Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Janine
Curious about solo travel in Mexico? Read on to discover some of the best places in Mexico to travel alone, along with my best Mexico travel advice for an awesome trip!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure & Privacy policies for more detail.
With its pleasant climate, stunning scenery, and extroverted culture, Mexico is a welcoming place for anyone traveling alone. The country offers all kinds of different experiences and settings, from boho beach towns to world-class cities, charming pueblos mágicos, and incredible natural escapes.
You can climb mountains, surf, dive on world-renowned reefs, learn about pre-Hispanic cultures and history at UNESCO sites throughout the country, and so much more.
And the fact that Mexico happens to be just a quick flight from anywhere in the US and Canada only adds to its allure as a solo travel destination.
Traveling soon? Don’t forget to buy travel insurance for Mexico. Insurance gives you peace of mind knowing you can get the help you need if anything goes wrong. SafetyWing is the provider that I recommend.
If you’re curious about Mexico solo travel, this is the perfect article for you. I’ve joined forces with several other travel bloggers to highlight some of the best (and safest) places in Mexico to travel alone.
There are options here for every type of traveler. I’ve also included tons of Mexico travel tips and advice that I’ve gathered from over 4 years of living and traveling solo in Mexico. By the end, all you’ll have left to do is pack your bag!
But first, I know you’re just dying to know…
Is traveling to Mexico safe?
Contrary to what many people believe, Mexico is actually a pretty safe travel destination. No, there are no guarantees; bad things can happen anywhere. And yes, Mexico does have some issues… and yes, crime is one of them.
But, the situation in Mexico isn’t nearly as dire as many people would have you believe. In fact, in my experience, those that are most vocal about the dangers of Mexico usually haven’t even been here.
I spent over four years living in Mexico and have traveled the country extensively without incident.
You can do it too!
Whether or not you’ll feel safe in Mexico is a different question. Each person’s sense of safety is informed by our unique life experiences and personal risk tolerance.
For instance, I speak Spanish, which helps me integrate a bit better in Mexico, enabling me to feel safer than someone who doesn’t have the same language skills. On the other hand… I grew up in a rural part of Canada, and being in crowded cities puts me a little on edge. Someone accustomed to living in a large city might feel totally different. See? It’s all subjective.
All that said, there are certain safety precautions you should take as a female traveling alone in Mexico (and I’ll touch on them in more detail below). But generally, you can stay safe by exercising basic common sense and a little extra vigilance. Even if some of the said precautions feel like overkill (and probably are), putting them in place is bound to contribute to your overall sense of safety and help you feel more at ease during your trip.
Mexico is a truly fantastic destination for solo female travelers, and I urge you to give it a chance. Plus, the cities included on this list are some of the safest places in Mexico for women traveling alone.
Solo travel tip: Just because you’re traveling solo doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. Group tours are a fantastic way to meet fellow travelers that share your interests. You know how the story goes… first comes small talk on the tour bus, next comes secrets shared over margaritas, then comes country-hopping with your new BFF! 👯♀️ There are group tours available to suit any budget, so give one a shot! I use Viator and Get Your Guide to book excursions.
Best Places in Mexico to Travel Alone
The following are some of the best solo travel destinations in Mexico. This list is by no means exhaustive, but each of the Mexico destinations below has been vetted by fellow solo travelers. You can rest assured that each of them offers plenty of interesting sites and activities for women traveling alone.
1. San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur
Contributed by Rachel-Jean Firchau of Rachel Off Duty
Many people consider Los Cabos solely a party and honeymoon destination, but there is so much more to this part of Mexico than meets the eye!
While you’ll no doubt find more partying and big groups in Cabo San Lucas, the more relaxed, laidback city of San Jose del Cabo just down the road lends itself to being a fantastic base for solo female travel. Los Cabos is a quick flight from the west coast, and there’s a wide selection of incredible activities and restaurants to keep any solo traveler busy.
Whether you want to go on big adventures like swimming with whale sharks and learning how to scuba dive or small adventures like strolling the beach or visiting cute restaurants like Flora Farms, there’s lots to discover, and the prices are pretty reasonable for such a popular destination.
For long solo trips, you’ll find plenty of Airbnbs and hostels to choose from to help you stretch your budget. But, for shorter trips, staying in an affordable all-inclusive resort can be an incredibly safe and hassle-free way to explore this part of Mexico. Getting around is affordable, and you can walk, taxi, or Uber with ease.
Top Los Cabos Activities:
- Enjoy a kayaking and snorkeling adventure along Land’s End
- Spot whales on a Humpback whale watching tour
- Take a dreamy sunset cruise aboard a catamaran from Cabo San Lucas
Wondering about the best places in Baja, Mexico? Check out my guide to awesome Baja experiences.
2. Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Contributed by Lilian Arjona of Solo Female Travelers Tours
Monterrey is a fantastic destination for solo female travelers. Also known as the “City of mountains,” Monterrey has the perfect mix between breathtaking nature and modern cosmopolitan entertainment. This city has become the biggest economic force in the country, boosted by a robust industrial and entrepreneurial scene.
Monterrey has diverse attractions, from art museums and high-end cuisine to outdoor adventures and vibrant nightlife.
