By | 2017-10-17T09:54:42+00:00 September 14th, 2017|

I thought Cabo San Lucas was Safe. What’s going on with this U.S. Travel Advisory?

Recently, we have been asked our opinion about the U.S. travel advisory for Cabo San Lucas.

There have been plenty of articles written about this.

Some armed with statistics, others anecdotal.

With so many opinions, how should you know what to do?

Years ago, my wife Katy and I bought our first boat in Florida. It was a small, but seaworthy 32′ sloop, and our plan was to sail it to the Riviera Maya in Mexico.

We had only received our captain’s certifications a few months before the idea to buy a boat came about.

Shortly after the phrase, “We should buy a boat!” we were in Florida signing the papers.

With relatively little experience at the time, we were about to be crossing one of the largest ocean currents in the world.

Our first sail was short and sweet. Two hours from Apollo Beach to Bradenton.

It was a short trip, nothing to write home about.

What would come next was our first real challenge as sailors. The boat was now ours and reality had arrived. This trip was happening.

From Western Florida to Key West, across the Gulf Stream — an often rough and unpredictable passage. From The Stream along Cuba, over the Yucatan Channel and into Isla Mujeres. Finally, heading further south into the Riviera Maya.

Could this go terribly wrong? Potentially.

Would we do everything in our ability to ensure it didn’t? Absolutely.

It’s a conflict that can often guide us into new experiences, or keep us safely tucked in our comfort zones.

Dread and desire doesn’t always have to be as big as sailing across open ocean on a little boat.

It can be about saying hi to that girl who will later become your wife.

Or, it can be the decision to run a yellow light because, Who wants to wait another two minutes! which then sends you to the hospital.

The correct answer for this type of conflict is often the result of thoughtful examination, not split-second, emotional reactions.

For us, to break through any fears of the upcoming crossing, we studied everything. Routes, blogs, forums, guide books, ocean currents, water temps, wind speed averages.

If there was information about it, we read it. If there was something to calculate, we calculated it. We weren’t going to be swayed by one piece of rotten advice — or conversely, someone too eager to recommend the trip.

There was plenty of advice online. Some would say, “Don’t even bother unless you have a 50’ yacht! Only go during one special week of the year in a calm September when it hasn’t rained for 5.5 days. The winds must be easterly at 12 knots. Don’t forget to have five life jackets per person with a regatta from the Coast Guard escorting you the entire way, or else you’re a goner!

Others would say, “I could do it in a wooden raft with one gallon of water to drink and dental floss to fish with!”

If you are scared to let off those dock lines and go, you can find every reason not to leave port.

If you are careless and itching for adventure, you’ll find plenty of people agreeing, “Don’t worry about a thing! Trust me, you’ll be fine!”

When looking for advice on travel and what to do, try to explore every option. Face any uncomfortable truths as well as the facts that may set your fears at ease.

Use your best judgement in which advice you take, and that includes mine.

Ready to set sail out of Florida, we were prepared, at ease and looking forward to a new adventure.

There were a few bumps along the way, like any offshore voyage. But nothing compared to the lifetime memories we made.

Not unlike a bit of turbulence on any flight, we had some choppy conditions.

But we also had beautiful winds, calm waters, long gentle rolling seas. We saw fifty or more dolphins swim with us for the entirety of a sunset in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

At 4:00am early one morning we sailed through a sea of bioluminescence. That same morning we passed along thousands of jellyfish moving in slow-motion.

(Above, what bioluminescence looks like at the beach… imagine that in the middle of the ocean alone at 4:00am. This photo was taken from here. Not taken by me in the middle of the ocean — just used to illustrate how beautiful bioluminescence is. If you want this photo removed, say the word and it’s done!)

At night, in the middle of nowhere you can see so many stars there are purple clusters up in the sky. It felt like being on a different planet way out there, and imagine we could have decided, “No,” to this whole experience based on what others had told us.

