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Is Cancun Safe? What Every Traveler Should Know in 2023

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Is Cancun safe in 2023? That is the million-dollar question as Cancun is the top destination for many U.S. travelers, but violent crime is soaring in certain areas because tourists are buying drugs from Mexican drug dealers.

Cancún and the 81-mile stretch south of Tulum, known as the Riviera Maya, draw 13 million visitors a year to their lush beaches, golf courses, and all-inclusive luxury resorts.

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The area accounts for nearly half of Mexico’s tourism revenue. It’s also the scene of an alarming rise in murders, mostly fueled by the demand for drugs from the vacationers themselves.

Once an American tourist is murdered travelers begin questioning is Cancun safe. The stories go on and on about one murder after the other and here recently there has been an uptick in carbon monoxide poisoning in Mexico.

The U.S. State Department recently issued an updated Cancun Mexico travel Advisory about U.S. Tourists traveling to Mexico due to the uptick in violence.

“Violent crime—such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery—is widespread and common in Mexico,” warns the State Department.

For years I wouldn’t travel to Mexico because the U.S. media painted this horrific picture of Mexico and I always wondered is Cancun safe.

I believed Mexico was dangerous, I would be killed, kidnapped, and held for ransom by the cartel because of both the Cancun Travel Advisory and the Mexico Travel Advisory 2023 that was issued by the U.S. Government.

As my readers are planning their fall and winter travels I have been receiving more questions than ever about is Cancun dangerous.

If Mexico was all that dangerous people surely wouldn’t keep returning year after year to a dangerous country now would they?

I will discuss the following when it comes to safety in Cancun:

  • Is Cancun Safe to Visit?
  • Is Mexico Safe
  • Cancun Travel Advisory
  • Cancun Crime 
  • How Safe is Cancun
  • Police Extortion
  • Frequently Asked Questions

🤔 Wondering what to pack for Cancun? Yes — Head here for everything you need to pack for your next vacation to Cancun and click here for my Travel Safety essentials as well.

Cancun is one of my favorite places to travel in Mexico, but you must stay vigilant no matter the destination.

The US Mexico Travel Warning states that because 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.

Is Cancun Safe Right Now?

Yes, traveling to Mexico can be dangerous. While many people worry about cartels or criminals preying on tourists in areas like Cancun or Mazatlan, there are much more common risks for travelers like not using your common sense and buying drugs in a foreign country.

If you can’t spend the weekend in another country without smoking weed you should probably be checking yourself into rehab instead of traveling to Cancun.  

Most of the tourists that have been killed in Mexico are due to them buying drugs from the cartel because they were too afraid to fly with weed so someone thought it was a good idea to buy drugs in a foreign country.

When my readers ask me “is Mexico safe”, my response is a resounding yes if you do not go looking for trouble!

For the life of Gawd and I can not stress this enough do not go to a foreign country buying drugs and then play the victim when something bad happens.

Alcohol poisoning, sunburn, big-ass mosquitoes, pickpockets, price gougers, and taxi drivers trying to take advantage of tourists are probably the most dangerous thing you will encounter while traveling to Mexico

The Current State of Cancun Safety

The U.S. Department of State updated the Mexico Travel Advisory and the Mexico country information page on August 22, 2023.  The Travel Advisory includes individual risk assessment levels for each state instead of an advisory for the whole country.

United States Travel Advisory System Overview

The new Travel Advisory system replaces the previous “Travel Alert” and “Travel Warning” designations with a four-tiered system.

Countries are rated with a Travel Advisory level number 1 through 4, based on their risk level to U.S. travelers. The level numbers advise the following: Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions, Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution, Level 3 – Reconsider Travel, Level 4 – Do Not Travel.

Countries assigned a Travel Advisory level of 2 or more will also be assigned a risk indicator.

A risk indicator is a letter that represents a specific reason for the Travel Advisory level number. It also gives particular recommendations for U.S. citizens traveling to that country.

A single country can carry more than one risk indicator depending on the stability and security conditions of its regions. Potential risk indicators include C (Crime), T (Terrorism), U (Civil Unrest), H (Health), N (Natural Disaster), E (Time-limited Event), K (Kidnapping/Hostage Taking), O (Other).

But before you go off the deep end and start imagining things that will likely not occur cancel a trip to Mexico Please find out what is real vs. fake about the Mexico travel warnings.