Here are some of the best things to do for solo female travelers in Monterrey:
- Visit Parque Fundidora
One of the city’s main landmarks, Parque Fundidora, used to be a steel-factory complex. Designers left behind the enormous smokestacks and industrial machines when it was transformed into the park. The park is ideal for taking a stroll. There are many trails for walking or jogging, but you could also rent a bike, visit the ice skating rink, or paddle a rowboat through the lake. You can also see the Museo del Acero Horno 3, which highlights the history of an important steel mill.
Parque Fundidora also hosts many concerts and festivals with international artists, so check the schedule online and attend an open-air concert.
- Visit MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo)
This remarkable museum has outstanding art exhibitions mainly by Mexican and Latin American artists but has also displayed international artists’ work. MARCO’s entrance is unique, with a giant black dove sculpture. Go on Wednesdays when they have free admission.
You can walk to the city center from the museum, which is a few blocks away.
- Enjoy exceptional, high-end cuisine.
Monterrey has many excellent restaurants offering a mix of local and international cuisines. Pangea is the star of the show and the #15 of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America. La Nacional, Cometa, and Cara de Vaca are other great picks for delicious Mexican food.
The best area to stay in Monterrey is San Pedro Garza García, the safest municipality in the state of Nuevo León and where the majority of the main entertainment spots are.
And speaking of safety tips… don’t walk alone at night. Use private transportation apps like Uber or Didi, or rent a car during your visit.
Monterrey may be off the beaten path, but it’s a diverse, modern city unlike any other in the country!
Top outdoor adventures in Monterrey, Mexico:
Monterrey is a lively, modern city, but it also offers incredible opportunities to experience some of Mexico’s natural wonders.
- Nido de los Aguiluchos Hiking & Rock Climbing Tour
- Huasteca Canyon Sightseeing Tour
- Garcia Caves Exploration Tour (this is the world’s second-largest cave system!)
3. Sayulita, Nayarit
Contributed by Jessica of Uprooted Traveler
With its lively atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and boho hippie vibes, Sayulita is the perfect place to go as a solo female traveler. If you’re looking to meet fellow travelers, you’ll have no problem finding new friends to explore the city’s colorful streets with. Sayulita is a favorite among everyone, from digital nomads to backpackers.
If you’re instead more in the mood for an “Eat Pray Love” type experience, the town is perfect for that as well, with plenty of yoga retreats, reiki treatments, and chill vibes just waiting to help you reconnect with yourself.
Looking for something more active? Sayulita was put on the map for its world-class surfing, so grab a board (and an inexpensive surfing class!) and hit those waves.
While Sayulita itself is small, it’s conveniently located–only about an hour north of the bustling resort city of Puerto Vallarta. It’s also within an easy day trip from other not-to-be-missed destinations along the Pacific Coast, from the sleepy surf town of San Pancho to the glitzy beaches of Punta de Mita.
Another added benefit of Sayulita’s size? There’s absolutely no need for a car–in fact, golf carts are a pretty popular way to get around town!
Best things to do in Sayulita:
- Hike and Yoga Jungle Experience
- Take a private surf lesson
- Hidden Beach & Snorkel Tour to Marietas Island
Wondering about the best beach places in Mexico? Check out my guide to Mexico’s most alluring beach towns.
4. Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
Contributed by Lora of Explore with Lora
Situated on Mexico’s Pacific Coast on the Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta is the perfect destination for solo travelers in Mexico seeking a trip full of outdoor adventure or a place to live and work remotely.
Puerto Vallarta has a growing digital nomad scene with several groups that host regular meetups, events, and organized excursions, making it easy to make friends. Or, if you’re just visiting for a few days, there are many fun day tours you can join to meet like-minded travelers to explore with.
You won’t find yourself getting bored in Puerto Vallarta with so many exciting things to do! Some of the best outdoor activities are whale watching, snorkeling or diving at Los Arcos Marine Park, catamaran trips, coastal hiking, and zip-lining through the jungle.
Zona Romantica, the official gaybourhood of Puerto Vallarta, is a great place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the action. You’ll be steps away from some of the best restaurants and bars and just a 5-minute walk to Los Muertos Pier, where you can catch a boat to smaller beach towns.
Puerto Vallarta is a walkable city with a gorgeous mile-long ocean promenade that takes you between many main attractions. And if you don’t want to walk alone at night, Ubers are readily available to get you home safely for just a few dollars.
Best things to do in Puerto Vallarta on your own:
- Take a food and mixology walking tour and sample tacos, tequila, and Mexican cocktails
- Day trip to Yelapa on a waterfall and snorkeling tour
- Spot dolphins and humpback whales on a whale watching excursion
- Take a zipline canopy tour (it ends at a tequila bar!)
Does working remotely from Mexico appeal to you? Check out my guide to the best digital nomad destinations in Mexico!
5. Guanajuato City, Guanajuato
I can confidently say that Guanajuato is one of the best places in Mexico to visit alone. The city is super safe, easy to navigate, and really affordable. Plus, it’s easy to get there from Mexico City.
Once a major silver mining town, Guanajuato is now known as a haven for arts and culture. The city is highly photogenic and pedestrian-friendly. In fact, tunnels built below the historic center divert vehicle traffic (and create visual intrigue).
In the Centro Historico (where you’ll want to spend most of your time), you’ll find several museums, vibrantly painted buildings, cobblestone streets, and a network of meandering callejones (alleys, but make them not sketchy!). Sip coffee or cocktails in bougainvillea-lined plazas and head to the Mercado Hidalgo to shop for budget-friendly souvenirs.
