Safety in Rosarito Beach

I read many ppl mention its very safe there. But is it true going out at night by yourself is never a good idea? I know the American media makes Mexico sound really bad.
Most ppl seem to say its lot safer than us cities but then there are others that say its not safe and theres some things that are not mentioned in the news.

I assume if you are downtown or close to downtown, its fine?

I have not been to Rosarito Beach specifically, but I have been to Latin America. Safety is relative and it is not fair to characterize a country as absolutely “safe” or “unsafe”. You need basic street smarts, the same kind you would need if you wanted to visit NYC, Chicago, Detroit, or LA.

Understand what neighborhood you are in. Does it appear middle class? Working class? Are there large numbers of apparently unemployed men hanging out on the sidewalks at 2pm?

Can you speak at least a little Spanish? Trying to speak the language goes a long way to getting people to respect you. You don’t have to speak it well. If they know English well, and see you struggling with Spanish, they often will switch. If you act like an ignorant Gringo, well then you’re an ignorant Gringo to look down on.

The above is the page for the US State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico. From it, for Baja California near Ensenada and TJ:

The town you mention is 10 miles or so from Ensenada, so close enough? I wouldn’t wander around after dark.

Would we get better results for the OP if this were in IMHO?

My sister went to UC San Diego. She graduated a few years ago (3 or 4) so this is somewhat outdated but she and her friends would go to Tijuana fairly often as freshman and sophomores. They stopped going there after a few incidents and deemed it as too dangerous (had to bribe two police officers to release them after they were stopped for no reason - other option was jail, the cab drivers were being paid by the clubs and so regardless of where you told them to take you, they took you to whomever was paying that night, etc).

They started going to Rosarito instead and by the beginning of their senior year they stopped going to Mexico completely because the same types of things were happening there.

I’ve been to Caribbean Islands and have driven/walked throughout the entire island, at night, and never had any issue. However, these places rely on tourism and word of mouth so that may mitigate things. My strategy whenever I go to a place outside the US is just be smart. Never a good idea to walk around late at night alone. Don’t flash your money or credit cards. Basically, just behave as if you were walking around a bad neighborhood in the US and you should be relatively safe.

anyone else?

It’s been a few years, but I felt fairly safe around Rosarito/Ensenada. But then, I was always with a fairly large group of mixed sexes, and we never went abroad very far after dark. Mostly partied in our own enclave.

Strictly personal opinion, but these days you couldn’t pay me to set foot in Mexico. Anywhere.

If there are ordinary local people out wandering around seeming to be having innocent amusement, they you can feel fairly safe among them. If the only people you see look shady, it might be a better idea for you to be somewhere else. Generally, Mexico is a pretty safe place. Being near the tropics, it gets dark early all year round, and the days can be hot and the evenings cool, so Mexicans love to be out in the evening.

I don’t have any personal experience with Rosarito Beach, but everywhere I’ve ever been on the coast of Mexico, I felt perfectly comfortable being out and about in Mexican casual society. When everybody else goes home, you go home too.

In one town in Nayarit (Acaponeta), the zocalo was lively and bustling in the evening, and suddenly, at nine oclock, everyone picked up and went home, and the police came around and reminded stragglers that it was time to settle in for the night.

Well, this doesn’t sound that great:

Date is March 2014.

For comparison, Tijuana is a big dirty bustling crazy city - proceed with caution.

Rosarito is tiny. You can basically walk from one end of town to the other (it’s a bit of a hike). It has been many years since I spent a lot of time there, but back then there were like 5 bars/clubs and maybe 3 restaurants. There are lot of vacation condo complexes around the area marketed to US retirees. So, it’s not a stronghold of Sinaloa gangsters, if that’s what you are asking. As for “safe” - YMMV, is Chicago “safe”, is New York “safe”? Depends on where you go, what you do,and who you interact with…

Endenda, not as big as Tijuana, but still more of a city. That’s where you would go if you needed to buy clothes, etc. It is a cruise ship port for the weekend party cruise ship trade.

See if you can find an update, that contains more details than the WAGs that were available on the day of the shooting. Until then, this is a singular anecdote that could have happened on any beach in the world.

The latest update I can find says " Authorities said all the shooting was done by a single gunman, in an apparent attempt to kill a single person."

Living in San Diego, where we’re closer to the goings on in Baja, cheap lobster ain’t worth the risk of getting shaken down (or worse) south of the border.

In the USA, only about 20% of all homicides involve a stranger killing a stranger. I’ve never seen any evidence that that statistic is significantly different in Mexico or any other country.

