Start packing for your Spanish-immersion stay in Guanajuato, Mexico, with Teach Me Mexico’s weather report.

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Is Guanajuato Safe?

Current Safety and Tips

With a little preparation and prudence, you can enjoy a safe, enjoyable trip to Guanajuato.

Safety in Guanajuato, Mexico

Safety in Guanajuato

Orient Yourself in Guanajuato

The historic center and much of the city of Guanajuato, including where your Spanish school is located, are quite safe for living and walking. The plazas are filled with people and light, even at night. Students report feeling safe. Tourist crime in these areas is mostly a rare pick-pocketing. But as anywhere, especially when you don’t know the place, you do need to be aware of your surroundings.

We live in Mexico, so we certainly think it's safe enough to travel to many places here -- including Guanajuato, where we’ve been many times -- , but we also practice street-smarts and just common sense. The general goal is not to make yourself a target. So keep these points in mind as you prepare for your trip to Guanajuato:

Before Arriving:

  • Don't bring or wear jewelry, especially gold. While Guanajuato isn’t the beach, it is still pretty relaxed in terms of dressing up, so there’s just no need for jewelry anyway.
  • While you certainly will want to bring your camera to capture one of Mexico’s most photographed cities (you’ll see why!), a general rule of thumb is not to bring anything you can't part with.
  • Make copies or scans of your passport and travel documents. Leave them with a trusted friend whose phone number you know, or even better, email them to yourself. Same for the international contact numbers for any credit, debit, or bank cards you might bring. (U.S. toll-free numbers don't work from Mexico.)
    Don't bring any more cards than you need. Honestly, you won't need most of what's in your wallet, so leave any social security, grocery store, or frequent customer cards at home.
  • Credit or ATM cards are the easiest way to get money (and usually give you the best exchange rate), but have a back-up plan.
  • Let someone at home know your specific plans but don't share them with people you meet while traveling.
  • We swear by a money belt or pouch -- one of those things that goes under your clothes (not a fanny pack!).

Once You're in Guanajuato:

  • Use ATMs during the day, and in the bank or in a store, not the stand-alone ones. Put your money away as soon as you get it (not in the street).
  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places like markets or busses.
  • Ask your Spanish school which areas you shouldn't go to.
  • Put only the cash you need immediately in your pocket. Put the rest of it, your cards, and your passport in your money pouch under your clothes, or in the hotel safe if there is one.
  • Generally try not to look like a tourist. This one's hard because, well, you are, right? So it's more like, if going to carry a camera and open your map, do so as discreetly as you can.
  • Take a sitio or called taxi. Don't just hail one. Go to the official taxi stop or have your school or hotel call an authorized cab for you. Your school can advise you more on local customs.

Travel.State.Gov offers the U.S. Department of State's take on safety and travel in Mexico. We also like the Is It Safe To Travel To Mexico? blog.

Have a question about safety in Guanajuato? It would be no fun to worry while you're there, so just ask us.