Are you wondering is Cancun safe because of the new Cancun travel warning and Cancun travel advisory that was issued by the United States in late 2019 regarding travel of U.S. citizens to Mexico.
While the United States has issued a travel advisory for the entire country of Mexico I want you to rest easy in knowing that Cancun is safe and there are not any current travel restrictions placed on Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
A vacation to Cancun will be nothing but relaxing and will allow you to unplug from social media and get some much needed rest and down time without worrying about your safety or security.
UPDATE.- April 15, 2019:
“There are no restrictions on U.S. government employees for travel in Quintana Roo state, which includes tourist areas such as: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.”
This Cancun travel guide is to help you navigate through Cancun, advise you on what both the US Government and Mexican Government is saying about whether Mexico is safe and how to stay safe in Cancun in 2020.
Is it safe to travel to Cancun: U.S. Travel Advisory
The State Department has issued a new, strict “do not travel” advisory for U.S. citizens regarding five Mexican states because of violent crime and gang activity.
While the State Department has long recommended travelers exercise “increased caution” in Mexico in general because of widespread homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery, the new warning elevates the five states to level 4, the highest level of potential danger.
The advisory, issued late 2019, puts the states of Tamaulipas on the U.S. border and Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan and Guerrero on the Pacific coast as a level 4 travel warning.
The U.S. Government main goal is to advise and aid U.S. citizens when it comes to world travel, and provide accurate warnings concerning safety and security.
So, is it safe to travel to Mexico right now? Below we will take a look at the Mexico travel advisory boards from both the United States and Canada, as well hear from the Quintana Roo Tourism Board.
U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings
Generally when the United States government talks, people listen. So what exactly are they saying about travel to Cancun and specifically the Quintana Roo? Taken directly from the U.S. Department of State website, here is the most current Cancun travel advisory:
While Cancun isn’t located in any of these states the State Department still wants travelers to be on high alert. While in the area the State Department says it may be best to only use toll roads and avoid driving alone or at night.
It also warns people to “exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.” Furthermore, tourists should steer clear of displaying signs of wealth, “such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry” and exercise extreme caution at banks and ATMs.
In addition, the State Department asks tourists to enroll in its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Cancun Travel Advisory Fact vs. Fiction
If you get up and go to the grocery store everyday, 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 government wants you safe because tourism is Mexico’s number 1 revenue generator and they have pointed the low numbers 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 2020.
Cancun is safer than four of America’s biggest and most popular cities.
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.
Mexico is no different than the U.S. so you just need to use common sense and be aware of which areas to avoid in Cancun.
Cancun Travel Warning: What does the Mexican & U.S. Government Say?
There is no better place than to understand if it is safe to travel to Mexico right now? I will go over the Mexico travel advisory from both the United States, Mexico and the Quintana Roo Tourism Board.
U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings
Generally when the United States government talks, people listen. So what exactly are they saying about travel to Cancun and the region of Quintana Roo?
Taken directly from the U.S. Department of State website, here is the most current Cancun travel advisory:
Quintana Roo state – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
Exercise increased caution due to crime.
Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain a primary concern throughout the state. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens.
Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.
There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and the Riviera Maya.
As you see Cancun is just a Level 2 Advisory – If you need more evidence that Cancun is safe take a look at this interactive map and you will see what other popular countries have the same travel advisory level as Mexico.
As I stated in my previous article Is Mexico safe the countries below have the same Cancun travel warning and most people don’t think twice about visiting these destinations:
Quintana Roo Tourism
According to PR Newswire The State of Quintana Roo maintained its current ranking as “Level 2,” the same level that has been in place since the implementation of the new travel advisory system in January 2018.
This level 2 ranking, which comes with the message to “exercise increased caution,” is the travel advisory level given to many countries and tourism destinations in the world, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and China, among others.
Dario Flota Ocampo, CEO of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board stated the following: “We respect the work of the U.S. State Department to advise travelers and we will continue to support the sharing of transparent information about how travelers can have a safe and enjoyable experience while visiting Quintana Roo.”
He also was very clear that tourism is their number one priority by stating “Our incredible destinations and the smiling, dedicated people of this beautiful State look forward to hosting travelers each and every day.”
Safety Tips for Traveling to Cancun
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 place 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 at late at night. If you plan to drive, make it a point to travel during daylight hours.
Choosing to take a taxi at night is always a great idea, just to be on the safe side and know which areas to avoid in Cancun.
Safest areas for tourist 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 tourist safe by providing extra security in touristy areas to ensure travelers are safe and you will not have to ask is if the Cancun Travel Advisory is necessary.
Below are the safe areas of Cancun:
- Cancun Hotel Zone – This area is heavily guarded by the police and the Mexican cartel actually avoids this area. Explore Boulevard Kukulcán which runs through Zona Hotelera and there are tons of fun things to do in Cancun!
- Cancun Beaches – Most of the beaches are off limits to the cartels, especially in the hotel zone. So relax, unplug from social media and enjoy the warm sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico!