Mexican Military, Police Called In To Help Protect Tourists In Cancun

The deployment of the Mexican military to safeguard tourists in Cancun has been a crucial measure to ensure the safety and enjoyment of travelers visiting this popular destination.

Cancun’s stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife make it a magnet for tourists from around the world, but it also faces security challenges.

With the Mexican military’s presence, tourists can feel reassured, knowing that dedicated personnel are committed to maintaining a safe environment.

These troops work in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to deter criminal activity, such as drug-related violence and theft, and to provide a sense of security to visitors.

Their presence not only protects tourists but also supports the local economy by maintaining Cancun’s status as a premier vacation spot.

How is The Mexican Government Keeping Cancun Safe?

The Mexican government employs a multi-faceted approach to ensure the safety of Cancun’s residents and visitors.

Law enforcement agencies work diligently to maintain a strong presence throughout the city, regularly patrolling popular tourist areas and collaborating with local businesses to enhance security measures.

Specialized tourist police units are dedicated to assisting and safeguarding visitors, providing a reassuring presence for international travelers.

Additionally, investment in modern surveillance technologies and communication systems aids in monitoring and responding to incidents swiftly.

Community policing initiatives foster a sense of trust and cooperation within the local community, while public awareness campaigns educate tourists about safety measures.

By adopting these comprehensive strategies and continuously addressing security concerns, the Mexican government is committed to preserving Cancun as a safe and inviting destination for all.

Is the Hotel Zone Safe in Cancun

The Hotel Zone in Cancun is generally a safe haven for sun-seekers!

Crime rates in the Hotel Zone tend to be lower than in many major U.S. cities. The local authorities and tourist police keep a vigilant watch, and hotels often have security measures in place.

Still, like anywhere else, it’s wise to keep an eye on your belongings, avoid wandering into dimly lit areas at night (unless you’re on a stargazing mission), and maybe limit your tequila intake to a reasonable level.

So, while Cancun’s Hotel Zone is mostly about sipping margaritas and catching waves, stay sun-kissed, not sun-missed, by staying aware and soaking up the fun responsibly.

Cancun Travel Advisory Fact vs. Fiction

Because Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, there are more than 40,000 police officers stationed throughout all of Quintana Roo which means Cancun safety is important to the country.

If you get up and go to the grocery store every day, go running at your local park, or even go to a concert you should always take precautions no matter the destination.

Are you worried about traveling to Chattanooga, Houston, Chicago, New Orleans, or Memphis? All of these cities have a higher crime rate than Cancun.

The Mexican Tourism Authority and the government want you safe because tourism is Mexico’s number 1 revenue generator and they have pointed to the low number of victims of crime compared to the 28 million American tourists who travel to Mexico each year. 

Know that Cancun is safe and keep these numbers in mind when planning your vacation for Summer and fall break 2023.

As I stated earlier Cancun is safer than most of America’s biggest cities and if you are not worried about traveling within the U.S., especially with the current racial tensions you should be asking if Cancun is safe.

You take road trips with the family to cities like St. Louis, New Orleans, and Kansas City without giving it a second thought so do not allow the media to make you believe Mexico is unsafe. 

Let me be clear the majority of the criminal activity in Cancun, Quintana Roo, and Tulum is from Americans seeking to buy drugs and then cry foul or play the victim when something bad happens. 

Why would anyone be looking to buy drugs in Mexico and think nothing is going to happen?  If you do not go looking for drugs or drug dealers you will be fine but if you decide you must have drugs while on vacation don’t cry later when someone in your party ends up dead.

Cancun Crime vs. United States Crime

Mexico is statistically much safer than the United States.

So why is the U.S. State Dept. sending out Travel Alerts, calling Mexico “A Failed State”, and saying that ALL parts of the country (including popular tourist resorts like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun) are now unsafe for travel?

There has been a lot of news coverage about violence in Mexico. But very little of it notes that Mexico is a HUGE country with thirty-one states (+ the Distrito Federal).

They also fail to mention that most of that violence is drug traffic-related, or that you could count the number of tourists who are affected by it on one hand.

Did you know that, according to the FBI, an estimated 15,241 persons were murdered in the U.S. in 2009 111 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, and almost all of them were involved in illicit drug trafficking, gun-running, or smuggling people across the border to/from the U.S?

Imagine 111 people out of the nearly 8 million visitors (about 1 million of whom make Mexico their full-time home). Do you know who else had 111 murders in one year?

