We have been to Cancun many times over the years and one of the main questions that we always get is “Is Cancun safe?” Truthfully, the situation has always been fluid and while we have personally felt safe in Cancun, it is important to check your government website warnings, follow basic safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Mexico takes its tourism seriously and they want international visitors to continue to spend their dollars so they are working hard to keep Cancun safe, especially in the tourist zones and the tourist hotspots.
Is Cancun Safe to Visit?
Cancun is located in the State of Quintana Roo which also includes Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, and the Riviera Maya. These areas bring in a lot of dollars into Mexico, and this is certainly one of the safer areas in Mexico especially if you compare it to other states in the country. If you follow these tips; and do your own research, you will find that you will feel a lot safer on your next trip should you choose to travel to Cancun.
Cancun is generally safe for travelers but take necessary precautions and take government website travel alerts into consideration. Follow safety tips like avoiding walking alone at night and sticking to well-known establishments. Familiarize yourself with local laws, use reputable transportation services, and opt for filtered water when traveling in Cancun!
Mexico Travel Advisories
For the latest advisory warnings visit the US State Department’s Website. Right now the State Department website warns that ” Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico.” However, when you read further it states, “Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To the Yucatan State.
Canada currently has a warning of “High rates of violent crime, such as homicides, kidnappings, carjacking, and assaults, including in popular tourist destinations such as the Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum), and Acapulco.” It states that drug cartels have a presence in tourist areas. There has been intergang fighting at establishments frequented by tourists where innocent bystanders have been killed or injured.
Incidents like this can happen in any large city or tourist destination. To put things into perspective, Cancun currently has a crime index of 56.33. When you look at the crime rate in New Orleans, Cancun is much lower than the rating of 67.92. See the comparison here.
Cancun’s Current Safety Situation
Cancun’s security has been under a microscope with incidents of criminal activity that involve tourists. With that, great actions have been taken by the Mexican government to make sure that visitors and citizens are kept safe in Cancun. According to the US State Departments, the Yucatan Peninsula is the safest region in Mexico for Americans in 2023. However, the State Department does have a travel advisory of “exercise increased caution” in the state of Quintana Roo.
Crime Rates in Cancun
Cancun has a crime rate that is similar to many major cities in the United States, most of which revolve around drug-trafficking turf wars and gang-related violence. Tourists are rarely the target and if you keep yourself out of trouble. Avoid buying drugs, don’t stay out until the wee hours of the morning and limit your alcohol consumption off the resort. By following common sense safety measures, you can lower your chances of any incident.
Compared to other Mexican cities, Cancun’s crime rate remains relatively low – meaning vacationers shouldn’t be too concerned about any crimes during their visit. But they still should exercise a degree of caution.
Mexican Government’s Efforts
The Mexican government has increased security around Cancun International Airport with the dispatch of extra police forces and protection systems; in order to put a stop to petty crime that mainly targets travelers.
In order to protect Cancun’s standing as a favored tourist spot, the Mexican government has taken extra security steps. These involve greater police presence at popular tourist areas such as resorts within the Hotel Zone, surveillance cameras, and gated entrances for visitors.
Initiatives were also undertaken to reduce corruption among law enforcement in this area, which resulted in numerous police officers being relieved of their posts along with several top-level personnel being removed from office due to misconduct. You can read about it here.
Collaboration between companies operating locally and people working in tourism also supports a safer atmosphere. There are extra tourist police, state police, national guard, and even the Navy patrolling the beaches.
The Hotel Zone
Staying within the Hotel Zone Cancun is one of the safest areas to stay in Cancun. Police patrols, surveillance cameras, and gated resorts all provide an extra layer of security for guests staying at the numerous high-end accommodations in this area. That doesn’t mean you should let your guard down we still recommend that you avoid walking alone at night or in secluded areas.