- Isla Mujeres – Isla Mujeres is an island 9 miles off the coast of Cancun and remains a safe place for travelers who are visiting Cancun.
- Shopping in Cancun– The upscale malls, especially those around the Zona Hoterea, are exceptionally safe.
- Day Trips – I love a great day trip to make sure you check Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Chichen Itza and Tulum as they are all safe and make for great day trips from Cancun.
Areas to avoid in Cancun
Now that we have discussed the safest areas in Cancun for tourist here are a list of areas you should avoid when traveling to Cancun or at a minimum be mindful of your surroundings:
- Downtown Cancun – Downtown Cancun is safe for the most part during the day but do not venture outside the touristy areas at night.
- Markets in– Exploring the famous Mercado 23 and Mercado 28 is certainly ok, but make sure you hide wallets, purses and jewelry as pickpocketing does happen. We also advise staying away from these market areas after dark.
- Beyond Cancun – My advice is be extremely careful when venturing outside of Cancun where you are more likely to find crime.
- Driving in Cancun – I suggest having the hotel arrange a driver or taxi service if you need transportation but if you decide to rent a car make sure you ask for a car that does not have the rental car sticker on the back. Also, avoid driving at night.
Cancun Travel Advisory Levels
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
Mexico, D.F., Mexico C.P.
Click Below To Watch My Video On Is Cancun Safe
If you decide to travel to any part of Mexico please follow the rules below:
- 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.
- 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.
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 resorts and hotels for every budget.
Many hotels are all-inclusive and discourage non-guests on property, and the high-end resorts tend to have robust security.
Avoid staying or partying in downtown Cancun, where most of the recent violence has taken place.
The luxurious, 260-room Le Blanc Spa is the best (and priciest) adult-only all-inclusive in town. It stands out for its gorgeous white-sand beach in the heart of the Hotel Zone, decadent spa (guests get free access to the hydrotherapy area), stunning pools (two with swim-up bars), and especially its pampering service, from the butlers who will unpack your clothes to the pool attendants who will provide cool towels for your eyes. It has a hip, gorgeous aesthetic throughout the entire pristine white property, and the modern, bright rooms have two-person whirlpool tubs; most have either ocean or lagoon views.
Excellence Playa Mujeres
This adult-only luxury resort offers a nice all-inclusive experience with tons of variety -- multiple dining options, several beautiful pools, a gorgeous spa, and dozens of wonderful activities. The rooms here are large and contemporary, with large modern bathrooms, Jacuzzis, and high-end amenities such as big flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Some have a large rooftop terrace with a private plunge pool with ocean views.
Be tulum Lifestyle Luxury Hotel, Private Villas & Spa.
Be Tulum – a luxury lifestyle Hotel Spa & Private Villas inspired by the rustic charm and raw natural beauty of the Mayan Riviera.
Uniquely built by the sea-cliffs, Tulum is located in the Yucatán Península in the state of Quintana Roo, southeastern México, on the northern border of the biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an.
Kin Sol Soleil
Kin Sol Soleil is a charming home in the tradition of the Mexican haciendas where handmade hospitality, personal service and privacy are unsurpassed. The elegant simplicity of the beautiful natural setting is enhanced with native thatched roofs, glowing mahogany, bamboo-filtered light, colorful fabrics, original art, voluptuous gardens, gourmet cuisine and warm smiles.
Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina
Situated in an exclusive area in Zona Hotelera, the all-new Renaissance Cancun Resort & Marina is a scenic haven in a lively travel destination. Find respite in your waterfront accommodations with refined design elements, contemporary essentials, luxury amenities and inspiring views of the city and shimmering bay. Stay within steps of the beach in the Cancun entertainment zone near Marina Town Center Mall, Isla Mujeres and popular shops, restaurants and pubs in downtown.
Top Things to do in Cancun
- – Take a Catamaran Cruise
- – Go Snorkelling
- – Go Zip Lining
- – Visit Tulum
- – Check out the ruins of Chichen Itza
- – Eat tacos after tacos after tacos
- – Go Paddleboarding
- – Go on a Tequila tasting
- – Explore a Colonial Town
Best Time To Travel To Mexico
Because Mexico is a big country deciding when and where to travel totally depends on the weather and which area you are visiting.
Southern part Mexico has a rainy season which generally starts in May until October. Not to worry it only rains for a short period of time and 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 is between December and April when the temperatures are more comfortable and the humidity is not at all an all-time high.
Mexico Travel Insurance
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.
The Conclusion of Cancun Travel Warning
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, are in isolated areas.
Of course there are certain areas to avoid in Cancun but it is no different than you being in your own home town where crime is restricted to certain areas.
If you don’t go looking for trouble you won’t find trouble. I will say it again that many popular European destinations fall under the same travel warning but they do not have the same stigma that Mexico has when it comes to crime.
DO NOT allow the U.S. media to shape your thoughts and views of Cancun because they are not only misleading but wrong! If you do not ask is Rome safe you should not in my opinion be asking is Cancun safe.
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