Well, Boston for starters. Then there was Las Vegas. And Orlando. And Indianapolis. Is the State Dept. advising tourists to stay away from those places?

Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens died in Puerto Rico, but did anybody raise a red flag about that? The State Department can’t issue a Travel Warning, because it is not a foreign country

How big is your own city when compared to Mexico? Here are the annual numbers of MURDERS, given by MSA (or Metropolitan Statistical Area)

  • Atlanta – 325
  • Baltimore – 298
  • Boston – 111
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth – 310
  • Detroit – 447
  • Houston – 462 
  • Indianapolis – 111
  • Jacksonville, FL – 120
  • Kansas City – 163 
  • Las Vegas – 133 
  • Los Angeles – 68 
  • Miami-Boca Raton – 377
  • New Orleans – 252 
  • New York City – 778
  • Orlando – 111
  • Philadelphia – 436 
  • Phoenix – 302 
  • San Francisco – 392 
  • St. Louis – 210 
  • Washington, DC – 325 

To put things in perspective, consider that the murder rate in Mexico’s Yucatan State is 2 per 100,000.

That is about the same as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City’s murder rate is 8 per 100,000, despite being the second-largest city on the planet. That is on par with Albuquerque.

Statistically speaking, U.S. travelers are safer in Cancun than they are in most U.S. cities despite media sensationalism.

For a deep dive into this topic, head to my article Is Mexico Safe to Visit?

Getting Around Cancun

Getting around in Cancun is relatively easy and convenient, with various transportation options available for both locals and tourists.

While the city has a reliable public transportation system, many travelers prefer the flexibility of ride-sharing services like Uber which I highly recommend vs. using a taxi so click here to download the mobile app today.

Uber rideshare offers the convenience of door-to-door transportation and often has competitive pricing compared to traditional taxis.

If you opt for traditional taxis, ensure that the taxi is authorized and uses a meter to avoid any pricing disputes because there will be hell to pay if you get in an unauthorized taxi.


As I stated earlier taxis in Cancun can generally be considered safe, but please understand that if you get into an unauthorized taxi and they attempt to rip you off because of a broken meter or some other nonsense it will be extremely hard not to become a victim.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when using taxis in Cancun:

  1. Use Official Taxis: Whenever possible, opt for official taxis from reputable companies. These taxis are usually well-maintained and regulated by authorities, which can enhance your safety.
  2. Authorized Taxi Stands: Use designated taxi stands, such as those at airports, hotels, and popular tourist areas. Avoid hailing taxis from the street, as this can sometimes lead to encountering unlicensed or unregulated drivers.
  3. Negotiate Fare or Use Meters: If the taxi doesn’t have a meter, make sure to agree on the fare before starting the ride. In taxis with meters, ensure that the meter is running and insist on its use to avoid overcharging.
  4. Share Your Location: Make sure someone knows your whereabouts and the taxi’s license plate number before getting in. You can also share this information with a friend or family member.

Keep in mind you will need pesos to pay and you will need the exact amount because taxi drivers will not make changes so remember to have plenty of small bills.

Also, the standard Mexico tipping rate of 15-20%.

Are Uber’s Safe in Cabo San Lucas?

Yes, Uber Rideshare is safe in Cancun  Uber has been operating in Cancun and is generally considered safe and convenient for travelers.

Uber drivers are required to undergo background checks and meet certain standards set by the company, which can contribute to a more secure experience compared to hailing a taxi off the street.

Amazon Travel Safety Must-Haves

The Top-Rated Travel Items

Equip yourself with essentials like insect repellent to ward off tropical critters, and a comprehensive first-aid kit to address any unexpected mishaps. Prepare wisely, and you’ll be ready to explore Costa Rica with confidence. So, pack your safety essentials today and embark on an unforgettable adventure into the heart of the jungle


Safety Tips for Traveling to Cancun

Getting around Cancun can be done safely and easily by Uber Rideshare or by foot but not everyone enjoys walking.

If you’re in a group, hiring a driver to take you between locations might be a good option as well and I personally will never travel again without a personal driver.

You may want to avoid taking public transportation while you’re in Mexico, especially if you’ve had too much to drink.

Be wary of strangers who offer rides in their cars – they are often involved in scams that target tourists.

Taxis are generally safe and reliable; if possible, get one with a working meter rather than an agreed-upon price so that no one tries to con you out of more money at your destination.

