Are you planning to visit Cancun, Mexico, soon and are considering whether the water can be drank safely? This is the guide!
I’m a travel writer who resides in Cancun, and this is one of the most frequent questions I receive – as well as a host of other nagging questions about cooking or showering. And, of course, brushing your teeth!
In Cancun’s definitive drinking water guide, I’ll provide solutions to the frequently asked questions. I’ll also share strategies to avoid illness and where you can go to get help if you require it.
Check out the article: Can you drink the water in Cancun?
Can you drink the water in Cancun?
Indeed, the water in Cancun isn’t safe to drink. It is recommended to use purified or bottled water during your visit.
Water from the taps in Cancun could contain dangerous bacteria, viruses, and parasites that could make you sick when drinking it.
In general, water quality isn’t safe to drink in any part of Mexico, and Cancun is no different.
Although water filtration systems could be present in certain regions, it’s best to be in the safe zone and drink only water bottles or tap water that have been properly cleansed.
Is drinking tap water safe in Cancun?
The water from the tap in Cancun isn’t safe for drinking, so you should choose to purify or buy bottled water when traveling in the area.
Local Mexican people avoid tap water and prefer drinking water bottles or purified water.
In addition, since the people of Mexico don’t have access to Mexican tap water, you’re safe in the knowledge that nobody will risk using water that isn’t purified to prepare food or drinks.
Why can’t you drink the water in Cancun?
The water you drink in Cancun is not purified and is contaminated with tiny contaminants that could cause you to become sick.
The water filtration systems of Mexico are not able to purify drinking water according to safe standards as the majority of Western countries and, in some cases, contain harmful viruses, bacteria or parasites.
Due to the water’s poor quality, it is recommended to opt for drinking water that is filtered or bottled during your visit to Cancun.
Drinking Water in Cancun, Mexico: FAQs
Here are the solutions to the top questions asked about drinking water in Cancun:
The water isn’t suitable for drinking within the Cancun Hotel Zone, and it’s recommended to use bottles or purified water. The tap water in Cancun may contain toxins that can cause sickness.
You should be able to clean your teeth using tap water, as long as you don’t drink the water.
It’s unsafe to drink water in Mexico resorts, and it is recommended to drink bottled water or purified water while visiting.
Although some resorts with larger populations may have a water filtration system, this is unique. It’s best to stay safe by not drinking tap water at Mexico resorts.
All-inclusive hotels in Cancun offer the option to use bottled water or free water to keep guests hydrated throughout their stay.
Coffee served in hotels, restaurants and resorts is made from pure water, which means you’re assured that it’s safe to drink.
When making coffee at your hotel room or rental property, make sure to use purified or bottled water when you add coffee to your machine.
The most reputable restaurants and resorts always use purified water for washing vegetables, lettuce and other produce, so long as the salad isn’t wilted or rotten. It should be safe to consume.
But, if you’re eating in a stand selling street food or a restaurant that isn’t reputable, It is crucial to be aware of the overall hygiene. If you need more clarification, then don’t consume it.
Yes, showering in the water of Cancun is entirely safe. Be careful not to drink water during the shower; you’ll be perfectly fine.
Yes, you can cook using water in Cancun by boiling the water. Boiling water is safe for cooking food items such as rice, pasta or eggs that have been hard-boiled.
But, if you intend to avoid boiling water or simply washing vegetables or fruits, using filtered water for any food preparation is recommended.
It’s also typical to find grocery stores selling produce wash, which you can use to wash fresh vegetables and fruits before cooking.
What happens when you drink the water in Cancun?
If you drink the water from Cancun, there’s a chance that you will not get sick.
However, some are affected by the condition known as traveler’s diarrhoea (TD). TD is a condition that can lead to cramping, diarrhoea, dehydration, as well as other signs.
While it’s usually not necessarily serious, it can be uncomfortable, and in extreme cases, it may require treatment with antibiotics.
