Is Cancun Safe to Go? 7 Expert Safety Tips for Your Journey

Exotic tropical resort Jetty near Cancun Mexico

    Is Cancun safe? News on criminal activities in Cancun involving tourists are widespread in US media. Most recently, the U.S. Government has issued a comprehensive advisory on visiting Cancun during Spring Break.

    Rest assured, Cancun is widely recognized as a safe spot for tourists, with a lower crime rate compared to many big cities. This article will guide you through what you need to know about Cancun’s safety, from government efforts to protect visitors, to practical tips on staying safe in hotels, transportation, and beyond.

    Key Takeaways

    • Cancun's safety has been under scrutiny due to reported incidents of criminal activity involving tourists.

    • The Mexican government has implemented significant measures to ensure the safety of both visitors and citizens in Cancún.

    • According to the US State Department, the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancún, is considered the safest region in Mexico in 2024.

    • It is still advised to exercise increased caution in the state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located.

    • While Cancun’s Hotel Zone is closely monitored for safety, travelers are advised to still be cautious, particularly when venturing outside this area.

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    Cancun's Safety Situation

    Cancun cityscape at dusk with the ocean in the background

    First things first, let’s tackle the big question: Is Cancun safe? The short answer is: Yes, Cancun is relatively safe. In fact, the US State Department has given Cancun a green light for American tourists to visit. The friendly locals and a crime rate lower than other Mexican cities like Mexico City make it a generally safe tourist destination.

    Is Cancun safe compared to other cities in Mexico? Yes, compared to other cities in Mexico, Cancun is generally considered safe for tourists and residents alike. Its lower crime rates and dedicated tourist areas make it a relatively secure destination.

    But, this doesn’t mean we should completely let our guards down. Cancun, much like any other urban area, is not immune to criminal activities. In response, the Mexican authorities have taken proactive measures. They've enhanced security measures around Cancun International Airport by assigning additional police personnel and strengthening protection.

    Let’s take a closer look at the efforts of the Mexican government.

    Mexican Government's Efforts

    Colorful papel picado streamers fluttering in the breeze above a historical building's façade under a clear blue sky.

    Let’s talk about the steps taken by the Mexican government to ensure safety in Cancun. To counter the issues related to drug-related violence and excessive alcohol consumption, the Mexican government has increased security measures in major cities like Cancun and other popular tourist destinations like Puerto Vallarta.

    This includes deploying navy and army personnel across the city and along the beaches. So, when you’re sunbathing on the stunning beaches of Cancun, you’ll often see these security forces patrolling the area, ensuring your safety.

    These security measures also extend to Cancun International Airport, a major point of entry for tourists. The Mexican government started ramping up security measures at the airport to deal with the increasing concerns over drug-related violence. So, from the moment you land at Cancun airport, you will notice the heightened security presence.

    Recognizing the importance of tourism to the region's economy and the well-being of its visitors, the Mexican government's proactive approach to enhancing safety measures in Cancun is part of a broader commitment to ensure that everyone can enjoy all that this beautiful destination has to offer, worry-free. These efforts reflect a collaboration between local authorities, tourism stakeholders, and international bodies to maintain Cancun's status as a top choice for travelers seeking both adventure and relaxation.

    As we transition from understanding the governmental efforts to safeguard Cancun to exploring practical advice for tourists, it's clear that safety is a shared priority. The following insights, developed with input from safety experts, aim to empower you with knowledge and strategies for a secure and memorable visit.

    Staying Safe in the Hotel Zone

    Scenic view of Cancun beachfront featuring rows of inviting sunbeds against the backdrop of the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea

    Now that we’ve covered the overall safety situation in Cancun, let’s focus on one of its most popular tourist area in Cancun: The Hotel Zone. This area is known for its stringent security measures, making it a safe haven for tourists. The hotels here often have:

    • Round-the-clock security guards

    • Police making rounds

    • Security cameras

    • Safes in every room for guests to keep their valuables safe

    In case of a medical emergency, top-tier hospitals that cater to tourists in popular tourist areas are nearby.

