Is Queretaro Mexico Safe?

Is Queretaro Mexico Safe?: A Look Into the City’s Safety

Is Queretaro Mexico safe?

Listening to the news about Mexico, you hear constant horror stories. Murders, kidnappings, and cartel violence. But is it unsafe everywhere in Mexico?

And, even more, how safe is Queretaro, Mexico?

I’ll answer all that and more in this post.

Is it safe to visit Queretaro, Mexico?: An Overview

Santiago de Queretaro (QRO), or Queretaro for short, is a large metropolis north of Mexico City.

Over time, it’s become a more popular tourist destination, and tourists flock to this beautiful city. But, many people are concerned it may be unsafe.

After all, you hear all the horror stories in the news.

A beautiful statue of a native in Queretaro's historic center

So I’m here to give you a view from someone who has actually been to the city for an extended time (supported by statistics). I have friends in the city, and I’ve had extraordinary times there.

However, I know anecdotal evidence doesn’t give you the whole story. Simply because I had a great trip doesn’t mean everyone did/does.

But, there are multiple reasons why Queretaro, Mexico’s crime isn’t a problem.

So, let me show instead of telling.

Queretaro crime rates

There are multiple ways to measure crime.

Theft, assault, robbery, murder, and so on. For our purposes, we’re mostly going to focus on three:

  • Homicide rate
  • Car robbery rate
  • Kidnapping rate

There’s plenty else to cover, but these are the main crime types in Mexico. For comparison, I’ll use US cities’ crime rate so we can get an idea of how it compares.

For comparison, Queretaro’s population is around 1.3 million, so keep this in mind.

I am not claiming that any of the United States cities are dangerous. In fact, I am arguing the opposite. I think most of them are pretty safe. 

I am using them to show Queretaro, Mexico’s safety (and Mexico’s as a whole) isn’t as the news portrays.

For full transparency, all statistics came from MacroTrends, which had statistics until 2018. That was the most current I could find across all cities in the US. For Mexico, I used this resource for Mexico crime statistics and maps.

Let’s get into it.

Is Queretaro Mexico safe? This graph shows it's a pretty safe place to visit.
Source: elcri.men

Queretaro homicide rate

Queretaro has one of the lowest homicide rates in Mexico, as you can see from the map below.

Queretaro's homicide rates are some of the lowest in Mexico
Source: elcri.men

In fact, it has the 9th lowest homicide rate of the 32 Mexican states, with a rate of around 8 per 100,000 people. This number is also far below the national average of 26.6. 

And with around 1 million people living there, it has lower homicide rates than many popular US cities.

For comparison, let’s look at the homicide rate versus some US cities per 100,000 people:

  • Los Angeles (3.4 million people, 6.4)
  • Pittsburgh (300k people, 18.84)
  • Atlanta (500k people, 17.74)
  • Chicago (2.7 million people, 24.0)
  • San Jose (1 million, 2.67)
  • New Orleans (400k people, 37.09)

This is just five of the top 20 cities with the highest homicide rate. There are many more with higher homicide rates yet are still popular destinations.

I live close to Pittsburgh, have visited Cleveland multiple times, and have visited many other cities on this list.

Yet, I’d never say any of them are unsafe.

Are certain areas unsafe? Absolutely.

But this will be the case in every city you visit worldwide. Queretaro (and Mexico as a whole) is no different.

Queretaro car robbery rate

Car robberies are the most problematic crime in Queretaro.

Car robbery with violence is a minor problem in Queretaro
Source: elcri.men
Car robbery without violence is also a minor problem.
Source: elcri.men

While the crime rate for car robberies is higher in Queretaro (around 20 per 100,000 people for violent robberies and about 80 per 100,000 people for nonviolent), it is still lower than in many other Mexican cities.

So, added together we’ll simplify the car robbery rate at around 130 per 100,000 people.

But, for another comparison, I want to pull in those five US cities I mentioned in the previous section. Here are the car theft rates per 100,000 people:

  • Los Angeles (430)
  • Pittsburgh (241)
  • Atlanta (667)
  • Chicago (372)
  • San Jose (735)
  • New Orleans (755)

Queretaro’s rate is dwarfed by these US cities when you look at those comparing rates.

Queretaro abduction rate

Abduction (kidnapping) is virtually nonexistent in Queretaro.

Kidnapping is virtually nonexistent in Queretaro
Source: elcri.men

We’ve all seen the stories of abductions in Mexico on the news. And in some states/cities, it’s a severe problem. But that’s limited to around 8 out of 32 Mexican states. In fact, abduction isn’t a problem in 17 of the 32 states.

Most Americans don’t consider abduction (of adults) a serious problem in most cities. And, even when searching abduction/kidnapping rates by city, statistics are surprisingly challenging to find.

So, whether it’s Queretaro or any city in the US, abduction is (mostly) a nonproblem.

Is Queretaro safe for Americans?

Yes, Queretaro is very safe for Americans.

Whether you’re looking to become an ex-pat in the city or just looking for a short visit, you’ll be welcomed by the friendly locals.

The people of Queretaro are fun and vibrant

The people of Queretaro are very proud of their city and eager to give it a good name by keeping it safe.

Ultimately, it’s no more or less safe than an average US city. And if you just use your common sense, you’ll be fine in most situations.

So, is it safe to travel to Queretaro, Mexico?

Look, I get it.

It’s scary to travel to a place that is in a country where you hear nothing but horror stories. And I also understand that statistics only mean so much.

Sometimes a place can feel unsafe despite any statistics showing it isn’t. And if you feel unsafe, it doesn’t matter if you actually aren’t in any real danger. You won’t be comfortable.

So, that’s why I like to give you my experience. I lived there for a month and also traveled back afterward. So, I know how it feels and what it’s like.

You make eternal friends in this lovely city.

And that’s why I’m here to tell you that you’re perfectly safe traveling to Queretaro.

You’ll feel completely safe wandering the Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the surrounding areas.

Queretaro is one of the safest cities in Mexico.

Wrapping up

San Miguel de Allende, Chiapas, Cabo San Lucas in Baja California, or San Luis Potosi.

These are all popular tourist destinations most people consider safe. And Queretaro is no different. If you’re going to travel to Mexico, you must stop in Queretaro for everything it offers.

Expats and locals make the city a vibrant place worth visiting.

Don’t make the mistake of passing up its tourist attractions and passing up Mexico with its history, culture, and ruins.


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