Joining a callejoneada is an essential Guanajuato experience. These are basically history tours taking you through Guanajuato’s streets and alleys while your guides share historical anecdotes and legends through song and dance.
The Callejón del Beso, the storied site of a Romeo & Juliet-style love tragedy, is a must-visit stop on your sightseeing tour of Guanajuato. Other highlights include a climb to the Pipíla statue, situated on a scenic lookout above the city, a visit to the Alhondiga de Granaditas museum to learn about the movement for Mexican independence, and (if you can handle it) a trip to the Mummy Museum.
Beyond the city center, the Presa de la Olla is a lovely spot to take a walk, especially on weekends. It’s a big dam with a path around it where you can buy ice cream, rent paddle boats, or gawk at the beautiful houses surrounding it. For something different, take a taxi to the Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel Barrera to admire the beautiful gardens and the impressive architecture.
When looking for accommodation, plan to stay somewhere within the historic center. There are many hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals available. If you’d like something a little quieter, consider a vacation rental in the Pastita neighborhood to the southeast of the city center– it’s a safe neighborhood just 10 to 15 minutes walking from the city center.
Guanajuato is a popular destination for Mexican tourists, it has an established expat community, and it’s host to several language schools that welcome international students looking to learn Spanish. But somehow, it manages not to be corrupted by tourism.
It has all the infrastructure and attractions you want in a travel destination, but the city still feels entirely genuine. In my eyes, Guanajuato’s only flaw is that it isn’t near the beach. I adore this city, and I think you will too.
Top Guanajuato activities for solo travelers:
- Learn about the history of Guanajuato on a guided walking tour
- Capture travel memories and learn about Guanajuato on a photoshoot tour – this is the perfect way to go home with a few awesome photos of yourself that aren’t selfies!
- Learn about the Mexican Independence movement on a day trip to Dolores Hidalgo, Atotonilco, and San Miguel de Allende
Does Guanajuato sound like your kind of place? Check out my Guanajuato guide to start planning your trip!
6. Mexico City
Contributed by Claire of This Travel Lover
Mexico City might not seem like an obvious choice for solo female travelers in Mexico, but you can have an incredible time in this fascinating city. Mexico City has the most museums in the world – matched only by Paris, so it is the perfect place to learn more about Mexico’s rich culture.
There are all kinds of fun things to do when traveling to Mexico City alone. In the historic center, the zócalo (main square) has an impressive cathedral built using stone from Aztec temples – the Templo Mayor Museum next to the cathedral shows the ruins of the temples beneath the modern city.
In the southern borough of Coyoacan, you can visit the Frida Kahlo Museum and marvel at the gorgeous architecture, leafy parks, and brightly colored buildings found in this charming neighborhood. The local Mercado de Artesanias is a great place to shop for souvenirs!
Related Reading: The Ultimate Mexico City Itinerary for 4 Perfect Days
You also can’t miss the leafy green neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa. These areas are peaceful, safe, and beautiful. You’ll find all kinds of cool eateries, boutique shops, and fun bars to check out. Roma Norte is also known for its lively nightlife– it’s one of the best party places in Mexico!
Chapultepec Park is another must-see attraction. It is home to several museums, including the Chapultepec Castle and the excellent Anthropology Museum that traces the country’s history through each of the indigenous cultures that have lived here.
For an insight into Mexico as it is now, join a group and go to see a Lucha Libre wrestling match and join the locals screaming and shouting at their favorite mask-wearing heroes and villains as they leap around the ring.
Is Mexico City safe for solo travelers?
Yes, it is!
As in any big city, you should still exercise some caution, but ultimately Mexico City is very safe. One thing to be aware of when you’re here is petty crime. Pickpocketing is a common problem in cities around the world, and Mexico City is no exception. Crowded spaces, like the metro, or busy markets, are prime opportunities for thieves to strike. Pack an anti-theft purse to reduce your risk.
To feel safe here, avoid walking around alone at night (take Ubers instead) and stick to the female-only carriages in the Metro transport system, marked as “Solo Mujeres.” Dressing relatively conservatively will also reduce unwanted attention. My guide to Mexico City airport transportation also has some great tips for safely navigating the city’s public transportation options.
Best activities to do for solo travel in Mexico City:
- Teotihuacan, Tlatelolco, Guadalupe Shrine & Tequila Tasting Tour – perfect for history lovers!
- Xochimilco Cruise, Coyoacan, & Frida Kahlo Museum Tour
- Mexico City Street Food & Market Tour
7. Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca
Contributed by Kristel of Chef Travel Guide
Oaxaca City is one of the best places for solo female travel in Mexico. The cobblestone streets lined with colorful buildings are easily walkable and safe for any solo female traveler. This UNESCO world heritage site is packed with lots of things to do so you will never get bored.
One of the best things about visiting Oaxaca is getting to try its regional cuisine. Oaxaca’s food is unique and different from the rest of Mexico, and the region is mainly known for its 7 moles. Stopping by local markets such as Mercado 20 de Noviembre and Benito Juarez is an excellent way to see the local ingredients and sample some amazing regional food.
You can’t visit Oaxaca without trying some mezcal. The best way to do this is by going to a mezcalería in town or joining a mezcal tour where you can see how mezcal is made from plant to bottle. Other nearby attractions include Hierve el Agua (petrified waterfalls) and the Monte Alban archeological site.
A free walking tour is a fun way for solo travelers to connect with fellow travelers. It is best to stay in Centro, close to the Santo Domingo Cathedral, where everything is at your doorstep.