    When it comes to transportation within these tourist zones, the top choices are buses, taxis, and ridesharing services like Uber. Taxis are considered safe, especially if you take one from a hotel.

    Public buses are also safe and affordable, making them a popular choice among tourists. However, as always, it’s important to exercise caution and use reputable transportation services.

    Here’s a closer look at how to choose a safe hotel and transportation options.

    Choosing a Safe Hotel

    Hotel room interior photo featuring a neatly made bed with plush bedding and pillows, providing a cozy and inviting atmosphere for guests.

    Choosing a safe hotel is a crucial part of planning a trip to Cancun. The best areas for tourists to stay are the Hotel Zone and downtown Cancun. These areas are known for their safety and proximity to popular tourist attractions.

    But how do you choose a safe hotel? Look for hotels that have security measures in place, such as 24-hour security, security cameras, gated resorts, and in-room safes. Some of the safest hotels in Cancun include the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach, Emporio Cancun, and Hyatt Zilara Cancun.

    When choosing a hotel, pay close attention to reviews. Are other guests saying that the hotel is safe? Did they encounter any issues during their stay? These can provide valuable insights into the safety of the hotel.

    Moreover, make sure the hotel has been checked for safety and has all the right facilities in place for guests.

    Transportation Options

    Illustration of a taxi and a tourist bus on a palm-lined street in Cancun, representing the city's accessible transportation options for visitors

    After you’ve selected a safe hotel, the next step is to figure out how to get around safely. Taxis and buses are the most common modes of transportation in Cancun. Legitimate taxi services in Cancun include Cancun Airport Taxi Service and

    Make sure to look for taxis that are white with a dark green line down each side and have a ‘TAXI’ sign on top.

    Public buses are also a safe and affordable option. They run 24/7, making them convenient for getting around the city. When using public transportation in Cancun, stick to first-class buses. It’s also a good idea to use rideshare services.

    Always exercise normal precautions: keep an eye on your belongings, avoid traveling alone at night, plan your route in advance, and follow any instructions from transportation authorities.

    Safety Tips for Exploring Cancun

    Tourist couple strolling through downtown Cancun, consulting a map among colorful buildings and local street life.

    Cancun offers many other attractions worth exploring. If you’re planning to venture beyond the Hotel Zone, consider booking guided day trips and excursions. These are generally safe and allow you to explore Cancun’s rich culture and natural beauty. However, as with any travel, it’s important to exercise caution. When exploring less touristy areas, avoid withdrawing money from ATMs at night, and always stay aware of your surroundings.

    Some safe spots to explore are:

    • Costa Mujeres

    • Isla Mujeres

    • Playa Mujeres

    • Puerto Morelos

    • The Riviera

    Public buses and taxis are also generally safe and affordable for getting around these areas. Now, let’s take a closer look at day trips, excursions, and safety precautions.

    Day Trips and Excursions

    Guided tour group exploring the ancient ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula

    Day trips can be a great way to explore Cancun and its surroundings. Here are some popular destinations for day trips:

    • The stunning ruins of Chichen Itza

    • The crystal-clear waters of Isla Mujeres

    • The vibrant city of Tulum

    • The natural beauty of Xcaret Park

    These trips are usually guided and safe for tourists. When choosing a tour company, it’s important to do your research. Check reviews and make sure the company is reputable.

    When venturing through Cancun, it’s important to follow certain safety precautions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Research the neighborhood beforehand - in the Vigilios App you can find up-to-date neighborhood information.

    • Be careful around ATMs, especially at night.

    • Keep your valuables safe at your hotel and avoid wandering around alone after dark.

    • If you need to get around, opt for a taxi.

    • Always stay aware of your surroundings, especially in less touristy spots.

    Another important safety precaution is to avoid secluded areas and always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re in an unfamiliar area, it’s best to stay in well-populated areas. And remember, it’s always safer to travel in a group, especially at night.

    Health and Medical Safety in Cancun

    A photorealistic image of a medical clinic in Cancun, with a doctor assisting a tourist holding insurance papers.

    Traveling is fun and exciting, but it’s important not to forget about health and medical safety. In Cancun, it’s important to prioritize food and drink safety to avoid common health issues like travelers’ diarrhea. Be cautious with tap water, food washed with tap water, and contaminated food or drinks.