Cancun is a popular destination for Spring Break and young adults love to hit the clubs of Playa del Carmen or Downtown Cancun partying the nights away. Our advice is to party responsibly. If you decide to go downtown Cancun to party for the night, exercise increased caution if you are going to local bars, stay in groups, don’t over drink, and make sure to use an authorized taxi. It is when you drink too much and let your guard down that you become a target.
Best Practices for Staying Safe in Cancun
When vacationing in Cancun it is important to remember that even though you are enjoying a vacation in popular tourist destinations, that doesn’t mean you let all common sense go out the window. A lot of people tend to think they are invincible on vacation, but this is when things can go wrong. Visitors to Cancun can have a great experience if they use common sense and exercise safety precautions. When visiting Quintana Roo or any other Mexican State, keep a few things in mind.
Cancun Airport Safety
Landing at the airport can be one of your most vulnerable times. The arrivals area is crowded and confusing and you may easily fall for a travel scam. It is at this time that you should exercise caution and think before you accept any rides, offers or help from a “good samaritan”. Despite its relatively low rate of violent offenses, visitors entering through Cancun airport can still fall victim to potential scams such as fake taxi drivers and pickpocketing in crowded locations.
Our safety advice for landing at the airport is to a private transfer in advance to your hotel, keep an eye on your valuables, and don’t leave anything unattended. If you need cash, go directly to the ATM, but we suggest bringing American dollars and small bills with you.
There are many different ways to get around Cancun. If you want more freedom, we recommend renting a car. We have also taken local transportation without incident. However, if you want to have added safety, booking an organized tour is a good option. You can book a night out bar hopping with a local guide, city tours with a guide and excursions with a guide making it safer to travel.
Taxis and Ridesharing Services
Travelers in Cancun can enjoy secure and reliable transportation options by utilizing authorized taxis or reliable apps like Uber. When getting into a cab make sure to ask them to put on the meter. Also, plan your route ahead of time, and be aware of the approximate costs before setting off so as not to be scammed.
Ridesharing services such as Uber are available in Cancun. But use caution as there have been reports of violence between taxi drivers and Uber drivers due to contract disputes. . If you are staying in a resort, we recommend using the taxi drivers that they have a contract with otherwise, you will have to go off the resort to book an Uber.
Buses and Public Transportation
Cancun’s buses and public transportation are typically reliable, inexpensive, and easy to access for anyone who is looking to discover the city. Public transportation is generally safe, but it is better to not ride public transport alone or late at night.
Rental Cars and Driving Tips
Using a rental car in Cancun can be an ideal way to enjoy the sights and attractions at your own pace. Make sure to book with trusted car hire agencies we use RentalCars.com. You will have to get additional insurance Third Party Liability and Public Liability Insurance are mandatory. And make sure you avoid being on roads after dark.
By observing these tips people will get all benefits associated with renting cars while feeling safe traveling through Cancun’s streets as well as reveling in views of its glorious bright blue Caribbean Sea.
Food and Drink Safety in Cancun
Food is generally safe to eat in Mexico, especially in popular destinations. Our general rule when eating is that it should be avoided unless it is cooked or able to be peeled. When eating at restaurants, we always look for places that are packed with locals. This was you know it will be fresh. Think about raw foods that would be washed in tap water. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, we don’t eat them unless they are cooked or can be peeled.
Tap Water Safety
Visitors to Cancun should not drink unfiltered tap water, and it is recommended that they stick to bottled water. We like to use a SteriPen so that we don’t contribute to plastic and avoid ice.
Although tests may show local tap water as safe enough for drinking according to regulations, there can still be microorganisms present which could lead to health problems.
Street Food and Restaurant Precautions
We have eaten street food in Mexico and it is delicious, but tourists should still be cautious when choosing where to eat. Don’t eat salad or vegetables that aren’t cooked and make sure the meat is freshly cooked in front of you. You don’t want to eat something that has been sitting in the heat for hours. Select freshly prepared meals, steer clear of uncovered dishes, and go for a well-known, busy place to eat.