No matter the destination it is a good idea to always follow these basic travel safety tips.  Follow these tips while traveling to Cancun:

  • Steer clear of spots with a bad reputation, known gang activity, or places that give you bad vibes. Stick to well-traveled places.
  • Check-in with friends and family back home as often as you can. Make sure someone knows where you’re at and when you expect to check in next.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. This is a good rule of thumb in general, but it’s especially important when traveling alone.
  • Don’t drink too much. Make sure you know your limits. Don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position.
  • Only use ATM machines that are found at reputable local banks or those at your resort.  
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry or watches that might attract unwanted attention.
  • Avoid taking excessive amounts of cash out and about with you.

Stick together with your travel companions rather than splitting up, especially when out late at night. If you plan to drive, make it a point to travel during daylight hours.

Choosing to take a taxi at night or simply hiring a private driver for all of your travels is always a great idea, just to be on the safe side and know which areas to avoid in Cancun.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The recent deaths of six Americans from carbon monoxide poisoning in two separate incidents are putting a spotlight on the risks of staying in an Airbnb or hotel that might not have the appropriate safety measures in place. 

Three guests staying at an apartment in Mexico City booked through Airbnb are believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning last month, Bloomberg reported.

Families of three Americans who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in a rented residence in Mexico City ahead of Dia de Los Muertos – or Day of the Dead – celebrations identified them as two New Orleans teachers and the owner of a Virginia Beach-based candle business.

Another group of American tourists in May died of the same cause at a Sandals Resort in the Bahamas. 

Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, chest pain, and confusion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 400 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning each year, and another 50,000 people visit the emergency department with carbon monoxide poisoning. 

What to Know Before You Travel

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned.

Accidental poisoning can occur when home appliances and systems like furnaces, kerosene heaters, stoves, lanterns, and generators produce fumes that people breathe in. 

I suggest purchasing a carbon monoxide detector and taking it with you just to be on the safe side.

Travelers Diarrhea

Travelers’ diarrhea or Montezuma’s revenge is an intestinal infection that occurs as a result of eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Food handlers who do not wash their hands after they use the bathroom can transmit the infection to people who consume the contaminated food.

You should never drink unfiltered tap water in Mexico. The best way to avoid traveler’s diarrhea or Montezuma’s revenge is to stick to bottled.

If you’re staying at one of the many luxury resorts in Cancun you should be fine and will not have to worry about getting sick from the water.

The typical symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea include:

Safest Areas for Tourists in Cancun

If you do not go to crime-ridden areas in your own city do not go into crime-ridden areas when you travel.  While the crime rate is increasing in Mexico so is the crime in the United States!

The Mexican government wants to keep tourists safe by providing extra security in touristy areas to ensure travelers are safe and you will not have to ask if the Cancun Travel Advisory is necessary.

The safest area to stay in Cancun is still the Hotel Zone which is a 13-mile stretch of beautiful white-sand beaches with luxury hotels and resorts for both families and couples alike.

Tourism authorities in Mexico and Cancun have pointed out that there is rarely violence in Cancun and the numbers are so low that it barely makes a dent in the 28 million American tourists who travel to Mexico and Cancun annually.

Be aware that there has not been any violence within the Hotel Zone – Violence has occurred outside the Hotel Zone and along with other popular vacation spots which have caused many hotels and resorts to tighten their security.

I don’t think you have anything to worry about when traveling to Cancun because Mexico is safe as long you are not buying drugs from the cartel.  (Seems like common sense)

Where to be Cautious in Cancun

Now that we have discussed the safest areas in Cancun for tourists here is a list of areas you should avoid when traveling to Cancun or at a minimum be mindful of your surroundings:

  • Downtown Cancun – Cancun is extremely safe and downtown Cancun is no different so there is no reason to be afraid but be extra diligent and precautious if you are traveling outside of Cancun at night and always notify someone of your location if you are traveling alone. 
  • Shopping in Cancun – If you are like me you love shopping and exploring the local markets but please take proper precautions do not flash money, wear expensive jewelry, and keep your purse closed because pickpocketers will be watching and waiting to make their move.
  • Surrounding Towns– There are plenty of surrounding neighborhoods and towns that are extremely safe and perfect for day trips including Guanajuato, San Cristóbal de las Casas, and Oaxaca City
  • Renting a car in Mexico–  While you should always take precautions while driving in a foreign country, there’s no need to be fearful of driving in Cancun or renting a car. 
  • I rented a car on my last trip and felt extremely safe so no need to worry at all but the U.S. State Department advises using toll roads when possible and avoiding driving alone or at night.