If you choose your destination for a vacation based on the statistical likelihood of being murdered by a stranger, I would suggest that you really, seriously, need to spend a few minutes learning something about the theory of probability and how it affects your everyday life decisions.

I’ve never seen any figures, but I would guess that very close to zero would be the annual number of American travelers casually passing through a tourist-accessible destination who are murdered by a stranger who had no particular reason to target them. Use common sense to stay out of the company of the potentially homicidal, most of whom frequent drugs or alcohol. and late hours…

Pauly01, this may help you decide if the area is civilized enough for you -


Has anyone recently went there? I know many news of it that are negative are from a few years a back.

Yeah, exactly this. Most of the murders have been related to organized crime. Other parts of the Mexican hinterland have had problems with robberies and kidnappings targeting travelers, but most of the violence in northern Baja has been all cartel related. Once you get away from the border, the rest of Baja is very safe. It’s not exactly encouraging to be in a place where there’s a full-blown drug war going on, but your actual chances of getting swept up in it are pretty slim if you exercise some very basic caution. This article makes the point that if you compare the number of Americans who have been murdered in Mexico to the number who visit, your chances of getting murdered are actually much lower in Mexico than at home!

I wouldn’t want to hang around TJ any longer than necessary, especially at night, but the more touristy areas (which I think Rosarito is) are generally fine, even if it is only 10 miles down the road.

Saw this posted on another forum.
I live in Rosarito and I wouldn’t exactly call it safe. There has been a sharp rise in murders and shootings in broad daylight, and those who live in gated and closed communities are blind to such events. The former mayor Hugo Torres recently admitted in a public event that Rosarito is seeing a spike in crime and murders that rival the peak times of the Narco battles. Don’t take my word for it or the US Press. Go read the local Mexican Press El Mexicano and the Frontera and use Google Translate if you don’t know Spanish. You can see for yourself just how “safe” it is here. Warning though: The local press does not sugar coat the news and can be graphic, so you’ve been warned.
This month a lifeguard was shot to death on the beach by a surfer and a man and woman riding in a taxi were shot to death at a stop sign…both incidents were in broad daylight…

I read about the lifeguard and he had received threats from some guy earlier. But the man and woman riding in taxi, does anyone have a link to this story? And where was this and were those ppl innocent ppl or innocent tourists?

Anecdata, and happened in TJ, not Rosario, but see this 2010 account:

Yes, it’s Frre Republic, and I’d link to the original SD news story if it were extant, but this surf instructor’s ordeal is another piece of anecdata, from 2007. Http://
Should the link not work, google Pat Weber, robbery, Baja, and you should find the story.

The common thing is that the victims here had been going to Baja for years, spoke Spanish, knew locals, knew how to blend in, and it still didn’t save them. I personally see so many new Mexicans here from NL, Tamaulipas, and Chihuahua, that I’ve started calling Houston, “Nuevo Monterrey.” Not Baja, but all of these people aren’t involved in OG.

OP, you’ll probably be just fine. Crime is still a rarity, even in a bad area. For me the reward isn’t there for the risk.

FWIW, my buddies and I were robbed by Federales while camping on a private beach outside of Rosarita where we had paid the owner for permission to stay the night. They took everything except our van and the clothes we were wearing. Surfboards, camping gear, phones, everything… all gone. They told us if we squawked, we’d be arrested for drug possession (the main guy pulled a baggie of white powder from his pocket to show us what would be “found” in our possession). Granted, we were outside of town in an isolated area and basically easy targets.

So, yeah, statistically you’re not going to be murdered, but there are other types of unpleasantness I’m sure you’d rather avoid. Getting robbed is never any fun; getting robbed by the police, even worse. The sense of helplessness is pretty overpowering, in my experience.

The main thing I would ask is how much/often are you going to be at the mercy of someone who might see you as easy prey. If you’re staying in a decent hotel and are able to avoid using taxis, and keep your wits about you, then you’ll probably be fine. OTOH, if you get smashed and try to stumble back to the hotel on your own late at night… not such a good idea.

So that’s how I’d look at it… are you going to be an easy target or not?

The surfer story was actually 2013 or 2014 not 2007.

Im not going to stay at a hotel, will be staying at a condo but i know it has security there and was planning to for few months.
Well i have to take taxi around b/c i know walmart is driving distance. But im worried about cabs as well because im worried these are the bad cabs if you know what i mean.
I definitely will stand out 100 percent which is another reason why im worried about heading there.
How far was your location from rosarito beach hotel by the way?