If you’re wondering if Cancun is safe, look no further! This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about staying safe in Mexico’s most popular vacation destination.
Cancun is a Mexican city located on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Riviera Maya. It is a popular tourist destination known for its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and Mayan ruins.
Since the early 1990s, Cancun has undergone rapid development and is home to numerous high-rise hotels, resorts, and luxury condos. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with many bars and nightclubs.
However, Cancun has also been plagued by crime in recent years. In 2018, the Mexican government issued a travel warning for visitors to the state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun is located) due to an increase in violent crime.
Despite these warnings, Cancun remains a popular tourist destination, and tens of thousands of visitors flock to its shores yearly.
Is Cancun Safe for Tourist?
The answer is yes! Cancun is generally safe for tourists, but some areas are more dangerous than others. The most dangerous areas are typically off the beaten path and away from the tourist areas. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and not to venture into areas that look unsafe.
There are also some safety concerns specific to Cancun. Some reports of sexual assault at resorts in the area, so it is important to be cautious when traveling alone or with family members. There have also been instances of guests being robbed while staying at all-inclusive resorts.
Cancun Crime Statistics
Cancun is a beautiful resort town in Mexico, known for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and stunning views. It’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 4 million visitors each year.
Despite its popularity, Cancun has seen its fair share of crime. In 2018, there were 1,006 reported theft, robbery, and burglary cases in Cancun. This number increased to 1,379 in 2019.
The good news is that the overall crime rate in Cancun has been on the decline in recent years. In 2021, there were 1,257 reported theft, robbery, and burglary cases – a 9% decrease from 2019.
Pickpockets In Cancun
Pickpocketing is defined as theft from a person, a crime increasing in popularity among thieves. Many tourists are unaware of the risk of pickpocketing and are often targets because they carry valuables such as cash, credit cards, and passports.
You can do a few things to protect yourself from becoming a victim of pickpocketing:
- Store your valuables close to your body.
- Wear a money belt or keep your valuables in a secure place, such as a locked hotel safe.
- Don’t flash your cash or valuables in public.
Avoid Drinking Cancun Tap Water
Water in Cancun is not recommended to drink. The tap water is contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other serious illnesses. It’s important to avoid drinking any tap water, including from the sink and shower. Stick to bottled or boiled water for drinking, brushing your teeth, and washing your face. And be sure only to buy bottled water from reputable sources.
Cancun is a beautiful and popular vacation destination, but it’s also home to some scams. Here are some of the most common scams in Cancun and how to avoid them:
The Timeshare Scam
This is probably the most well-known scam in Cancun. You’ll be approached by someone offering a free tour of a timeshare property, with the promise of gifts if you sit through the presentation. But once you’re there, you’ll be pressured into buying a timeshare you don’t want and can’t afford. If you’re not interested in a timeshare, politely decline and walk away.
The ATM Skimming Scam
This is where crooks attach devices to ATMs that capture your card information when you insert your card into the machine. The devices will then record your card information and give the criminals access to your account. If you’re using a machine that looks suspicious, don’t use it.
The Taxi Scam
This is when a taxi driver refuses to use the meter and overcharges you for a ride. Use your phone to look up the closest taxi stand to avoid taxis on the street looking for customers. This way you can safe money in your Cancun tour.
Natural Disasters (Hurricane)
Natural disasters can be unpredictable and destructive. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and dangers that may be present. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you find yourself in the path of a natural disaster:
- Be aware of your surroundings and monitor local weather reports for updates on the situation.
- If possible, evacuate to a safe location before the storm hits.
- Stay indoors and away from windows during severe weather conditions.
- Avoid using electrical equipment or appliances until authorities have declared it safe to do so.
- Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas – turn around and find an alternate route.
- Help others stay safe by practicing good hygiene.
- Stay calm and seek help if you or someone else becomes injured or lost during a storm.
- When the storm has passed, check on your friends, family, and neighbors who may need assistance after the disaster.
Is Cancun Safe for Female Travelers?
The simple answer is yes. But women travelers should be extra cautious when visiting Cancun. There have been many reports of sexual assault and theft in the area. It is important to stay in well-lit and populated areas, avoid walking alone at night and keep valuables out of sight.
Despite the risks, millions of women visit Cancun every year and have a great time. By following simple safety precautions, you can too.
Things To Avoid In Cancun
Here are a few things you should avoid while visiting this Mexican resort town.
Avoid Taking Taxi From the Airport
When landing in Cancun, avoiding taking a taxi from the airport is best. There have been reports of taxis overcharging tourists and, in some cases, even robbing them. It is always best to call a reputable taxi company or take a local bus or hotel shuttle. If you must take a taxi from the airport, only use authorized taxis and agree on a fare before getting in the car.
Don’t Buy Things at High Price; Try Bargain
One of the most important things to remember is not to buy things at high prices. Try bargain instead. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous vendors.
If you are looking for souvenirs, bargain with the vendor before making a purchase. Vendors often start with a high price, but they will come down if you bargain with them.
