Puerto Vallarta and Boca, Safety and Statistics

WHERE ARE YOU SAFE? (We wrote this in 2012)

Puerto Vallarta is safer than most U.S. and Canadian cities

Orlando Florida reported over 40 murders
Lafayette LA reported 24 murders
Spokane Washington 12 murders.
Three cities with a smaller population than Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta reported 6 murders last year.
The tiny village of Boca de Tomatlan, just a bit south,
has a crime rate as low as rural towns in Vermont or Oregon.


Many people have become apprehensive and some downright fearful about travel to Mexico. This is both unfortunate and also unfounded in reality. While exercising caution and good judgement is wise in travel anywhere – whether it be travel to Paris, Universal Studios in Orlando, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. or even your corner grocery, we shouldn’t at the same time, let our irrational fears control our decisions. If that where the case, you likely wouldn’t venture very far from your front door, let alone visit your nearest city to go to a museum or show, etc. We should educate ourselves about the facts of our destination, which areas of a particular U.S. city is it unsafe to travel at night, (or at day), for instance, and avoid that area, – making sure you park in a well lit area of a parking garage, don’t participate in ellicit activities, etc.

True, there are areas in Mexico you definetly want to avoid. The drug wars that are broadcast all over the media are horrible, but don’t be fooled by media sensationalism that globalizes all of Mexico as a “dangerous place”. When you hear of gang violence in East L.A. or car jackings in areas of Florida, doesn’t mean you won’t travel to vineyards in Northern California, or a workshop in rural Oregon or go scuba diving in the Florida Keys. Similarly, almost all the drug war violence has been focused at the border cities of Mexico. Mexico is a huge country, the distance from Puerto Vallarta to say Ciudad Juarez, (the worst city effected), is like travelling from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The reality of the situation is that Puerto Vallarta has far less violent crime than most U.S. and Canadian cities of equal or even smaller size! Unfortunately, the misdirected fear generated by the media generalizations has effected both the buisnesses in P.V. as well as the tiny fishing village of Boca de Tomatlan, where the Casa is located, (think of a small fishing village in rural Maine). This is similar to what happened durring the Swine Flu scare a few years ago – Tourism in Puerto Vallarta and the Boca dropped down to 1 -3 %, (that’s 1 to 3 hotel rooms filled out of 100), it was devastating to the economy, we saw many businesses close – and there wasn’t even 1 case of swine flu reported in Puerto Vallarta!

This past February, (2012), Award winning watercolor artist, Stan Miller did a workshop at the Casa with 11 participants. when he returned to Spokane, Washington, he was so frustrated with the jaded view of – “did he feel safe while in Mexico”, he wrote the students and I the letter below.

Read Stans’ letter and also some of the other statistics we posted below, check out the Casa YouTube video below of Bob talking about “Where are you really safe?”, (as well as other interviews with Casa Participants on the CasaArtistas YouTube chanel), and please give us a call if you have any other concerns, we would be happy to talk with you.

Hi Bob and students,

I’ve gotten so tired of everyone talking about how dangerous Mexico must be….oh really:

Here’s some interesting info on crime in the U.S. compared to Puerto Vallarta:

The City of Puerto Vallarta is approximately the same population as Anaheim, California, which also has a high number of visitors to many attractions and numerous hotels. (Refer to Anaheim web site for other details). According to US crime statistics, Anaheim is safer than 25% of the cities in the US. Anaheim and Puerto Vallarta are both located on the West Coast, and are vacation destinations.

Anaheim, California ———————– Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Population 327,357 people —————-325,000 people
Violent Crime 2009

MURDER: Anaheim: 10 —————— Puerto Vallarta: 4
RAPE: Anaheim: 102 ———————- Puerto Vallarta: 0
ROBBERY: Anaheim: 493 ————— Puerto Vallarta: 63
ASSAULT: Anaheim: 925 —————- Puerto Vallarta: 14

Here’s a link showing how the U.S compares crime wise to other countries throughout the world.  : http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri-crime-total-crimes

To most of you, this means you are in greater risk staying at home than visiting P.V.! -What to speak of the charming fishing village of Boca, like going to a rural town in Vermont, or Oregon. You can certainly read both sides of the “story” all over the internet, but we suggest talking to some of our recent guests and hear about their feelings of safety, watch our video interviews and take a look at this news analysis – “Mexico Responds to Concerns” that specifically mentions P.V.

And a little something I found this past February


New York, February 9, 2012 – The February 8th expansion to the U.S. Department’s Travel Warning to Mexico does not include the city of Puerto Vallarta. The popular vacation destination is also located more than 1,200 miles from the border between Mexico and the US where other drug related violence has taken place, the same distance that separates Los Angeles to Dallas, or New York to Miami.

Puerto Vallarta is a leading destination in Mexico and continues to offer a wide range of shore excursions and a safe experience for all international visitors.

Puerto Vallarta continues to be one of the safest destinations for international travelers. A recent security/threat assessment study conducted by Thomas Dale & Associates (TDA), a leading global investigative and security firm, found that the number of negative events involving foreigners or non-foreigners is fractional compared to the large ex-pat resident population and the millions of visitors that come to vacation each year in Puerto Vallarta. The study also found that visitors to the destination feel safe and continue to visit Puerto Vallarta numerous times throughout their lifetime.

Highly regarded media and their readers have continuously voted Puerto Vallarta as one of their favorite destinations, giving it numerous accolades and awards, including, Conde Nast Traveler Magazine: “Favorite Destination” for 5 years in a row; Travelocity: one of 10 top “Summer Family Destinations” in 2011, and AARP: one of the “Top 10 Best Places to Retire”.

For more information on Puerto Vallarta visit: www.visitpuertovallarta.com