Before you go traveling anywhere, safety comes first. Cancun is one of the most beautiful and demanded Mexican destinations but is Cancun safe right now? I am sure you are wondering and not only for Covid. So in this post, I’ll try to answer this question for you in the most complete way.
Cancun is a beautiful Mexican city that attracts tourists from all over the world. There is a lot to enjoy and so many things to do in Cancun and the city is basically developed with tourism in mind. Couple that with the miles upon miles of beautiful white sand Cancun beaches, and it easily becomes one of the best vacation spots in the world. But is Cancun safe to travel to right now? Read on to find out.
How safe is Cancun?
If you want a short answer, Cancun is generally a relatively safe city. The crime rates are much lower than many other places in Mexico. The government of Mexico tries as much as possible to make Cancun a safe place for tourists because tourism is the biggest source of revenue for this area.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any precautions and can go everywhere when you’re in the area. There are some areas where you should stick to. I will tell you more later on in the post.
On the pandemic front, Cancun is very safe. Back when the pandemic initially started, it was one of the first cities in the world to adopt the hygiene and safety protocols suggested by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The hotels still follow strict disinfection and social distancing protocols.
15 safety tips for traveling to Cancun
Here are some Mexico safety tips about Cancun that you should observe:
Never travel without travel insurance
First thing first, make sure you have good health insurance because healthcare in Mexico is really expensive for tourists. Especially these days, with Covid around, you can never be too careful. There are travel insurance options that cover covid treatments, but please make sure you read all the clauses before purchasing one. I normally use Safetywing or WorldNomads. Both are great but serve different kinds of needs. So make sure you read through what’s included and not.
Don’t be naif
Be friendly and smile but make sure remain alert and be aware of your surroundings. If you notice that the people you are talking to are getting too close or ask personal questions don’t be afraid to move away.
Wonder around but know where you are going
It’s natural to want to wander around and sightsee a little, but don’t do it aimlessly. Always know where you are and where you’re going. Avoid deserted streets, especially at night.
Avoid going out at night alone
Try to avoid going out at night. If you go out at night, try to do so in a group and stick to areas that are crowded (still follow social distancing). The only areas that are really safe for tourists to go out at night are the Hotel Zone and Isla Mujeres.
Watch out for pick-pocketers
These are everywhere, but especially in Downtown Cancun where there are less tourists and we are more on the spotlight. Make sure you keep your personal belonging in a safe place.
Protect your personal belonging from pickpocketers!
Be careful when withdrawing cash at ATMs. Always try to use the ATMs in a bank or a mall. Never use roadside ATMs at night.
Use your hotel safe box
Store your passport in your hotel room’s safe. When you’re out and about, keep a photocopy of the passport with you because the police can legally ask for it.
Don’t get wasted if you are alone
Drinking is generally a bad idea. But if you have to do so, then drink in moderation unless you’re part of a group that you trust.
Don’t flaunt your wealth
Dress plainly and don’t flaunt your wealth. Being flashy is the easiest way to get noticed by criminals. Carry a little bit of cash with you at all times, in local currency (not US$). So that if you encounter criminals, you can give it over without a lot of regrets.
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Is Cancun safe right now to travel alone?
It’s generally safe to travel in Cancun alone, as long as you follow a few simple rules.
- Avoid drinking as much as possible. It’s not a good idea to get drunk in general, but especially when you’re alone.
- Stay in well-populated areas, and avoid deserted streets.
- Unless you’re part of a group or a tour, avoid going to the areas around Cancun.
- It’s thrilling to travel alone. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want. But it’s important that you know your limits. If something feels too dangerous to do alone, listen to your gut feeling.
- Do plenty of research about which areas and hotels to stay in.
What are the safest places to visit in Cancun?
There are three places I can heartily recommend as the safest in Cancun. I’ll list them below.
The Hotel Zone
The Hotel Zone (or Zona Hotelera) is, by far, one of the safest areas in Cancun. As its name indicates, The Hotel Zone was made especially for tourism; there are next to no residential properties here. Security is also very tight here, as tourism is the biggest source of revenue for Cancun.
Even at night, you can walk around here, just be careful to stay clear of the secluded areas. If you feel like going to the beach, try to do it in front of your hotel and make sure that the hotel security is present.