    If you need medical attention during your stay, Cancun has several hospitals that cater to tourists. These include Amerimed, Galenia, Hospiten, Playamed, and Hospital American.

    Next, let’s take a closer look at food and drink safety and emergency services and healthcare in Cancun.

    Food and Drink Safety

    Picture of Fresh fruits and vegetables at a local Cancun market

    Traveling to a new country always comes with its own set of challenges, and one of them is adjusting to the local food and water. In Cancun, it’s best to stick to bottled or purified water, as the tap water is not safe to drink. Also, despite the tropical heat, try to avoid ice unless you’re sure it’s made from purified water.

    When it comes to food, be cautious with raw fruits and vegetables, as they might have been washed in unpurified water. Also, avoid cold prepared foods like shrimp, raw oysters, and sushi, as they need constant refrigeration.

    By following these safety measures, you can avoid common health issues like food poisoning and enjoy your Cancun vacation to the fullest.

    Solo Travel Safety

    Solo female traveler walking along a well-lit street in Cancun

    Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges when it comes to safety. Solo travelers should do their research, choose a safe hotel, use trustworthy transportation services, and avoid illegal drugs to ensure a safe trip to Cancun.

    Just like any other traveler, solo travelers should be cautious of petty crimes like pickpocketing and the risks related to the illegal drug trade. To stay safe, here are some tips:

    • Avoid sketchy areas and walking alone at night

    • Stay away from anything drug-related

    • Drink responsibly

    When taking taxis in Cancun, here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Only use registered taxis or well-known rideshare services.

    • Avoid revealing your detailed travel plans.

    • If you’re unsure whether a taxi is registered, look for a white car with a dark green line down each side and a ‘TAXI’ sign on top.

    While the Cancun Hotel Zone is generally safe, it’s still important to stay aware of your surroundings and exercise caution. Here are some tips to ensure your safety:

    • Steer clear of anything related to cartel activity

    • Try to find travel buddies for extra safety

    • As always, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

    What a Female Solo Traveler Says About Cancun

    "During my solo journey to Cancun, I quickly found fellow travelers of my age, ensuring I had companions for clubbing and excursions, which made the city's vibrant atmosphere feel even safer and more welcoming."

    What a Female Solo Traveler Says About Cancun

    "Unfortunately, the one time we decided to go out of our resort and explore the city, we were robbed in one of the clubs. It may have been just bad luck, but it's important to stay with your group and always be aware of your surroundings. Also, try not to carry too many valuables with you."

    Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

    Traveler using a smartphone to get tips on how to avoid scams.

    Cancun, while a paradise for many, can also present various challenges in the form of scams targeting tourists. Being aware of these common scams can greatly enhance your safety and ensure a more enjoyable vacation. Here are some of the scams you might encounter and tips on how to avoid them:

    Menu Scams

    Restaurants, particularly in tourist areas, might present menus without prices or with prices in a foreign currency to confuse travelers. They may also attempt to overcharge for tips or add items you didn't order. Always ask for a menu with prices in the local currency and review your bill carefully before paying.

    Currency Exchange Scams

    Street vendors or unauthorized individuals may offer to exchange currency at rates that seem too good to be true. These individuals often provide counterfeit or outdated currency. To avoid this scam, exchange money only at reputable banks, hotels, or authorized exchange offices.

    Taxi Scams

    Taxi scams are prevalent, with drivers often overcharging tourists or taking longer routes to increase the fare. To avoid falling victim to this, agree on the fare before starting your trip or insist on using the meter. Use taxis from reputable companies or apps where the fare is calculated automatically.

    Natural Disasters and Weather Concerns

    Photorealistic depiction of Cancun's coastline under stormy skies with palm trees bending in strong winds and turbulent waves.

    Cancun is a tropical paradise, but like any tropical location, it is prone to certain natural disasters like hurricanes and tropical cyclones.