If you decide to rent a car in Cancun don’t forget to buy your Mexico car insurance!

Keeping Cash Safe in Mexico 

Withdrawing cash: Use ATMs in daylight hours and choose ATMs located in areas where there are plenty of other people around or use ATMs situated inside shopping malls.

Carrying cash: Don’t carry large amounts of cash on your person. If you see something you want to buy and you don’t have the cash, a small deposit will always secure the item. Leave excess cash credit/debit cards you don’t expect to need at the hotel.

Bank-card cloning/skimming: Bank card (Debit or Credit Cards) cloning (or skimming) is an issue in Mexico.  Never leave bank cards out of your sight.

If your card has a “chip and pin” ask waiters at bars and restaurants to bring the payment terminal to your table and cover your hand as you enter your PIN.

If the terminal is not portable, or your card does not have “chip and pin” technology, take your card to the cashier to pay: do not allow attendants to take it out of your sight. 

If you are paying for fuel at gas stations with a card, we recommend you only use a credit card (not a debit card) and be extra vigilant as gasoline stations are rife with skimmers.

Valuable documents: Keep your valuable travel documents (especially your passport) safe; passport theft is on the rise worldwide, including in Mexico.

Store cash and other valuables in your hotel room’s safe, the hotel’s safety deposit box or purchase your own safety diversion tool.

Dress down: Avoid walking around dripping jewelry, showing off expensive watches, and other expensive fashion items.

ATM refills: When stand-alone ATMs are being re-filled, you might see armed guards surrounding them.

We recommend you find another ATM instead of waiting around for it to be filled: it can take up to an hour for a machine to be re-filled and tested before it becomes operational again.

How to Deal with Police Extortion in Cancun

We’ve all heard the stories about the corrupt cops south of the border. With stories ranging from extortion to kidnapping, the police in Mexico and the rest of Latin America do not have the best reputation.

Police extortion of tourists detained for minor offenses is often a problem and there have been some grotesque incidents.

The authorities cracked down hard, however, and dismissed hundreds of officers, including some top officials. They claim the problem is under control.

If you are stopped for a traffic violation in Mexico, you will be asked for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and possibly proof of insurance. You will also be told what you did wrong.

 Of course, in the U.S. we would then be issued a ticket that requires us to pay a fine or appear in court at a later date.

If it is a minor infraction don’t bribe them, even so, it is possible that they ask for some money, the amount depends on the seriousness of the infraction, if you pass a red light it is better if they only give you the traffic ticket

If you drive without a license, the car must be impounded and the fine is higher, in that case, I suggest you offer $ 200 pesos (if you look Mexican) if you are blond with blue eyes maybe about $500 pesos

If you are drinking alcohol in the street, the fine is $ 1500 pesos or 24 hours of jail, you will probably have to pay your full fine.

Those are the most common crimes for which a police officer can pull you over, obviously, if you steal or kill, the amount will be considerably higher

The key is to remain calm and accept your mistake and when it is inevitable that they take you to jail then subtly offer the bribe, it is like a negotiation, start with a low amount and they will go up to agree on an amount.

How Not to Deal with Corrupt Mexican Police

 Don’t be a tough guy

This is the worst thing that you can do.  If you act tough and get angry and make threats, the officer will simply arrest you for being disorderly or assaulting him or her, etc.

This is a very big no-no. Towing your car is technically something that the officer can’t do, even though they will threaten it, but if you give them enough of a desire to cause you harm they will absolutely find a way to make it happen.

While most officers will not do anything illegal beyond soliciting bribes for traffic violations, they most certainly can act above the law when they really want to.

Don’t give them a reason to want to, because you will not win. Having your car towed (and potentially never seeing it again) is a lot more expensive than paying him one hundred bucks.

Book Tours through a Reputable Tour Company or Hotel

Booking excursions through resorts in Mexico takes away a lot of the stress of vacation planning. Travelers can land in Cancun or Tulum and float directly onto a beach next to the bright blue Caribbean Sea.

No need to worry about things to do in Puerto Vallarta; just wait to be swept into the ocean on a catamaran, or jet ski, or go swimming with the sharks.

This is all possible with proper excursion planning. However, book the wrong excursion and those stress levels may just double.