When going home at night, take a taxi instead of walking home alone to be on the safe side.
Top activities for solo travelers in Oaxaca:
- Hierve el Agua & Teotitlan del Valle Tour
- Eat Like A Local Oaxaca Street Food Tour – this should be mandatory!
- Street Art Cycling Tour
- Visit an artisanal Mezcal distillery in a Zapotec village
Dying to visit Oaxaca yet? Check out my 4-day Oaxaca itinerary to start planning your trip.
8. Mazunte, Oaxaca
Contributed by Anna of Anna Meanders
Tucked away just around the corner from Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca is one of the most chilled little beach spots in all of Mexico; welcome to the magical town of Mazunte.
Magic in nature, and in name too; Mazunte is one of the best-known pueblos mágicos in the state of Oaxaca, one of 132 towns in Mexico decided to be truly magical and worth preserving.
Famous for sea turtle preservation, yoga, excellent juice bars, vegan eats, and fire spinners kicking back on the beach at sunset, it’s undeniable that Mazunte is a real treasure for those seeking a relaxed lifestyle.
Hiking up to the Punta Cometa lookout for sunset is one of the must-do activities in Mazunte. You should also visit the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga to learn more about sea turtles in the area. If you’re into yoga, head to Hridaya Yoga for a class.
Enjoying a seared tuna or vegan bowl and locally made kombucha at Sahuaro is a great way to finish the day in Mazunte.
Thanks to an abundance of other solo female travelers attracted to the hippy vibe and well-known yoga school, Mazunte is a small, safe, and walkable town ideal for solo travel. You’re sure to meet many other like-minded travelers. You can safely stay in any of the small guest houses, hotels, and Airbnbs dotted around near the main street or on the hill towards San Agustinillo. And because Mazunte is so small, you don’t need to worry about catching taxis or busses once you get there; everything in town can be reached by walking.
Best places to stay in Mazunte:
9. San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
Contributed by Megan of Packing up the Pieces
Nestled in the mountains, in Mexico’s most southern state of Chiapas, find the pueblo mágico of San Cristobal de las Casas. This beautiful city has inviting cobblestone streets, bustling cafes, delightful plazas with colorful buildings, rooftop terraces with breathtaking views, and multiple arts and cultural centers. With so many diverse things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas, it tops the list as one of the best destinations in Mexico for solo female travelers.
Beyond the enchantment of the magical city itself, San Cristobal de las Casas offers tons of unique day trips. Visit a few of the many Chiapas waterfalls or hop on a boat and ride through the scenic Sumidero Canyon. Nearby, find Indigenous communities that still practice sacred rituals and authentic handicraft techniques. For longer day trips, walk through ancient Mayan cities hidden deep in the jungle.
Independent travelers can easily and safely ride on the shared public transportation mini-vans or colectivos. However, it’s a breeze and sometimes cheaper to join one of the many daily tours that depart to popular Chiapas destinations.
San Cristobal de las Casas offers travelers many lodging options from hostels, guesthouses, and hotels. They are found in the many barrios, and each area has its own appeal. Every neighborhood is filled with street art and green space and is a fluid blend of locals, expats, and tourists alike.
Top solo travel activities in San Cristobal:
- Day trip to Sumidero Canyon and Chiapa de Corzo
- Day trip to Montebello Lagoons and El Chiflon Waterfall – not only are they incredibly beautiful, but you can swim!
- Learn about Prehispanic cultures on a day trip to the Palenque ruins and Agua Azul falls
Curious to learn more about what Chiapas has to offer? Check out my post on the best places to visit in Chiapas!
10. Merida, Yucatan
Contributed by Daria of The Discovery Nut
The capital of Mexico’s Yucatán State, Merida, is one of the best destinations to travel solo in Mexico thanks to its rich culture and safety. In fact, Merida is often touted as one of the safest places to travel in Mexico alone thanks to its low levels of cartel-related crime.
As one of the major cultural hubs of Mexico, Merida is a perfect place to learn all about the Mayan culture. Be sure to visit El Gran Museo del Mundo Maya– one of the most important museums in Mexico –where you’ll find an extensive collection of Mayan artifacts.
As you stroll the streets of Merida, you’ll encounter lots of opportunities to buy handmade products created by artisans in Mayan villages around Yucatan.
To better learn the Yucatec culture, don’t forget to stop in one of the local restaurants in Merida, such as La Chaya Maya or Maíz, Canela y Cilantro, where you can try typical Yucatec dishes.
No trip to Merida is complete without taking a day trip to some nearby Mayan ruins such as Uxmal, Mayapan, or Ruta Puuc, a collection of several archaeological sites off the beaten track.
The best way to get around Merida is by taxi, as local public transportation is slow and sometimes unreliable. Since the historic part of Merida is compact, you can easily get around on foot.
And, if you want to take a day trip to Mayan ruins or cenotes near Merida, you can catch a colectivo or join an organized tour from Merida.
Top solo travel activities in Merida:
- Sample Yucatecan specialties on a street food tour of Merida
- Merida is known for its awesome cantinas. Check them out on a bar-hopping tour of the city!
- Learn about the Yucatan’s history on a day trip to the beautiful Hacienda Yaxcopoil and ancient city of Uxmal. You’ll also stop to swim in a cenote!
Are you dreaming of backpacking Mexico alone? Check out my guide to backpacking Mexico on a budget to start planning your trip.