    Hurricane season in Mexico spans from June to November, with the highest likelihood of hurricanes and tropical storms occurring between August and October. These natural disasters can significantly impact various regions, with the Pacific Coast—including states like Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora—and the Atlantic Coast, particularly the Yucatán Peninsula (where Cancun is located), Quintana Roo, Veracruz, and Tamaulipas, being the most susceptible.

    Awareness of the season and the regions most affected is crucial for travelers and residents alike to prepare and respond effectively to weather advisories.

    During a hurricane or tropical storm, taking proper actions can mitigate risks to personal safety and property. If caught outside, it's advisable to avoid standing near large trees, utility poles, or signs that could fall. Staying clear of water and electrical equipment can help prevent electric shock.

    For those indoors, moving away from windows, glass doors, and skylights is essential to avoid injury from shattered glass, while unplugging electronics can protect them from power surges caused by lightning. Post-storm, be wary of hazards such as downed power lines, debris, and floodwaters, and only venture outdoors when it is declared safe by authorities.

    For accurate and timely hurricane warnings and advisories, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Meteorological Service of Mexico (SMN) are reliable sources that provide critical information to help individuals make informed decisions during these dangerous weather events.

    Unlike other parts of Mexico, Cancun is not at high risk for earthquakes. However, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the safety procedures for earthquakes, just in case.

    Emergency Contacts and Useful Resources

    "A woman in distress making an emergency 911 call on her phone, with a large smartphone screen displaying the number 911.

    When traveling to a new place, it’s always a good idea to have a list of emergency contacts and useful resources. In Cancun, you can reach the Traffic Police, Fire Department, Red Cross, and other emergency services at the numbers provided.

    Emergency - 911Red Cross - 884-1616Cancun Hotel Zone Police - 885-0569Traffic Police - 884-0710

    It's important to note that while Cancun's emergency services are generally reliable and responsive, there may be occasions when response times are longer than expected. This variability can be due to various factors, such as the specific location of the incident or the overall demand on services at any given time.

    Healthcare is a crucial aspect of any travel plan, and Cancun is well-prepared to meet the healthcare needs of tourists with a selection of hospitals renowned for their quality of service. These facilities include Amerimed, Galenia, Hospiten, Playamed, and Hospital American.

    Vigilios App

    In the Vigilios App you can find the exact locations and more useful information on Hospitals and Medical Facilities.

    Each of these hospitals offers a broad range of medical services, with staff that includes English-speaking professionals to ensure clear communication for international visitors. Whether you require routine medical attention or emergency care, these institutions are equipped to provide high-quality healthcare services, ensuring peace of mind during your stay in Cancun.

    By familiarizing yourself with these essential contacts and services, you can enjoy all the beauty and excitement Cancun has to offer, secure in the knowledge that help is available should you need it.


    As we wrap up this comprehensive guide, we hope you now have a clearer understanding of the safety situation in Cancun. Contrary to what the media often portrays, Cancun is generally safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s always important to stay informed, stay vigilant, and take necessary precautions.

    Remember, safety is not about living in fear, it’s about being aware and prepared. So, don’t let safety concerns stop you from enjoying the stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture of Cancun. After all, travel is about exploring new places, embracing new experiences, and creating unforgettable memories. Safe travels!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Illustration of the letters 'FAQ' in large, with three individuals searching for answers in their phones and laptop.

    Is it safe to go to Cancun right now?

    Yes, Cancun is currently safe to visit, as the Yucatán Peninsula, including Cancun, is considered the safest area of Mexico, according to the US State Department. So, it's a good destination for a vacation.

    Is Playa del Carmen safe?

    Playa del Carmen, like many popular tourist destinations, is generally considered safe for travelers, especially in areas frequented by tourists, such as the beach, Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue), and the hotel zone.

    What are some safety tips for exploring Cancun?

    Be cautious around ATMs, keep your valuables safe at your hotel, and avoid wandering around alone after dark when exploring Cancun. Stay safe!

A profile picture of Ana-Marija Autischer
by Ana-Marija Autischer
The visionary Founder & CEO of Vigilios, where her extensive research into travel safety over the past two years has positioned her at the forefront of the industry. With a keen eye for innovation, she translates complex safety concepts into practical advice for travelers worldwide.

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