Safer in Baja!

Los Angeles Crime Rate 52.9/Maztlan CrimeRate 52.4/San Felipe 2.5

All too often, when people hear the word Baja, they think Mexico and then they think crime and violence when in reality, nothing could be father from the truth. Baja is NOT Mexico! Just like New York City isn’t like the quiet suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa and the suburb of Encino isn’t the crime-ridden community that Compton is? Is New Jersey Montana? No; of course not. The simple truth of the matter is that, except for the west coast communities of Baja where the cartels run drugs up the Pacific Ocean to Tijuana and the California border and then they trickle down to the border towns like Tijuana, Ensenada and Rosarito, the east coat of Baja on the quiet Sea of Cortez is a dead end by water 100-miles from the border and is more than 150-miles from the mainland routes the cartels use to transport their drugs into Arizona and Texas. It really that simple as to why places like San Felipe have a 2.5 Crime Rate compared to places like Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta that are thought to be “safe”, both of which exist in the Mexican State of Sinaloa with its famous Sinaloa cartel.

mexican riviera

-The Evidence & Argument!

Think about this; when the leading global research institute NationMaster compiled its crime stats for 2023, Mexico, with an Overall Crime Rating of 57.18, ranked 28th worst in the world while the US, at 55.84 ranked 30th; 2% worse than Mexico. And while the murder rate was expectedly higher in Mexico, 15 versus the United States’ 5 because of the drug and cartel-related violence which is endemic predominately to Mainland Mexico, even the most jaded media outlets, CNBC, CNN and the like have had to finally admit that foreign visitors and expats now living in Mexico who are “not directly involved in drugs and illicit activities are highly unlikely to be affected by violent crime”, (Brookings “Order from Chaos” Venda Felbab-Brown, Jan, 2023). But what about the other crimes; rapes, assaults, and Crimes of Opportunity; crimes we are all more likely to encounter irrespective of where we live or visit? How do the two countries compare? Well, when it came to rape, at 13.2, Mexico ranked 18th while the US ranked 9th at 27.3, twice as much as Mexico. Assaults? Worse. Mexico ranked 20th at 223.5 while the US ranked 1st with 786.7; 4-times that of Mexico? But how about people’s Fear of Crime ranking? How safe did people feel about walking alone at night in Mexico compared to the US? Well, given the preceding statistics, not surprisingly, while Mexico ranked 66th, the US ranked 60th or 8% more-fearful than Mexico. And collectively, when it came to overall crime numbers including those rapes, assaults and crimes of opportunities, while Mexico ranked 46th at 14. 21 per 1000 people, the United States ranked 22th with 41.20 per 1000; 3-times more than Mexico. And you can see the entire 15-page compilation at

So with study after study showing Mexico to be far safer in many relevant respects than even the United States is, why do we still choose to not only ignore the facts but perpetuate the mis-information?  Well, psychologists call it “Belief Perseverance” or “maintaining a belief despite new information that firmly contradicts it” (Amer. Psychological Assoc.); and it’s preventing far too many people from discovering the magnificence of Baja and indeed all of Mexico. Are there dangerous places in Mexico? Of course. Are there dangerous places in the US? Of course. So should we fear living in or visiting the United States because of cities like Dertoit with a crime rate of 74.17, or Memphis at 75.25 or Monroe, Louisana at 63.43? Of course not? We probably wouldn’t choose to visit or certainly live in these high-crime cities, any more than we’d consider living in or visiting equally dangerous cities in Mexico; and yet we do; place like Cancun with a crime rate of 55.86 and Mazatlan at 40.86 and Acapulco at 61.63. That’s right; all those places you thought were “safe” because that’s what the media wants you to believe, are actually some of the most violent and dangerous cities in Mexico. They air nightly news reports about the killings in places like Matamoros and Jalisco and Sinaloa and then break to a commercial featuring a luxury hotel and spa in Mazatlan which is actually in the State of Sinaloa, or Acapulco in the State of Guerrero, both of which are home to and right down the street from the very cartel-violence they just reported on, all the while betting that the viewer won’t put 2 and 2 together.

-Winds of Change


So why don’t we do this; instead of condemning an entire nation because of the violence and crime that happens in some of its select cities, why don’t we look to the places that ARE safe; places like San Felipe in Baja California, just 2-hours and 120 miles from the California border on the quiet, leeward coast of Baja; a city with a 2023 crime rate of just 2.5; a city that still has that old-world charm and generations of fishermen who still launch their pangas right from the beach well-before dawn, only to return with a catch that feeds the town called the “Shrimp Capitol of Mexico”; a town where visitors and expats alike can stroll the Málecon well-after the sun’s gone down and dine al-fresco on the sidewalk cafes without a worry; and yes, a town where, like us, a family can retire to a custom-built, luxury, beachfront home on deeded property we OWN, inside a guard-gated, private community for less than $300,000. A community called Rancho Costa Verde just 30-miles south of San Felipe and a world-away from the Baja you think you know.

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