11. Homún, Yucatan
Contributed by Kate of Adventurous Kate
One nice thing about solo travel in Mexico is discovering local versions of the more popular tourist activities. Take, for example, cenotes in Mexico. If you’ve visited some of the more popular cenotes, like the Gran Cenote near Tulum or Cenote Ik-Kil near Chichen Itza, and wished you didn’t have to share the experience with dozens of foreign tourists, it’s time for you to try local cenotes.
The best cenote town in Mexico is Homún, about an hour from Mérida.
Homún is absolutely studded with cenotes. Once you arrive, you have two options: a resort cenote experience or a wild cenote experience. For the resort cenote experience, visit Cenotes Santa Barbara, a complex with three cenotes (Cenotes Cascabel, Chaksikin, and Xoch), a restaurant, and horse-drawn carriages.
Otherwise, hire a local tricycle driver to take you to wild cenotes — cenotes that are barely publicized to the foreign traveler market and might just be a hole in the ground with an attendant and a handmade sign.
It’s better to use Homún as a day trip — or multiple day trips — from Mérida, as it has the best accommodation and restaurants.
To get to Homún, take a colectivo from Mérida. This is a very popular destination for locals, and colectivos run regularly.
Alternatively, you can rent a car. If you want to make a full day of it, combine the cenotes of Homún with a visit to the Mayapán ruins and a visit to the yellow city of Izamal. That’s a special day in the Yucatán right there!
Related Reading: 26+ Incredible Things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula
12. Valladolid, Yucatan
Contributed by Carolin of Happy When Abroad
Valladolid, the charming Spanish colonial town in the Yucatan Peninsula, is the perfect destination for solo female travelers. Although the small town has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is still one of the safest, most authentic, and budget-friendly places to go in Mexico.
With many trendy hostels, restaurants, and bars, Valladolid attracts solo travelers from all over the world. Notwithstanding the town’s size, there are many things to do in Valladolid. You can’t miss visiting the impressive church, Iglesia de San Servacio, at the town’s main square or strolling around the colorful street Calzada de Los Frailes.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit at least one of the beautiful cenotes in the area. Take a refreshing swim in Cenote Zaci, located directly in the middle of the town, or visit Cenote Suytun with its magnificent rock formations.
Another great activity is a day trip to the Maya ruins of Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World (and one of the most famous places in Mexico).
Valladolid is generally a safe area for female solo travelers, especially if you stay in one of the most popular hostels, such as the Hostel La Candelaria or Hostal Tunich Naj. Here you are sure to be surrounded by many friendly, like-minded people.
Thinking about adding Valladolid to your Mexico solo travel itinerary? Check out my Valladolid travel guide to start planning your visit.
13. Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo
Contributed by Paulina of UK Every Day
Isla Holbox is a tranquil island that is a perfect destination for solo female travelers, and it is a very safe place to visit. You will not find paved roads on the island or many cars, just sand and bikes that are a great way to explore Holbox.
This tiny island has gorgeous beaches and is much less crowded than Tulum or Cancun. Wherever you look, there are plenty of hammocks that will give you a feeling of a very relaxed place. Isla Holbox is also famous for its street art, so you can wander around the island and admire beautiful paintings.
There are plenty of amazing things to do in Holbox. Whether you want to look out for flamingos or relax at the beach, it is a dream place to visit for solo female travelers. When the sun goes down, everyone gathers at The Pier to watch one of the best sunsets in Mexico.
With plenty of amazing hotels on the island like Villas HM Palapas del Mar, where you can book a room with a little private pool, there is no better place to stay for solo travelers.
Best activities for solo travelers in Isla Holbox:
- Kayak and swim in the bioluminescence on a night tour
- Spot migratory birds (like flamingos!!) on a paddling tour of the Isla Holbox mangroves
- Swim with whale sharks in the wild on a snorkeling tour
14. Cancun, Quintana Roo
Contributed by Cynthia & Alexander of Travel Your Memories
When you think of beaches, parties, and luxury, you think of Cancun. This is one of the most visited places in Mexico, but many people don’t know that there is much more to it than hip beach bars, parties, and all-inclusive resorts.
There are a lot of things to do in Cancun. You can find beautiful beaches, learn about Mayan culture, and enjoy delicious local food, fun outdoor activities, and tours. Take a day trip to Chichen Itza, join a food tour, go snorkeling, or book a sailing excursion on a catamaran!
Beyond the hotel zone, Playa Delfines is one of the best places in Cancun for a beach day. The broad, white-sand beach offers palapa rentals, endless sand, and gorgeous aquamarine water to frolic in.
The ADO bus company is the best way to travel through Yucatan and Cancun. It’s safe, reliable, and affordable on any travel budget. Use Busbud to book tickets upfront.
Overall, Cancun is a safe place to travel alone as a woman. What applies in every country or city also applies in Cancun: use your common sense. Look out for pickpockets and never withdraw money directly on the street but inside the bank or supermarket. Keep valuables out of sight.
Getting acquainted with other people from your hotel/hostel and visiting bars or clubs in a group might make it more comfortable for you while traveling alone in Cancun.
Top Cancun solo travel activities:
- Day trip to Tulum to visit the ruins, snorkel, and swim in cenotes
- Sail to Isla Mujeres on a catamaran (with an open bar!)
