Cancun Is Safe or Not

Cancún is the most popular city in Mexico for travelers, welcoming almost four million visitors in 2021 (before the recent times, there were more than six million in 2019). The second most popular destination, Mexico City, saw only half of that number.

With many direct flights from different cities in the United States and beautiful beaches that embrace the turquoise waters, it is not really surprising that this city of almost 900,000 inhabitants is so popular.

While the media tends to paint in broad strokes when it comes to Mexico and security, there are many safe places to travel in Mexico. Cancún is one of them.

It’s not like San Pedro Sula in Honduras or Ciudad Juárez on the US-Mexico border where you might experience thieves or roughness while walking around.

This may seem worrying, but keep in mind that there are several cities in the United States with comparable statistics.

Fortunately for travelers, most powered crimes in Cancún are the result of medicine cartels and take place far from tourist areas (and rarely affect tourists). The vast majority of travelers come and go without incident.

But this does not mean that you can travel here without worries.

To help you learn more about the city and decide if you feel comfortable visiting, here’s everything you need to know to stay safe in Cancún.

Is Cancun safe for solo travelers?

The Mexican government is making great efforts to ensure that Cancún is safe, as it is mainly motivated by tourism. If the crime rate suddenly increased and the news became known, people would no longer come; hotels, Bars and Restaurants would close; residents would lose their jobs; and the city would fall into total poverty, further increasing the crime rate. That’s how important security in Cancún is to the government.

In short, yes, solo travelers should generally feel safe here.

Is Cancun safe for women traveling alone?

Women traveling alone have additional concerns when traveling, and this is where the general precautions that you would take elsewhere apply: never take a drink from a stranger and never leave your drink unattended when you are at the Bar, don’t walk around tipsy at night, etc. Cancún is a party city, so be careful who you are partying with and be careful not to overdo it. In addition, women traveling alone should generally feel comfortable traveling here.

Are taxis safe in Cancun?

Yes, especially in the hotel zone (Zona hotelera). Expect to pay about 70 to 80 MXN per trip in the area. Of course, if you go further, it will cost more, and the level of security will also change. If you are leaving the hotel area, especially the city center, it is better to call Uber or Cabify.

Is it safe to rent a car in Cancun?

Compared to other regions of Mexico, the state of Quintana Roo and the Riviera Maya to the south of the city are safe to rent and drive a car (I myself rented a car in the area). The roads are also in good condition.

One thing to keep in mind is a scam that occasionally happens in Mexico. The rental cars will be cheap and you will book the car. But if you take it, the price has doubled, from all sorts of additional costs. The devil is in the fine print. If you rent a car at such a low price that it almost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Expect additional fees during pick-up.

In this regard, car insurance is mandatory in Mexico, so there are additional costs that you will have to pay when picking up the car.

To find the best car rental deals, use Discover Cars.

Is there a problem with gangs and medicine cartels in Cancún?

As in many places in Mexico, there is a problem of medicine cartels in Cancún. I’m not going to gloss over it. I know this is not a nice thing to hear, but again, gangs and medicine cartels are focused on each other. No Tourists. Similar to other countries (including the United States), powered crimes in Cancún do not target tourists, so you don’t need to skip a visit or spend your trip worried and hidden. While gang roughness has spread from time to time in tourist areas, such incidents are still rare.

Is tap water safe to drink in Cancun?

This is not the matter. Tap water across Mexico is notorious for not being as clean as it could be. Cancún is no exception. The same goes for ice cubes. First find out if the water is filtered in Restaurants, then ask if the ice cubes are also filtered. Cancún can sometimes be very hot, and drinking iced drinks can be refreshing, but it would be even worse to be stuck in your hotel room with stomach problems because you drank tap water or an iced drink contaminated with tap water.

Bottled water is not the most environmentally friendly thing, but if you are in Cancún, respect it just to be safe. You can also bring a LifeStraw bottle with a built-in filter to ensure that your water is always clean and drinkable.

Can I walk around Cancún at night?

Definitely. While Cancún has almost a Million inhabitants, the areas where tourists gather (for example, the hotel area) are very accessible on foot both day and night. In the evening, the only alarming aspect is that the street lighting is not particularly bright. This is something to watch out for when making plans.

If your itinerary or the night includes several stops, the smartest thing to do is probably to reach the farthest destination first, then slowly move to the place closest to your hotel as the night progresses.

10 safety tips for Cancún

Cancún is one of the safest tourist places in Mexico, but you should always exercise caution, especially if you leave the neighborhoods that are very busy with tourists. Here are some points to consider:

1. Keep your phone out of reach of others – pickpockets love to chase unwary tourists, so always keep your phone out of reach of others. If you are walking around and you are swinging your Smartphone everywhere, this element may suddenly be not-found.

2. Keep your valuables at home – likewise, if you have a lot of beautiful jewelry and/or an expensive watch, keep them at home or in the hotel room safe. You don’t want to attract the wrong attention.

3. be careful at night when traveling alone – Cancún is not the most peril place at night, but in some places it is not as well lit as it should be. Don’t go for a walk alone at night if you can avoid it.

4. download offline map-if you don’t have international roaming, download an offline map that you can use for Navigation. Just make sure you don’t pull your Smartphone too much so that it doesn’t get stolen.

5. learn a little Spanish – pronouncing a few words of the local language is always a good thing. This can open doors and help you adapt (to make sure that you are less likely to be a target). It is also good to learn a little Spanish in matter of emergency. The emergency number in Mexico is 911.

6. be careful with your money – don’t carry all the pesos you have in your wallet or pocket. Spread it out (Some in your wallet, some in the Hotel safe, some in your backpack) so that if someone steals your wallet or steals it, you always have money secured elsewhere.

7. download the Prey app on your phone and laptop – if your phone or laptop is stolen, you can use the Prey app to track its whereabouts. You can install the app for free and then upgrade to a paid version if you need to track your stolen device. The loot can also activate your phone’s camera and take a picture of the thief.

8. stay alert – when you go for a walk, especially at night, stay very alert and be aware of your surroundings. Do your best to adapt.

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