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Medical tourism is booming, and people from all around the world have become accustomed to traveling overseas for medical care in another country. Around 8 million patients each year.

Mexico is fast becoming one of the post popular destinations for medical tourism, treating more than 1 million foreign patients a year. These patients have typically been Hispanics from California, Arizona and Texas returning home for medical care, though there are a large number of Americans and Canadians who take advantage of the healthcare in Mexico too.

But whether you’re looking for a breast lift in Mexico or some dental work, you may be concerned about the country’s safety situation. Of course, price is the main concern, but safety always comes first.

You’ll be pleased to know that many Americans and Canadians are discovering that medical tourism in Mexico is much safer and cheaper than you might think.

Medical Tourism in Mexico is Safer and Cheaper than You Think

Medical Tourism is Safer and Cheaper than You Think

Mexico is Safer than You Think

Often, the public perception is very different from reality. This is to some extent the case with Mexico.

While the country’s safety and security situation has improved immensely over the past several years, many people in North America are only beginning to grasp the ground reality.

Just take a look at some of the reasons that show Mexico is safer than you may think.

The Number of Tourists Just Keeps Rising

According to the Bank of Mexico, more than 35 million tourists visited Mexico in 2016. This was an increase of 9% from 2015, and this has been a continuous trend over the past several past years.

Today, Mexico is among the world’s top ten most visited nations. Obviously, this would be a little hard to achieve if the country wasn’t getting safer.

Mexico is Evolving into an Important Economy

After years of excellent economic governance and policies that encourage free trade, Mexico’s economy is growing into one of the most important in the world.

Did you know that Mexico has a tariff-free trade agreement with 46 countries across the world? Today, Mexico is one of the few ‘trillion-dollar’ economies in the world.

So while public perception might need a little catching up, the economy is a clear indicator of Mexico’s much safer state of affairs.

Violence is Predominantly Restricted to Drug Gangs

According to research data, the rise in homicides in Mexico the last few years are actually confined to the drug gangs. Tourists are not targeted by these gangs and data shows that an overwhelming majority of visits to Mexico remain trouble-free.

No Foreign Resident Exodus

A few decades ago, Mexico’s economy was less open and quite unstable, causing a lot of foreign residents to flee to their home countries as a peso crisis struck.

Today, even despite the (contained) episodes of drug-related flare-ups, there’s no exodus. In fact, the government expects the foreign resident community to grow in the coming years.

You’ll find staying in the Riviera Maya also gives you the perfect base to see three of Mexico’s top archaeological wonders.

Mexico Matters

Mexico plays to role of a good neighbour to the US. Due to this and other reasons, its importance will continue to grow on the world stage in the coming years.

The US also works closely with its neighboring Mexico to improve trade and security in a mutually beneficial way. The idea is to maintain and improve the overall security and stability in the region, for which a safe and stable Mexico is needed.

Mexico is Cheaper than You Think

Well, the public perception that Mexico is cheaper is definitely not a myth! That’s why you’re considering medical tourism! But it might actually be cheaper than you think.

Mexico offers far cheaper rates for everything from weight loss surgery, to dental work, or maybe you’re looking for a breast lift in Mexico. But do you know just how much money you can save? First let’s look at the cost comparison for breast lift in Mexico/US & Canada:

Price Comparisons

Breast Lift

➡ Price of breast lift in the US: USD $11,000

➡ Price of breast lift in Canada: CAD $13,790

➡ Price of breast lift in Mexico: USD $4,000 / CAD $5,000

Based on these average prices you can save around USD $7,000 / CAD $9,000 on the breast lift!