If you notice severe signs following drinking water from Cancun, consult a physician or medical professional to seek treatment.
Where to buy water for drinking in Cancun
The tap water isn’t potable to consume in Cancun. Here’s the best place to find drinkable water:
The best places to purchase water bottles in Cancun are in convenience stores. The most well-known grocery stores that are located within Cancun are Oxxo and 7-Eleven.
They are in various blocks around the main areas therefore you should be able to find one on your travels.
In a convenience store, you can purchase several water bottles in various sizes, ranging from a 16oz bottle to a litre up to a 5-gallon Garrafon.
The most popular water brands found in Cancun and other regions of Mexico include Bonafont, Epura, and Ciel.
You must have a particular preference for water to notice the difference in water quality.
Apart from convenience stores, water purification is also available in all major supermarkets in Cancun, including Walmart and Soriana.
Bottled water is usually more affordable at supermarkets. Therefore, it’s an excellent place to buy larger bottles if you are on a tight budget but are OK with carrying larger bottles.
If you are a resident of Cancun or are planning to stay there for a while, the most common method to obtain water is by using the water delivery service.
Numerous Cancun water delivery services are available, supplying an enormous amount of water upon your request.
You avail this service through WhatsApp. The most effective way to locate numbers is in groups for expats on WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
Most residents will use a stand-alone water dispenser or electric pump to make removing the water from the heavy Garrafon Jugs easier.
How to prevent becoming sick in Cancun
Use these water and food precautions to avoid getting sick when visiting Cancun:
Do not drink drinking water from the tap:
A simple tip, but one that is vitally important: never drink tap water at all! It could be a necessary adjustment if you’re from a region where you’re used to drinking water directly out of the faucet. Be aware of the amount of water you drink and drink only from pure sources.
The Pepto Bismol:
It’s always an excellent idea to include a small amount of sizeable Pepto Bismol to your Mexico list of items to pack! Food poisoning and water sickness aren’t uncommon for the most well-off of us. Pepto Bismol can be a fantastic relief from diarrhea, an upset stomach or digestive issues.
Since a clean water system must be bought in Cancun and elsewhere, choosing alcohol-free drinks or soft drinks during your stay is simple. Bring the collapsible water bottle, which folds and fits inside your luggage bag or suitcase. Then, you can fill up the water bottle that you can refill to stay hydrated by the beach or in the pool on hot summer days.
Pay attention to what you eat:
While Mexican food is delicious, it can cause you to get sick if the proper sanitation methods are not taken. Be mindful while dining out and be aware of the general hygiene of the food or restaurant stand. Wear gloves? Do they have cross-contamination? If you’re worried about hygiene, fried foods are generally safer than fresh food and vegetables in dirty water.
Hands washed frequently:
Another important way to protect yourself from illness from Mexico is to wash your hands regularly using soap and water or antibacterial gel for your hands. This can stop the spread of germs and prevent harmful bacteria from getting into your mouth.
What should you do if you are sick in Cancun?
Here are some suggestions to do if you are afflicted with sick from food or water in Cancun:
Visit a doctor
If you’re experiencing persistent symptoms, you’ll need to consult a physician. Contrary to those in the United States, it’s very quick, simple and cost-effective to have medical advice in Mexico.
The most severe cases of food or water illnesses may require antibiotics.
Consider using over-the-counter remedies.
For mild symptoms, there are some of the over-the-counter remedies that may help ease stomach discomfort:
- Imodium or Pepto: Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications like Pepto Bismol or Imodium can aid in relieving nausea or heartburn, indigestion diarrhea, stomach upset and heartburn.
- Electrolit: Like Pedialyte, Electrolit is a well-known hydration drink that replenishes electrolytes. It’s a fantastic preventative measure for dehydration. It’s available in a variety of grocery stores as well as convenience stores throughout Mexico.
- Yakult: Yakult is one of the drinks I take whenever I’m experiencing stomach problems. It’s a probiotic drink which comes in a small bottle. It is a good source of lactobacillus and intestinal bacteria. Yakult aids in resetting your digestion. It is available at most supermarkets in Cancun in a 5-count package.