Spanish Travel Phrases You Must Know

I highly suggest taking a few Spanish lessons and learning some key phrases if you are traveling to Cancun.  It is most definitely not a requirement to learn Spanish but it is beneficial to learn a key few Spanish phrases. 

It will help your trip go on without a hitch and keep you safe. 

If you decide to travel to any part of Mexico please follow the rules below:

  • DO NOT BUY DRUGS! ??????
  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Carry a map
  • Purchase a hotel lock
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.

U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Are Mexico Resorts Safe

As I stated earlier there have been incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning at resorts, which have left some potential visitors with questions and doubts regarding the safety of hotels in Mexico.

Staying Safe at Mexico Resorts:

  1. Research and Choose Reputable Resorts: Before booking your stay, research the resort’s safety record, reviews, and certifications. Look for resorts that prioritize guest safety, regularly inspect their facilities, and maintain proper ventilation systems.
  2. Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Pack a portable carbon monoxide detector or inquire whether the resort provides them in guest rooms. These devices will alert you to the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide and provide an early warning in case of a leak.
  3. Familiarize Yourself with Resort Safety Measures: Upon arrival, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the resort’s emergency procedures, including evacuation routes, fire exits, and safety guidelines. Ensure you know how to report any concerns about gas appliances or ventilation to the appropriate resort staff.
  4. Keep your valuables safe: For added peace of mind, consider purchasing a diversion device to keep your valuables safe like a clothes hanger, Coke can, lint roller, and even a bible that all doubles as a safe.

Safest Hotels in Cancun

The safest area to stay in Cancun is still the Hotel Zone, a 13-mile arc of beautiful white-sand beaches lined with luxury resorts.

Many hotels are all-inclusive and discourage non-guests on the property, and high-end resorts tend to have robust security.

Avoid staying or partying in downtown Cancun, where most of the recent violence has taken place.

Best and Safest Resorts in Cancun

Cancun is known for both mega resorts and luxury boutique hotels with multiple restaurants, bars, and nightlife activity. So if you're looking for a getaway I have visited Cancun's best hotels so you will know where to stay for your ultimate vacation to Cancun!

Follow These Simple Rules to Stay at the Beach in Cancun

1. Lifeguards are there to keep you safe.

2. Swim near a lifeguard tower; if there isn’t one near you, swim away from people or even better, from another person in a floating device such as an inner tube or raft.

3. Life jackets are available at many resorts and other shoreline areas – use them!

4. Have fun with your friends and don’t drink excessively;

5. Don’t participate in activities that require you to swim out too far like paddleboarding or parasailing;

6. Be aware of natural elements on beaches, like rip currents and rocks underwater that can be dangerous;

7. Make sure you have someone reliable who has agreed to watch over you while you’re partying;

8. Make sure you leave enough time between drinking and swimming;

9. Use common sense and be alert to your surroundings.

10.) Watch where others are going in case they have been swept up by a current, then go in the opposite direction immediately so that you do not get caught up in it yourself!

Best Time to Travel to Mexico

Because Mexico is a big country deciding when and where to travel totally depends on the weather, which area you are visiting, and if you are going on a Girls’ Trip in Los Cabos or a family vacation in Cancun.

The southern part of Mexico has a rainy season which generally starts in May and until October. Not to worry it only rains for a short period of time and the sun will come right back out.  

If you want to travel in the cooler season book your trip from December to February when it is cooler.

I suggest traveling to Mexico between December and April when the temperatures are more comfortable and the humidity is not at all at an all-time high.  

If you go to Cancun in the shoulder season or in the less-popular months you will be less likely to be a victim of pickpockets and scammers. 

Mexico Travel Insurance

I think most people have questions about where to go for medical care in an emergency. First, I should note that if you’re on spring break, chances are slim that you’ll be needing emergency care.

Still, better safe than sorry! The good news is that some of the most beautiful cities in Mexico—like Cancun and Playa del Carmen—also happen to be home to some of the best hospitals and clinics in Latin America.

I can’t say this enough but please get insurance when traveling to Mexico! Even if you are only going on a short trip, you should always travel with insurance.

Have fun while visiting Mexico,  but take it from someone who has racked up thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you need it.

Make sure to get your insurance before you head off on an adventure!  I highly recommend Travelex Insurance.

