Is Cancun Safe to Visit in 2024? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips

Written By: The Planet D

We have been to Cancun many times over the years, and one of the main questions that we always get is, “Is Cancun safe?” Truthfully, the situation has always been fluid, with various safety concerns such as crime and cartel activity. While we have personally felt safe in Cancun, it is important to check your government website warnings, follow basic safety precautions, and be aware of your surroundings. Mexico takes its tourism seriously and they want international visitors to continue to spend their dollars, so they are working hard to keep Cancun safe, especially in the tourist zones and the tourist hotspots.

Is Cancun Safe to Visit?

As of March 2024, the US State Department updated its travel warnings for Quintana Roo, which is home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. It removed the warning about an increased risk of kidnapping, but the country is still under a level 2 advisory. There are no travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo, but they are advised to exercise increased situational awareness.

As of March 2024, the Government of Canada notes that the region of Cancun has high rates of violent crime, such as homicides, kidnappings, carjacking, and assaults. Travelers are advised to exercise increased situational awareness, avoid areas with illicit activities, and promptly leave potentially dangerous situations.

Cancun’s Current Safety Situation

Is cancun safe in 2024?

Cancun is located in the State of Quintana Roo, including Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel, and the Riviera Maya. These areas bring in a lot of dollars into Mexico, and this is certainly one of the safer areas in the country, especially compared to other states. However, crime and violence can affect tourists, so it is important to follow safety tips, maintain situational awareness, and avoid dangerous areas.

If you follow these tips and do your own research, you will find that you will feel a lot safer on your next trip should you choose to travel to Cancun. While emergency services are available, it is important to note that local emergency services may be limited outside the state capital or major cities.

Short Summary

Cancun’s security has been under a microscope due to incidents of criminal activity involving tourists. The Mexican government has taken great action to ensure the safety of visitors and citizens in Cancun. According to the US State Department, the Yucatan Peninsula is the safest region in Mexico for Americans in 2024. However, the State Department does have a travel advisory of “exercise increased caution” in the state of Quintana Roo.

  • Cancun is generally safe for travelers, but take necessary precautions and take government website travel alerts into consideration.
  • Follow safety tips like avoiding walking alone at night and sticking to well-known establishments.
  • When traveling in Cancun, familiarize yourself with local laws, use reputable transportation services, and opt for filtered water!

Mexico Travel Advisories and Safety Concerns

Is Cancun safe to visit Cancuns current safety situation

For the latest advisory warnings, visit the US State Department’s Website. Right now, the State Department website warns that ” Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico.” However, when you read further, it states, “Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To the Yucatan State.

The State Department also notes its limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in certain areas of Mexico.

Update: On February 27, 2024, the U.S. Embassy & Consulates In Mexico Department issued a warning for all U.S. travelers visiting Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean for Spring Break Travel in 2024. Only Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum were mentioned in the warning. You can check out the full message here and what they suggest.

Canada currently has a warning 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.

Incidents like this can happen in any large city or tourist destination. To put things into perspective, Cancun currently has a crime index of 56.33. When you look at the crime rate in New Orleans, Cancun is much lower than the rating of 67.92. See the comparison here.

To stay safe, travelers are advised to remain in well-lit pedestrian streets and tourist zones, especially after dark, to exercise increased situational awareness and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Crime Rates in Cancun

Cancun has a crime rate that is similar to many major cities in the United States, most of which revolve around drug-trafficking turf wars and gang-related violence. Tourists are rarely the target, and if you keep yourself out of trouble. Avoid buying drugs, don’t stay out until the wee hours of the morning, and limit your alcohol consumption off the resort. By following common sense safety measures, you can lower your chances of any incident.

Compared to other Mexican cities, Cancun’s crime rate remains relatively low, meaning vacationers shouldn’t be too concerned about any crimes during their visit. However, they should still exercise a degree of caution.

Mexican Government’s Efforts

The Mexican government has increased security around Cancun International Airport by dispatching extra police forces and protection systems, in order to put a stop to petty crime that mainly targets travelers.

The Mexican government has taken extra security steps to protect Cancun’s standing as a favored tourist spot. These include a greater police presence at popular tourist areas such as resorts within the Hotel Zone, surveillance cameras, and gated entrances for visitors.

