share my top seven smart solo female traveler safety tips with you so that you can get prepared and kick your fears to the curb!
Research in Advance
Each and every place in the world is unique with its own history, culture, cuisine, customs, and so much more. It is what makes traveling incredibly enticing and memorable because every location is a new adventure. Before you embark on your trip, be sure to research the location in advance.
Of course, you should learn about all the fantastic parts of the destination, but you should also inquire as to the darker sides as a smart solo female traveler. Investigate what you should/shouldn’t wear, locations to avoid, common methods for thievery, attitudes toward women, statistics on crime, and anything else that could affect your safety as you travel.
Being aware of these facts could help you to avoid conflict, not offend the locals, and keep yourself safe no matter where you go.
Book the First Night
I know that it can be fun to embrace the spur of the moment attitude that comes with solo female travel, yet no one wants to be wandering around a foreign city in the middle of the night because they arrived later than they planned. No matter where you go, you should always book the first night’s accommodation. This way, you can arrive safe and sound, even if you have travel complications.
Know Where You Are Going
Walking around with your head buried in a map, your face pressed against your phone, or with a lost look paints a “victim” sign on your back. Looking lost makes you an easy target, and we certainly don’t want that! You should always know where you are going. Make sure to research a destination before you leave. Have a mental image of where you need to go or easy to follow notes.
If you do end up getting lost, try not to show it. Walk confidently, as though you were just another local knowing exactly where you are going. Then, I recommend popping into a local shop or café to gather your bearings and look at your map. Shopkeepers won’t mind, and it will keep you out of public view.
P.S. If you are taking a taxi/Uber/etc. anywhere at night, make sure to order the ride while you are still inside, and only exit the building once they have arrived. This will prevent you from standing on a street corner for 10 minutes with nowhere to go.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Any experienced traveler will be the first to admit that something will always go wrong on a trip; it is just the severity of the issue that differs. When that happens, we don’t want to panic! Whether we missed a flight, our backpack got stolen, or we ended up completely lost, it is crucial to have a back-up plan.
Take a moment (actually, take a few) to think of ALL the things that could go wrong on your trip. For whatever pops into your head, make a back-up plan. That way, if it happens, you know exactly what to do. It is better to be over-prepared than underprepared when being a smart solo female traveler.
Keep Your Private Info Private
As we travel, we meet a variety of new people, which is fantastic! While most people are kind and honest, you will eventually encounter a bad apple. Sadly, those bad apples don’t come with a warning label. As a smart solo female traveler, you need to be cautious at all times, especially when it comes to your private information.
Think of the creepiest person you ever met. What wouldn’t you want to tell them about yourself? Your full name, hometown, hotel address, weekend plans, and more are probably all on that list! The same should apply to new people. You don’t know their intentions, so don’t give a possible “bad guy” an invitation to take advantage of your personal information.
Understand Your Limits
As a smart solo female traveler, it is vital to understand your limits. Understanding your limitations can be both physical and emotional. Physically, it would be best if you understood how far you can walk in a day or what level of exertion your body can withstand so that you don’t physically strain yourself during activities. If you participate in alcohol or drug use, you should understand your tolerance levels and when it is time to stop. Overindulging in any kind of substance can lead to disastrous consequences that are nightmare fuel for any woman.
Emotionally, it would help if you understood your travel limits. How frequently can you switch destinations or interact with others before you feel drained? You need to make sure to schedule “me time” or rest days so that you don’t become stressed or overwhelmed.
Find a Buddy
Finding a buddy is an excellent choice for keeping yourself safe, especially if they are other smart solo female travelers. It is a known fact that people who travel in pairs or groups are safer from attackers. Plus, when someone is watching your back, they can point out things you have yet to notice or advise you against a reckless action. Not only will finding a buddy keep you safer, but it could also lead to you making a lifelong friend and creating valuable memories.
I first met one of my favorite travel buddies on a sailing trip in Mallorca, and since then we have spent 3 days in Porto and traveled through Bali on a budget, among other trips.
Do you have other concerns about being a solo female traveler? Hit me up in the comments or shoot me a message, and I will be happy to chat with you about your concerns. You deserve to be safe wherever you are, and I want to help you do that.