Don’t Book Tours from Stand-Alone Tourist Stands
When planning a trip to Cancun, be sure to do your research and book your tour from a reputable company. There are many stand-alone tourists stands throughout the city that offers tours, but not all of them are reputable or safe.
Some stands may overcharge you for services, while others may not provide the level of safety and security you expect. When booking a tour from a stand-alone tourist stand, ask about the company’s safety policies and procedures.
If possible, try to book a tour through a company based in Cancun or with an office in the city. This will help ensure that you get a quality tour from a reputable source.
Avoid Cancun Visit During Spring Break
Cancun is not the place for you if you’re looking for a safe spring break destination. Thousands of college students descend on the city every year, looking to party and let loose. This can lead to dangerous situations, as people are more likely to engage in risky behavior when surrounded by friends and alcohol.
There have been reports of sexual assault and blackouts in Cancun, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and travel in groups. If you decide to visit Cancun, stay in a well-lit and populated area, and don’t accept drinks from strangers.
Overall, it’s best to avoid Cancun during spring break. Plenty of other destinations are just as fun but much safer.
Safety Tips For Cancun
Follow the basic safety measures, and you can have a great time in Cancun with peace of mind.
Stay in Safe Areas
It’s important to be aware of the areas that are safe to visit and those that should be avoided. There are four main areas in Cancun: the Hotel Zone, Downtown, Puerto Juarez, and Playa del Carmen.
The Hotel Zone is the most popular tourist destination in Cancun. It’s home to world-famous resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. This area is generally safe for visitors, but it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at night.
Downtown Cancun is the city center full of shopping malls, government buildings, and local businesses. This area is safe during the day but can be dangerous at night due to crime.
Puerto Juarez is located on the mainland of Cancun and is another popular tourist destination. It’s known for its shopping, restaurants, nightlife, and beaches. According to TripAdvisor, this area should be avoided at night due to robberies and assaults on tourists.
Playa Del Carmen is a beach town located across the bay from Cancun. It’s known for its nightlife and shopping, but it can be dangerous at night. There have been reports of muggings and sexual assaults on tourists in the area.
Store Your Money in a Secure Safe
When packing for your trip to Cancun, don’t forget to bring a secure place to store your money. Whether you’re carrying cash or cards, you’ll want to ensure your wallet is safe from pickpockets and thieves.
Here are a few tips to keep your money safe while you’re in Cancun:
- Keep your wallet in a front pocket or money belt when you’re out and about. This will make it harder for someone to snatch it without you noticing.
- Only carry the cash and cards that you need for the day. Leave unnecessary valuables in your hotel room safe.
- Keep an eye on your surroundings when withdrawing money from ATMs. Shield the keypad with your hand when entering your PIN.
- Don’t flash around large amounts of cash in public places.
Prepare Your Bag For Day Trips
As you begin packing your bag for your day trip, remember that you’ll need to bring everything you need to stay safe while you’re away from home. Here are a few things to remember as you’re packing:
- First, pack any essential medications or first-aid supplies you or your family might need.
- Next, be sure to pack snacks and plenty of water. It’s important to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the day.
- Lastly, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen and insect repellent. These will help keep you comfortable and protected from the elements.
By following these simple tips, you can rest assured that you and your family will have a safe and enjoyable day trip!
Carry A Paper Or Digital Copy Of Your Passport
Carrying a paper copy of your passport is always a good idea, no matter where you travel. If you lose your passport or it is stolen, having a paper copy will make it much easier to get a replacement.
In addition to carrying your passport with you, it is also a good idea to keep a digital copy on your phone or in the cloud. That way, if you lose your passport, you will still have all the information you need to get a replacement.
If you are traveling to Cancun or anywhere in Mexico, it is especially important to have a paper copy of your passport. This is because getting a replacement in Mexico can be very complicated and time-consuming.
Stay Away from Drugs
The best way to avoid problems is to stay away from drugs. Drug dealers are often involved in other criminal activity, and tourists are easy targets. If you must use drugs, be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and only use them in moderation.
Another way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings. You should trust your gut feeling whenever something does not feel right around you. Don’t walk alone at night and avoid areas known for crime or violence.
What To Do If Something Happens
There’s no need to worry if something happens while you’re in Cancun. The police are very efficient and helpful, and there are plenty of hospitals and clinics if you need medical assistance. Here’s what to do if you find yourself in a difficult situation:
If you’re the victim of a crime, you should first go to the nearest police station to file a report. The police will be able to help you and give you information about what to do next.
If you need medical assistance, there are plenty of hospitals and clinics in Cancun that can help you if it’s a serious emergency, dial 066 for an ambulance.
If you have any accommodation or other service problems, don’t hesitate to contact your hotel or tour operator for help.
Finally, Is Cancun Safe?
Cancun is a beautiful, sunny destination perfect for a relaxing vacation. However, it is important to know the potential safety risks before traveling. There are areas of Cancun that can be unsafe, especially at night. It is important to research your hotel and its area before you book and to take precautions while traveling. With a little planning and common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Cancun.