Initiatives were also undertaken to reduce corruption among law enforcement in this area, which resulted in the removal of numerous police officers from their posts and several top-level personnel from office due to misconduct. You can read about it here.

Collaboration between local companies and tourism workers also supports a safer atmosphere. Extra tourist police, state police, the National Guard, and even the Navy patrol the beaches.

The Hotel Zone

Is Cancun safe in the Hotel Zone

Staying within the Hotel Zone Cancun is one of the safest areas to stay in Cancun. Police patrols, surveillance cameras, and gated resorts all provide an extra layer of security for guests staying at the numerous high-end accommodations in this area. That doesn’t mean you should let your guard down, but we still recommend that you avoid walking alone at night or in secluded areas. Stick to well lit pedestrian streets to ensure your safety.

Cancun is a popular tourist destination, and efforts have been made to improve safety and security in this vibrant travel spot.

Cancun is a popular destination for Spring Break, and the kids love to party the nights away in the clubs of Playa del Carmen or Downtown Cancun. Our advice is to party responsibly. If you decide to go downtown Cancun to party for the night, exercise increased caution if you are going to local bars, stay in groups, don’t overdrink, and make sure to use an authorized taxi. It is when you drink too much and let your guard down that you become a target.

Best Practices for Staying Safe in Cancun

Best Practices for staying safe in Cancun

When vacationing in Cancun, it is important to remember that even though you are enjoying a vacation in popular tourist destinations, that doesn’t mean you let all common sense go out the window. A lot of people tend to think they are invincible on vacation, but this is when things can go wrong. Visitors to Cancun can have a great experience if they use common sense and exercise safety precautions. When visiting Quintana Roo or any other Mexican State, exercise increased situational awareness, avoid areas with illicit activities, and promptly leave potentially dangerous situations.

Additionally, be aware that local emergency services in Cancun may have limitations, especially outside the state capital or major cities.

Cancun Airport Safety

Landing at the airport can be one of your most vulnerable times. The arrivals area is crowded and confusing, which makes it easy to fall victim to a travel scam. We recommend that you exercise caution and think before you accept any rides, offers, or help from a “good Samaritan.” Despite its relatively low rate of violent offenses, visitors entering through Cancun airport can still fall victim to potential scams such as fake taxi drivers and pickpocketing in crowded locations.

Our safety advice for landing at the airport is to a private transfer in advance to your hotel, keep an eye on your valuables, and don’t leave anything unattended. If you need cash, go directly to the ATM, but we suggest bringing American dollars and small bills with you.

Transportation Safety

Transportation Safety in Cancun

There are many different ways to get around Cancun. If you want more freedom, we recommend renting a car. We have also taken local transportation without incident. However, if you want to have added safety, booking an organized tour is a good option. You can book a night out bar hopping with a local guide, city tours with a guide, and excursions with a guide, making it safer to travel. It is important to exercise increased situational awareness, especially when using local transportation.

Local emergency services in Cancun are available but may be limited outside the city center. Always be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions.

Taxis and Ridesharing Services

Travelers in Cancun can enjoy secure and reliable transportation options by utilizing authorized taxis or reliable apps like Uber. When getting into a cab, make sure to ask them to put on the meter. Also, plan your route beforehand, and be aware of the approximate costs before setting off so as not to be scammed.

Ridesharing services such as Uber are available in Cancun. But use caution, as there have been reports of violence between taxi drivers and Uber drivers due to contract disputes. If you are staying in a resort, we recommend using the taxi drivers with whom they have a contract; otherwise, you will have to leave the resort to book an Uber.

Buses and Public Transportation

Cancun’s buses and public transportation are typically reliable, inexpensive, and easy to access for anyone looking to discover the city. Public transportation is generally safe, but it is better not to ride it alone or late at night.

Rental Cars and Driving Tips

Using a rental car in Cancun can be an ideal way to enjoy the sights and attractions at your own pace. Make sure to book with trusted car hire agencies; we use RentalCars.com. You will have to get additional insurance Third Party Liability and Public Liability Insurance are mandatory. And make sure you avoid being on the roads after dark.