Top Things to Do in Cancun

Ruins in Cancun
Photo Credit: Expedia

One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Chichén Itzá is among Mexico’s most visited and iconic archaeological sites. Known for its main central pyramid, this impressive Maya site—once the ceremonial center of the Yucatán—also features temples, ball courts, and a cenote (freshwater sinkhole)., is one of the most popular Cancun tours.

There are so many safe activities in Cancun — ranging from the most epic of adventures to simply relaxing and experiencing the cuisine of Cancun.

Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun (Seasonal)

Between May and September, the world’s largest fish, whale sharks, migrate through Yucatan waters, and can often be spotted off Cancun.

Get the chance to swim with these plankton-loving gentle giants, if enough are found, on this magical tour.

Your package with Viator includes snorkeling gear, water, soft drinks, and a ceviche lunch on Isla Mujeres’ North Beach (Playa Norte): port tax is at your own expense.

Snorkeling in Cancun

This snorkeling tour in Cancun is a great way for first-time snorkelers to earn their fins without dedicating a full day to the process.

Guides work with first-time snorkelers and those with water anxiety to create an unforgettable trip by swimming with sea turtles, exploring an underwater shipwreck and statues, and checking out a reef.

The Conclusion: Cancun Travel Advisory & Is Cancun Safe

Yes, Cancun is safe!

There is no doubt that there has been horrible violence in Mexico due to drug wars between warring factions but that violence has, for the most part, been in isolated areas. 

Of course, there are certain areas to avoid in Cancun but it is no different than being in your own hometown where crime is restricted to certain areas. 

DO NOT allow the U.S. media to shape your thoughts and views of Cancun because they are not only misleading but wrong!  

So get ready for your trip by packing all you need including sunscreen, a bathing suit, flip-flops, and sunglasses.

Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE  Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!

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Travel Guide

Additional Articles For Exploring This Big Ole World

Best Things To Do In Cancun

Is Puerto Vallarta Safe?

How Safe is Cabo San Lucas 

Have you allowed the Cancun travel warning to affect your travel decisions and are you still wondering is it safe to travel to Cancun?

I would love to hear your thoughts on whether is it safe to travel to Cancun and how you feel about the Mexico travel warning so leave me a comment on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Are you traveling to Cancun this summer? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. These are some great tips for traveling to Cancun. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my bucket list. I have been to Cozumel and didn’t have any problems.

  2. I haven’t been to Cancun but I’d still visit. I don’t drink so I would stay away from that since I’ve heard about people get sick and dying after drinking.

  3. I haven’t been to Cancun and I can’t say its high on my list right now but this is great information. I think with everything going on in the world, everyone is a little skeptical on traveling outside of the country

  4. Ironcially I am in Mexico right now in Playa Del Carmen so not too far from Cancun. Great info because there was a travel advisory by Trump but glad it isnt on high alert.

    1. We have been to Cancun 14 times …Never an Issue ,we will be back there in march… can’t wait… Just like Anywhere else,if you are looking for trouble,you can find it.

  5. Although I haven’t been to Cancun;however, I do want to visit Tulum, – I’ve learned to take heed with the travel advisories. You have a lot of helpful pointers too.

  6. I am from Norway and LOVED our stay in Cancun summer 2019. We met only lovely people and beautiful destinations! I would recommend everyone seeing cancun, it is really breathtaking!

  7. My Wife and I have traveled to Cancun with our teenage son and have never had any issues. We have been to Hotel Row, Playa del Carmen, Playcar, Tulum and Puerto Morelos. We always rent a car and have even driven 2 1/2 hours from Cancun to Valladolid Yucatan Mexico. “Great Cenotes in this area” We are going back this April 2021, but we are going to Island hop! Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Isla Cozumel and we will be taking a4 hour day trip to Bacalar, Quintana Roo! We Were in Puerto Morelos for 4th of July week 2020 and were in Huatulco, Oaxaca September 2020 for our 20th Anniversary! We rented a car as always. One thing I can tell you is that in Cancun they are taking this pandemic seriously! The hotels, the tours, the restaurants, the stores and the malls are temperature checking, mandating the use of the mask, making you disinfect your shoes and handing out sanitizer before they allow you in. They are also taking the safe distancing seriously, unlike here in the US where we have these conspiracy theorists that claim the virus is a hoax. We not only feel safe in the Riviera Maya, but we also appreciate that the people there are keeping us visitors and themselves safe!!! Thanks for this page to help fellow travelers to discover the truth about Mexican travel. By the way, if in your Naivety, you like to get drunk, search for illegal substances and women? If the bad guys don’t get you first, the undercover Mexican drug enforcement officers will take you down…

    1. Wonderful advice! What company do you recommend for car rentals? I am trying to book a trip to Cancun with my family for the holidays. Any tips for booking affordable stays or Air BNB’s would also be gladly appreciated!