How do I see the doctor in Cancun?
If you need to consult a doctor in Cancun, There are several options for a consultation with a doctor:
Make use of the doctor on call at the hotel or resort you are staying in.
Most big hotels and all-inclusive resorts have a doctor on call to help with medical emergencies for hotel guests. You can call the front desk to inquire about medical treatment if you’re staying in the hotel or resort.
The doctor on call will generally visit your hotel room to conduct a medical check-up and provide the treatment.
Go to the local pharmacy.
If you’re staying in an affordable hotel or rental, you may also visit the local pharmacy for medical consultation and prescription medications.
The major pharmacies in Cancun are Farmacias Similares, Farmacias del Ahorro, and Farmacias Yza. You can do one quick Google search to locate the closest one to your home.
After an examination following the assessment, the doctor at the pharmacy will issue a prescription for the medications required.
There are appointments for walk-ins that are generally available, but it’s crucial to remember that the doctor might need to communicate in a different language. If you don’t know Spanish, consider visiting the Kukulcan Medical Care Center below.
Visit Kukulcan Medical Care
In the middle of The Cancun Hotel Zone, the Kukulcan Medical Care is an urgent care clinic and facility that costs more than a visit to a pharmacy; however, it does have English-speaking doctors and an on-site pharmacy.
Additionally, appointments for walk-ins are generally readily available. While they’re less expensive than pharmacies, they are affordable, especially when you don’t know Spanish and live in a tourist area.
Take a trip to the hospital.
For more severe ailments, some hospital facilities are private in Cancun. They do accept travel insurance. However, they are likely to be quite expensive.
How can you cut down on the price of water costs in Cancun?
If you’re on a tight budget, think about these suggestions to save the cost of drinking water in Cancun:
Purchase a bottle for water purification.
If you plan to be in Mexico for an extended period, consider purchasing a filtering bottle for water.
These are great for backpackers looking to explore more remote areas on the Yucatan peninsula. They may also need access to drinking water in bottles.
I suggest the Water-to-Go filtered water bottle, which comes with integrated water filters that eliminate 99.9999 per cent of the pollutants which can cause illness, including viruses, bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals.
This way, you can drink water safely from any supply (including your tap) without worrying about becoming sick.
A water purifier bottle could help you save money over the long term because you don’t have to buy water bottles daily. Additionally, it’s green because it cuts down on single-use plastics.
Purchase a collapsible water bottle.
Purchasing a collapsible water bottle is also a good idea as an easy way to drink water during your journey to Mexico.
These bottles are simple to transport and take up only a tiny amount of space, which makes them perfect for traveling.
A water bottle in your bag can help you keep hydrated throughout your stay.
Make sure to ask for water that is purified when dining in restaurants.
Another excellent method to save money on drinking water when eating out is to ask for purified water. Just ask your server to provide ” agua de garrafon“.
Many restaurants will initially offer guests bottles of water, which you’ll need to purchase.
But, if you request “agua de Garrafon”, the majority of local eateries will offer you glasses of water purified that is garrafon from the restaurant for free.
Conclusion: Is the water safe in Cancun to Drink?
I hope that this Cancun, Mexico, water safety guide has made it easier for you to know the rules and regulations of drinking water in Mexico. Now you know the water isn’t healthy to consume in Cancun!
Although it might be challenging to adapt to at first, it’s nothing to worry about. Millions of tourists go to Mexico every year and don’t experience any problems with drinking water.
It’s safe to drink faucet water that is available in Cancun. You can buy a water purifier bottle to save money and enjoy safe drinking water.
As an alternative, I recommend purchasing collapsible water bottles to stay watered throughout your trip. Plus, it’s compact and easily fits in your suitcase and travel backpack.
Take care and follow the advice in this article, and you’ll have a pleasant and safe excursion to Cancun!