Breast Augmentation Comparison

➡ Price of breast augmentation in the US: USD $11,500

➡ Price of breast augmentation in Canada: CAD $14,400

➡ Price of breast augmentation in Mexico: USD $4,300 / CAD $5,385

Tummy Tuck Comparison

➡ Price of tummy tuck in the US: USD $10,100

➡ Price of tummy tuck in Canada: CAD $12,600

➡ Price of tummy tuck in Mexico: USD $5,000, CAD $6,300

Botox Unit Comparison

➡ Price of a Botox unit in the US: USD $15

➡ Price of a Botox unit in Canada: CAD $18.5

➡ Price of a Botox unit in Mexico: USD $12, CAD $14.8

These prices are made more attractive after you consider the fact that you don’t have to compromise on quality. If you do a little planning and find the right clinic, you can get the same level of service that you would back home, while only paying a fraction of the amount.

Some good clinics in Mexico you can consider are Jenny Bracamontes Blanco, Marroquin and Sandoval, and Juan Gordillo. You can read more about them at Medical Departures.

Whether you need a breast lift in Mexico or some other procedure, remember that Mexico is safer and cheaper than you think. Also remember to get a personalised quote from the clinic so you know exactly what you’re paying.


 Mexico travel guide AMazon

Lonely Planet Mexico

Mexico travel guide AMazon

DK Eyewitness Mexico

Mexico travel guide AMazon

Cancun, Cozumel & the Yucatan


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. Ah, I never thought of Mexico as a Medical Tourism destination. I know we in India are trying to get there and have made some headway, but somehow I never thought of other countries that also might be doing the same.

    You mention all cosmetic surgeries in your price comparison examples. Is that a focus for Mexico? Are they also doing regular surgeries or even dental treatments that I suppose are as expensive in western economies?

    • One of the big ones … and continues to grow in popularity! I have heard that India is an up and coming in terms of medical tourism too, though haven’t read much about their services and facilities – will have to check it out.

      Yes, cosmetic surgeries is a big market here, as are dental treatments; I’ve actually got a post which covers everything you need to know about dental tourism Mexico if you’re interested.

      Their most well established hospitals re kept pretty busy with a constant stream of international patients, so yes, very regular surgeries and procedures, usually happening daily.

  2. Medical tourism is an interesting phenomenon. Having spent some time in the US I can understand why people from there take a trip over to Mexico to have cosmetic surgery or have their teeth done. The costs in The States is unbelievably high. Good to hear that Mexico is a safe destination for medical tourism.

    • It is isn’t it! But yes, totally understandable – I spent a year in the US (My husband is from Florida) and I probably would have refused hospital treatment if it came down to dealing with pain or going bankrupt! Mexico is a far more affordable alternative – even with your flights and accommodation, which definitely says something about how outrageous prices are in the US!

  3. I’m not surprised that Mexico is cheaper but its definitely good to know that its safe too. The perception that has been formed of the country is that its nor safe but you’re right in putting it across that the violence is restricted to drug gangs and that’s all. There are so many cities that get a bad name because of things that are not related to the common public. Never really considered Mexico as a hub of medicine though. Thanks for sharing!

    • Absolutely – ultimately safety should always trump affordability when it comes to decision making, but yes, despite the perception, Mexico is both :)

      I think it’s very easy to hear that a destination is “unsafe” and apply that brush quite broadly, but gang violence doesn’t mean that the medical industry is unsafe and so forth.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

  4. I have to admit, I never really thought about going to another country for medical reasons. The way I see it (as I live in the UK and stuck on an island), is that we still gotta pay for flights and everything else if going to somewhere else in Europe where the med bills are cheaper, but by the time other costs gets involved, its still open wallet surgery.

    Might be a little bit different if you are a U.S. citizen going into Mexico for this reason (and I dont blame them, med bills in the USA are skyrocketing by the looks of it!) :O

    • I’m very fortunate that we have an affordable system of healthcare in Australia, though I’ve not yet found myself in need of optional surgeries, for which I know there are very long waiting lists.

      But yes, it’s definitely the reality that in the US, even once you’ve paid for your flights and accommodation, your total costs are still a savings on what the bill would have been at home. So why not incorporate a holiday right!!