  8. My just-graduated-college son and several of his friends are literally flying to Cancun this morning on a trip planned months back by one of the kids’ uncle who is a professional travel agent. I panicked at the State Dept update but felt much better after reading beautifully researched and well written and informative website : THANK YOU!!! I am worried post trump that people in Mexico who are rightly upset with America (since we elected — did we? really? — a racist reality tv show guy to run our country and at least he got us all talking about how things need to change) might look at my son who is a large white male and make inaccurate assumptions about him and his views based on his large white maleness. I am aware that my Black-mom friends/colleagues/patients have been dealing with people making inaccurate assumptions based on appearance for lifetimes longer than I have, and I have a whole new appreciation of that experience and how unsettling it is. We raised our son to be antiracist, not really knowing that word yet, 22 years ago, but aware because we could see what has needed to change in this country since America began with a massive blind spot as the the difference between our words “liberty and justice all” and our actions, and my hope and expectation is that my large white male son bears the responsibility to help create that Love-Thy-Neighbor world we all want for ourselves and one another, or so I choose to believe and so I believe God wants us all to have. I don’t know why I’m oversharing like this except I’ve been up since 4 and maybe had too much coffee? My son texted to say they’re off to Mexico, I looked on the State Dept website again, saw the update, freaked out, googled feverishly, found this page, and feel much better, and appreciate this information so much, and now want to quit worrying and jump on a plane and have fun and Be The Change. thank you and sorry for oversharing and God Bless!

    1. No worries whatsoever! Mexico is extremely safe and I just purchased my ticket for Cabo yesterday. I have never encountered any issues while traveling to Mexico. I’m sure your son will be safe and please keep me posted

    2. Umm no. Let’s not bring politics into this, My wife is Mexican. From Cancun I’m a gringo. I’m from Missouri. . We live back and forth. Is this Cancun safe? Don’t ever say politics ever…. It has nothing to do with politics.

      1. I just returned from Cabo and Cancun within the last 3 months. I have been traveling Mexico for years with both my friends, husband, daughter and solo. I have never once encountered criminal activity. Not once have I felt threatened, not once have I been robbed, Not once have my credit cards been stolen but guess where all of the things have happened? Right here in Tennessee!

  9. I took my daughter to Cancun when she graduated college. The hotel was rated 5 star. I was aware of my surroundings at all times. Having lived in Tijuana for over 6 months in the late 70’s. What can I say, it was my rebellious years. Anyway, my daughter had the best time of her life. When she heard me speak Spanish, she hugged me and said “Mom, you amaze me.” I have been to Cancun and Playa del Carmen several times since then. With someone and mostly by myself. I even had a medical procedure done in Cancun. My advice is be able to understand Spanish. At least the basics. Be respectful of the people waiting on you. Remember to tip those waiting on you. A dollar tip will get you better service.

  10. I loved this guide, it was the first I read and helped me get over all the negative news about mexico. I kept coming back to your great advice throughout my visit of this amazing country, so a huge thank you for inspiration!

  11. Thank You! It’s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us.

  12. This blog was a lot more beneficial for me than I could have thought. It is informative and enlightening, as it gives exact and explanatory guidance and direction.

  13. It was the first guide I read and helped me overcome all the negative news about Mexico. As I toured this incredible country, I kept returning to your great advice, so thank you for inspiring me!

  14. Thank you ! very very helpful … but do you know anything about what recently occurred may 7th, 2022 ?

  15. Wow I will share this article to my friends, I seem to know more things after reading it, it was very helpful, I hope you will make more good articles like this.

  16. While it’s important to stay informed about safety when traveling, it’s worth noting that millions of tourists visit Cancun and the Riviera Maya each year without any issues. While there have been reports of increased crime, it’s crucial to exercise caution, stick to well-traveled areas, and stay aware of your surroundings. Consulting official advisories, using common sense, and following basic safety guidelines can help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. It’s always a good idea to stay informed and make decisions based on your own comfort level. Happy travels!

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  19. While it’s important to stay informed about safety when traveling, it’s worth noting that millions of tourists visit Cancun and the Riviera Maya each year without any issues.

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