Many travelers who plan to visit Mexico have a few concerns, and safety is a big one. But despite what you hear on the news, most areas of Mexico are considered safe for travelers. Though a handful of popular tourist destinations pose some serious risks for danger, Rosarito isn't one of them. Still, it's important to be aware of any safety concerns so you can protect yourself without needing to miss out on all the fun!
Located in the northern part of Baja California near Tijuana, Rosarito has a lot to offer adventurous travelers who appreciate the warm weather. Rosarito has many activities and experiences to enjoy, such as shopping, camping, wellness and relaxation, water sports, gambling and nightlife. The city is also known for its food scene, home to a wide array of high-end restaurants that serve delicious international cuisine from Japan to Mexico, Italy to France. Be sure to check out Puerto Nuevo Lobster Village or Popotla, where you can buy fresh seafood or try the local favorite crab dish, cangrejo Marciano.
Concerns About Safety
The biggest safety concern in Rosarito and other surrounding areas such as Tijuana, Mexicali and Tecate has been homicides. Because of cartel activity in these areas, between 2007 and 2010, there were massive turf wars, and many innocent people were caught in the crossfire. Though homicide rates have gone down since that time, they are still relatively high compared with the rest of Mexico. The good news is that tourists have not been targets of cartel problems, but it's important to stay out of areas where there is potential for violence. These places are usually the impoverished and run-down areas of cities.
Additionally, in 2017, protests erupted in Rosarito and surrounding areas due to Mexican social issues such as rising gas prices. Some protesters also voiced their opinions expressing anti-American sentiment. Tensions have since calmed down, and turf violence happens mainly between smaller narco cells, usually far away from where tourists stay. Despite an increase in homicides in 2016, there has been a decrease in robberies and assault since then.
U.S. State Department Travel Advisories
The U.S. Department of State has given Mexico as a country an overall Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution travel advisory. This is because some areas of Mexico have had incidences of violence, robbery, crime and homicide. However, that level of violence is certainly not the case in many places in Mexico where tourists visit. Similar to the country as a whole, the Baja California state is under an overall Level 2 advisory, with some travel restrictions set for U.S. government employees. But Rosarito itself has no specific travel restrictions for U.S. government employees, so tourists traveling to the area should feel relatively secure, while still practicing sensible safety precautions.
If you have heard about the protests in Rosarito or violence in Mexico, you might have second thoughts about booking a trip there. But it's important to remember that what you see in the news isn't necessarily the most accurate representation of what happens in Rosarito and especially not what tourists are exposed to. Because there are no U.S. State Department travel restrictions for the area, travelers should feel free to go and enjoy the many reasons to travel to a beautiful place like Rosarito.
To ensure your safety while in Rosarito, stay in areas that specifically cater to tourists. The two main hotel areas are Downtown Rosarito and Rosarito South. Hotels to choose from include the Rosarito Beach Hotel, the Hotel Los Pelicanos, Las Rocas Resort and Spa, and Puerto Nuevo Resort and Villas. Most of these hotels are self-contained and have been around for many years, hosting thousands of tourists without any problems. That being said, all travelers should be aware of their surroundings at all times and leave important documents or items in the safety of their hotel rooms.