Health and Medical Safety in Cancun
When visiting Mexico we highly recommend having travel insurance. Medical emergencies can happen and it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. You may also want to look into what medications and vaccines you need. Make sure that your routine vaccines are up to date and you may consider additional vaccines. Hepatitis A and B are good to get and you may want to update your tetanus. For up to date travel health notices in Mexico, visit the CDC website.
Mosquito-borne illnesses can also be an issue, so pack bug spray and wear lightweight long sleeves if going into the jungle. In case of a medical emergency, there are healthcare services available that tourists can access if required – adding another layer of protection on top of their Mexico travel insurance policy.
Is Cancun Dangerous for Solo Travelers?
Many people travel to Cancun as solo travelers and it is considered generally safe to visit alone. Before traveling, solo travelers should research the area and let people know where they will be. Check in with family and friends back home frequently by providing them with information about where you’ll be going during each part of your journey so they know your whereabouts. By adhering to these basic guidelines for security, an unforgettable trip awaits any adventurous solo traveler who decides to explore this picturesque Mexican destination.
A lot of our recommendations are to not walk alone at night or in secluded areas, so if you are traveling alone, stay in lit areas, don’t stay out too late, and stick with the crowds.
Make sure to choose a safe hotel in a good area, use trustworthy transportation services, and avoid any illegal drugs or areas with high crime. Signing up for local tours can provide additional safety as you’ll be able to go sightseeing in a group with an expert guide. Plus you’ll make friends with some other tourists.
Is Cancun Safe for a Solo Female Traveler?
Cancun is largely considered secure for solo female travelers as well. The same recommendations can be made to avoid deserted areas and walking alone at night and take taxis. Choose safe accommodation, preferably in the hotel zone and use common sense and take extra precautions.
Women are more vulnerable than male travelers and a woman can catch unwanted attention. Don’t go out alone late at night, use trustworthy taxis, don’t wear expensive jewelry, and the hotel room safe for your valuables.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Cancun safe right now 2023?
The US State Department notes that Cancun has friendly locals and is one of the safest areas in Mexico, with a low crime rate. So you can have an amazing experience by planning your getaway to this destination come 2023! Relax knowing you will be safe during your stay here. Making it absolutely unforgettable.
How safe is Cancun for American tourists?
The US State Department has assessed Cancun as being one of the safest places to visit in Mexico, and thus it is Safe for tourists making a trip there in 2023. To ensure you enjoy your time whilst still staying secure, practice caution with regards to where you go, and who you talk to and always be aware of your surroundings; if done so this will help guarantee an enjoyable stay.
Is Cancun safe to walk around?
When visiting Cancun, travelers should always take precautions to remain safe. The Hotel Zone in particular offers a secure atmosphere with numerous all-inclusive resorts, international hotels, and beaches for visitors to enjoy without fear of crime rates that are low outside the hotel zone.
Overall it is possible to have an unforgettable trip when exercising caution and keeping safety measures at hand during your time here, which will result in a rewarding experience.
Is Cancun safe at an all-inclusive?
When it comes to booking an all-inclusive holiday in Cancun, you can be confident that the resort is secure. Most properties have measures such as security guards with firearms to make sure visitors feel safe during their stay.
With some planning and investigation beforehand, travelers will be able to enjoy a stress-free break away from home in one of Mexico’s picturesque cities.
Is it still safe to travel to Cancun right now?
With care and knowledge of local customs, Cancun is an excellent destination for travelers that remains relatively secure. Hence, caution and respect should be exercised in order to make sure a safe journey is had while visiting the area.
Cancun is an attractive tourist destination to visit, offering a secure holiday when the appropriate steps and precautions are taken. Staying up-to-date on safety updates, bearing in mind some basic security tips, staying up to date on current Mexico travel warnings, and keeping any dangers that may arise at bay will enable travelers to enjoy Cancun fully without worry.
So get ready for your trip by packing all you need (including sunscreen) for what promises to be an unforgettable experience – complete with sand, sunshine, and of course memories galore!