- Tour Chichen Itza with stops in Valladolid and Cenote Ik Kil
15. Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo
Contributed by Krisztina of She Wanders Abroad
If you are looking for a safe, affordable destination in Mexico to travel solo as a female, Isla Mujeres is a perfect choice. Isla Mujeres is an island just off the coast of Mexico that offers all that one could want in a tropical vacation spot: stunning scenery, friendly people, and delicious food.
It’s located only about 8 miles off the coast of Cancun and has many great places to stay, including hotels and apartments. Alternatively, you can also take a day trip to Isla Mujeres from Cancun and spend an entire day exploring the island.
To get to Isla Mujeres, take a ferry from Cancun. The ferry leaves from the Puerto Juarez dock, about a 20-minute walk from downtown Cancun. Ferries depart every 30 minutes, and the ride takes about 15-20 minutes.
Renting a golf cart is one of the best ways to explore the island. This is a great way to get around, and you can visit some of the beaches that are further away from downtown.
While you’re on Isla Mujeres, you can’t miss Playa Norte. This gorgeous, white sand beach is the best place to hang out and soak up the sun. At the south end of the island, you’ll find Punta Sur, a scenic, rugged coastline.
Isla Mujeres is also home to an Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA), featuring a collection of about 500 sculptures. You can check it out on a snorkeling excursion!
Best things to do in Isla Mujeres on your own:
- Swim with tropical fish and sea turtles on an Isla Mujeres snorkeling tour
- Scuba dive to visit Mexico’s underwater art museum
- Go on a golf cart bar crawl around the island
16. Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo
Located just an hour south of Cancun (and an hour north of Tulum), Playa del Carmen is the beating heart of the Riviera Maya. This modern beach town sprawls along the coast, meaning you’re never far from a gorgeous white-sand beach.
When it comes to fun activities, Playa del Carmen has it all. During the day, you can soak up the sun at a beach club, spot tropical fish on a snorkel trip, treat yourself to a spa experience, or bike through town looking for street art. When the sun goes down, sip cocktails on the beach, dance the night away in one of the booming nightclubs, or catch a live band at Kitxen. There’s no shortage of awesome things to do in Playa.
Additionally, most of the top Riviera Maya attractions are reachable on a day trip from Playa del Carmen. You can take a tour to Chichen Itza, pop over to Cozumel for a diving adventure, check out nearby cenotes, or even bus to Tulum to see the sights!
But what makes Playa del Carmen one of the best solo travel destinations in Mexico is that there are so many other travelers to see the sights with. There are several lively hostels in Playa (notably Selina). Even if you don’t stay in a hostel, join their social activities or take advantage of their amenities in your quest to mingle with fellow travelers. It won’t take much effort to make friends around town!
Because Playa del Carmen is so tourist-oriented, you don’t need to know a lot of Spanish to get around (though, the more, the better). Most service-industry professionals will speak at least a little English, plus with so many other travelers and expats around, you’ll have no problem finding someone to help translate.
Playa is one of the best places to travel in Mexico for your first solo trip. If you’re looking to take an easy, fun-filled beach trip, use my Playa del Carmen itinerary to start planning!
Top things to do in Playa del Carmen on your own:
- Swim in a cenote (or several)
- Visit XCARET, an eco-archaeological park where you can experience Mexican history, culture, and nature
- Take a market tour and cooking class
17. Cozumel Island, Quintana Roo
Cozumel Island lies just off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula, a 45-minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen. The island is known for its remarkable diving– the Palancar Reef attracts divers from around the world who come to experience its biodiversity. A diving or snorkeling tour of the reef is a must-do activity when visiting Cozumel.
But even if you’re not into diving, Cozumel is a fantastic place for solo travel in Mexico! Cozumel is very safe (though you should always use common sense), and there’s a lot to see and do. You can tour the Mayan ruins of El Gervasio or take part in a tequila tasting experience, or rent a car and beach hop around the island.
One of the most extraordinary things about Cozumel is that the beaches on the island’s east side are largely undeveloped, a rarity in this part of the world! El Cielo, within the Punta Sur Eco-Park, is a fantastic place to swim and sunbathe.
Because Cozumel’s attractions are spread throughout the island, the best way to get around there is with a rental car. Taxis are available too!
There are all kinds of fantastic hotels and vacation rentals to be found in Cozumel, and the city is large enough to offer a fantastic selection of restaurants and shops. It’s definitely worth spending a couple of days poking around. If you’re looking for a relaxing, safe, and fun-filled destination, Cozumel is one of the best places in Mexico to travel alone.
Best things to do on Cozumel:
- Spend the day frolicking at a beach club
- Take a snorkeling tour of Cozumel’s famous reefs
- Learn about local food on a farm-to-table food tour
Ready to plan your Cozumel visit? Check out my Cozumel travel guide.
18. Tulum, Quintana Roo
Contributed by Natasha Karcz from Planes, Trains and Karcz
Nestled along the scenic Yucatán Peninsula is Tulum, arguably (one of) the best Mexican cities for solo female travelers. It’s here, upon Tulum’s white-sand beaches and turquoise shores, that you’ll find a huge network of digital nomads and expats, providing an opportunity to connect with a like-minded, free-spirited community right out of the gate.
Recently named the “Manhattan of Mexico” due to its ever-increasing desirability, Tulum is growing at a rapid rate; and with it, so are its unparalleled dining and nightlife experiences, myriad of oceanfront events, and – of course – the endless opportunity for adventure that comes with visiting any region within the Riviera Maya.
