How Safe is travel to Cancun?

Nov 8th, 2010, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
I have travelled to Cancun many times. I am a very seasoned traveler. Two years ago I noticed a change, armed Federales on the roads, stopping cars. When I had a problem at a Hyatt Hotel, a man found me by the pool after I spoke with the management. He threatened me with bodily harm and inferred he was sent by the management staff.
Why would you travel to a place and support the economy there when the Mexican crime lords are just as involved in the tourist trade as he drug trade? Their illegal actions affect our country.
RtBoy is offline  
Nov 8th, 2010, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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RtBoy, You joined this forum just to write that answer above? Sorry but your experience is NOT the norm for a tourist in Cancun.
suze is offline  
Nov 15th, 2010, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 10
Totally uncalled for, Suze. I for one appreciate the feedback. Anecdotal information is what this forum trades in, and I am interested more about when happens on the side roads than around the main tourist spots.
Chowlab is offline  
Nov 21st, 2010, 03:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I have gotten the feeling that there are some posters on here who feel that Mexico gets a bad rap generally for safety and are determined to make sure people know it is not unsafe in any areas except the border states and northern Mexico where the drug wars are raging according to the press. Whenever I bring up anythign related to drug violence in other states and how a tourist could get caught up in it by accident, I get shot down here like I am nuts.

I love Mexico and I have traveled to all parts of the country for 35 yrs. But the truth is that the drug wars have spread in the last two years, esp. in the last yr, and now there are safety issues in other places besides the border. Monterrey is a good example. Yes, the drug folks are going into mainstream hotels there like the Holiday Inn downtown, where I have stayed in the past, and many taking guests and desk clerks away and barricading the streets during the operation so police can't get near the hotel. Who knows why, are the people they are taking involved in drug activity? Frankly, as a tourist it doesn't matter to me, bc if I am staying in that hotel I might just get in the way of those people or see them by accident and get myself shot or taken too. Ditto for the state of Guerrero where Acapulco is. And in Cancun there are lots of undercover drug activity and problems there, although not as "in your face" as in the above-mentioned areas. I won't go to the Mercado 28 in Cancun (the downtown market) anymore because my Mexican friend who resides in the area tells me it is not safe, too much drug activity gets discussed there.

People should be aware that things are different in Mexico than here, people and police operate differently. You may not get a lot of help if you have a legal problem there, get robbed, get ripped off, or have even worse problems. You might not get the kind of attn. from law enforcement that you do here. They might not care at all. They might try to bribe you for no reason when they stop you for a traffic incident you didn't commit, or stop you for no reason. It happens, it's Mexico. Generally the Mexican people are wonderful and love tourists. The cops, well, another story.

There are lots of areas I won't go into now in Mexico. I don't want to go to any northern border states, and Michoacan or Guerrero with the drug war activity there. I still go to Mexico City but I am even more careful there than ever. Cancun I will still go to, and Playa del Carmen and rest of the Yucatan, but I stay where I need to stay as a tourist and am careful. And I am not shocked when a Mexican cop stops me while driving a rent car and I need to slap a bill in his hand to drive away.

People need to stop pretending like the drug problem is not affecting anything but the border states for tourists, because it is just not true. You can still go to Mexico, I do too, but don't pretend everything is fine for tourists everywhere except the border states.
emd3 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2010, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4
I was in Cancun in January, 2010. I am planning on going to Riviera Maya in 2011. I did not witness anything out of the ordinary, but I did notice that the employees at the hotel, bus drivers, taxi drivers, etc. were not their normal, joking selves. There was a definite tension among the locals. I have been to Market 28 many times, but this time we went around 5pm. When we were there, I definitely felt 'on display' as a tourist and felt a little unwanted, which made me nervous. I have never felt uneasy in Cancun before, but this trip was different. I felt this way more in downtown Cancun, but nowhere in the hotel zone. I felt perfectly at ease in the tourist areas. Next time we go, we will stick to the tourist areas during the day. I will still go out at night, but not to downtown. I love Cancun, I love the people...I will be back. As others have said, it can be unsafe anywhere you go. Just be smart about it and aware of your surroundings. Go and enjoy the beautiful cities of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, etc.
Staceye8 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2011, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1
I lived for 5 years in Cancun back in the 90's. Never had any problems. I lived both in the hotel zone and downtown. When I returned 4 years ago I was shocked to see how different it was. I still felt safe. However, after talking with some of my Mexican friends I have learned that is has gotten much more dangerous. The drug cartel The Zetas are in control of Cancun. My advice is: dont try and buy drugs or get involved with something that isnt your business. Stay away from illegal activities, be respectful, and aware of your surroundings---and you should have a WONDERFUL time. I have yet to see water that beautiful anywhere else. A side note: The American Media is blowing things WAYYYY out of proportion. Most of the crime you hear about is in the North of Mexico near the US border. The only tourist town I would avoid would be Acapulco whose violence is spreading onto the main strip. In the last 6 months I have been to Mexico City 7 times with no problem, Cuernavaca once, Taxco, Guerrero (for 7 months) and Merida (for 2 months). I felt completely safe all the time. I use common sense, am cautious, and stay away from drug areas. Pretty simple. I do the same in NYC and I have been fine there too. Have fun on your trip!
lemurnnyc is offline  
Mar 9th, 2011, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
We are also planning to visit Cancun. When it was specifically mentioned to avoid Cancun, including resorts, I became extremely concerned. Thank you all for your advice & feedback. This will help this tourist enjoy the trip!!
school_psych is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 81
Check out our latest news update on Cancun and safety:

And thanks to all who continue to share their personal experiences.
Cate_W is offline  
Mar 10th, 2011, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,881
According to the U.S. State Dept were 59 deaths of U.S. citizens by 'non-natural' causes in Cancun in almost 8 years.

Most were from drowning (23) and traffic accidents (13). Two homicides, six suicides, 15 "other accidents".

You can read more about U.S. deaths in Mexico at this thread ... basically Cancun doesn't have many violent deaths but there are sure a lot of drownings.
Bill_H is offline  
Mar 17th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7
My husband and I are going in May too. I am glad that you asked about the safety of the area. We were in Cancun 10 years ago and I hope that it is even better now. Where are you staying?
nancydear is offline  
Mar 18th, 2011, 03:42 PM
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ttt for jenniwani
suze is offline  
Apr 24th, 2011, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1
There are over 15,000 Drug/Gang related murders in the US every year. Perhaps we shouldn't go there this year,,,,,,Safe is relateve to common sense and good decisions. Anywhere you are,if you do the wrong thing, or go the wrong place, you are not safe.
ArborL is offline  
Apr 25th, 2011, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2
I plan on going to Cancun this May and was wondering how safe the hotels are. What places are okay to go at night?
Puravida4711 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2011, 03:12 PM
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Posts: 92,932
The Hotel Zone in Cancun is safe. The nightclubs are OK to go at night. You don't need a "travel program" to ensure your safety.
suze is offline  
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