By observing these tips, people will reap all the benefits associated with renting cars while feeling safe traveling through Cancun’s streets and reveling in views of its glorious bright blue Caribbean Sea.

Food and Drink Safety in Cancun

Food and Drink Safety in Cancun

Food is generally safe to eat in Mexico, especially in popular destinations. We generally avoid eating raw foods unless they are cooked or can be peeled. When eating at restaurants, we always look for places packed with locals. This is how you know it will be fresh. Think about raw foods that would be washed in tap water. We don’t eat fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or can be peeled.

Tap Water Safety

Visitors to Cancun should not drink unfiltered tap water, and it is recommended that they stick to bottled water. We like to use a SteriPen so that we don’t contribute to plastic and avoid ice.

Although tests may show local tap water as safe enough for drinking according to regulations, microorganisms can still be present, which could lead to health problems.

Street Food and Restaurant Precautions

We have eaten street food in Mexico, and it is delicious, but tourists should still be cautious when choosing where to eat. Don’t eat salad or vegetables that aren’t cooked, and make sure the meat is freshly cooked in front of you. You don’t want to eat something that has been sitting in the heat for hours. Select freshly prepared meals, steer clear of uncovered dishes, and go for a well-known, busy place to eat.

Health and Medical Safety in Cancun

Is Cancun Safe Health and Medical Safety in Cancun

When visiting Mexico in general we highly recommend having travel insurance. Medical emergencies can happen, and it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. You may also want to look into what medications and vaccines you need. Make sure that your routine vaccines are up to date, and you may consider additional vaccines. Hepatitis A and B are good to get, and you may want to update your tetanus. For up-to-date travel health notices in Mexico, visit the CDC website.

Mosquito-borne illnesses can also be an issue, so pack bug spray and wear lightweight long sleeves if going into the jungle. In case of a medical emergency, there are healthcare services available that tourists can access if required – adding another layer of protection on top of their Mexico travel insurance policy.

Is Cancun Dangerous for Solo Travelers?

Is Cancun Safe for Solo Travelers

Many people travel to Cancun as solo travelers, and it is considered generally safe to visit alone. Before traveling, solo travelers should research the area and let people know where they will be. Check in with family and friends back home frequently by providing them with information about where you’ll be going during each part of your journey so they know your whereabouts. Solo travelers should exercise increased situational awareness, especially in areas classified by the State Department as ‘Exercise Increased Caution,’ such as Quintana Roo. By adhering to these basic guidelines for security, an unforgettable trip awaits any adventurous solo traveler who decides to explore this picturesque Mexican destination.

Local emergency services in Cancun are available but may be limited outside the state capital or major cities.

Many of our recommendations, regardless of the destination, are to not walk alone at night or in secluded areas, so if you are traveling alone, stay in lit areas, don’t stay out too late, and stick with the crowds.

Make sure to choose a safe hotel in a good area, use trustworthy transportation services, and avoid any illegal drugs or areas with high crime. Signing up for local tours can provide additional safety as you’ll be able to go sightseeing in a group with an expert guide. Plus you’ll make friends with some other tourists.

Is Cancun Safe for a Solo Female Traveler?

Solo Female Travelers Safety in Cancun

Cancun is largely considered secure for solo female travelers as well. The same recommendations can be made to avoid deserted areas and walking alone at night, and take taxis. Choose safe accommodation, preferably in the hotel zone, and use common sense and take extra precautions.

Women are more vulnerable than male travelers, and a woman can catch unwanted attention. Don’t go out alone late at night, use trustworthy taxis, don’t wear expensive jewelry, and the hotel room safe for your valuables.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season in Cancun typically runs from June through November, with the peak period occurring between August and October. Travelers considering Cancun as a destination often wonder about safety during these months. It’s important to note that while the risk of hurricanes exists, Cancun is well-prepared with robust infrastructure and comprehensive emergency plans in place to ensure visitor safety

Here’s the lowdown: yes, hurricanes can whip through, especially from August to October when things tend to peak. But, Cancun is pretty savvy when it comes to dealing with these big storms. The hotels and local officials have got it down to a science with solid buildings and tried-and-true safety plans that kick into gear when needed.