Consider a visit to one of Tulum’s best-kept secrets, Cenote Tankah, and spend a day in what can only be described as a natural infinity pool that combines Tulum’s notorious jungle landscape and beach scene. Or, opt for a frothy coconut iced coffee from Liefs infamous food truck!
Though regardless of how you opt to spend your time in Tulum, know that you’re never far from a scenic lookout, local hotspot, or simply somewhere to sit and grab some salty sea air. It truly is paradise.
For a safe yet local vibe for solo travel in Tulum, opt to stay in the Aldea Zama neighborhood, which strikes a great balance between Tulum’s beaches and the centro (downtown). Aldea Zama offers more reasonable rates than the hotel zone while still within proximity of all the tropical action that Tulum has to offer!
Top Tulum experiences for solo travelers:
- Tour the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Muyil Archaeological Site
- Experience the jungle canopy on a Selva Maya Zipline Tour
- Learn about Mayan culture on a Tulum Ruins and Cenote Experience
- Take a local street food tour to learn all the best under-the-radar places to eat
Dreaming of a solo trip to Tulum yet? Use my guide to the best things to do in Tulum to start planning your visit.
Solo Travel in Mexico FAQs
Is Mexico safe for solo female travelers?
Mira. Safety is never guaranteed anywhere, and Mexico is no exception. While there are safety concerns to be mindful of in Mexico (cartel violence, petty crime, etc.), you can absolutely have a safe and magical trip, even if you’re traveling alone to Mexico.
Just use common sense, avoid drugs (seriously.), and use social media and news outlets to stay up to date on the goings-on in the area you visit. Following these practical solo travel safety tips will give you additional peace of mind.
As you plan your trip, check the US State Department website for guidance on the safety situation in Mexico. They update their regional advisories regularly. Be mindful of their warnings but don’t take them too seriously, as they may mark an entire state dangerous when in reality the main safety issues are isolated to a certain area.
Nervous about safety in Mexico? Check out my top tips for staying safe in Mexico.
Do I need to speak Spanish for Mexico solo travel?
Knowing a little español would undoubtedly serve you well, but you don’t NEED to know Spanish to have a good trip to Mexico. In fact, most (if not all) of the destinations on this list should be pretty easy to navigate if you don’t speak Spanish. Many Mexican folks speak at least a little bit of English because it’s part of the school curriculum, but English is most prevalent in tourist-heavy regions like Cancun and Los Cabos. That said, knowing some Spanish will help you make a positive impression, and you’ll feel more secure and confident if you can understand some of what’s going on around you. Try to learn some basic phrases before you go, but if your Spanish is lacking you can fall back on Google translate.
Want to improve your Spanish? Rocket Spanish is a program designed to take you from beginner to conversational in Spanish while teaching you about Latin American culture along the way. Click here to try it out!
Is it weird to travel alone?
No! Traveling alone is totally normal. For many of us, the only alternative is sitting around waiting for someone who has the time, money, or inclination to come with us. It may feel a little daunting at first, but going by yourself is a heck of a lot better than not going at all. Plus, even though you might be technically traveling to Mexico alone, you’re sure to make a ton of friends on your trip and have such a fun-filled time that you go home thinking, man, I could really use a couple of days to myself.
Are there benefits to solo travel?
Solo travel has all kinds of benefits. Most obviously, it gives you full control over your time frame, itinerary, budget, and every other trip decision there is to make. Beyond that, solo travel is a fantastic way to connect with yourself and get to know yourself. Putting yourself in new situations is challenging but also incredibly rewarding. You’ll uncover new curiosities, test your own limits, and probably come away feeling truly empowered. You can do hard things and you can do them on your own! Sweet!
Solo Travel Safety Tips for Mexico
Mexico doesn’t have the most stellar reputation when it comes to safety, but it is often the victim of unfair generalizations. It’s important to remember that Mexico is a huge country, and the safety situation varies from place to place. It’s not fair to paint the entire country with one broad stroke.
Safety isn’t a guarantee anywhere in the world. Instead of asking “is Mexico safe?” we should be asking how to travel safely in Mexico. You can stay safe wherever you travel in Mexico by taking a few simple precautions.
In this video, I’ve outlined my top Mexico safety tips. Bear with me because YouTube is not my forte. I did my best!
One of the best ways to stay safe in Mexico is to chat with people you meet throughout the country. Nobody knows Mexico better than the people who live there. Facebook groups (like mine!) are a great place to start connecting with people on the ground, but don’t hesitate to speak to your hotel concierge, servers, tour guides, or anyone else you meet!
Most importantly, just be a respectful traveler. (I already know you will be since you’re taking the time to read this.) Mexican culture is super extroverted and community-oriented. You’re sure to receive a warm welcome into the country and, as long as you are kind and open-minded, everyone around you will have your back.
How to Make Friends While Traveling Alone
Solo travel might sound lonely at first, but, realistically, you’ll rarely be alone. There are sure to be all kinds of other solo travelers just like you who are slightly nervous about being alone and keen to meet people to do things with.
Here’s how to find them:
- Join Facebook groups for travelers. The more niche, the better, as it will be easier to connect with people in your destination. Again, my Female Travelers in Mexico group is a great place to start!
- Take group tours. There are group tours available for just about everything: from checking out street art to touring Mayan ruins, learning to cook local cuisine, and beyond. Choose one (or several) that match your interests, and you’ll find yourself in a small group of like-minded travelers. Strike up a conversation and invite others to join you for a meal or excursion. You can always befriend your tour guide too!
