Is Baja California Safe To Visit This Summer? Travel Advisory 2024

Mexico has once again made headlines with three tourists killed in Baja California which has raised concerns about traveling in the area.

The US State Department has been advising citizens to “Reconsider Travel” to the border state of Baja California due to crime and kidnapping since August 2023.

In “Baja North,” the homicide rate has increased from 17.7 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 70.1 in 2024. The cities of Tijuana and Ensenada are the most concerning ones.

Most tourists come on short-term trips from California to visit the popular beaches of Rosarito and the famous brewery of Tecate.

Following the terrible murders of three tourists in Baja California last week, visitors must be wondering how safe traveling to this state is as of right now. Let’s see.

LATEST NEWS from Baja California:

May – One American and Two Australian Surfers Brutally Murdered in Baja California 

Callum Robinson and Jake Robinson, Australians and brothers, and Jack Road, an American, were killed when camping in the rural area of Santo Tomás, in Ensenada, Baja California.

The tourists set up camp in an uninhabited, remote area with no phone or internet access.

On May 2, the bodies were found inside a 15-meter deep well, 3.7 miles away from the campsite.  

According to Baja California Attorney General Elena Andrade: When [the murderers] spotted the white Colorado pickup vehicle, owned by the victims, they approached with the intention of taking the vehicle, removing the tires or other parts, to put them in their own pickup, an older model. When they approached and surprised these people, they probably resisted, and the aggressors took out a firearm and killed them, she said. 

So far, authorities have arrested three suspects including Jesús Gerardo ‘N’, alias El Kekas, his girlfriend (who had one of the victims’ phones), and another man.

The gun used to kill the tourists has also been found. This is an ongoing investigation so more details will be provided over the next few weeks.

Areas to Avoid

Baja California contains the cities of Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexicali, and Tecate, known for having some of the worst rates of violent crime in the entire Mexican territory.

Travel there at your own risk.

Official Travel Advisories 

US Travel Advisory

US authorities advise citizens to “Reconsider Travel” to this state due to high levels of crime and kidnapping.

“Reconsider Travel” means that the government doesn’t forbid travel to this area but it doesn’t recommend it either. 

Canada Travel Advisory

The Canadian government urges citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling across Mexico due to violent crime. 

Although the advisory mentions several states that Canadians shouldn’t visit, these don’t include Baja California in particular.

The government asks travelers to be vigilant at all times, avoid traveling to isolated or deserted areas, and stay at highly secure hotels because homicides, kidnappings, carjackings and assaults occur even in protected tourist hotspots.

Safety Tips for Baja California

Considering the horrendous murder of three tourists in Baja California last week, it’s important to follow safety recommendations to protect yourself and your beloved ones, now more than ever.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Always keep your family and friends back home posted about your whereabouts.
  • When taking public transport, take a picture of the plate and send it to a friend.
  • Do not travel to isolated or deserted areas and do not set up campsites at those places.
  • Don’t walk alone at night.
  • Refrain from excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Don’t do or buy drugs.
  • Stay calm and don’t resist if you are threatened by robbers.
  • Only withdraw money from banks or shopping malls.
  • If you happen to be an American, register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to help locate you in case of need.