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Downtown Cancun is always lively, day or night. It is generally a safe area to visit during the day. However, during the night, make sure to stick to touristy parts of the downtown (like Avenida Tulum). If you have to travel from one place to another, whether within Downtown Cancun or outside, always take a taxi. Don’t go anywhere on foot, especially if you’re alone.
In case you have never heard of it, Isla Mujeres is a gorgeous island situated just off the coast of Cancun. If you’re visiting Cancun, you should definitely visit the island. Just like the Hotel Zone is made for tourists, the whole of Isla Mujeres is made for tourists as well.
As such, there’s plenty of security and Isla Mujeres is very safe. When in doubt, you can always ask your hotel to arrange tours, excursions, or trips for you; the hotel staff does their best to accommodate their guests. Make sure you include swimming with whale sharks if you travel in the summer.
Is it safe to visit outside the hotels in Cancun?
As mentioned earlier, Cancun is generally very safe. In fact, if you look at crime statistics, Cancun is safer than a lot of the cities in the US. Most of the crimes don’t involve any tourists, and, when they do, they’re usually petty crimes.
Still, you should be careful when you’re outside your hotel in Cancun and always take plenty of precautions. If possible, have your hotel arrange any tours or excursions for you. You can also ask the hotel staff when you’re in doubt about whether an area is safe or not and they’ll tell you.
Is Cancun safe for female travelers?
It is! I’m a female myself, and I’ve been living in Cancun for years. It is a safe city for female travelers. Just take precautions and use common sense, following the tips mentioned below.
If you’re traveling alone, it’s totally ok to walk around during the day but make sure you stick to the touristy areas at night.
Avoid deserted areas at all times and, regardless of which area you’re in, trust your gut feeling. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, just join the nearest group of people.
Cancun Safety FAQ
Q. What are some dos and don’ts in Cancun?
I’ll list 5 dos and don’ts in Cancun.
- Stay in the hotel zone or in the near Downtown area
- Cancun is pretty sunny, pack plenty of sunscreen
- Visit Isla Mujeres
- Get travel and health insurance before you travel
- Learn enough Spanish to communicate and understand the basics.
- Don’t use the money exchange services at the airport.
- Don’t carry too much money with you when you walk around and preferably use PESOS. Shops accept US but at a very bad exchange rate (for you)
- Don’t drink tap water.
- Be kind and friendly but not naif. If somebody approaches you trust your gut feelings and if you feel uncomfortable move away. Use common sense.
- When shopping, you can try to bargain although sometimes vendors prefer to miss a sale rather than lower the price. In any case be aware that souvenirs prices will be most likely inflated.
Q Is there Uber in Cancun?
Unfortunately there is no Uber in Cancun and anywhere in the state of Quintana Roo.
Q. Is it safe to take a taxi in Cancun?
Yes, it’s generally safe to take a taxi in Cancun. However, if you feel even a little bit uneasy or something doesn’t feel right to you, feel free to refuse the taxi driver and hail another one.
Also, make sure to agree on the fare beforehand. If you don’t, the drivers demand exorbitant amounts when they get to the destination, and it results in unpleasantness.
Q. Is Cancun safe to walk in at night?
If you’re in the Hotel Zone or Isla Mujeres, you can easily walk around at night. However, stick to crowded places and, if you want to enjoy the beach at night, go to the beach that’s right in front of your hotel; make sure that there’s hotel security present.
Avoid deserted areas and streets at night. If you need to get from point A to point B, take a taxi. Don’t use public transport at night.
Q. Is there cartel activity in Cancun?
Cartels are the elephant in the room when it comes to tourism and Mexico. There’s cartel activity all over Mexico and Cancun is no exception. You can rest easy, though, because cartels don’t bother tourists. The cartel-related crimes happen between rival cartels, or between drug dealers. As a tourist, you won’t be their target, unless you are involved in any drug related matters.
Q. Is Cancun dangerous for tourists?
So, we’ve come here finally. Cancun is not dangerous for tourists. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico and serves hundreds of thousands of tourists every year (rightly so). In fact, if you look at the crime statistics, Cancun is safer than most US cities! I, myself, have lived in the city for years without any issues.
That being said, you have to remember that you’re in Mexico at all times. Take plenty of precautions. The safety tips I’ve mentioned above are just some of the precautions you need to take. Trust your gut feeling, and if anything feels unsafe just bail out of there.
As long as you are careful, you have nothing to worry about in Cancun. I highly recommend visiting it (and Isla Mujeres). Happy traveling!