  5. Interesting. A lot of people I know go to Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador to get plastic surgery. It’s amazing how cheap it is there, but safety has to be the most important factor.

    • Absolutely agree that safety should be the most important factor – you let this fall off your priorities list and you’ll be paying far more than the initial cost of your treatment!

  6. Wow, this is actually a very timely article for me since I live in the US and actually have to have dental work done soon! I’ve decided to do it in my home country of the Philippines, as it’s also become a popular medical/dental tourism destination.

    I never considered Mexico previously, but you definitely bring up some good points about the country’s overall safety and how many foreign residents are happily living there.

    I should really look into it next time– just sucks that of course in the US media, most of the medical procedures you see done in Mexico are the “botched” ones from shady practitioners, when there are so many successful/reputable ones (that of course you don’t hear about).

    • I’ve heard that the Philippines is very good too – and a great choice if it’s your native country :)

      Mexico is a far safer place than most people give it credit for, and when it comes to health care / elective surgeries, it really doe offer incredible value.

      There are going to be shady practitioners in every country, so it’s absolutely essential to do your research. Sad that the media seizes up on those from a specific country and doesn’t highlight the professional organizations equally – wouldn’t make for good TV if everyone was happy I guess!!

  7. You are right. Sometimes we are carried away by the movies or poor journalism. The ground reality may be entirely different! Would love to come to Mexico some day!

    • Absolutely – I think it’s very easy to hear that a destination is “unsafe” and apply that brush quite broadly, but gang violence doesn’t mean that the medical industry is unsafe and so forth.

      Hope you do have the chance to visit Mexico one day!

  8. Yes, Mexico sometimes get a bad rep of being dangerous, but, it’s great how you pointed out that tourists are not targeted. I think, ironically, Mexico has a home-y feel to it and no one should be discouraged because they think it’s not safe there. It’s not safe anywhere if you put it into perspective, but, I’d love a topnotch medical service at a cheaper price!

    • Amen to that! Yes, I think in the age we’re now living in, it’s not travel which is unsafe, it’s life! And you’re right – Mexico has a lovely, welcoming, authentic feel about it – we loved our time there!

      If you’re trying to find affordable elective surgeries or dental care, can highly recommend Mexico. Obviously make sure you’ve researched a legitimate clinic / hospital though :)

  9. This is great to see. I think this trend is likely to continue. India also receives a lot of Medical tourists nowadays both from neighbouring countries who need better facilities and also from the west, who like the much cheaper facilities here.

    Developed economies are naturally more expensive and also, if you can enjoy a good vacation and see something new while getting treated, why not!

    • I agree – I think that while already a large trend, it’s only going to get bigger as it becomes easier to travel. Countries like India and Mexico, and anywhere else with affordable, quality healthcare have a big opportunity to really dominate this market.

      And why not combine a holiday with a medical trip if it’s affordable – best way to recover!

  10. Hey Megan! I have not consider Mexico as medical tourism destination but after seeing all the price comparisons, in fact US woman can have breast lift done in Mexico and still save lots of money. Of course the country is save, apart from some areas. But there are many great clinics so i would not be worried about it.

    • Awesome Veronika, can highly recommend it – Glad our price comparisons were helpful for you :)

  11. Mexico is becoming big in medical tourism, in the Dental field many from the US and Canada are coming to get dental work done that in their local dental office would be overpriced.

    Prices do not have to be big to assure you a quality work and results, but should be affordable so many can get what they need for a better lifestyle.

    • Absolutely Junio – totally agree that prices don’t have to be astronomical to ensure quality results. This does have to be balanced out obviously with proper research into the various industries, countries, and markets, because often just because something is cheaper doesn’t guarentee quality results, but in terms of comparison between Mexico and America, the US just has such a distortedly high mark up!

  12. I go to Mexico for all my dental work and have for years. Dental work is done differently in Mexico and is less painful. The cost is between 30 to 40% of what it is in the states. I have never had a problem.

    • Great to hear that you have had good experiences Susan :)

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