- Stay in hostels. Hostels in Mexico are awesome; they usually have great common areas and often host fun interactive events like volleyball games, quiz nights, and more. If you’re not into dorms, opt for a private room. Many hostels have really nice private accommodations, so you get all the social benefits of shared accommodation and the privacy of a hotel room!
What’s that? You think you’re too old for hostels? Nope, you’re wrong…do a bit of research, though, some are very party-oriented, and that might not be your style!
What to Pack for Mexico Travel
Exactly what you pack for Mexico will vary depending on your itinerary. It’s a huge country, and each region has its own climate. If you’re headed anywhere with altitude, you’ll need a few more layers than if your trip is based on the beach. Basically, research the climate of your destination before you start packing.
Here are a few basics I take on every Mexico trip:
- Doorstop alarm – This clever contraption will alert you to any intruder in your hotel room and, with any luck, scare them away or draw enough attention to attract assistance. It’s super affordable and offers reassurance while traveling alone in Mexico. For more suggested safety items to pack, click here.
- Anti-theft purse – Petty crime is a concern in Mexico, so, even though I’ve never had an issue myself, I figure why take my chances? An anti-theft purse with slash-proof straps, locking zippers, and RFID protection will give you peace of mind and keep your valuables safe while you’re out and about. I have this one, but here are 5 other styles you might like.
- LifeStraw bottle – Ordinarily, you shouldn’t drink tap water in Mexico, but a LifeStraw bottle filters out all the bad stuff and leaves you with water that’s safe to drink.
- Baggu shopping bag – I always keep one of these reusable shopping bags folded up in my purse or backpack. They come in handy for carrying groceries, souvenirs, or wet beach clothes home at the end of the day!
- A warm outer layer – Even if you’re traveling to the beach, airports and buses tend to be heavily air-conditioned, so wearing layers is key. I take my Patagonia NanoPuff; it’s very warm but also folds into a small pouch when I’m not using it (I have it in Rosehip).
- Comfortable sneakers – You’re bound to do a ton of walking in Mexico, and the terrain won’t always be even. Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Running shoes with a bit of support would be ideal, but if you want something a little cuter, Vans sneakers are one of my go-to’s!
Need more packing guidance? Check out this post if you’re headed to the beach and this post if you’re headed to a city.
Safe Transportation for Female Solo Travel in Mexico
Wondering how to travel around Mexico safely? There are a lot of differing opinions out there regarding the safest transportation options for Mexico solo travel (particularly taxis). I’ve summarized the main options below, along with my tips for using each of them safely.
- Uber: Uber is awesome because you don’t have to haggle over prices, and your trips are tracked in real-time. Sadly, it’s not available in every city in Mexico. If it is available in the city you visit, I recommend using it because it’s much easier than coordinating a taxi (especially if you don’t speak Spanish). Always use common sense, though. Ubers are typically safe, but there are no guarantees. If something feels off, get out of the vehicle.
- Taxis: Taxis can be a great way to get around, but you need to do your due diligence. Always agree on a price ahead of time. Whenever possible, use a radio taxi (a taxi that is dispatched when you call to request it) or take one from an official taxi stand so you can be sure they are legit. NEVER get in a taxi if there is someone other than the driver inside already.
- Colectivos: These vans travel between towns and are an efficient and affordable way for locals to commute. In my experience, they’re safe and the prices are fixed. The drivers tend to really floor it, so be prepared for an exciting ride.
- Buses: Mexico’s network of long-haul buses is one of the safest and most affordable ways to get around on a solo trip to Mexico. There are several different service levels ranging from economy to premium, so you can select the option that best suits your budget.
- Car Rental: Renting a car in Mexico can be a convenient way to get around, but it’s not necessary for every trip. If you opt to rent a vehicle, always travel on toll roads (called cuotas) and don’t drive at night. Not only are roadblocks more common at night, but it’s tough to see hazards like topes and livestock in the road when it’s dark. I like to use Discover Cars to score the best rates on rental vehicles in Mexico.
Continue Planning Your Trip!
Mexico Guide Books
This Mexico phrasebook will help you communicate, even if your Spanish skills are lacking.
This Mexico travel guide is packed with all the info you could ever need.
I use a combination of Booking, Airbnb, and VRBO to find accommodation throughout Mexico.
Booking.com is awesome for booking hotels and resorts, while Airbnb and VRBO specialize in apartments and villa rentals, making it a great place to find long-term stays.
Some cities in Mexico have more listings on VRBO than Airbnb (or vice versa), so it’s best to check both to find the perfect place!
Rental cars add tons of flexibility to your travel plans. If you opt to rent one, I recommend using Discover Cars to find the best rates!
Skyscanner is my favorite tool for finding the best deals on airfare.
Never leave home without travel insurance.
SafetyWing offers super-affordable policies that cover things like medical expenses, trip interruption, and lost luggage. They even offer coverage for some expenses related to COVID-19. Their policies are particularly great for long-term travelers, making them a great option for Mexico.
There’s no question that knowing basic Spanish is wildly beneficial in Mexico. It helps you stay aware of your surroundings, solve problems, and make friends!
RocketSpanish has a well-structured program that will take you from bumbling to conversational in just a few modules. Start your free trial today!
Still have questions?
Join my Female Travelers in Mexico Facebook group, a supportive community of fellow Mexico travel enthusiasts, where you can find answers to all your travel questions!