But we did our diligence and knew without doubt, “This is what we want, this is our adventure.”

We learned new skillsets, new things about ourselves and what good preparation means.

Although jumping on a plane to visit Cabo San Lucas is a bit simpler than planning a trip at sea through three countries… the fundamentals are the same.

You will find in your research, that the travel advisory for this area isn’t well advised – unless you’re involved in some kind of organized crime.

Have there been shootings here? Yes. Even one near a public beach out of town where three people connected with organized crime were killed. But Orlando had a tragic night club shooting, a coffee shop near my apartment in downtown Vancouver had an execution at point blank. Paris and elsewhere in Europe have sadly been the focus of terrorist attacks lately on random sites filled with citizens. Are they still wonderful places that you should consider going to? 100%.

For vacationers, when compared to major U.S. Cities, non-tourist regions in Mexico, major cities in Canada and popular destinations in Europe, Los Cabos as a whole is the far safer choice every day of the week.

Cabo is also much safer than our home town of Vancouver, Canada.

Vancouver has far more violent crime, muggings, break-ins per capita on its own citizens and tourists than Los Cabos.

When I first saw statistics proving that Vancouver was more dangerous than Cabo, I was surprised.

I thought, “What? How can that be! That’s my hometown, which I know is safe! I lived there, walked around, went wherever I wanted and never felt in danger. All my friends are there, and I never ask any of them if they feel safe in Canada.”

This may also be what you’re thinking of your own home town and comfort zone versus here.

Would I ever tell anyone not to visit Vancouver? Of course not! It’s a beautiful city with endless activities and unforgettable landscapes.

I would recommend, “Don’t go looking for crack in a back alley on East Hastings, please and thank you!”

If you take a look around, you’ll see you are highly unlikely to be the subject of any kind of crime here in Cabo.

If that still scares you, this isn’t the right choice for you.

If that’s a mindset you’re married to, when you arrive, you may find yourself only looking for those answers you already want to believe.

Not everyone wants to leave the dock.

Listen to enough stories and you’ll hear something bad about everywhere in the world. The smallest rural town in America to tragic bombings in Europe.

The world you don’t know and the ocean you haven’t crossed can be daunting places.

Do your research and form the most objective and accurate picture in your mind that you can. You’re likely to find the positive outweighs the bad… and you just might have the time of your life.

Everything in life is a risk.

Getting in your car to go to the office is a risk. The USA has the highest rate of automotive related deaths in the entire world.

35,092 people were killed in their cars in 2017 in the USA. That’s 11.32 people per 100,000!

The most recent stats I could find on tourist deaths for all of Mexico were 0.39 per 100,000. That’s not accounting for Cabo San Lucas being safer than the average of the country considered in this statistic.

That’s 2802.56% more likely to die in a car accident back home than from all violent crime in the entirety of Mexico.

Would you stop driving a car upon hearing that statistic? I’d guess not. I would think you may instead want to be more diligent on the road.

Just as you check your blind spots and use your signals, don’t look for trouble here in Cabo San Lucas and you won’t find it.

No matter what we prepare for, we are exposed to risk every time we step out our front doors into the world. Hopefully it continues to be a world we are willing to step out into and experience.

It all depends what information you step out that door with that will help you decide — desire or dread.

All the best to wherever you plan to visit with your well earned time off! If it’s in Cabo, we hope to see you here and show you why we’ve chosen this as our home.

Disclaimer: As a tour operator in Cabo San Lucas, of course we have business interests here in Los Cabos. But, that’s just the professional side of our lives, which we hope only make up a fraction of who we are and why we live here.

We choose on a daily basis to live here, to have our personal lives, friendships and family here.

We are fortunate enough to have the ability to live just about anywhere in the world we would like to.

In recent years we’ve travelled as much as 6-8 months out of the year to wherever planes and boats could take us, but we choose Los Cabos as our home base, because it’s always the best place to come home to.

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