Plus, with all the advanced weather tech these days, everyone gets a heads-up well before a storm hits. So, while it’s smart to keep an eye on the weather, Cancun remains a fab spot for a beach vacation, even during the stormy months. Chill vibes and safety can totally go hand in hand here!

Money

The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Cancun and Mexico, but establishments readily accept the US dollar. Hotel ATMs often dispense US dollar currency instead of Mexican Pesos.

When withdrawing cash, try to use ATMs in secure locations like inside a bank or a busy mall, rather than those on the street, to keep things extra safe. And hey, while it’s tempting to carry a wad of cash to avoid transaction fees, it’s smarter to keep just enough cash for the day and use your credit card when you can. Credit cards are widely accepted and give you that extra layer of fraud protection. By keeping these practical tips in mind, you’ll make sure your financial dealings in Cancun are as smooth as the local tequila.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cancun Safe to Travel FAQ

Is Cancun safe right now 2024?

The US State Department notes that Cancun has friendly locals and is one of the safest areas in Mexico, with a low crime rate. So you can have an amazing experience by planning your getaway to this destination come 2024! Relax, knowing you will be safe during your stay here. Making it absolutely unforgettable.

How safe is Cancun for American tourists?

The US State Department has assessed Cancun as one of the safest places to visit in Mexico, and thus, it is Safe for tourists making a trip there in 2024. To ensure you enjoy your time while still staying secure, practice caution with regard to where you go and who you talk to, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Is Cancun safe to walk around?

When you visit Cancun, you should always take precautions to remain safe. The Hotel Zone, in particular, offers a secure atmosphere with numerous all-inclusive resorts, international hotels, and beaches for visitors to enjoy without fear of crime rates that are low outside the hotel zone.

Overall it is possible to have an unforgettable trip when exercising caution and keeping safety measures at hand during your time here, which will result in a rewarding experience.

Is Cancun safe at an all-inclusive?

When it comes to booking an all-inclusive holiday in Cancun, you can be confident that the resort is secure. Most properties have measures such as security guards with firearms to make sure visitors feel safe during their stay.

With some planning and investigation beforehand, travelers will be able to enjoy a stress-free break away from home in one of Mexico’s picturesque cities.

Is it still safe to travel to Cancun right now?

With care and knowledge of local customs, Cancun is an excellent, relatively secure destination for travelers. Hence, caution and respect should be exercised to make sure a safe journey is had while visiting the area.

When you’re planning a trip to Mexico and wondering about safety, it’s handy to know which spots are a bit spicier when it comes to risk. Some areas, particularly along certain parts of the northern border and specific regions like parts of Guerrero, have a bit more heat due to higher crime rates and travel advisories. Cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez often make headlines, urging travelers to stay street-smart and keep up with travel advisories.

Some regions, like Colima, Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Michoacán, and Sinaloa, tend to be hotter on the risk radar due to higher crime rates and consistent travel advisories. While these areas can have their share of challenges, don’t let that put a damper on your whole itinerary.

Mexico is a vast country with safe and serene destinations in the most popular tourist destinations and off the beaten path, far from the troubled spots. By staying sharp and keeping up with the latest travel advisories, you can navigate your way to a smooth and secure Mexican adventure. Remember, a little prep and awareness go a long way in making sure your vacation vibes remain as calm as a seaside sunset!

Our Safety Recommendations For Cancun

Is Cancun Safe to travel to Today

Cancun is an attractive tourist destination to visit, offering a secure holiday when the appropriate steps and precautions are taken. Staying up-to-date on safety updates, bearing in mind some basic security tips, staying up to date on current Mexico travel warnings, and keeping any dangers that may arise at bay will enable travelers to enjoy Cancun fully without worry.

So get ready for your trip by packing all you need (including sunscreen) for what promises to be an unforgettable experience – complete with sand, sunshine, and, of course, memories galore!

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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1 thought on “Is Cancun Safe to Visit in 2024? Travel Warnings And Safety Tips”

  1. We just got back and Cancun is extremely safe. We didn’t stay in resorts but three different locations and took local buses and walked around at night and at no time did we feel even the slightest concern about our safety or security. Using common sense travel, having a reasonable control of your faculties and not engaging in extremely risky behavior with strangers keeps any risk low. Mexican people are hard working, friendly and helpful.

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